Now that I've “caught up” with my posts about the trip this past weekend, I thought I might offer some reflections (you know the deep and meaningful insights that drift into the mind from time to time).
People: I have to say the best part of the weekend was the group. I've travelled a lot with Chris, and some with Brian, Bobby and Ian, and no matter what we do, we always seem to have a good time. I think we just get it, and understand that time spent with each other is just time to be enjoyed. I also think they know more about me than most anyone, so I am me (and someone else when I drink). This trip Layton joined us. Now I know he reads this, so I'll keep it getting too soppy. But for a straight boy, he fit in so neatly into our group (and I don't mean in the Sean Cody kind of way). In fact I want to go so far to say that his (our) sexuality is a minor factor, and I have been surprised at how he has opened my eyes to the “other” side as much as he has. The bottom line, is that where my concern existed before the trip about how the “mix” would work, it just did – and I think that is a reflection on us all.
Hotel: The hotel we stayed at – Place d'Armes – was in an excellent location, and offered some good amenities like free wireless internet, swimming pool, enjoying breakfast options (with hours that are very accomodating) and very helpful staff. It is within staggering distance of Bourbon Street, and if you peer out the door to the right, you can see the flags of Oz waving in the humid heat.
French Quarter: It stinks. I don't remember it smelling as bad before, but I've never been there in the middle of summer, so maybe I've missed that part of the life before. There were a lot of people there, and I guess this goes back to be there in the middle of summer with schools out, and families travelling. New Orleans is place I'd take my kids for all the cool things they have, especially when it comes to the history of that part of the country, but the French Quarter is not a place I'd have them. I'd guess I'd be a strict parent when it comes to what my kids will see.
Food: Excellent. Even the places that we ate at which were not received well by everyone in the group, still had something to offer that was unique to the city we were visiting.
Most memorable moment: Sitting at Pat O'Briens discussing something vulgar on Friday afternoon. I can't recall (er, dead brain cells) exactly what it was all about, I just remember laughing a whole lot.
Most memorable moments runner up: Layton in Second Skin asking about the Gates of Hell.
Most annoying: Cab drivers, or cab companies. Someone, somewhere decided that cab companies/drivers should be the recipient of the dollars gouged out of tourists (or anyone who uses cabs). One person to the airport, costs $12.00. Two people: $24; Three people: $36 … get the idea??? Who in the hell came up with the idea that a person cost $12 to get to the airport? Where is the incentive to car pool, when it costs you the same whether you share a cab or not.
Most offensive: The smell.
I'm sure there are plenty of others, and the beauty of blogging, is that when I remember, I can post.