In an attempt to prove that I have officially crossed over to elderly, I am going to take about my illnesses. The entire week prior to leaving for this trip I had bronchitis and I had it bad. I still have a lingering bit of it and on occasion sound tubercular. No one wants to sit with me.
My day begins with cold and wind in Milwaukee with a light snowfall. Getting to the airport and getting on the plane is no problem. However, at our appointed time to leave we are backed out of the gate and left on the tarmac for one hour. During the one hour we are de-iced at least three times with the last one being called a "level four" attempt. This does not instill a lot of confidence in me when we actually do take off but I am typing this so you know we did not crash and burn.
In typical fashion for flying out of Milwaukee since we lost our hub, I have to fly to Atlanta then on to New Orleans. We did make up one half hour in the air after the delay so I did have plenty of time to make my connection in Atlanta.
NOLA being a tourist town, it is super easy and cheap to get a hotel shuttle to our workshop hotel, the Hotel St. Marie on Toulouse Street, one block off Bourbon in the French Quarter. In previous years we had stayed at the Sheraton Four Points which is on Bourbon but Katherine has us trying a new hotel (for us) which is an old (for NOLA) hotel for the workshop. My room is small in an old hotel traditional sense but how much room does one guy need who is not going to be in his room anyway?
Then it was time for a walk about back to the hotel.
Sunday night was an unofficial first dinner at the Gumbo Shop for whomever was around. Here are a few friendly faces and it is great to see everyone again.
I am still not feeling well so it was early to bed for me.
Today I was up at 8 for breakfast with Kelley and Lynn at The Grill.
This is an old style counter space with African-American waiters in white livery. It has the feel of an old dining car on a railroad. The service can be spotty but it is always entertaining. The food is grill food that is probably bad for you but who cares when it is served at The Grill.
Today was a day with no plans. All we did was walk the French Quarter area and hit numerous shops of different types. I did manage to buy a few finds for assemblage but I also needed to get a sweat shirt as it was too cold for the T-shirt I started out in.
We walked from 9:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. when the ladies headed into the wig shop.
That was my signal to return to the hotel to prepare for the day's main event.
The Meet & Greet Mixer Dinner Party was held at the Vacherie located next door to the hotel. The night began with greetings from Katherine Engen and Michael de Meng. Our evening entertainment was Ri Dickulous who did a talk on the history of Cabinets of Curiosity and Side Shows. She then gave us a demonstration of sword swallowing. Then we got a shot at the buffet dinner.
This year's attendees are Kelley Clark, KD (Kristy) Duncan, Lois Inman Engel, Kathy Gould, Renee Harper, Penny McDonald, Rob McDonald, Mary McVey, Bonnie Neustad, Lynn Ovenden, Deb Petronio, Sharon Ross, Karen Woodzell Rexrode, Sue Slattery, Beth Smith, Cris Smith, Vickie Tranche, Sue Urquhart, Marilyn West and Joanne Wotypka. The dragged along spouses include
Bob Gould (Kathy Gould’s husband), John Werst (Marilyn Werst's husband) and Bill Weber (Katherine Engen’s husband).
Again tonight, I was in bed early. I cannot say I felt well at all and I am hoping that by actually getting some sleep I might feel better.
To view all the photos from this trip at once, visit https://www.flickr.com/photos/gniebuhr/sets/72157652252815054/show