Big Easy or Bust…

Day One actually begins with Day Zero. Last night I cleaned my place and had a list of things to do – most importantly, packing. Bedtime was set for 10 PM, since I planned to get up at 3 this morning. Well, I got carried away with Netflix, really got into cleaning, and did a thorough packing job…then it was 1:30 AM. So I slept ’til 4:30. A three hour drive took me to SeaTac Airport. I passed my old hometown Olympia right at sunrise and got stuck in the 7am, going to work traffic in central Tacoma. I got to the airport, parked in one of the private long term lots and was checked in by  8:45. My flight didn’t board until 12:30 PM.

Passing my old home, Olympia Washington at sunrise

Passing my old home, Olympia Washington at sunrise

This gave me three hours to pass the time in the Delta Sky Club. I bought a day pass and enjoyed breakfast, lunch, an open bar, free wifi, a rooftop view, and best of all, peace and quiet. Most people in the lounge were professionals so, while some were working and some were resting, the entire lounge was quiet. Except for the Asian guy making a business deal.

The flight to Salt Lake City was uneventful and I arrived amidst beautiful views of snowy mountains out the airport windows. I went back to the lounge for more of the same, except that this lounge was much larger – enormous – and much more crowded. Eventually, though, it thinned out. I began this blog post there but that quickly was pushed to the side when I saw across the room that a man was asking for the TV to be turned to the NCAA women’s basketball tournament. He was a Maryland fan and we chatted basketball. Later, my distraction continued as a lawyer on her way back to southern CA came over and initiated a conversation with me about basketball – it later turned into a conversation about education. I was so distracted by this, and by the start of UConn’s game that I was worried about missing my priority boarding. I know…first world problems.

I rushed to the gate to find a delayed flight – it had arrived from Mexico City and a security sweep was currently in progress. Eventually we boarded. On this leg, I upgraded to “Comfort+” class, which includes priority boarding, dedicated/guaranteed carry-on bin space, MUCH more comfortable seats, substantially more leg room, and complimentary alcohol. I enjoyed a double Woodford Reserve single barrel bourbon…in a plastic cup.

I arrived in New Orleans seemingly the last flight of the day; the airport appeared closed except for those of us walking through. I exited and called the hotel shuttle. My hotel was literally across the street – google maps gives a three minute walking time. However, there is no crosswalk on this major street for the hotel recommended the shuttle. I got to my room, collected myself, and got ready for bed and my busy day tomorrow.

I don't plan everything - spontaneity and flexibilty are keys for me. However, I DO make substantive lists of possibilities.

I don’t plan everything – spontaneity and flexibilty are keys for me. However, I DO make substantive lists of possibilities.

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2 thoughts on “Big Easy or Bust…

  1. I love your giant list, with the comment below that you “don’t plan everything – spontaneity & flexibility are keys for me.” It’s good to have structure & ideas ahead of time. Did you actually physically mark these things off the list as you traveled to places & tried different things? If so (and maybe you have already & I’m just not caught up yet), you should post a picture with them crossed off. 🙂
    I’ve heard of some of these places on shows on the Travel Channel, but your own take will be neat to hear/read about.

  2. Hey Aubrey,
    At the end of the day (up until the 4th day in NOLA), I would cross off/highlight what I did, and then rewrite the list with what still needed to be accomplished. I’ll try to find one of my copies.

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