Here is an update from my trip to NOLA for my first ever USPC Annual Meeting! It is pretty late, but I hope you all enjoy it all the same!
In November I received a partial scholarship to attend the USPC Annual Meeting in New Orleans! It took place January 25-29 in the middle of the French Quarter. I flew down to NOLA with friend, instructor and the Big Sky Region’s RIC, Molly Rennie.
I hadn’t gone on a real trip or flown in over 7 years, so I was a little anxious. We had a little turbulence on our first flight to Denver, but the rest was smooth sailing.
When we got there is was like we landed on whole different world, because we had just came from Montana where we had just gotten over 2 ft of snow. It was green, warm, and not a speck of snow or ice on the ground.
Our hotel was in the middle of the french quarter. The view from our window was amazing.
As soon as we dropped off our stuff in our hotel room for the night (we squatted in our regions RS’s room the first night, thanks Char and Jill!), we hit the town. First things first, we found a great little place to eat. I can’t remember the name of it for the life of me, but they made a mean muffaletta. Yum!
Molly and I then went on a search for the perfect Mardi Gras masks for the Saturday night banquet. After going back and forth from several shops we found the perfect masks. We all looked smashing with them on, at the banquet, and then proceeded to parade them down Bourbon Street afterwards. What a fun night!
Before the fun on Saturday night we went made a mad dash to Cafe’ Du Monde. It was quite the walk from the hotel, so on the way we got sidetracked. The purple dress in the picture above that Molly is wearing caught her eye in a little side shop, and lucky for her she needed a dress and they had one left in her size. We managed to go to Cafe’ Du Monde, and if you have ever been there before, it is pretty much always packed and have Molly try on and buy a dress with plenty of time to spare before the banquet began. Pony Clubbers sure know how to get-er-done!
Back to Friday night. We met up with Sarah Broussard Kelly, and Lynn the DC of Herron Park PC. Sarah acted as our personal tour guide through NOLA and down Bourbon Street. She took us to a great hole in the wall that had the best jambalaya I had ever eaten. We got a little private room at the back of the restaurant, where you could just feel the culture seeping out of the walls. It was stepping into a whole other world. I could definitely move to NOLA without any gripes. All the food that we had while we were there was amazing; from the poboys to pulled pork eggs benedict to beniets.
We all then went scouting for a place call the Bourbon Cowboy, that was rumored to have a mechanical bull. If we can deal with our sometimes crazy horses, no doubt we could deal with a mechanical bull, right? Sadly LA has different rules regarding how old you have to be when entering a bar, than MT does. In MT you only have to be 18, while in LA most places required that you had to be at least 21. Sadly three of us are just a few years shy of 21, so we had to watch the festivities from the outside.
On a somewhat opposite note, I was a little disappointed with the variety of food. My dad immigrated from Haiti with his family in the 70’s, and since a big population of creoles are Haitian, I do eat a lot of Creole/Cajun style meals. So lets just say I wasn’t impressed to see all of the different variations of red or black beans and rice, as I eat a lot of that already at home. Speaking of my dad, he also grew up with grandparents that practiced voodoo. It is also said that you could see my great-grandfather sitting on his front porch in his rocking chair smoking a pipe, in the form of a goat. Pretty neat, huh? I dad totally believes in this, so he wasn’t very happy when I brought home some voodoo dolls as souvenirs. Heehee.
All in all I am pretty sure I can speak for all of us when I say that we had an amazing time. Next time, and there will be a next time, I go to NOLA I plan to spend at least a solid 7-10 days there compared to our 3.5 days. I hadn’t gone on a trip in the last 7 years, at least, so this was a great way to get back into see what else is out there besides my little piece of Montucky.