Monday, April 13, 2009

NOLA, Take 1

New Orleans....or bust! Yep, that was pretty much the theme from the get-go. Not my best work trip ever...but let's start at the beginning. Ashley and I get to the airport, with oh 45mins to spare before take-off, and of course we had luggage to check. Opps. As we stood impatiently in line we started to overhear bits and pieces of canceled flight talk. Was that the Chicago connector you say? Sure was. Awesome. So how are we getting to Chicago and well, bigger question, how are we getting to New Orleans in time for the event? Turns out, our only option was to hop on the bus at 2:30am down to Chicago to catch the 7am flight to we did. On the bus at 2:30 (after a few cab mishaps...), off the bus at 5:45, on the plane at 7 something, off the plane at 10 something. Luggage carousel, rental car line, and finally, to the event.

We finally rolled into the event around, of 12:30. It started at 10. Luckily the people we were working with were quite sympathetic. But regardless of sympathy, we were beat already. We'd been up since 1:30AM!! And needless to say, there was no podcast attending for me. So nearly 12hrs later, we started our actual day.

The highlights of Friday included seeing some friends of mine from North Carolina there working the event, the EvoTri team stopping by, and Catriona Morrison looking for a trainer to ride!

Why yes, that is CycleOps PowerTap you see on her bike. Actually that's our training wheel, but her super sweet Planet X Carbon's had a PT too. We just opted to let her use our training wheel and keep her newly tubied race wheel in tip-top shape. What trainer did she rock? It just so happens she took a spin on the JetFluid....but I digress. Talk about a super awesome chick! So friendly AND a great accent! It's always great to meet our sponsored athletes, haev some face time, see what makes them tick, hear their training and racing tales.and of couse I LOVED checking out her sweet PINK PLant X bike!! And PS, I'd like to think that her quality trainer time at the expo and sweet PowerTap helped her ROCK the New Orleans 70.3 and seccure her 2nd place finish.... =D

Expo day 1 ended. We schlepped our tired selves over to our hotel finally. Food had been lost on the suffle up until that point and we were two crabby hungry ladies. Trying to be diligent training athletes we assessed the weekend. Chances were that based on another long day of expo we were not going to want to do the weekend's scheduled long run on Saturday, so we decided if there was a night to check out Bourbon St tonight was the night. So off we went...

We were about a half a mile wonder from the world of Bourbon St. Once we found our way there, I don't think either of us knew what to do. We had both been up and functionally for over 17hrs, need food and were wondering aimlessly. Everywhere we went into had at least an hour wait for dinner.... Finally we found some 2-story restaurant serving Po'Boy's with balcony seating over Bourbon St and we were set. We ate some deliciously rich shrimp concotion as an appetizer, devoured our Po'Boys and enjoyed our food comas before wandering about.

Then there was Bourbon St. First of all, it was stinky (and I can only imagine it gets worse during Mardi Gras)!! Second of all, I don't want to know what was in all of the puddles everywhere... Finally, the people! OMG! The people. Talk about spectacular people watching. It was PyrateCon, which I didn't even know existed and only added to the adventure.
(Yes, I do look slightly terrified because he was a really creepy pirate and was whispering wierd things in my ear)

We wandered the extent of the street, took some pitures, drank a hurricane, and were at our hotel by 11pm!

That sums up NOLA, day 1. The debacles of travleing, expo day 1, and Bourbon St. Yep, that's pretty much all that we could fit into that 24 hour period. Expo day 2 and more to come...

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