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May 7, 2017 / thackersam

The Big Easy and Not So Easy

I got home last night, this morning actually and walked in at about 1:30 after a 1½ day conference in New Orleans, which started the evening before with keynote speaker Anna Quindlen, a marvelous story teller, followed by a nifty reception with an open bar and some lovely hors d’oeuvres. I went with my associate director, a first for us in the many years we’ve been working together. I had to fight hard to get “them” to let the both of us go as the conference fee was a fraction of the travel expenses. Mind you, it was not easy to convince them that I needed to go in the first place, and then I was insulted with the insinuation that if I required my associate to go as well, perhaps I could not handle the taking in of information and reporting it back. But this story will not dwell on the negatives, it celebrates the kindness of others. I obviously won the fight (hooray for our side) and my associate and I garnered loads of valuable information, ideas and feedback from our attendance and our ability to discuss our new knowledge and many confirmations of our opinions that will prove to be a wise investment.

By the end of the conference, we were exhausted as our sponge-like brains were bursting. Plus, we were in New Orleans. Yesterday morning, which now seems like ages ago, we learned that our 7pm flight back to NYC would be delayed an hour, and later learned that it would be delayed by nearly another hour on top of that. (I must say that it is nice to be in the company of a seasoned traveler who remembers to check these things.) Plus, crossing a time zone that was an added advantage going, was going to now cause us to land well after midnight.

The flight went well and there were no further delays and no one got dragged down the aisle with their tummy exposed (I wore a camisole under my shirt just in case). At some time before 1:00 AM, as we blearily rode the escalator down to the taxi level at JFK, I turned to my associate and told her that it had been a pleasure traveling with her, because it was. “Same here,” she replied. “And I hope never to see you again,” I said. “Same here,” she replied.

A big shout out to our company’s travel coordinator!

Oh but I’ll bet you’re wondering about Max during the three days I was gone. Not to worry. He had wonderful care by a wonderful person, someone who those who know her consider themselves most fortunate. Including Max. And though he is purring up a storm, crying to let me know he is exposing his belly that I’m not allowed to touch, and is excitedly tearing into his scratching posts leaving shreds of cardboard strewn about, he still won’t cuddle. But there is love in his eyes and he is a great guy, so I’ll give him that. We all have our demons that cause that oddity we seem to have no control over. Perhaps he got stuck in the birth canal or sat upon by his mother long before we met.

Needless to say, Max and I both are glad I’m home.

Nola Cigar1 - EditedBTW – I bought a cigar and smoked it practically to the nub. We were walking up Bourbon Street Friday night and for some reason the frequent whiff of cigar smoke, a scent I have never cared for, was now quite appealing. I have never smoked a cigar before, not even a puff, but without much deliberation, I turned into the next cigar shop I saw. Without consult, I decided that the panatela would be just right for me, and the young clerk, who had obviously dealt with my kind before, had no problem with my request for him to light it for me, and he lit me up with minimal but needed instruction in a totally non-condescending manner. My associate and I continued our trek up Bourbon Street as I enjoyed my cigar. It just seemed like the thing to do. Are you supposed to inhale?

One last thing. The next morning, yesterday in fact, I wondered what the hell I ate the night before that caused my tongue to be black. Scarily black. I had to brush my tongue at least three times before it returned to a somewhat normal color. I was reminded later of the cigar.

Alberto! More coffee please!

Not responsible for typos.

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