Saturday, March 21, 2009

Luck of the Irish?

Last Sunday I headed to New Orleans for a conference. I booked the early flight out of Phoenix so I could arrive by 2:30, have a chance to unpack, and then catch the conference's bus to LIGO for a tour. However, after circling Houston for hours, making a detour to Hobby Airport to refuel, and then sitting on the runway forever, I didn't arrive in New Orleans until 8:00 PM. It was cold, raining, and I was tired!

It rained all day on Monday, but it didn't really matter because I was busy all day and evening with the conference. On Tuesday it finally stopped raining. By the time the conference ended for the day, it was warm and sunny outside. I decided to go to the Audubon Insectarium, which was a block from my hotel.
Even though it had a big sign in front and a butterfly mosaic on the sidewalk, I walked right past it.
A few blocks later, I knew I had gone too far and stopped at an information booth for directions. They told me to go back the way I came and that I couldn't miss it. Uh, yeah, I could. And did! Good thing I'm not on the Amazing Race. I would be on the team that stares right at the cluebox and runs in circles missing it. I eventually found it, but couldn't go in because it was closed.

The group I was with was going to see Hurricane on the Bayou at the IMAX theater that evening, so I decided to head to the Aquarium of the Americas to kill time before the movie started. I arrived just after the last ticket could be sold, so wasn't allowed in there either.
I killed time checking out the metal sculptures surrounding the aquarium,
watching people's reactions to the automated dinosaur that was being promoted for the zoo,
watching the ferry come and go on the river,
listening to the dixieland tunes coming from the tourist paddle boats,
and just hanging out and watching the river.
Later that night, a St. Patrick's Day parade went right past my hotel.
In addition to the bagpipes,

there were a few floats, and they were throwing beads! BEADS!!!!!!
Hey Mister! Throw me some St. Patty's Day beads!
Immediately after the conference ended on Wednesday, I hurried to the airport only to find that my flight was delayed. And delayed again in Houston. It was after midnight when I finally arrived back home.