Friday, October 27, 2006

New Orleans

I thought I'd post a little bit about my trip to New Orleans and K-Con, a gathering of Sherrilyn Kenyon fans.

On Thursday night as I began getting last minute things together, my throat began to tickle. I alternated between telling it to go away and ignoring it, but I knew what was coming. A cold. To anyone I infected with cooties, *hands a cookie* I am so sorry. I know of a few already.

I didn’t sleep well Thurs night, I was too excited and nervous. Got up early Friday morning and made it to my plane with time to spare. I had almost a three hour layover in Philadelphia. While sitting there, a very nice lady started talking to me. We talked for about an hour and a half. She was from Louisiana, about 30 minutes North of Lake Pontchartrain. She told me a lot about New Orleans and Katrina. Her house was hit by seven trees during the storm. Her husband had to crawl through six blocks of debris to find out if they had a house to come back to.

On the way to the hotel, we passed the Super Dome from the interstate. It was odd, seeing overpasses and thinking this was where people came during the flood after Katrina. I met a couple of K-Con attendees from Washington state.

Made the hotel, found my roomie, Melissa, who's also half of Marissa Alwin and Melany Logen, dropped stuff off and headed for registration. At this point, my voice was starting to sound gravelly too, btw. I’m in line and a quiet voice said, “Tiffany?” I said, “Yes.” She said, “It’s Paula.” OMG I jump hugged her. I’m still so very psyched I got to meet my webmistress! Met her sister, Eija too along with several other people.

Dinner was decided to be a place I think on Decateur, Frank’s. I ordered some gumbo and a po’boy sandwich. Maureen aka Mari kept telling me I need to sample true Cajun fare LOL. Of course, she got her bowl of gumbo and pullled out this big honking CRAB CLAW. Another lady and I just stared, stunned. Needles to say I ate my cup very carefully. I've now since heard that was supposed to happen.

Went back for the K-Con Lords of Avalon mixer. Those who dressed up went up to change. I sat with Maureen and helped sell raffle tickets. They were for prizes, one of which was to get your name as a character in a book. The proceeds would benefit the New Orleans Library. I think the final tally was like $1500, so it went very well.

I did get to meet some friends from online like Jenna Leigh, Melanie Gilbreath, Charissa Ruechel, and Karen Quintiere. I also got to see Mary Stella again.

After the mixer was ending, I walked out and several people were sitting. My throat was incredibly hurting, and my voice was getting rather hoarse. I said I was going upstairs for a few. And Charissa said, “and you’re coming back down right? And hang out with us?” I couldn’t turn that down *grins*. I went and got a drink and came back down to sit. We had a blast talking. We talked about books and covers and writing.

Didn’t sleep all that great, but woke up the next morning about 7ish. LOL Melissa, Eija, and I were the first to get up. Let’s just say Paula wasn’t thrilled with giggles first thing in the morning. *ahem*

Next on the agenda, was a question and answer with Sherri and her editors. Sherri is a wonderful speaker. I love her sense of humor. She talked a lot about her brother. I adored seeing her again. Got my Sherri hug fix until she’ll be at EPIC-Con in the Spring *grins*.

Next was a luncheon where Sherri honored people who do so much on her website.

I will take crossed fingers and good thoughts about an editor meeting I had in New Orleans.

Dinner was Hard Rock Café. OMG it was fun. LOL Jenna’s birthday was recent so they ended up telling the staff who put her up on a chair with an ice cream sundae LOL to sing happy birthday to. Jenna said we had to walk back with her, and she’d pick us off one by one. LOL not me though, cause I’m sweet *Grins*.

After Hard Rock, I cruised back to the hotel and sat talking in the lobby for a long while to some friends.

I went to bed and had the most horrible sleeping night ever. Didn’t go up until after 1:00, kept waking up and woke up for good at 5 AM. I thought about walking to the Mississippi River and watching the sun rise, but didn’t make it out in time. The Sheraton needs an observation deck so you can look out across the city. I did go up to the outdoor pool, but you couldn’t see anything but a parking deck.

We had to meet at 7:30 in the lobby to trek to Brennans for Brunch. We had BANANAS FOSTER, which is bananas flambé. It was yummy.

While we were debating what to do next, I had the neatest thing happen. KatyZ, a Sherri fan I met a while ago, was talking to Melissa who mentioned I had books out. KatyZ asked her “Under what name?” Melissa said, “Mechele Armstrong.” LOL KatyZ had to find me and bless me out for not telling her that Mechele is me. But she’s read my books!!! Isn’t that neat?

We trekked off for the Aquarium. It’s nestled right on the Mississippi River so I got to see that up close and took several pictures. It had a lot of fish. We saw sharks, jellyfish, an albino alligator, a hawk, sea horses, otters, and an owl. Someone has a sense of Halloween spirit because several tanks had Halloween décor in them LOL.

After the Aquarium, we were hungry so we looked for a place to eat. We walked into Jackson Brewery! There’s a scene in “Fantasy Lover” by Sherri that takes place there. All I could think was, “Julian and Grace were here!” That was very cool.

We walked over to Jackson Square after lunch. There were all kinds of tarot and palm readers and people playing music. Maureen took a carriage ride with me. I learned a lot about New Orleans and also about architecture. They use mules instead of horses now for the carriage rides. Mules aren’t as sensitive to the heat and don’t react as nervously to traffic.

After a trip back to the hotel, we headed out for Bourbon Street, laughing a lot along the way. Ate dinner at a restaurant before hitting the bars. I had a Hurricane from Pat O’Brien’s.

And then…lo and behold, I’m walking on the sidewalk toward a bar and familiar chords reach me...my favorite song. I literally RAN into the bar. LOL It was "Pour some Sugar on me." Unfortunately, it was at the end but I got to hear a little. The bar was “The Famous Door,” and the band was “Rock Box.” Rock Box played a lot of covers of 80’s songs. I had the best time listening them. Even though my requests were always songs that they’d already played before *sigh*. We danced, having fun watching people in the bar and the band.

By the time 1 AM rolled around, I was starting to fade. I’d been up since 5 AM and going the whole day so I’m almost at 24 hours of being up. Not to mention I had to pack still. I offered a few times to get a taxi back, but Maureen said no we probably should all head back. We headed back, I packed, was in bed at some point after 2.

Didn’t really sleep all that well again, was up by quarter of seven. I was really feeling lousy, too. I didn’t even want COFFEE. Going to Starbucks was too much effort LOL. Saw Maureen and her hubby, got one last hug as they scooted off in a taxi. I caught the shuttle and made my plane with plenty of time. I fell asleep on both planes home. Usually, I look out the window or read.

So that was my impromptu trip to K-Con. I had a blast, I’m very happy I went.

3 Comments:

Blogger Cathie said...

Mechele sounds like you had one fab time!!! Some day I'd love to go too! Love Kenyon's books even though I need to catch up on them. Too I'd love to go to New Orleans some day as well.
I hope you're geting that rest now. I had it too with the start of the sore throat and all, along with an ear infection so its been going on a month now. So rest up lots. Welcome back!!

12:34 AM  
Blogger Cathie said...

PS Loved your interview in Mary Winter's newsletter!

12:34 AM  
Blogger Mechele Armstrong said...

Thank you Cathie. I love Sherri, too. I'm glad I went though I'm still reeling from the cold I brought back with me. I had fun doing Mary's interview *G*.

2:46 PM  

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