After an 18 hour trip from my home I arrived at the Sheraton in New Orleans. Luckily this time I also got my bag (at OOW 2007 it arrived a day later). A small wonder, because my transfer time in Houston was reduced from 1 ½ hour to 20 minutes due to the border control officer, who seemed to be very interested in all my predecessors in the queue. So I had to run from gate E to C. On the way I saw at a screen that The Netherlands where ahead against France with 1-0. At the time I arrived in New Orleans I called home and found out it turned out be a 4-1 victory!
When I came outside of the airport the tropical atmosphere hit me. It was about 32 C, but very very humid. After dropping of my luggage and freshening up a little in my room at the 43 floor, overlooking the Mississippi, I went out into the French Quarter. This area is packed with bars and restaurant and every bar seemed to have it’s own live music. I managed to stay awake until 9pm - that makes about 22 hours awake - and slept until 6:30 the next morning.
When I stepped out for a nice and quiet stroll through the French Quarter and the riverside it was so hot and humid already - or still - that my sunglasses blurred immediately. Like stepping into a tropical swimming pool. After my walk I took the old steamboat for a trip over the Mississippi and strolled over the Cajun / Zydeco and Tomato festival. New Orleans is very very lively: there is music on every corner and food stalls in between them. And of course the obvious street artists painting, breakdancing and reading hands. In this part of town there is not much damage left from Katrina three years ago, but also it didn’t suffer that much from The Storm as the locals seem to call it.
I hope I am over my jetlag already and ready for the start of the conference tomorrow morning at 8:30 : a full day ‘APEX Must hear success stories’
For those who are more of the visual type, I uploaded some pictures here.