Saturday, February 12, 2011

New Orleans...

Arrived last night just as the sun was setting -- it's one of those places where it gets really dark, really fast after the sun goes down...

Checked in to our home for the next four nights -- the St. Louis Hotel, in the French Quarter. They're renovating the main lobby, and the temporary reservations desk felt a Very Temporary, but the staff was friendly and we were taken up to our room on the back side of the hotel, away from the gorgeous, candle-lit atrium (hosting noisy events Friday and Saturday night), so that we would have a quieter room.

Room 222 was nice enough -- though I wasn't too thrilled about the "smoking area" immediately outside our window... Until we noticed "it". You know how those big HVAC units in hotel rooms are always noisy? Our room had this percussive rattle -- one I could feel in my chest more than hear, if that makes sense. Well, I thought the rattle was coming from it. Until Wil tried to turn it off. And I realized that the noise was coming from the ceiling... that the light fixture was rattling. As was the picture on the wall. And the lamp on the table.

We walked around and into the courtyard outside our window... and noticed that lucky room 222 was located immediately underneath a massive ventilator -- probably the one for the entire hotel. Wow. We just looked at each other and Wil started packing up. I called the front desk, said that "gosh, we seem to be under a really noisy ventilation system and the whole room is vibrating."

Somehow, I think I'm not the first person to complain about 222... they asked if we minded stairs (nope), and told us that someone would meet us outside room 327 -- "Go out into the courtyard, up the stairs, and along the landing." Five minutes later we were in 327 -- and were amazed at the difference in noise levels. Sure, we could hear the occasional horn from the street (though we were still facing inward), but this room is otherwise nearly silent. What a relief.

(I should quickly point out that the staff was friendly and gracious and didn't push back at all -- and the location is great. And did I mention the gorgeous atrium? Amazing...)

We unpacked, got settled, and then headed out to wander the French Quarter. We drank hurricanes (umm, is it just Kool-Aid and rum?), ate catfish po' boys (don't judge), listened to some jazz, and generally meandered.

This morning we're heading out to the expo and then for some low-key sightseeing. (Natchez steamboat, here we come!) I managed to hyper-extend my left knee on the uneven cobbles last night (BEFORE drinking the hurricane, I should point out!) so work up with a swollen knee... hoping that will feel better by tomorrow :)

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