Monday, November 21, 2011

The Big Easy

There was a day in July when I mourned the end of field trips.

...but that was before I had ever experienced a business trip.

A little more work, a little less bus -- but still, good deal.

Enter New Orleans.

Last week I headed down to the Big Easy for an education conference.

Dirty city, good food.

Here's the famous Bourbon street, with golden boy dancing for all the drunk people.

I think he made more money than I did that day? But it's cool, I can't dance like he can.

He does have the benefit of being black, though.

We watched another group of street performers in front of this cathedral.

They were hilarious and filled with racial comments that white people could never get away with.

That night we headed to Mulate's for some southern Louisiana cooking.

There was a sweet old man almost half my height that danced every dance that night.

He asked me to do a little country swing number. I was honored.

I found out his name is Bill, he travels around with the band and dances every song,
and after our duet he gave me a little certificate that said I was an "official Cajun dancer."

Even dirty, smokey cities have cute, old Bills.

Over the week I ate (or was talked into eating):
Alligator gumbo, barbecued oysters, fried calamari, Louisiana redfish,
crawfish stew, jambalaya, red beans and rice, bread pudding, dirty rice...

...and beignets from the famous Cafe' Du Monde!

I've been craving one of these since I saw the Princess and the Frog,
and I didn't even know what they really were until I ordered one.

Deep fried dough loaded with powdered sugar.

Deep fried (almost anything) loaded with powdered sugar.

We ate that healthy (right?) snack while walking along the Mississippi River,
and listening to steamboats play music.

I wanted to be Tom Sawyer.

Ok, maybe Becky Thatcher.

And that was my week of southern hospitality.

Plus, #38. And counting.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Easy as 1, 2, ......3?

Last night I caught the Michigan GOP Presidential Debate that I missed earlier this week.

Then I threw up.

Flu? Probably. Or maybe my interest in current events doesn't keep politics from making me literally sick sometimes.

You should still watch this though...I don't think it's contagious.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Let's Go Fly...

Two things always happen when I drive past the Point of the Mountain.

First, my cell phone calls drop. Always. 
Do you think they mess with signals around the prison? I could be persuaded to believe that. 

And second, I see people flying. 
Paragliders of all colors soar around the mountain and give me air cravings.

Recently my friend said she was getting a group together to go experience this driving distraction firsthand. 
Had to go!

Michael & I went for his birthday -- unfortunately we had very different experiences, and his was not the better one.

Take-off fail = Birthday present fail.

But he lived to tell the story (of how he and his guide bounced down half the mountain in their attempt to fly), 
and he's up for trying it again. 

My guide had me climb the top half of the mountain and chase down some better wind.

Thank you, Mr. Guide. I'm all for skipping the bounce experience.

We climbed up the ridge of the mountain, then took off from a steep incline. 

He had me stand in front of him, told me I would be jerked backwards, then to sit back. I figured he gave me that instruction as a prep, but he was talking real time. 
Before I had even imagined worse-case scenarios, we were flying!

He taught me how to pull the canopy and maneuver the turns. Then he took over to do some fancy 360s and other tricks I could have enjoyed forever. It was like a roller coaster with no rickety track or jerking head.


I risked the life of my phone to capture it all on video,
so be grateful! 
Warning: May cause dizziness.