Okay, from my last post, I was a few minutes late to check out and get to Lunch. All was okay though. We sat as a Pink Generator unit at Lunch: Janie & Jody, Kim & Dan, Elba, Carina and Jen & Terry. After lunch we went for the closing session of the debut again by Cheryl Warfield. I have pictures which are still embedded in the camera and have yet to be downloaded. Cheryl is a great speaker and was very motivating to everyone in the audience. We said our goodbyes and hopped in the car to travel to Tallahassee.
Sunday, we traveled to New Orleans via Interstate 10. Nothing of monumental interest during our travels to New Orleans. When we got into the city, I took the wrong exit to the hotel. Well, wrong isn’t the correct word, let’s try inconvenient. For those of you who have not been to the Crescent City, the steets that run primarily North/South are two lanes, but those that run East/West are mainly one-way streets. So, if you miss your turn, you may have to drive around a bit to get to back to where you want to be. As was the case for the HI Express. Once we made it there, we valeted our car and brought up our bags. The room we had overlooked Cardonelet Street, which turns into Bourbon Street on the otherside of Canal. For a Holiday Inn Express it was a spacious room, but that has more to due to the fact that the buildings in NO are quite old and larger than today’s standards. We ended up getting a pizza for the night since the places near us were already closed and we didn’t want to venture out into the city that night. When Jen went to register, I found a Wal-mart close to the convention center and you know you are in New Orleans when the Wal-mart has one whole row dedicated to hard alcohol. Not the mixer, but the actual hard stuff, Beam, Bacardi, etc…
Monday morning we walked to the convention center as to avoid getting the car from valet and thereby being obligated to tip. Not that we do not tip, in fact we feel obligated to tip everytime but we don’t want to handover our money right away. So we walked. Eric was in the backpack carrier that we borrowed from Marty & Solange. He loved being in that thing and it made it much easier for walking around and having two hands free. We dropped Mommy off at the convention center and we went to the aquarium. I also have pictures of the aquarium which are also on the camera still. Eric seemed to enjoy the Aquarium but it was more like a play area for him. I think if was a little older he would like the fish as well. After the aquarium, we went down and around the Riverwalk on the Mighty Mississippi. Jen got a ride home and after me going out to find food and the nearby restuarants had closed, we decided to order a pizza and salad… we are in New Orleans and we are eating pizza and not cajun? For SHAME!
Tuesday we got the car and drove Jen to the convention center. Eric and I went to Melairie to go shopping at a running store that I saw back in 2002. It was boring other than fact that they had some B&W candid pictures of Steve Prefontaine. We didn’t really go anywhere else exciting, but back to the hotel. I suited Eric up in the kid carrier and went to the French Quarter. We walked down Bourbon Street and down to Jackson Square back to Canal and then stopped for lunch. I got the Po’Boy that I had wanted… crawfish to boot. That evening we went to Landry’s Seafood Restaurant for dinner, I had another Po’boy and some Abita, so I had a Lousiana dinner. Jen had Oysters and Eric, well, I forgot… he usually eats off of our plate.
Wednesday, Leadership ended and we made it halfway to Orlando. We stayed at Hampton Inn since they had internet and laundry. We had bought Eric 3 new outfits while in New Orleans because the diapers he had kept leaking (Huggies). Despite that we were out of clean clothes for him. Eric had discovered that if he stuck his hand in his mouth far enough, it would cause him to gag. So the clothes he was wearing had vomit all over them plus his carseat. Thursday, we made it back to Orlando and had a 2 hour delay at the airport before arriving in Knoxville very very late.
Friday, I had to go to work. So, I totally slept through the alarms and arrived late. I would have updated this blog then but I was inundated in American Samoa report work, which is what I should be doing now. Friday night, doesn’t seem like we did anything for the evening. Jen did turn it into a date night by putting in the movie Elf. I feel asleep about halfway into the movie after eating a lot of popcorn.
Saturday, in the morning Marty and I ran a little less than 17 miles for our Knoxville Marathon training. The last 5-6 miles where pretty tough, but also the hilliest part of the course we took. At Panera, I was sad that they got rid of their Cinn-ful Crunch Trio combo, but happy that they brought back their Chocolate Chip bagels. I love chocolate and the thought of chocolate bread was (at one time) replusive, same thing with other bread-like substance such as chocolate pancakes. Call me crazy. Well, I am over that now. I make Chocolate Chip/Peanut Butter pancakes now (thanks Gray and Laurie) and I prefer chocolate chip bagels (thanks Jen P) over everything except for Panera’s Cinnamon Crunch bagel. We went to the Pugh’s for dinner that night. The appetizer consisted of Venison poppers which were jalepeno pepper hulls with venison and cream cheese wrapped in bacon. YUMMY! The main course was venison and chicken soft tacos with all the fixins and desert was pumpkin cheesecake. Eric and William are buddies, so there was plenty of mayhem going on in the house. Jen did have an allergic reaction to the Pugh’s cat and had to take a benadyrll that evening, so we knew that Jen might not wake up early the next morning
Sunday, after church, Jen and I started getting our end of the year finances together and making our Quicken actually reflect more of our accounts today. I started to rip all of our audio CDs so that I would have all of them on the computer. This was something that I had started in May while I was still in school. Lately, I have been wanting to make mixed tapes for the Civic, so I thought that if I could burn a CD that was 45 minutes long, I could make a cassette tape much much easier that way. If all I had to do was drag and drop the songs into a CD then I could just play the CD, hit record and walk away. No more changing out CDs or anything. The problem was to get the CDs into MP3 format. The new computer was fast at ripping the CDs. When I did it while in school, I could get a ripping speed of around 6x faster than recording it real time. So a 6 minute song would take 1 minute to rip. Well, the new compter was ripping CDs at speeds excess of 18x which made ripping a whole CD take about a minute or less.
Monday, Martin Luther King Day, No Work for me. Most of the day was spent getting the finances in order so that we can afford to stay in our house. We are moving to an all (or almost all) Cash basis. The credit cards didn’t get us in trouble but they do make our finances must thinner. So this way we allocate what we spend money on and stick to it. Plus, it will curb all the crap that we buy that ends up cluttering the house. I finished with ripping the CD except for like 5 albums and the CD singles that I have. I am not sure that I will rip those, except for a few CD singles that sound better than the album version. One strange incident on Sunday, while Eric and I went to get gas, two cops pulled into the gas station where I was. I watched them from the Xterra as they were talking with a gentleman inside the store. As luck would have it, the gas station ran out of gas while I was filling the Xterra. I can usually get 16-17 gallons into the Xterra unless it is bone dry. After 8.5 gallons, it stopped, completely. So I went went to go get my receipt from the pay at the pump, but nothing came out. So now I was forced to go inside. As I tried to go inside, the cops were having their conversion right in the door way which made it harder to get around. Nothing exciting happened but it was rather weird.