I had a 6am flight on Sunday to head down to New Orleans for a roofing show. My mom and my sister went down with me to act as tourists. We caught a flight to Atlanta and then from Atlanta to NO. When we arrived the weather was very overcast and the temperature was probably around 50 (no snow). We started off by walking to the French Quarters where we had lunch at Bubba Gump’s. It was decent but nothing fantastic. After that we walked to Jackson square and just to various spots around the French Quarter. We took a 2 hour bus tour through the city and it’s outskirts, mainly the parts where Katrina busted through. The houses there are still in shambles and the effort in the 9th ward is minimal. Brad Pitt has done some work done there but it’s literally only 20 houses or so that have been built. Basically there is not much work being done for the impoverished blacks. The guide showed us a Brad an Angelina house, where the Mannings grew up, Anne Rice & Sandra Bullocks house and others who live outside the city in million dollar mansions. I also disturbingly saw two homeless men on the street making out with each other.

We got back to the hotel and were pretty tired so we took a nap and then went out to dinner at Pat O’briens. I ordered a Hurricane which is the big drink of choice down there. It’ not really my favorite drink to order but the size of the drink for the price is right. The meal was average, I had crawfish for the first time which I thought were pretty tasty. We had a gay waiter who was quite unusual. When he asked if we wanted to desert he said “it’s all so good I just want to get my bathing suit and dive right in.” After that we walked around Harrah’s and called it a night at 10 or so because I had to get up early for the show.

We woke up at 645 because I thought I had an instructional seminar that I didn’t sign up for but figured I could at the show. When I got there it cost $310 and I wasn’t shelling out that dough for an hour a half to learn about soldering. I went to the hotel and went for a quick run before having to go back to the show. I watched a seminar and then did the show till 4:30. I met up with my mom and Laura after the show. We went out to dinner together to a place called Paul K’s. We didn’t have reservations but luckily got a table. Every restaurant was jam packed due to the conventions. I ordered a steak and they had fish, it was all very good. I ordered a Sazerac to drink which was a pretty heavy whiskey drink originated in New Orleans. After the meal I went to Harrah’s to do some gambling. I started playing poker. They take a 6 dollar rake per half hour which I thought was pretty ridiculous. I started playing pretty tight and just wasn’t picking up any cards. The players weren’t particularly good but I just wasn’t catching and wasn’t playing too well. I left poker after an hour and a half losing 60 bucks. Then I sat a 25 dollar blackjack table with some older gents. I played for 2 or so hours before I lost 340 bucks to put me down 400 for the trip. I wasn’t able to put together any streaks and if you can’t do that in blackjack, it’s hard to win. I left at 1:45 and went to bed sober.

I got up at 8 the next day and showered. We went out to breakfast at a local place and I ordered some eggs and corn beefed hash. I actually thought it was disgusting but ate as much as I could. My mom had the French Toast which was delectable. It’s also funny too eating with my mom and sister. My sister takes forever to order and everything that my mom see is always “yummy” or “to die for.” They keep me in check and out of trouble so I can’t complain. After breakfast they did some shopping and we walked the town a little bit and I said goodbye at noon.

I did the roofing show from noon to 5 and then attended a national slate meeting from 5 to 7. After 7 I was finished up all of my responsibilities for the trip and it was time to have some fun. I bought a 6 pack of Voodoo beer. The local beer is Albita by the way. I drank the beer in the hotel room, packed up my shit and went to the casino. I bought into 1-2 for 300. I had JK clubs preflop and I called a 10 dollar raise from a loose fish and 4 people called. Flop of Q83 one club, a guy bet 20 which I called bringing the pot to around 100, the turn brought the 10 of clubs, I pushed for a little over 100 into the pot, the guy took about 2 minutes and called with a weak Q and luckily I spiked on the river giving me some chips. I busted a guy with 99 on a K92 board to his AK so I had about 600 in front of me. I had to leave at 3:45 to catch my shuttle and it was about 2am when I was starting to get loud and obnoxious. I told the guy next to me that I had to leave and head to Boubon Street because I wanted to experience the strip clubs there. These Asian guys kept telling me to play one more hand which I kept agreeing too because I was heads and shoulders better than these guys and fortunately they felt the opposite. At this point I was raising to ten dollars preflop around 80 percent of the hands and basically c-betting and taking it down without much showdown other than the 99 hand. Just to give some insight on their play, I raised to 10 with AQ one called, and the other made it 35 which I only called (mistake) and one other shortie was near all in. The flop was 992 and I folded to his cbet, he tabled a Q9 to bust the other guys. So it got to be 3:40 and I had A7 hearts and did my standard open and flopped a flush draw when chinaman #1 called. I lead out for 20 or so, he called, blank turn I bet 50 and he called then I hit my flush on the end and shoved, he had about 200-250 in his stack and I knew he was getting sick of me. I kept telling him “look buddy I really have to go and there’s no way I’m sticking my money in without getting it back so you should just fold,” he obviously called and I ended up having to stack a mountain of chips. I ran to the cashier telling her to make haste and I’ll give her a nice tip so I gave her twenty for cashing me out and then I ran to the shuttle.

The shuttle was already waiting for me so I ran upstairs and grabbed my bags and told the guy here’s a 20 buck tip, just get me to the airport. So I was on a bus filled with people driving to the middle of nowhere airport. I got there and the lines were Dikembe Mutombo long. So I’m waiting in this line and I begin to near to this gay attendant. Naturally the line next to me is a first class line so he has to keep taking them before any peasant so I’m starting to get ticked off and he can sense it too. So eventually I spaz out and he takes my luggage and gives me my boarding pass. I get checked into the C gate even though I should be in the D gate so that makes me go through security twice. I get to my plane with minutes to spare and I get seated next to this bro. I instapass out on the plane and he wakes me up as everyone around me is walking down the aisle because we landed. I get up and leave and he alerts me that I forgot my briefcase. I get off in Memphis and order a Caesar salad and sit down. This girl sits down next to me so I start talking to her and she tells me that she’s from Mississippi and visiting her friend in Philly. I gave her my business card and told her to call me if she gets bored. I actually sat next to her on the plane by coincidence but I instapassed out again and didn’t wake up till we were in Philly, /fail.

I thought New Orleans was pretty slummy. I constantly felt that I was going to get mugged and the side streets weren’t the safest. There are bums all over the place and it just isn’t a place that I would like to live. I wouldn’t mind going down one time and living it up on Bourbon street because I’m sure that would be a lot of fun. All in all a fun time and worthwhile trip.