Ken's Voyages Around the Sun

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One nice thing about this conference is that they have sign-up sheets for a number of local restuarants and encourage people to network that way, and one of the conference organizers leads the dinner party to the eatery. I far prefer such venues to receptions or artificial mixers that often appear at these kinds of events. (They have those as well.)

Last night we had dinner at Mulate's, which is much like a great hall, so it's rather open. A live cajun band performed at one end of the hall, and some people danced two-steps, waltzes, etc. Apparently one of the band members had a daughter about age 5 and she "played" the triangle. Anyway, the music was great and the catfish cecilia terrific.

Tonight's dinner took place on the Steamboat Natchez, a fully functional paddlewheeler. The food, unfortunately, was nothing to write home about. At this point the Mississippi isn't all that wide, and not so impressive, until they tell you that it's 200 feet deep here!

After dinner I decided to find some beignets, so hit the old Cafe du Mond for a batch. For only $3 you get a steaming hot plate of them and a hot chocolate, which is a good deal -- far cheaper than I expected. Beignets are French "donuts" -- fried dough (in odd shapes) covered with powdered sugar. They taste much like fried dough at a county fair.

And speaking of county fairs, that's what Bourbon Street was like tonight. I spent a few hours down there -- it wasn't as bad as I expected, so I'm glad to have checked it out. (It is Mardi Gras season, after all.) It's kind of like a very long narrow county fair, with added flashing, bead throwing, voo doo stores, and alcohol.

Did you know that New Orleans was the second-most popular place for Irish emigrees to land (after New York or Boston I guess)? I learned that tonight, after slipping into one of the numerous Irish pubs (located in the French Quarter) that I happened upon. I couldn't resist popping in for a pint of cider and listening to a singer for a while.

The conference itself I shall speak of anon.

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