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Monday, May 24, 2010

Pen To Press Adventure - Day One

While the retreat/worshop hasn't officially started yet, it won't do that until noon tomorrow, it's been day one of the adventure involved with Pen to Press.  So, since it's been such an exciting, errr...well, I'd not say exciting but since I'm not really sure of the correct word to use, exciting will have to do.

The morning started off decently enough.  We made it to the car rental place right on time but it quickly went downhill from there.  The guy in charge wasn't there.  I did as the sign said, called the cell phone listed and he told me he had just left from picking up a person and would be back in 5 - 10 minutes.  Okay...cool.  I can wait. 

Now, hubby is in the car waiting.  He works an hour away and was actually supposed to be at work but told the boss he'd be a bit late cause I had to get rental car.

So, rental car guy finally shows up about 20 minutes later and takes care of his "other" client.  That takes a few minutes so by now hubby has been waiting for about 40 minutes.

My turn...rental car guy swipes my credit card for the deposit and it's declined.  Now, I know there is money on it cause I put it there.  But he processed it as a debit card instead of credit then tells me "I can't run it agin for 24 hours."

Normally this wouldn't be a problem cause I have my debit card that goes right to my checking account.  However, this month, someone charged about $3,000 worth of tickets to Dublin on it and I had to cancel the thing.  Needless to say, my checking account is in a total mess and while I do have a new debit card...it won't be approved cause I'm still way in the red.

Little car rental guy is not being any help either so I call my banker who has been helping me straighten out the mess and after she talks to the home office and some other folks, she gets my debit card approved and I get my rental car.  Thank you Nikki!!!

By now, hubby has been waiting for a little over an hour...and he still has to drive an hour to work.  Not so good.  But I get my stuff from the car, load rental and head out.  Only thing...I only have 1/8th tank of gas.  After gassing up the car, I used the credit card that had previously been declined cause rental car guy didn't know what he was doing.

New Orleans is about a 5 1/2 hour drive and I was getting started almost two hours later than I planned.  Which wouldn't have been a problem except I told a friend I'd pick her up at the airport.  So, I drive and drive and drive.  I did manage to keep it under 80 and the cops were few and far between. 

About halfway through happy hour I think I'm getting close to New Orleans and since it is happy hour, I stopped at Sonic and got a slush.  While there I asked the carhop how far it was to New Orleans.  She tells me about 30 minutes so I call my friend waiting at airport, let her know I'll be there really soon and head out again.

As I'm pulling out of the parking lot...I'm almost sideswiped by a truck pulling a trailed with a lawnmower on it.  Thankfully he misses, I didn't spill my slush and I managed to get back on the interstate.  There, I see a sign that says  "New Orleans 61 miles."  I can't drive 61 miles in 30 minutes.  I mean, I could but it wouldn't be a good thing so I debate about calling friend and telling her it'll be a bit more than 30 minutes but decide not to.  I figured I'd just blame the traffic.

About 45 minutes my cell phone rings.  I figure she's wondering where in the world I am so reach for my phone.  It's not where I left it.  I can't find the thing.  I move my map, a couple napkins left over from lunch ( a very ick lunch too) but no phone.  I figure it slid off the seat in the accident avoidance thing.  I found it after the call ended.  *sigh*

I managed to pick up friend at airport but got turned around and got on wrong road to the hotel.   Back on the right road we finally get to the French Quarter but again miss a turn.

I don't know if any of you have been here before but there are 900 one way streets and each time I wanted to go up one of the darn things, it was the wrong way.  We eventually managed to circle around and get to the hotel and after a few minutes we got checked in and settle in our room. 

After a bit, we met another writer friend in the lobby to go find food.  The three of us stroll down the streets and end up on Bourbon Street.  All I can say about Bourbon Street is "WOW."    As we are walking along, we stroll pass a strip club and the "pimp" outside the door tells my friend she needs to come in and make some extra money while she's in town.  She declined and we quickly crossed the street.

After we ate, we strolled back up Bourbon Street.  By this time, it's dark and there are more people in the streets.  Bands are playing in the clubs and music from the stores is being blasted into the street.

We browsed a couple tourist souvenier shops and I bought the perfect  mystery writer t-shirt.   It's black with white lettering across the front..."I'm smiling because they haven't found the bodies yet."

Things are starting to look up, I'm feeling better.  I've managed to cross the street without getting run over, I didn't get propositioned and we made it back to the hotel.  After checking in online with the family, I decided to get my shower and get settled in for the evening.

Now, hotel showers are always interesting anyway so I turn on the water, let it run into the tub.  It's cold but it'll warm up.  Since I'm wanting a shower I flip the little lever, the water stops coming out the faucet and comes out the showerhead....straight onto me.  My whole front is soaked with cold water.  Now tell me...who turns a showerhead so that it points into the bathroom and not into the shower?  I mean really...

I managed to get a really nice hot shower and now I'm settled on the bed with my puter and chocolate.  Tomorrow has to be better.:-)

And while I'm thinking about it...I forgot to put the link to the website I used to create my "newspaper clipping."  So, here it is....  Newspaper Clipping Generator

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a large time to me. Y'all have fun and keep posting the updates. Did One have that glass of wine for me?

Tonya Stokes said...

Gotta say I sure would have liked to have seen your face as you experienced Bourbon Street at night.. at dusk is interesting enough but full blown night, well it's not the troll bridge for sure :)

Have a great conference..
Sassy

Carole Anne Carr said...

I do hope it is! :0)

Jean said...

I'm not sure when, depends on our homework, but I plan to do the Bourbon St. at night thing. I'm taking One with me though. I fear that's no place for a lone troll.:-)

Joan said...

Hi. My sweetie, Jennifer J. is going to be at Pen to Press, too. If you see her, tell her Joan says "Hi." She'll be baffled. And you'll meet a really cool person. (Not that I'm prejudiced, or anything...)

Jean said...

I'll be sure to look for her.:-)

Sherry said...

Okay you, listen up! Place is Character! YOu are inside the cocoon of a character. I mean really Speck, there are few cities as full of character as NO. Absorb it, tkae pics to remind you. Look up, can you see a dead guy falling from a balcony? not literally of course...you know what I'm saying. Walk thru the marketplace and smell the food, take the ferry over to Old Algiers, it only takes a few minutes. Walk those ancient streets. THere is, or was an old wooden store over there where I got a bologna sandwich and chips and sat on the bench out front while I ate it. It is an amazing place. And very quiet. A lovely place to explore. Wonderful people to meet there.
SO don't be afraid, have courage, be bold! Go out and observe the city with ALL of your senses. Strike up a conversation with a street musician, ask a vendor how they survived Katrina.
Enjoy and soak it up. Remember the t-shirt: Careful what you say you might be in my next novel? Well, go out and ask the city to be in your next novel.
You go out and grab it girl. Love ya, and yeah, make One go with you.

Susanne Drazic said...

What a day you had! Hope the rest of your trip is better!

I was wondering where you were able to do your newspaper clipping. Thanks for sharing the link.

The name of the newspaper is very fitting to the blog, of course.

Sherry said...

Okay you, listen up! Place is Character! YOu are inside the cocoon of a character. I mean really Speck, there are few cities as full of character as NO. Absorb it, tkae pics to remind you. Look up, can you see a dead guy falling from a balcony? not literally of course...you know what I'm saying. Walk thru the marketplace and smell the food, take the ferry over to Old Algiers, it only takes a few minutes. Walk those ancient streets. THere is, or was an old wooden store over there where I got a bologna sandwich and chips and sat on the bench out front while I ate it. It is an amazing place. And very quiet. A lovely place to explore. Wonderful people to meet there.
SO don't be afraid, have courage, be bold! Go out and observe the city with ALL of your senses. Strike up a conversation with a street musician, ask a vendor how they survived Katrina.
Enjoy and soak it up. Remember the t-shirt: Careful what you say you might be in my next novel? Well, go out and ask the city to be in your next novel.
You go out and grab it girl. Love ya, and yeah, make One go with you.

Tonya Stokes said...

Gotta say I sure would have liked to have seen your face as you experienced Bourbon Street at night.. at dusk is interesting enough but full blown night, well it's not the troll bridge for sure :)

Have a great conference..
Sassy