New Orleans: Day 3 and wrap up of the trip.
**Matt Smith and con stuff will have its own post.
On Friday I totally slept in till 7:20am! I didn't plan on sleeping it, so I skipped breakfast nearby and got on the streetcar. I wanted to go to the con site to pick up my badge and then near by was the place where I redeem my bus tour. I got to Canal and headed to convention blvd. I passed by a Harrah's casino and might way I could see the con and the giant screen with Matt Smith's face! I took some photos and realized it was dead empty and wasn't set to open till 3. It was only 10! So I walked back to Harrah's and took advantage of their omelet bar. There was no wifi, so I ate quickly and went to redeem my bus pass.
While redeeming my bus pass there was a group waiting for the shuttle to Mardi Gras World. They were from Arkansas and their shuttle came before mine so I got on with them to the warehouse. It's 20.00 for the tour. My tour consisted of 90% Girl Scouts. We watched a film on the history of the parades and they gave us king kake. It was my first time trying it and it was SUPER GOOD. after the video, they took us through their giant warehouse where we were able to see the floats and works working on them. Then they left us to explore alone and take photos. I used my xshot stick since I was alone. I didn't have time to go to the gift shop since the shuttle was coming, but I was there close to two hours. My actual tour bus showed up and I started my tour.
The tour drove us through the city, we saw the superdome, the quarter, the cemetery and the Mississippi River. It was an hour + loop that gave me a different vantage point. After the tour I went back to the convention center to pick up my badge. I got group B and was kinda disappointed because I bought Matt Smith VIP the second it was released (I later found out you were assigned by group by when you picked up, not when you bought. Some people were in group f!)
I went through the con site, checked into my photo op, bought additional copies/jpg and that was pretty much it at the con. The merch wasn't great and I wanted to save my money for other stuff. After the con, I walked to Bourbon St to look, it was meh. Loud, messy, drunken people eveywhere. The opening ceremonies were bring played so I watched for a bit. I saw numerous bachelor party groups, lots of homeless young adults and strip clubs. It was blah, but I went mostly to say I went. After that I had dinner at Popeye's and took the streetcar home. I didn't get back in to almost 11. My streetcar was hit by a limo who took off so we waited for a transfer bus.
END OF THE TRIP NOTES!
I travel all the time but this was my first time being a solo trip.
#1. Prepare for any kind of weather. I left being told online it would be 70 degrees. Out of the five days one day was 70, the rest was 40/60 and it rained one of those days. Thankfully I layer my clothing constantly, so I was ok for the most part.
#2. Be prepared to walk. The good thing about going alone is that I could walk anywhere. I know if I was with family and friends they may have been hesitant to walk (and they're spoiled!) but bring additional shoes. I never do and I ALWAYS regret it.
#3. You are alone. I never felt unsafe once while in Louisiana. Everyone was very happy to have a visitor from California and everyone was helpful and extremely gracious. The service workers in every store/cafe was so polite. The taxi drivers were amazing and never rushed me. This morning I called my taxi the night before for a pick up at 4:30am, they called back to confirm a few hours later and the morning of they called when they were outside the apartment, I can assure you in California, taxi drivers do no care. If you ain't outside, they ain't stopping. This was the one time I tipped EVERYWHERE. Everyone deserved it.
#4. BACKPACK. BRING A BACKPACK. I forgot mine so I struggled. Ugh.
I had a great time! I would def go back and do it again. I highly recommend you all book at airbnb and get out of the hotels and stay in a locals home. It was a positive experience and saved me a ton of money.
I haven't posted in a while. My feelings and anxiety has been a roller coaster of emotions of happiness and dread. I am BEYOND happy and excited that Matt Smith is coming to America and fans of access to him, I bought the VIP and will get to take a photo and have an autograph! To have a opportunity like this was something I couldn't pass up. So, lol. I am going to New Orleans in a little less than four weeks! Sadly I have to go alone, my sister is in school and I know friends can't either take time off in such short notice.
So um, iam kinda nervous going on my own. I've traveled on my own numerous times and have been out alone at night in situations that may make people wary but in my head I tend to make things bigger and worst than they really are. I don't drink nor will be in the bar-party area of NOLA and I don't see myself being out late at night. I am going to be staying off a listing at airbnb.com and I've communicated with the hostess. My plan is to arrive Wednesday afternoon, get settled and explore the area around my hostess neighborhood, there is a market, restaurants, etc near by. Most likely it will be an early night with the time change, me arriving at the airport at 4am, etc. Thursday I'll be out the majority of the morning. I haven't booked it YET but have most of the details down with me taking a plantation tour, a walking tour of the quarters and taking the streetcar to sight see (I may take the double decker tourist bus if it isn't too dark out). Friday is the con day and I am assuming Matt's panel. (There is no schedule out yet, but he is listed for being there only Friday and Saturday). I really want to sleep in that day but nerves will get the best of me, have a late breakfast and head to the con site and angst over life while staring at his beautiful face. Hopefully the con won't run too late. Saturday could be the photo op or/and signing, I'll basically do whatever is Matt-planned and then explore that area on foot before it gets dark. The Mississippi River is near by and a World War museum I really want to see. Sunday my flight leaves early. I'll have to be at the airport by 4am. I'll fly in at SF by noon and make it back in one piece.
After reading/reddit/talking to people that I know who backpack and travel alone, I've come to the conclusion as long as your alert and have common sense, I should be safe. Any tips? Anyone live in NOLA that would like to join me for dinner? (I'll buy! You drive!) I haven't seen the Matt Smith news posted much, intact I was the first to share it at reddit and as of writing I haven't seen it posted on lj. Weird. Financially the trip isn't TOO bad, my flight was VERY reasonable at 268.00 round trip. I think the only thing that might kill my budget is the taxi but again, that is to be expected.
BUT MATT SMITH GUYS. I waited so long for this and BLAM THE OPPORTUNITY PRESENTS ITSELF. I hope all goes well and it's a positive experience. And I wish for all my friends to meet their #1 like Set with BoA, Emily with Zayn, Melody with Cap and so on! Prayer circles all around for everything to go A+