A week ago I was in New Orleans for the Bram Stoker Awards Weekend incorporating World Horror Convention -- which for brevity's sake I'll refer to as WHC.
I stayed at the convention venue: the Hotel Monteleone in the French Quarter. My friend and fellow writer, Eliza Hirsch, shared a room.
I arrived Wednesday night with no trouble--unlike Eliza, whose flight was canceled, but that's her story to tell. I rode the Airport Shuttle into the French Quarter, checked in to the hotel, dropped off my stuff, and went in search of a grocery store. I was going on an all day tour the following morning and I'd been told there wouldn't be time to stop for food, so I stocked up on bread, blueberry preserves, peanut butter, and a lot of fruit. There was a minor incident when my bag fell off the counter while I was paying and the jar of preserves shattered inside the bag, but the kind staff replaced the jar and I only had to spend a little time washing blueberry paste off my bananas.
The weather was clear during my excursion, humid, and hot. I assembled my lunch for the next day, had a cocktail in the hotel bar (it spins slowly, hence the name Carousel) and went to bed.
Thursday morning I ate breakfast in the hotel restaurant, Criollo--a delicious egg white omelet filled with vegetables and a spicy tomato sauce, plus lots of coffee. Then I caught the tour bus and we headed out to the Laura Plantation.
Front of Laura -- a Creole Plantation, comprehensive info here
Inside of one of the Laura Plantation slave quarters where folklorists recorded the Br'er Rabbit tales
Soon enough we were on our way to the swamp. I had arranged for a six-person airboat tour of the swamp, but lucked out. Only four of us were on the boat.
Overall I really enjoyed the airboat swamp tour. I compared notes with some folks who took the regular flat-bottomed boat and they interacted with more wildlife, but the ride through the swamp was exhilarating.
Time passes. I meet up with my roommate and go on a ghost tour. Buy one Hurricane, get one free...
After the tour was over, Eliza and I took a brief walk down Bourbon Street. Thankfully, no pictures exist of that excursion.
The next morning (Friday) I went to a useful workshop about marketing taught by Matt Schwartz. And then I went to panels and readings.
Author Benjamin Kane Ethridge
Dinner was at a Paris-style place. I enjoyed the Shrimp Creole and a Bloody Mary. Then I returned for more.
Eliza and I dressed up for the dance.
Next day more panels and readings. And a Kaffeeklatsch with Caitlín R. Kiernan.
Kaffeeklatsch: Caitlín R. Kiernan (Best two and a half hours of the con)
For lunch I joined a group at Mr. B's for seafood gumbo and a Bloody Mary.
Eliza and I took a break to go to the Voodoo Museum with a stop at the Faulkner House and another for daiquiris.
That evening I went to the Bram Stoker Awards, but I was too busy telling jokes and stuffing my face to take crummy camera phone pics.
Eliza and I went to see fellow writer Sanford Allen play a gig with his band Hogbitch at Checkpoint Charlie's
Sunday morning arrived fast. As an aside, I ate almost every breakfast at Café Beignet. Fabulous Cajun Hashbrowns and omelets.
I also went to the dialogue panel but didn't take a photo. Too busy scribbling notes.
After the closing ceremonies I joined up with some cool people, ate lunch, walked around and imbibed a lot--including a stop at Pat O'Brien's for a Hurricane. Also, absinthe.
Sunday night also involved a snack at Daisy Duke's and a lot of packing. Monday morning I caught a shuttle to the airport and had an uneventful trip home.
Can't wait for next year in Portland, OR!