Reflections on New Orleans

Hannah and I just had a whirlwind trip to New Orleans, LA.  She was invited (as part of the CNA Edge team) to speak at the yearly Pioneer Network Conference.  The theme was Changing the Culture of Aging.

It was an amazing opportunity for the team and they did an incredible job.  They communicated clearly and thoughtfully.   They represented CNAs with dignity and clarity.  I was overwhelmed and very proud.

I was just along for the ride, to support Hannah, and have a vacation.   I am so thankful I was able to go.  I learned a lot about the industry of elder care.  I have a lot of thoughts to process through.

My favorite part of New Orleans had to be the streetcars.  I bought a Jazzy Pass which gave me unlimited access to all the public transportation.  And boy, did I use it.  Every morning, except Tuesday when Hannah was speaking, I would walk out the hotel doors by 8 am and board a street car.  I learned a lot about the city by just talking to the drivers and the people who use the streetcars for transportation. I rode every line from beginning to end.  I would get off at one stop, walk my way toward the next stop and see all the sights along the way.  Then I would ride the line all the way back to the hotel in time for lunch.  After a quick trip for lunch supplies, then lunch, a nap, and some quiet reading time it would be time for Hannah to finish for the day.

Picture of my favorite streetcar stop — along with Hannah!

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She and I would head out for a different streetcar and repeat the whole thing.  I must have ridden about 5-6 hours a day.  It was incredible.  The streetcars are either air conditioned or they have fans.  So I never got overheated, and I never got too much sun.  Between my UV shirt, hat, and capris, I was in pretty well covered in sun protection.    We were always back in our room by dark and enjoyed a quiet evening together reading or watching a show.   That quiet end to the day kept me from overdoing it and wearing myself out.

I didn’t take a lot of pictures.  Mostly I took pictures to help me remember where my stop was so I could catch the correct streetcar heading back.  So many memories though.

My second favorite part of New Orleans was Rouses’ grocery store.  It was about 4 blocks from our hotel and I walked down 3 times for lunch stuff.  It was a pleasant walk and at lunch time I could chat with locals about their day and their lives while standing in line to check out.  They were so friendly — and a little surprised to find that grocery shopping is my favorite tourist stop.  You can learn so much about a city from watching people in the grocery store.  New Orleans grocery shopping is laid back, chatty, and the accent is so smooth.  You don’t race through the store to find the things on your list.  You glide down the aisles, nodding and chatting with everyone — it was so incredible.

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Upcoming posts:  on traveling lightly,  a project,

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In my garden:  Lots of weeds that grew while I was gone

In my yard:  One happy dog who missed me

Readng:  The Hero with a Thousand Faces by J Campbell

Watching:  Olympics, a bit here and there

Listening:  Headspace (meditation) and lectures on linguistics (a favorite topic).  The lawnmower as Michael attempts to finish cutting the grass before more rain moves into our area.

 

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