TGIF: I Heart New Orleans

new-orleans-swamp-tour

At the time I’m writing this, I’ve only been in New Orleans for about 30 hours and I can already tell you that I love it here. First of all, if you’ve never travelled to the South (I hadn’t) and ever wondered, “Southern hospitality” is a phrase for a reason. Everywhere we go, people welcome you, open doors for you, ask if you need anything, etc. – and I’m not just talking about hotel staff, I mean total strangers walking down the street. The customer service is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, because people genuinely want to make sure you enjoy yourself. Overall, there’s just a sense of warmth here that I haven’t felt in any other city I’ve been to. (This could also be a pun for how hot and humid it is!)

I flew in on Wednesday afternoon, and was greeted at the airport by my roommate for the last two FinCon’s (and now very good friend) Carrie. She drove to New Orleans from Texas and picked me up on her way – it was such a treat to not have to cab or bus! That night, we checked into our hotel, unpacked and met the ReadyForZero team for dinner. And by dinner, I mean we basically just walked into a small hole in the wall Italian restaurant, stuffed ourselves with pasta, then went back to the hotel and passed out.

Yesterday morning, Carrie, Jess and I went for an early breakfast at The Ruby Slipper. As a Canadian, I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: portion control is an issue down here, lol. Everything has been delicious, but I can’t finish half of my meals and feel terrible about it! However, we had to fuel up for our swamp and bayou tour, which was definitely an experience I won’t forget.

Again, our tour guide was warm, friendly and had a great sense of humour. He told non-stop jokes, which were so corny, but I love to laugh and am a sucker for that kind of stuff. We saw so many alligators and even got to hold a little baby one! I’m so glad we took the time to go on the tour, before the conference begins and takes over the rest of our schedule. With that being said, I know I won’t get to do everything I want to do while I’m down here. Looks like I’ll just have to come back, one day!

The low of my week is making a comeback because I’m suffering from one heck of a broken heart. Yep, that’s right – I never talk about guys I date on here, but there was someone special in my life I was going to tell you all about soon… only now there’s nothing to tell. More hugs this trip, please friends. I need ‘em all.

The high of my week has been everything that’s happened since landing in New Orleans. Seriously, I can’t pick one thing – other than that it’s been so good to see everyone again.

A blog post I loved was Why Travel Makes You Grow by David Cain. Honestly, I think I just loved the last couple paragraphs. The past six weeks of travelling all over the place have been amazing, and I’m loving being in New Orleans, but I also can’t wait to go home and get back to my life.

The best money I spent was $44 to go on the swamp and bayou tour. If you’re planning a trip to New Orleans anytime in the future, I’d bookmark that link and add it to your must-do list.

My plans this weekend include attending sessions, moderating a panel on book publishing/marketing, having dinner with Farnoosh Torabi and friends, attending the Plutus Awards (I’ve been nominated for Best Canadian Personal Finance Blog again!), and exploring the city more before flying home late Sunday night.

How was your week, friends? What are you up to this weekend?