I made it back from NOLA in one piece, and actually feeling pretty good. I had such a wonderful time, and got to spend quality time with some of my favorite people from all across the country, most notably @rockdoggydog, @allanvkatz & @m_quinn. I even got to spend quality time with people I don't see nearly enough of in NYC, including @jordanarothman, @chriselford, @vinbar44, @livethelushlife, @creativedrunk & @stevierosenyc.
I had a much better time at Tales this time around. I'd say that part of it was that I knew what to expect, part of it was that I had fewer obligations, and part of it was that I skipped a lot of things on my tentative schedule, focused on the things I wanted to do and the people I wanted to see, and generally just rolled with it. This mentality started when my direct flight out of NYC got cancelled and I ended up taking a three-leg trip just to make sure I escaped the vicious weather that was predicted for much of the East Coast. That bit of ridiculousness paid off, and I made it to NOLA well before my luggage did -- it was on the flight on which I was originally rescheduled. I landed and went straight to Coop's, where festivities were already in progress.
Highlights of the trip included a visit to Willie Mae's Scotch House, dinner at Arnaud's, Cochon & Maurepas Foods, drinks at Cure, Belloq, and SoBou, Pig & Punch, and shenanigans with friends near and far.
Points of note:
- I ignored my own advice and went out one steamy night without my trusty water bottle. That night, I was dying for water, and it was hard to come by. Until I found some, I made do with a glass of ice-cold champagne.
- Sometimes, a frozen Irish coffee from Erin Rose totally hits the spot.
- Always keep an open mind at Tales -- take advantage of a last-minute invite, taste something new, and be welcoming to strangers. You'll have a much better time that way.
- Chicken tastes even better when it's hand-fed to you by the farmer who raised it.
- If there is a zombie apocalypse and/or a drought, you want @rockdoggydog to be your roommate; he'll make sure all the supplies are covered.
- I didn't hang out much at the Old Absinthe House this year, and I didn't really miss it. I also went to bed pretty early my last night after a lovely dinner and a few drinks, which made for a much more pleasant re-entry to NYC.
See y'all next year!