Monday, January 07, 2008

"Going to Carolina in my mind...."

That song makes me think of him. And I love James Taylor, anyhow.

South Carolina was chatty today. "You know what I was thinking of this morning," he asked today, when he IMed me. "The next conference is only ten months away." He's referring to the one where we got together.

"I wish it was sooner," I said.
"St. Louis will be so fun," he said.

"Are you going to others this year," I asked. He named a couple, but one in particular is huge and an industry must. I've never been to it, but have been selling the idea to my boss.

"It's expensive this year," he said. "It's in New Orleans and everything is expensive there. The rooms are $185 a night."

Whoa. That's steep. I don't know if I can sell that expense to my boss, at our little college with my little travel budget. He looked around for hotel alternatives, but the lowest was $160 a night, and then you have to rent a car, drive, and park at the conference hotel. The cost doesn't improve.

"How sure are you that you're going," he asked. I said I wasn't sure. I still have to sell it to my boss. I thought about this question a moment too late, and missed a chance to ask why he wanted to know.

"New Orleans is a crazy place," he said.

"I've heard it can be fun, but you gotta be careful," I said. I've heard a lot of stories....

"It can be very unsafe," he said. "Particularly the French Quarter." The hotel overlooks the French Quarter.

"That's what I've heard. It's not someplace I'd like to venture to on my own," I said.

"No...definitely not," he said. "I carried my tazer with me last time."

"Really?" For some reason, the image of this peaceful man carrying a tazer was a surprise to me.

"Fits nicely in the pocket," he said.

"Yes, I've seen them," I said. I didn't add that my friend used one to light cigarettes in college. "I don't have one, but might need to look into that if I manage to go."

I paused. He wasn't responding. "Or I'll just stick close to you."

"That'll work," he said.

"Good," I said. "I feel safer already!"

And he cyber-laughed.

So, it was a small conversation, but interesting to me. Correct me if I'm wrong, dear diary, but sounds like he wouldn't mind seeing me in April. Now, I just need an offering to the Travel Budget Gods to make it happen.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps your boss would be persuaded if he knew that you could spilt the cost of the room with a collegue? (Maybe it is just me, but I *think* that may have been what was being hinted at!) Or maybe you could stay at Sgt.'s house - with four kids, there is bound to be an extra bunk! (And I do mention that lovingly!)

Blogget Jones said...

See, this is why I quote conversations verbatim! I had that impression, but thought it might just be me.

LOL about Sgt's house! But I think I might shoot for SC as a roommate ;o)

I meet with my boss tomorrow to discuss budgets. Keep your fingers crossed.


Penelope Anne said...

I think if you can split costs that would be good.
Set ground rules on this relationship though before you get there.
Good luck convincing the boss.

Blogget Jones said...

Well, we kind of have built-in rules, since we live 1800 miles apart. It looks like we know we'll see each other twice a year. If this conference in April works out, that is.... So, that's not much. We're in contact several times a week. We do enjoy a good respect and affection between us....but is there more? Not sure. It's hard to tell when you're 1800 miles apart.

And I've won a small battle with the boss. He already agrees we should be part of this organization, and should be at the conference. Now, I have to sell the reality of it in a meeting tomorrow morning. Keep your fingers crossed....

Penelope Anne said...

LEt us know how it goes :)

darth sardonic said...

man oh man. i am playing catch up, but you are one busy blogget! lol. hope you're having fun...

Blogget Jones said...

Penelope -- I certainly will :o) So far, I've been told to submit a travel proposal and my boss will "shop around" for the funding. One step at a time....

Darth -- Good to see you again! Yeah, my life is a little on the ridiculous side right now.... LOL

:o) BJ

Sgt said...

Perhaps the most frightening of occurrences in New Orleans might be bumping into me.

Indeed scary!

The hotels down there are pretty steep. Your best bet might be to stay at the casino and convince them your a high roller and they should comp your room.

Blogget Jones said...

LOL Sgt! But are you in NOLA then? I thought you were in Baton Rouge?

I've found a "boutique hotel" (i.e., smaller hotel, renovated in 2006 - can guess why) for much less, two blocks from the conference hotel.

Conference hotel is the Sheraton. The smaller hotel is the St. James, on Magazine Street. Any insight about that?

Thank you!
:o) BJ

Queeny said...

Dear Travel Budget Gods (and cupid), please "make it happen" for Blogget.

And safety in New Orleans is no worse than anyplace else. Sure, you might find a few people prowling for unsuspecting tourists, but you find that in most tourist destinations.

I'm from North Louisiana and have been to NO several times. The best advice I can give you is to travel in packs (and eat hearty).

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Blogget Jones said...

Queeny -- I just got the nicest note from the hotel where I want to stay. I'd asked about the walk to the conference hotel, and the man who relied went a step further. He pretty much said, "Don't believe the media," and really reassured me. So nice! Now I REALLY want to go! LOL

Will traveling in a pack of two be all right? lol ;o)

Okay, Queeny....I don't speak French! What did you say?? :o)

Penelope Anne said...

Hi honey, it is a heron, cool.
Just popped in to say hi, and let u know voting is open on my poem:

Sgt said...

"Laissez les bons temps rouler" =
"Let the good times roll"

Sounds like: "Lacy bone ton rule eh"

You'll hear it alot.

I've seen the St James before. It's in a pretty nice spot. I believe you'll pass the casino going to the Sheraton which can cut some of your outdoor walking down a block if its cold. The Sheraton will have plenty of cabs out front, but it might be tricky to catch one from your place.. dunno for sure.

Yes, we live in Baton Rouge but often end up in NOLA at the Aquarium, Zoo, Children's Museum and other various establishments we are members of.