Wednesday, April 1, 2015

NAEA conference #1 - my age is showing

Three whirlwind days of convention-ing and more, and I'm more than a week bit worn out even after  having been home for three days.  This will be the first of probably two or three convention posts.  In my next post(s), I expect to tell you about my actual convention experience, including both the workshops where I was the presenter and those I attended, all which were all pretty terrific, and the fabulous people of the convention, too!
 But today I'll be sharing a few photos from my limited sightseeing in colorful New Orleans. Today's photos in particular are from a stroll through the French Quarter, Jackson Square, and Bourbon Street area.
 As I sit back and rehash my time in New Orleans, I can't help but recognize the truth.  I'm failing badly at trying to keep up with friends and acquaintances decades younger than me.  I'm 62 years old.  That's old enough for Social Security and senior citizen discounts, but I didn't spend my convention days going to retiree luncheons and such.  Because until my body reminds me, I don't like to think of myself as anything close to being 'senior'.  But sadly, time after time, remind me, it did.
 Instead of hanging with the retirees, I taught a workshop on managing messy art materials, presented in a whirlwind carousel of bloggers workshop, attended other workshops, hung out at the AOE booth for the blogger meet & greet, and attempted to sight-see and socialize in between all the convention events.
But my feet and legs and hips gave out.  FitBit wearers told me that they were putting on 10 miles a day, so it's no wonder that my body began to fail.  I have some scoliosis and compressed discs in my spine, bursitis in my hip, malformed feet with bunions that got inflamed, and a tendency for swelling in my ankles and feet.  And as anyone who went to the convention could tell you, it was a long walk between the hotel, the convention center, and the workshop rooms, particularly those that were across 'the bridge to nowhere'.  So when I was finally free, I found that my sightseeing walks were compromised.  Dinner plans that involved walking anywhere got scrapped, and I missed out on sharing late night hurricanes or other cocktails that I might have had elsewhere.  My  body was shot.
Do I need to reevaluate?  Reconsider when I plan how to structure my days at a convention?  I had so many plans - a photo walk through a graveyard didn't happen, nor did the visit to the garden district, the insectarium, the aquarium, or the botanic garden. 
But for the short time I was there, I did see a lot.  Next year, since I've also never been to Chicago, if I attend I will definitely be adding at least a day strictly for sightseeing.  I'm thinking a day at the beginning, when I'm not worn out, might be the best bet. 
Everywhere I walked, it seemed that the trees were draped with mardi gras beads.
It was a pleasure to see flowers in bloom, since I had left my colorless world (gray, white, brown) in northern NY hoping for some spring color in New Orleans.
 Of course, not all the colors were flowers.  The people of New Orleans were colorful, too.
Including my walking companions.  Here are two of them: 
 I wish I'd snapped this pic below soon enough for you to see this adorable woman from the front, complete with bunny ears, paws, and feet. 
 Just a few more photos...
 Photos weren't supposed to be taken inside, but I sneaked this one below.  Hopefully I haven't angered anyone enough to make them perform some voodoo magic on me. 
We generally followed this instruction below when walking.

That's it for now!!


  1. It's been really fun seeing everyone's pictures of the city. It looks like it was a blast!! (although I definitely empathize with limited walking ability -- I'm beginning to feel that too!)

    1. My feet have been the bane of my existence for my whole life!

  2. Love your pics!!! What an amazing city!! So many "interesting" things/people/places!! Maybe see you in Chicago! Haven't been there in about 20 yrs.

    1. I've never been there, so hopefully, as Tim would say, I can 'Make it Work'!

  3. cool shots. phyl! NOLA is a wonderful city. i love the vibrant colors mixed with the grime:) you should definitely take a day for chicago before the conference starts next year!

    1. Thanks Don. It's a year away, but that's definitely what I'd like to do. Hope that you will be there in Chicago!

  4. New Orleans is top of my list of places I want to visit when I get to the US one of these days - sigh! Perhaps I should offer to be an international presenter at your NAEA conference which always seems so fantastic to get me there?!?!?!Now that would impress my Principal!