We arrived in New Orleans safe ‘n sound this morning, and weren’t on the ground for fifteen minutes before the craziness began.
In a taxi leaving the airport, I called the resort to see if we would be able to check in early. He tersely informed me that I couldn’t check in at all — they’re closing today at 4pm in preparation for evacuations.
SHIT. We just got off a plane and discover that we have nowhere to stay. In the middle of the gayest event of the year in New Orleans. In the path of what will likely be a very strong hurricane.
Our instinctive reaction, of course, was to go to a Starbucks. We sat down, got some caffeine, and started working on contingency plans. Mark the Pilot’s friend Keith (from NYC) is in town, so we got ahold of him to find out what his arrangements are… He had JUST confirmed with his hotel that they weren’t closing [yet] and gave me the number, so I could check their availability. Sadly, they were booked solid, but the helpful reservations agent was able to find us a Holiday Inn Express a block from the French Quarter, for $71 a night. Holla!
We got into the lobby of the hotel (which coincidentally was a five minute walk from the Starbucks) and saw big displays talking about evacuation plans. Panic! Come to find out they were just giving a heads-up about things, and that no evacuation has been called yet. The storm is still not projected to make landfall until Tuesday, so we really felt like we were safe with our Monday morning flights… But the more I thought about it, the more nervous I got. Not because I think that our safety is in jeopardy, but because people FREAK OUT when a hurricane is coming, and I worried about possible disruptions in air travel… And frankly, being stuck at the airport the day before the hurricane strikes is just not a pleasant thought.
So I caved in and changed our reservations again, to come back on Sunday instead of Monday (and instead of our original Tuesday night return) Sal leaves at the crack o’ dawn, but my first available flight isn’t until 1pm… Looks like I’ll be having a fun day chillin’ at the New Orleans airport, unless I can get on standby earlier.
Either way, we’re going to have a great time tonight, and enjoy a full day in the French Quarter tomorrow. We’re seeing the Lady Bunny, and SHIRLEY Q LIQUOR (worth the trip all by herself), and visiting a great town and having a lot of fun. It’s going to be an adventure, that’s for sure!
The best part? With a hurricane looming, and evacuations on the way, we likely won’t even see a drop of rain. WTF.