Last night the cab driver joked as he lifted my suitcase into the trunk, “Do you have a dead body in this?”
He was making light conversation but I was beginning to feel like one myself after nearly two weeks of travel. I had barely enough time to recover from my trip to Scotland and the cold I caught while traveling when I was off to Cincinnati, New Orleans and then Austin. Whirlwind does not begin to describe the pace I was going at. I knew it though the moment I set foot into October and just barreled on through.
The trips were connected in timing but little else. This year Greenbuild was held in New Orleans and I took this as an opportunity to explore the city. The trade show itself highlights sustainability such as the Make It Right houses in the 9th Ward. I toured them and loved the architecture as well as materials used. I also viewed Bayou Bienvenue, which is a cypress swamp that is being restored to help as a barrier to hurricanes. It has been destroyed over the years by a shortcut developed in the 1950’s for tankers delivering oil. The shortcut no longer exists but the trees have yet to take hold. While in the 9th Ward, I stood on the levee listening to lectures on the measures taken so that the past can’t be repeated.
Back at the convention center, Deepak Chopra had us meditating in an auditorium. He really has an amazing mind and I picked up a book of his to read on my travels. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success is a thin little book filled with deep thoughts. He said during his lecture to just be present in the moment and I admit that advice was needed as I grasp hold of my agenda. Too much anticipating what is coming next to really take note of the here and now. He also mentioned we were all made of stardust and I secretly thought I might be a shooting one if I’m not careful!
The trolley to the Garden District was hopped mid week and I fell in love with Magazine Street. This is where the true locals go and I loved it for that. I did play tourist a few nights and the French Quarter remains one of the more interesting places to wander. It was an amazing week of fun and work nicely melded together. If you get a chance, I would tell you to go to New Orleans in a heartbeat.
From New Orleans, I flew to Austin for a wedding and then meetings. I love weddings where the bride and groom just glow. This was one of them and their happiness was contagious. Austin is another city I should really devote more time to. I tend to use it as a portal to come and go but this time I was able to explore more and know I will try to do more next time.
The meetings ended yesterday and that’s how I came to be standing with a cab driver in the middle of the street at midnight. The thought of another night on the road was unbearable so I took the last flight I could to get back to New York.
“Are you sure you didn’t pack a dead body in this?”
“No” I said. “Just a lot of great memories.