The #beadcollector kept everyone up to date on her progress from Indiana to Louisiana and everything in between. It was a trip which marked a lot of firsts for this woman...
This was my first vacation with a group of women and I think I have to say I had some of the best traveling companions ever! In our little group were authors Lacey Thorn, LaNora Mangano, Fiona Riplee and Jeana Mann...please check out my listing at the end of this post to see how you can connect with them and read their latest romance books.
As far as food goes, this trip was filled with a lot of firsts there too: Alligator sausage, grilled alligator, boudin, blackened pork, pickled peppered okra and green beans, oyster shots, bananas foster, and of course the legendary beignets from Cafe DuMonde!
It was the first time that I spent a birthday away from anyone in my family. Instead, it was spent eating at Jackson Brewery, walking down Bourbon Street with a hurricane in my hand listening to every type of live music there is, watching the street performers and finally...yes...another first...I went to a drag show! And tucked bucks! I have never been so envious of a man's boobs in my entire life...or their hair...or their asses...or their clothes...
I learned a lot more about the history of New Orleans than what I had already learned while doing research for my Vengeance Trilogy and got to actually walk down Pirates Alley which is featured in the first book of the trilogy...Blood Vengeance. Heard about crimes of passion and crimes of pure stupidity. Became even more fascinated with the history of the houses beyond Bourbon Street and the French Quarter. Learned how to pronounce Tchoupitoulas Street and to watch out for drunks who mistake you for someone that they thought they saw in a show earlier that night.
The people were so wonderful. We met some of our fellow authors from the SOLA chapter of RWA for a book signing and panel discussion at Octavia Books and learned that almost everyone in New Orleans believes in ghosts...just like me! I would encourage you to pick up books by Colleen Mooney and Dawn Chartier or take a trip to visit Octavia Books.
The highlight of the weekend was the wonderful masquerade ball hosted by a group of awesome romance authors. The Midnight Gala was an event to be remembered with an array of excellent food, music, booze, and dancing in the ballroom at the Bourbon Orleans Hotel.
All in all, it was a wonderful and exciting experience but I sure am glad to be back home...preparing for the next adventure!
LA NORA MANGANO