So this was my unprogrammed day for sightseeing (the conference doesn't start until mid-day tomorrow). I hadn't managed to connect with any of the GCLS folks about sightseeing in the morning, so I just took off on foot (the Hilton is right at the base of Canal Street, and so on the edge of the French Quarter). Picked up a couple of walking tour guidebooks and then settled in for coffee and beignets at Cafe Beignet (which is recommended as the place to go if you don't want to deal with the crowds at Cafe du Monde). I spend half the day wandering up and down most of the streets on the river side of Bourbon Street (which itself is not all that interesting in terms of historic features during the day). You can check out some photos if you're one of my fb friends.
Just around the time I was ready for a break (with the heat and humidity rising steadily) I got a text from Lauri that her plane was on the ground, so I headed back to the hotel and settled in with a cold lemonade and air conditioning to wait for her to show up.
Not even quite unpacked, I dragged her off for more meandering along with a couple of GCLS buddies and then we took in a Segway tour (my first time on one). While we were getting our tour briefing and getting used to the equipment, there was a brief intense rain shower, which made the temperature much pleasanter for the tour. We had a delightfully knowledgable guide and took in a larger scope of sights than I would have made it to on foot.
After a brief rest back a the hotel, Lauri and I headed out to dinner. I think we only have one other "unprogrammed" dinner during the conference, and I had my heart set on dining on a second floor balcony eating traditional dishes. So we ended up at an upstairs eatery on Bourbon Street (which is a much more happening place after dark), sharing a Cajun/Creole sampler platter and watching the people go by in the street below. (Alas, the most audible music was from the restaurant sound system rather than the random live musicians along the street, but you can't have everything.)