Friday, July 29, 2011

Finally recovered from New Orleans. $n pt. 2, $p Quilters

What, did you think ALA was just about food? Technically I guess it's about work, but that for another blog (that doesn't exist).

Saturday night's gathering was with the ALA Biblioquilters. We are librarians and library related folks who make quilts (imagine that) for charity. Read all about us HERE. There was a really nice write up about us this year prior to ALA. If you read the article, we did four quilts this year. Our display was set up across from the exhibits in the main convention center space and we had our own official sign! Yes, I was rather excited by the sign.

So, we did four quilts this year. I worked on the bookshelf quilt again. I may branch out next year and work on a different one. Everyone's hashing out what we want to do, so I'll just wait and see.

We have the library related t-shirt quilt:

I actually own two of those shirts. At least one will probably end up in my own quilt some day. Notice the Mardi Gras fabric?

This is the Music Quilt. If you haven't read the article, it was made by 2 librarians for a fellow librarian who had pancreatic cancer. They never got to give it to her and decided to donate it to the auction this year. One of them, Pat, died in January of this year (also of pancreatic cancer)

This is the Wonky Quilt. My mom likes to make these:

(no, we were not blocking the elevator)

And my favorite (because I worked on it), The bookshelf quilt. There's a neat hummel figurine on the top shelf that you can't see, but it is visible in the article. I did the bottom row, the one with the ereader

Here's how we looked all nice and lined up. To the right of the picture were some tables with the bid sheets and some donated artwork. I was all about the quilts, though.

I did not make it to a quilt shop in NO. There weren't any down town and I didn't want to spend taxi fare to get to it. One of the biblioquilters did go. Said she spent more on taxi fare to get there and back than on fabric. I think I'm fine with my pictures, food, and free books (oh, and work)

Here we are at dinner at Jacques-Imo's Cafe. See previous post for the food consumed. We do have one infiltrator. My roommate Jodi isn't a quilter. She does have a library degree and cross-stitches so I guess that counts :-)

It was great to meet everyone. I think I have faces with most of the names.

--end part 2--

Monday, July 25, 2011

Finally recovered from New Orleans. $n pt. 1, $p Food

Can you believe it's taken me a month to write my ALA update? I can. Laziness always seemed to set in. Hmm, you should update your blog - noo, I need to harvest these melons in farmville. Jodi-blog: no, just need to clobber one more ground hog in frontierville!

Let's see, before ALA my Hello Kitty vans came in. These are the shoes that kept me out of Harrah's. Huh? With shipping, they cost the same amount I would gamble (lose) at Harrah's in NO. Then I'd come home and order my shoes cause I had to have them. I allowed myself to order them BEFORE ALA on the condition that I couldn't go into Harrahs since I'd already spent that moolah. Don't roll your eyes at me, it worked. I didn't even go in to check out the decor or restaurants.

So very me.

On to New Orleans. ALA (American Library Association) was 5 days of RDA (gotta cover the work related stuff), food, authors, and friends. Did I mention food? So, lets cover the food.

Dinner the first night was at the Acme Oyster House. Since I was alone I sat at the bar. I ordered a ... (looking up menu) I ordered the New Orleans Medley (sampling of gumbo, jambalaya, red beans & rice, grilled smoke sausage). The pic is kinda dark. No flash on my cell phone. My neighbor (who turned out to be a pilot from my flight) let me take a picture of his raw oysters.

I don't do oysters - yuck. Not to mention the dire warning from my seatmate on the plane "don't eat summer oysters"

Thursday and Friday were work related days. Yes, I had to work for my dinner(s). Two days of RDA training. Very intense and rather mind-numbing. As usual, my day revolved around lunch. Heck, why not?

Day one, LG and I ate at Mulate's. It was pretty close to the convention center and within walking distance. Did I mention the weather? Actually cooler than Columbia. The humidity was there of course, but probably 10-12 degrees cooler than home.

After thoroughly interrogating the waiter on what exactly went into a shrimp po-boy (not much) I ordered and dug in. It was good, of course. How can you go wrong with fried shrimp, french bread, mayo, lettuce, and tomatoes?

Since I so obviously ate light for lunch, I was able to stay awake during the second half of the day's session. I was lazy for dinner. There was a Subway and a Walgreens near the hotel so I just got a sub and hit the Walgreens for desser: the delicacy known as the Choco Taco

Talk about yummy!

Lunch on day 2 of RDA was even more interesting (no, not being sarcastic). We ate at Cochon. LG mentioned this restaurant and their shop where you could buy pralines with bacon. I'd actually seen the place from the shuttle that morning, so talked LG and MM into going. We ate outside, which totally indicates the weather in NO. LG's must not have had anything too exciting. I didn't take a picture of her food.

Everything on the menu is a la carte, I had the Meat pie (which did have oysters in it, but they were buried and COOKED) and the eggplant & shrimp dressing. Both were very good.

MM had the fried alligator with chili garlic aioli (and some veggee). That was also good, much much better than the gator on a stick I had at the Taste of Charleston years ago

Saturday afternoon (yes, stupid timing) was beignet day. I cheated and ate at the one in the Riverwalk. After traipsing around the exhibit hall all day I was NOT walking to the original one. Almost forgot to take a picture:

Dinner that night was at Jacques-Imo's Cafe. I gathered up my roommate and a bunch of fellow quilters (the ALA Biblioquilters - more on them later) to eat there. I wanted to try an appetizer I'd seen on the food network. We did have reservations, thank goodness. The place was PACKED (yeah, Saturday) and we could barely hear each other but the food was awesome. The appetizer I wanted was totally worth the trip and the crowds. When it became obvious I was not sharing my Shrimp and Alligator-Sausage Cheesecake with my tablemates (beignets at 4 means a 2 appetizer dinner), the restaurant brought the table a slice. Everyone agreed it was wonderful. Even Travel Hedgie agreed it was wonderful

Totally recommend this restaurant, but would like to go on a weekday and not ruin my dinner with beignets.

-end part 1-