NoLa + GHC: Exploring Nallins

A trip report in five installments covering my recent trip to New Orleans for fun and Houston for Grace Hopper – the largest conference for women in computing.

  1. Introduction
  2. SFO -> New Orleans
  3. Exploring Nallins
  4. SpringHill Suites Houston Downtown
  5. Grace Hopper

 In New Orleans, we stayed in an airbnb in the Central Business District:

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Everyone recommended that we go out drinking on Frenchman Street, where the locals go, instead of Bourbon Street, where the tourists go. Well, we ended up going to Bourbon Street anyways, because we felt you have to do it at least once and it was close where we were staying. It was a total blast, I’d recommend it if you enjoy Vegas. 

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Our hotel was also walking distance to the famous Cafe Du Monde, so we went multiple times. The iced coffee really hits the spot on a hot day.

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We also did a haunted house tour (I had to step away for the last story as it was too gory for me), ate at some great restaurants, and got cheap massages in the French Quarter. One of my favorite things we did was get our tarot cards read. Parts of mine were accurate, but three of my friends said their readings were “shockingly accurate”.

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Our last stop was the famous Spotted Cat for live music.

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Unfortunately we were too tired to go out on Frenchman Street after the Spotted Cat. Maybe next time 😉

NoLa + GHC: SFO -> New Orleans

A trip report in five installments covering my recent trip to New Orleans for fun and Houston for Grace Hopper – the largest conference for women in computing.

  1. Introduction
  2. SFO -> New Orleans
  3. Exploring Nallins
  4. SpringHill Suites Houston Downtown
  5. Grace Hopper

On Saturday, we flew United 1094 from SFO -> MSY. I was the last of my friends to arrive at SFO, and the pre-check line was out of control. The bay area is just full of lifehackers who pay for global entry 😉

Even though this was a work trip, I paid for the ticket using my United MileagePlus Explorer card, so I could get priority boarding. One of my friends also has the card, so boarded the plane together in group 2. I love sitting at the window, so the first thing I did when seated was open the window shade. Somehow, I opened it and it got misaligned on its track and got stuck.

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The flight was fully boarded when the flight attendant came on the PA to announce that they were performing “maintenance on the brakes” and we would be delayed about about 40 minutes. She gave us the option to deplane but we would have to bring our carryons with us.

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Forty minutes is nothing when you’ve got internet, so I decided to stay on the plane. A little bit later, the FA comes on the PA again: “Actually, everyone needs to get off the plane.” After deplaning, we were told to stay in the area as they would announce when it was time to reboard.

Suddenly, something magical happened. An SFO therapy dog came by the terminal to cheer up the delayed passengers. The woman with the dog says she brings him to gates where flights are delayed.

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Successfully cheered up, I settled in some seats and went on my laptop while my friends went in search of hot chocolate. Slowly, a commotion built up with many people in the terminal leaning against the windows taking pictures. All flights were temporarily grounded, because Obama was leaving SFO. #thanksobama

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Finally, we reboarded the plane again – over two hours delayed. 

NoLa + GHC: Introduction

A trip report in five installments covering my recent trip to New Orleans for fun and Houston for Grace Hopper – the largest conference for women in computing.

  1. Introduction
  2. SFO -> New Orleans
  3. Exploring Nallins
  4. SpringHill Suites Houston Downtown 
  5. Grace Hopper

Introduction

This year was my second year attending Grace Hopper Conference, which typically runs from Wednesday-Friday with attendees flying in on Tuesday evening. Last year my friend and I took Monday and Tuesday as PTO and squeezed in a trip to Chicago before the conference. 

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Maybe our path to GHC was a bit indirect…

It was a great success: I got to experience Chicago for the first time, our SFO-CHI-PHX-SFO was only slightly more expensive than SFO-PHX-SFO, and we had a nice vacation without burning too many days of PTO.

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Left: The famous Chicago bean. Right: Just hanging out at the Google office in Chicago. Also free lunch 😉

After purchasing our conference passes, we again wanted to include a trip before the conference – this time with even more of our #squad that was attending Grace Hopper. 

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The NoLa squad, a subset of the #squad of intelligent, fun, beautiful women that I’m friends with.

The conference was in Houston, so we decided on New Orleans as our vacation destination. It was pretty close to Houston and none of us had ever been there before. So this was our path to GHC:

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Next post: some interesting things happened on our flight to NoLa.