I thought that I’d seen some pretty bad traffic in my time, but then I arrived in New Orleans. The trip from the airport to the hotel was a nightmare partially because there’s no such thing as rush hour traffic in New Orleans (it’s always rush hour) and partially because I let myself get separated from my travel documents and Visa.

When I booked my trip on the airport shuttle, I was rushed over to a bus that was departing immediately. The porter took my bag and scooted me on so we could leave as fast as possible. I didn’t realize until I was on the bus that I had left my travel kit (with Visa, passport and airplane tickets and hotel reservation) in my bag. Talk about instant and total panic; you should never let yourself be separated from either because without both you are stranded in a foreign country with no money or identification.

So, for the hot, dry, slow, sweaty, blazing hot HOUR AND A HALF it took to get from the airport to the French Quarter in the van I tried to come up with a plan on what to do if my travel documents and Visa disappeared. I also reminisced about the 4 mounths I spent in Asia with my money and passport sewn into a pocket in my underwear and wondered how the heck I could have slipped.

It turns out that all worrying was for naught; everything arrived safe and sound with me as I reached the Riverside Hilton.

The hotel is nice and also quite busy. The HOW conference attracts many people from around the world and I’m a little shocked at the sheer number of designers, artists and people in general who are mulling around and trying to look busy; I’ve never been to a conference as large as this before.

I lucked out with my room and managed to score a Deluxe Suite. It literally came up as I was checking in and the concierge snagged it with a jubuliant: “Oooooh…you’ll really like this room.” The room comes with a giant Murphy bed (that you pull down from the wall), a sitting parlour, and kitchen. As an added bonus I have a somewhat obscured view of the Mississippi river and a few of the surrounding buildings.