Its been a pretty busy last couple of days. Yesterday after working for a bit I had the always enjoyable experience of a 6.5h drive through Alabama and southern Mississippi to New Orleans. This week we've got a technical interchange meeting (TIM) to discuss the manufacturing flow for the cleaning and corrosion protection processes for the Ares I Upper State (US) at the Michoud Assembly Facility. Yep, I'm a dork.
So after sitting in a meeting with the same people all day today, I was ready to get out for a run when I got back to the hotel. However, I'm staying downtown so I was a bit worried where I was going to run. I dont mind running though cities but it gets kind of old when you have to stop every other block when a light changes. Luckily though I stumbled upon St. Charles Ave.
This road runs through the "garden district," the area of town where all the fancy houses are, but the best part about the road is that the trolley runs down the middle. Like a bus, it may only come by a few times an hour. The rest of the time there is a nice dirt trail in the middle of the trolley rails which is perfect for running.
The benefits of running the rails are plenty. First there is the aforementioned dirt trail which provides a welcome reprieve to the usual pavement pounding. Next, the middle of the road provided a nice shelter from traffic. The rails were also well lit and the weather was phenomenal, lows 60s and humidity you could cut with a knife. There was also nice scenery including grand old houses, Loyola University (Uncle Mark's alma mater), and other runners.
Finally, the highlight of the day. Although traveling is always a hassle, I do enjoy the excuse to eat out and to enjoy some really yummy meals. Some places are better than others in this regard but New Orleans has got to be at the top. For dinner tonight I dined at Cochon Restaurant and I must say it was quite delicious. Rather than getting an entree, I got a few smaller dishes. I started with a mixed green salad with grilled onions, satsumas, and chili pecan. Then I had "andouille & sweet potato pie with apple & greens slaw" and "roasted shrimp with ham, chilis, satsumas & cornbread cake." Go here for the menu but both of these dishes were simply awesome. The andouille was just a spicy and smoky which balanced well with the sweetness of the sweet potatoes and tangyness of the vinegarette dressing on the apple and greens slaw. Similarly, the savory flavor of the roasted shrimp with ham married well with the appropriately spiciness of the chili-cheesy-creme sauce and sweetness of the cornbread cake. Incidentally, I'm usually not a fan of cheese sauces or creme sauces but this one was delicious. It was not too rich, not too creamy, not too goopy, just right on. To finish off the meal, "gâteau de chocolat with honey creole cream cheese mousse & pears," which was basically a flourless chocolate cake with a light and fluffy cheesecake top. All in all, a kick ass meal.
Now, its time for bed. Tomorrow morning should be another adventure scouting for a pool before another uber-exciting day at MAF. I cant wait!
PS Last night I had dinner at Emril's Restraunt. I started with a salad: "Abita Root Beer Braised “Fresh Bacon” Salad, Abita Root Beer Braised Niman Ranch Pork Belly with Citrus Slaw, Marinated Yucca, Heirloom Radish, Shaved Jalepeno, Goat Cheese and Pork Cracklings" and then had some salmon: "Oyster Crusted Atlantic Salmon with Dill Preserved Yukon Gold Potatoes, Tuna Bacon Asparagus, Fennel, and Cauliflower Bernaise"