Let the Good Times Roll
Iced Release Bash in New Orleans 2012
You want to know the recipe for the most fun you've ever had? Take one part highly anticipated continuation of an amazing book series, add one part hordes of like-minded Moning Maniacs, stir in one or two (or four hundred) good friends, and pour it all over New Orleans.
Honorary Wench, Jennifer, and I spent last weekend in New Orleans with Karen Marie Moning, Phil Gigante, Eric Etebari, and a few hundred Fever fans. This being the first trip to NOLA for both of us, we tried to see and do everything, while still making time for all of the fun planned by the KMM gang. The short version: we had an absolute blast. And you all should come with us next time. We'll all party with the Maniacs, Wench-style!
For a slightly longer version, here's a recap of our ridiculously fun NOLA-Iced weekend...
The first official KMM event was scheduled for Sunday morning, so we arrived on Saturday morning, prepared to settle in and get acquainted with NOLA before the Maniac fun began. We couldn't check into our room right away, so we stowed our bags, made a reservation to tour St. Loius Cemetery No.1 in a couple of hours, and went in search of food. After getting lucky with lunch by stumbling into Serio's Mike Po-Boys (featured on Food Network!) for a Muffuletta, we strolled to our tour meeting place, then headed toward the cemetery. It's a fascinating tour, which we highly recommend.
|Marie Laveau's tomb in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1|
Following our race through the French Quarter, we decided to take it easy, since we were planning to party with the Maniacs at the Iced Bash that night. So we rode the historic St. Charles Streetcar to the end, had our first Po-Boys of the trip at Cooter Brown's (I couldn't leave out that detail!), then headed back to start getting ready to party, Maniac-style!
I don't have a lot of words for the Bash, because it was just so fecking much fun! So here's a little picture walk through the party:
|All fancied up and ready to party!|
|Mingling with Karen Moning. She is fabulous!|
|Jennifer and Eric Etebari. What?|
|A rockin' party!|
|Two happy party girls|
|It WAS Barrons's birthday party!|
|Jennifer and Phil Gigante|
|Photo Op with Eric Etebari|
|With our new friend, Nihita|
The Bash was fantastic, and I am so looking forward to partying with more of our Wenches next time! Start planning now, chicas! You don't want to miss it.
|Does one of us look a little green? Hmmm|
Eric graciously acted as Barrons, while Mac was played by a lucky Maniac. The scene was a confusing mix of hot and hilarious, but it was all entertaining. Phil and Eric are so funny. They are totally worth the price of admission to Fun hour! :)
After "Fun" it was time for a stroll through the French Market, beignets at Cafe DuMonde (I don't care if it's über-touristy — they are so yummy!), and a walk by the Mississippi. Finally it was time to get in line for the reason we all gathered in New Orleans: the Iced book signing!
We got in line at 3:00 for the 4:00 signing. We wanted to be sure we were a little early because we had a date with some ghosts and vampires at 8:00. If you ever plan to go to a KMM signing, know that there will be a lot of fans waiting to meet her. A lot. Everyone was wonderful and things moved as quickly as possible, but it still took time. Another tip when preparing for a KMM book signing: just beignets for lunch is not a good idea. Trust us.
We had our books in hand by 5:30. Aren't they pretty? I remember seeing the cover in the spring and gasping at how gorgeous it is. It's even prettier in person.
It was finally our turn to meet Karen Moning, and she is absolutely as lovely as can be! We told her about our amazing friends that we bonded with over her wonderful books. She said that is such an honor, and she hears similar stories all the time. She believes when you bond over books you connect with people who share similar world-views. I couldn't agree more, and am grateful every day that her books brought all of the Saucy Wenches together!
After the signing we tracked down food (remember, no beignets for lunch!), then went on a ghost and vampire tour with a group of Moning Maniacs. It was interesting and fun. Some of the stories will stay with me forever, I'm sure.
Tuesday morning was bittersweet, as there was only one last event before we headed home: a discussion with KMM. Again, she was just delightful. She shared a lot of good Fever information, so look for a brief post tomorrow about her Q&A answers.
One last trip through the French Quarter took us to Lafitte's Blacksmith Shoppe, a very haunted, must-stop in NOLA and the oldest, continuously-operational bar in the United States.
We made it home, exhausted but filled with fun, funny, amazing memories to last us until the next Moning Maniac gathering. Or maybe a Wench gathering. That would be crazy fun, too! The next book, most likely, won't come out until 2014, so plenty of time to save and plan! Hope to see you all there!