houston logistics

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I've been playing around with the new Google Calendar to help plan the Houston trip. It seems to be almost exactly like iCal in look and functionality, with one major additional feature: If you provide a location to an event, the calendar will link to a map of that location, and directions to and from that location. You don't even have to provide a street address for most businesses; "Jacques Imo's, New Orleans" worked great.

I think this is going to be a huge help in planning. I entered everything I have to do and everything I want to do. Now I can figure out how to get to each event and how much time I need to schedule for getting there. It's a bit sobering to see how tightly scheduled the entire trip will be. In fact I had to adjust my times on the day I drove from New Orleans to Houston. I had given myself time for a leisurely breakfast in New Orleans, but when I saw it all blocked out like that I realized that I would make myself late for the out-of-towners welcome dinner, much less have time to check into the hotel, shower and so forth.

(Knowing how long it will take to get from place to place has tripped us up on every previous Houston trip. We always end up late to the Art Car Ball because we underestimate the travel time, and/or get lost. And don't get me started on the night we spend driving all over the damned city looking for a fire extinguisher, because we stupidly left the hotel without getting clear directions to a Wal-mart.)

Seeing the schedule all blocked out also makes me realize that finding time to eat is going to be a problem. On both Thursday and Friday we're not going to have an opportunity to eat lunch until after 2pm, and then there's another event at 7. I suppose we'll have to eat a snack before the evening event and then plan on a late dinner. If we don't plan that just right we're going to be miserable at the evening event. At least, I will.

Of course I could do all of this without Google Calendars. Like I said, it looks almost exactly like iCal, and because it's still a beta I found entering new events a bit clunky. Especially the times; it had a tendency to kick me out of the entry window while I was trying to enter or change a time. I was also disappointed by the publishing options. I thought it would let me publish it to a web page, so that anyone (that is, anyone who cares) could see my calendar in all its overbooked glory. But actually the only publishing options are to iCal, or to an XML feed. Neither of which do the links to the maps, which is the coolest part. Plus, you can't make a calendar public without adding it to their public search function. Since my calendar refers to a trip away from home, and I couldn't figure out how to remove my real name from it, that seems like it would be really stupid.

On the other hand, publishing to iCal will be helpful for Georg and me, in case we need to check the schedule and we're not online. Too bad it doesn't have enough integration with iCal to let us update events there and have them show up in Google. And Google Calendar does have an "agenda" view, not available in iCal, that I like a lot. Georg says he thinks Google Calendar will be a boon to PC people who are stuck using Outlook, which he hates. (I've never used it so I don't have an opinion.)

In other travel notes, I realized that I made a logistical mistake: Instead of stopping in Atlanta like we usually do, I decided to drive a bit past it and stop in nearby Newnan, GA. That shortens the GA to LA leg of the trip by about an hour, giving me a little more time to hang out in New Orleans. Seemed like a good plan, unfortunately I didn't realize that this also means I'm going to have to drive right through the middle of Atlanta during rush hour. Twice: in the evening on the way out, and in the morning on the way back. Dang.

9 Comments

It would be cool if it could synch with my Palm calendar. But alas, no.

I have to warn you that my oldest friend, Poppy Brite, thinks that Jacques-Imo's is the worst restaurant in New Orleans, not discounting things like Denny's, White Castle, and dumpsters. Poppy has threated to disown me as a brother if I ever visit it or its New York spawn.

Read the review: http://docbrite.livejournal.com/242877.html

Hm! That's surprising. I chose Jacques Imo's based on the recommendation of several residents and former residents, who called it the best restaurant in town.

So what do you (or Poppy) recommend for a great dinner in NO? I'm looking for someplace informal enough that I don't have to dress up, and will feel comfortable eating alone. Because otherwise I'll have to pick up a bum on my way there, and most formal restaurants would frown on that too.

I have put in an emergency request for help.

Poppy has been suffering from poor internet connection and has been unable to respond. You might try browsing recent LJ entries for suggestions--the recent visit to Seven on Fulton sounded extremely good (keeping in mind that what is a "quite good" meal to Poppy is likely to be a very memorable meal for we mere mortals). http://docbrite.livejournal.com/ and dig in!

Sorry for the delayed response -- here's hoping I am in time to save you. The sad truth is that Jacque-Imo's is a tourist trap serving what I consider to be hands-down the most disgusting food I've ever eaten. If you think you would like alligator & seafood cheesecake or not-very-fresh fish with lemon cheese sauce, then your tastes are obviously very different from mine and you may as well go for it -- you'll have a "funky," "fun" experience where the chef is a "wacky character." If you want to eat at a real restaurant, our options are more limited than pre-K and some of the best places remain closed, but I recommend Cafe Adelaide in the Loew's Hotel (basically Commander's Palace in exile), Clancy's, Casamento's, Lilette, Rio Mar ... even the old-line French Quarter restaurants like Broussard's and Arnaud's are a better bet than the loathsome Jacque-Imo's.

P.S. Just noticed your comment about not wanting to dress up. Of the places I mentioned, Casamento's and Rio Mar are the least formal, but most restaurants in N.O. aren't going to get upset if you're less than superbly turned out -- we're not a real formal town.

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This page contains a single entry by Sarah published on April 19, 2006 7:32 AM.

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