Mom2Summit, New Orleans, and a new lease on life

by julie on April 19, 2011

If you haven’t ever been to New Orleans, you must go. It’s a city like New York or Paris that is so uniquely its own that you can’t pass it off as just another urban center.

In spite of the effect that New Orleans has on my hair, I would happily visit without any product in tow so long as I could wander the streets of the French Quarter and gorge myself on crawfish etouffee. I first visited in 1996 when I was not yet an adventurous eater, a burgers-and-fries kind of girl, and I was awed by the food.

Crawfish Etouffee

Crawfish etouffee at Galatoire’s — it doesn’t get much more New Orleans than this

I would have liked to try a Sazerac if only for the experience, but otherwise I was happy to enjoy New Orleans sober. That was exhausting enough.

Kristen and I went out for a run on both Friday and Saturday morning, which actually woke us up more than it tired us out. It also helped us appreciate a stop at Cafe du Monde for beignets and cafe au lait — another can’t-miss experience in New Orleans.

The Remains of the Beignet

The remains of the beignet

But it was on Thursday afternoon during a quiet walk with Jess and Sara that I was able to take in the architectural beauty of the French Quarter. The detail of the wrought iron balconies, woodwork, and gas lamps can be all too easily missed if you’re blinded by Hurricanes.

The bright colors and all the greenery.

Though I’m not sure how you could miss those shutters

Regardless of location, Mom2Summit is an incredible conference. No single conference can meet everyone’s needs, but for the past three years this one has exceeded my expectations. One of my take-aways that illustrates this point well came from Alice and Eden‘s session on writing: “You can’t be remarkable and appeal to everybody.”

Another take-away that I will strive to internalize comes from Liz, whom I work with and learn from every day: “Don’t be self-deprecating.” It’s charming and disarming not to take ourselves too seriously, but don’t roll your eyes and mumble, “I’m just a blogger.”

A final point that I struggle with, that I believe we all struggle with: “Even the most talented and successful among us feel jealousy. What matters is what we do with it.” My closest friends are some of the most accomplished and well-known in this medium. Sometimes I’m envious of their accomplishments. Mostly I’m grateful for the chance to learn from and be inspired by them.

Next year, Mom2Summit will be in Miami. I would make my flight and hotel reservations now if I could.

[the rest of my Mom2Summit Flickr photoset]

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