Big plans on Sunday, when the wake up call came at 6:00 I had mixed emotions, last full day in N’awlins is always bittersweet, scared $hitle$$ about riding that freakin’ Segway and wishing I had a few more hours to sleep in. Got ready in time to have swill some java with My Girlz on the balcony and headed out with DH, InAia & DH toward our grand adventure. Stopped by Community Coffee on Decatur for another shot of coffee and bottled water. As we turned the corner on Conti, there they were, 9 Segways lined up there looking fairly innocuous. I felt strangely calm as we walked in and chatted up Dawn. She is a sweetheart and did everything she could to put us at ease. We asked if the tour could end a few minutes early as we were also booked to go to the New Orleans School of Cooking at 10:00AM, (ST ended at 10:30AM), clearly we were genius in our planning. Dawn said that regrettably she could not get us back early because there were 4 more people on the same tour. OK, we knew Herm & Deny would save us seats and we had sent our money with them, but they had also promised us some torment if we disrupted the class with our arrival. Oh well, what are you going to do?
Signed the waivers and turned our attention to the rack of helmets. OMG! I asked if I could sign a second waiver and decline the stupid looking helmet. Knew I was in trouble as I saw DH chuckling and turning on his camera, no breaks from anyone in this crowd. WTH, I put one on and promised retribution if too many stupid pics of me in the thing showed up. Outside to take our “training.” I will admit that at that point, I was not 100% sure I was going to go. InA1a and I had discussed that if we decided not to, the 2 DHs would just have to wheel off without us and we would go have a drink before the NOSOC. The other people on the tour “trained,” first. Some of them had ridden before and at least one of them was zipping around like a jacka$$ making me a nervous wreck. Finally it was my turn, deep breath, do EXACTLY what she told me and unbelievably, it worked. I could ride the stupid thing. So far so good but our tour mates were still zipping around like idiots and I had heard Dawn warn us about getting throw off on you’re a$$ is you “kissed,” tires. I wasn’t planning on doing any kissing, that much was certain. Dawn sensed my concern and called me aside to tell me that if the jacka$$ kept zipping around like that she would excommunicate his dumba$$ and that would be the end of it. I was sort of looking forward to that happening so off we went.
We take off on a sensible route, on Conti to Burgundy, turn Right to Gov Nicholls I think, anyway, routes goes through quieter areas of the FQ first. I was digging that. She also blocked intersections as we went through, I was diggin that too. For those who have not ridden a Segway, it is not like I had expected. You control it through pressure on your feet. When you roll to the balls of your feet and put more pressure there, you go forward, the more pressure the faster. To slow or stop you roll back to put more pressure on your heels. Turning is NOT like a bike, more like a joystick, tilt it to the left to turn left. All is well for the first 30-40 minutes, but now my feet and legs are burning like crazy. Not exactly being an athelete, those are muscles, (and I use the term loosely), that I don’t frequently use. Another part that was somewhat difficult for me was when she would have us all pull up and stop so she could do the Tour Lecture part, historic buildings and facts. Having been to N’awlins more times than I can count and reading everything I can get my hands on about it, her lecture was less than fascinating to me. Minor complication, while it is pretty easy to go forward on a Segway, I found it difficult to stay in a stationary position and it looked like some others did too, including the ones zipping around all over the place, and I was still thinking about the danger of Kissing tires, so I didn’t like that part so much. We stopped on Frenchmen Street for a break, got off and understood what she meant by Segway legs, yikes, I walked up and down the street to get rid of the feeling of my feet being asleep. I am sure my anxiety probably contributed to my tenseness and resulting stiffness. Had a chance to chat with our tour mates on the stop and they were really nice people from Baltimore. Since I liked his wife and kids so much I stopped wishing Jacka$$ would get kicked off the tour. In all honestly, it was my anxiety more than his actions that led to my hostility to begin with.
Back on and toward the French Market, along Decatur and WTH, are we seriously going up that ramp to the River Walk, really??? She warned us to make sure we got enough speed to get up the ramp but stop at the top and turn as there were stairs going down the other side, (for those who are wondering, Segways don’t do well on stairs), then up on the levy. Now I am sure most of the time this is a good place to ride. The day we were there half the population of NOLA was up there looking at how high the river is. I am going to suggest that if ever you are up there meandering around and you see people on Segways, pay attention and get the flok out of their way, some of them, (no names here), might not be very skilled at riding them. After another short break walking off our Segway Legs, we were back on and headed back. I am going to be perfectly honest and say I would have enjoyed a slightly shorter tour for my first ride. I was again horrified to learn we were going down the hill, over the tracks, turning left on Decatur in all the traffic, back to the office. We all survived it, including me, but it did give me a bit of anxiety. She reminded us to stay to the right so we were out of the path of traffic, that is one reminder I did not need. We were in such a hurry to get to the NOSOC that we parked, jumped off and headed off immediately. Didn’t realize until I was at the NOSOC that we had taken off without tipping her. After we left we walked back up there, gave her a tip and thanked her. She is a great guide, if you decide to do the Segway, (and I think most people would really like it), try to get Dawn as your guide