After attending my Region 15 meeting, ninety-six Region 15 delegates and I headed out for our Regional Dinner (a new addition this year was having the Regional Dinners on the first night of the conference) at the historic Mother’s Restaurant (www.mothersrestaurant.net) about four blocks from the hotel. Mother’s Restaurant specializes in authentic New Orleans home cooking and has for more than 70 years boasted the best po-boy sandwich in the Crescent City. Now for all of you who have no idea what a “po-boy” sandwich is, I will provide you with a little history lesson, free of charge. A po-boy sandwich refers to sandwiches made from hot gravy and scraps of roast beef ladled onto French bread which were sold to “poor boys” from the back doors of restaurants. Local lore holds that the term “po-boy” was coined in a New Orleans restaurant owned by Benny and Clovis Martin, a former streetcar conductor in 1929. Don’t you love Google? Mother’s Restaurant has been open since 1938 and was the perfect New Orleans welcome meal for our Region.
The food was amazing! We had our choice of Seafood Gumbo, Jerry’s Jambalaya, Crawfish Etoufee (which I can’t even pronounce let alone spell!), Fried Chicken and Turnip Greens. As if that wasn’t enough, we also had made-to-order po-boy sandwiches with our choice of fried shrimp, fried oysters, fried catfish, or roast beef! As I looked down at my full plate of food as I walked back to my table from the buffet, I thought to myself, “I wish I had brought my stretchy pants for this meal!” For dessert we had classic bread pudding in Brandy sauce – it was truly delicious!
Although the food was great, the best part of the evening though for me was reconnecting with old friends and being introduced to many new colleagues and student leaders. Don’t get me wrong, I love talking with my colleagues about student union square footage, Recreation Center referendums, student learning outcomes, and the latest and greatest Mity-Lite table design…but I also enjoy hearing about people lives outside of our profession. One friend shared with me that she was expecting her first child in July. Another friend showed me baby pictures of his newborn baby girl. Still another shared with me that he asked his girlfriend to marry him two weeks ago and she said yes. These are the stories I love the most, and what makes ACUI truly unique I think, is that although I might not see my friends in the year between conferences, when we meet up it is like we never left each others side for a single moment.
After dinner, I headed back to my hotel room. I had to unbutton the top button on my pants because my belly was so full from dinner…which made walking home a little difficult and a little embarrassing! I think I am going to go to bed a little early tonight so that I can be up and ready by 6:30am to head to the City Park for my community service project! I am really looking forward to it…good night.