Covering the Oil Spill on #iOilSpill Road Trip

July 24, 2010

Cats aren’t supposed to bite. At least that what I always thought. So, when Brisket started nipping at my calf this morning at 5:41, I grabbed my iPhone to look for taxidermy companies.

Two things to explain at this point – Brisket is one of our two cats (the other is called Ducky and they are collectively the #meatcats); and I have hardly ever had one one of my pets stuffed.

So this is how #iOilSpill began. 5:41 on a foggy Saturday morning in a hamlet south of Boston, Massachusetts. With a cat nipping my leg.

Popping out of bed, mostly because I knew the cat was correct in its timing and my alarm was set to explode at 6:04, I ran to the computer and checked my email. That’s what social media and technology-addled folks do…even before visiting the bathroom or letting the cats out.

Mail checked and a few Tweets later, I took 49 minutes to get ready and it was out the door to Logan Airport. The rest of the morning was a blur – but I took some photos

And I got to New Orleans at lunchtime, still amazingly giddy to be injected into 93-degree temps and a raging tropical storm.

Rental car, hotel, yada, yada, yada. Suffice it to say, that part of business travel doesn’t thrill anyone, but I did get a car in a good color and it didn’t smell like smoke. Want specifics? I’ll share.

I rented the car via Expedia and they gave me a Dollar Rent-a-Car for about $550 for two full weeks – inclusive of taxes. I didn’t get the insurance.

My first hotel is the Hampton Inn and I got that room via the Hilton Honors site for about $100 a night. It’s within walking distance of the French Quarter, so I’ll be sharing photos later of the city and surroundings. I’m also planning to pop into a few businesses and see if I can get owners to chat with me on video about the impact the spill may have already had on their operations.

The hotel rate includes parking (BONUS!!) and that’s huge in New Orleans because most places charge $25-$30 a night. And it also includes breakfast, which makes me believe that Hampton could lose on this deal as they’ve probably not seen me eat.

What’s the plan for dinner? I don’t really know. I’ve been to NOLA twice before, but both trips were pretty well planned out for me, so I didn’t have to select places to eat.

I might have an opportunity to connect with members of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Radio/Television Digital News Association – both of whom are in town. Speaking with them could give me – and by extension YOU – some leads on information on the spill and the entire situation in the Gulf.

So stay tuned. I’ll regularly recap parts of the journey here.

Leave comments here if there’s something or some place you want me to explore.