While the youth slept in, a team of chaperones rose early and sped into the city on a quick scouting mission. As they left the hotel, a large bank of dark gray clouds could be seen on the southwest horizon; the team was soon to learn that this is a pretty reliable indicator of heavy rains. The team also learned that starting your day soaking wet is probably not the best way to start the day. Traditionally, one becomes soaking wet slowly, over the course of the day from the inside out, not suddenly from a torrential down pour.
Our group started our daily activity with a morning meeting to discuss ground rules, eat breakfast and talk about the plan for the day. We split up, some visiting the National World War II Museum and some visiting the shops along the River Walk and the French Quarter. Lunches were eaten in small groups and one group was delighted to have the company of the Chuck and Cheri G who are also visiting New Orleans.
The Rochester group all came together again to tour the New Orleans waterfront on the Natchez, one of the few remaining steam powered paddle boats on the Mississippi River.
Two chaperones split from the group after the boat docked and hastened to the convention center to squeak into line before the doors closed on the Early Registration period to register our group and collect backpacks, guides, Bibles and tee shirts. (The rest of the group wishes they could have seen the two guys walking back from the convention center carrying twenty backpacks!) The remainder of the group returned to the French Quarter to sight-see, shop and find the restaurant where we would have our big meal as a youth group. At the restaurant, everyone enjoyed the view from our balcony tables, many enjoyed tasting sauteed frog legs and fried alligator tail, some enjoyed a nice plate of chicken fingers.
After the evening meal, we had a leisurely stroll back to the hotel through crowded streets, our progress occasionally impeded by street performers entertaining the crowds.
A brief evening meeting and free time in the hotel rounded out the day. Rousing card games, arcade games and going to bed early were some of the activities enjoyed by GYM members. We highly anticipate the beginning of the Gathering on Saturday evening.