Back in early 1985 Hyatt sent me to New Orleans for two weeks for a management seminar.  Rooms at the Hyatt Regency, all meals included, bar tab picked up… And non-stop seminars.  Early morning to late night.  But being the fun and adventurous young man that I was – and seminaring with equally fun and adventurous young men and women – several of us would head out to the French Quarter every night to experience the Big Easy.

The first thing I did the first day I was there was get a Hurricane at Pat O’Brien’s.

It was – by far – the most vile, disgusting drink I have ever had in my life.  OMG!  It was horrible.  Sickeningly sweet and mass-produced, it was downright bad.  I didn’t enjoy it, either.  I did drink the whole thing, of course – there was a lot of rum in it, after all – but it’s the one and only I have ever had. (I just shivered and broke out in goosebumps at the memory!)

I’ve made it to New Orleans a couple more times since then – the last time was with Victor in either 1999 or 2000.  His (then) company wanted to transfer him down there and they flew us down first class, put us up at the Fairmont, wined and dined us, and otherwise tried to make it the most appealing place on the earth.

This Liberal Yankee Gay Boy From San Francisco saw one too many Ol’ Miss sweatshirts and rebel flags to feel comfortable moving there.  Victor’s salary would have been nice, but we still wouldn’t have been able to afford a home in The Garden District.  We actually did look at real estate for grins and giggles.  Areas that were prone to flooding and areas that weren’t…  weird rules and such about who would be responsible for flood damage…

We said “Thanks, but no thanks.”

And…  it really is a good thing we didn’t move there.  We would have been there for Katrina.  And I am reasonably confident we would have been there for Katrina.  I have always had a sneaking suspicion we would not have evacuated.  Being the slightly pig-headed idiot I can be at times, it just seems that staying and riding out a hurricane would have been something that sounded like a fun thing to do.  Yeah…  you would have seen us on TV – live from the Super Dome.

So we go from Katrina to Irene.

In case you haven’t heard…  there’s a hurricane moving its way up the east coast.  Mandatory evacuations from Cape May to Atlantic City.  Heading towards New York City.  We’re about 75 miles from the coast.  Not enough to worry about a direct hit, but close enough that the power can go out.  That would not be fun.

Or… other than no air conditioning, maybe it would.  I have several books on the Kindle still to read, an audio book on the iPod.  Plenty of food and a gas stove.  And, as long as there’s cellular, we have the iPhones and iPad to amuse us, as well.

The one thing I know we won’t be doing is making a



  • 2 oz light rum
  • 2 oz dark rum
  • 2 oz passion fruit juice
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • juice of a half a lime
  • 1 Tbsp simple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp grenadine
  • orange slice and cherry for garnish


  1. Squeeze juice from half a lime into shaker over ice.
  2. Pour the remaining ingredients into the cocktail shaker.
  3. Shake well.
  4. Strain into a hurricane glass.
  5. Garnish with a cherry and an orange slice.

I have my standards.  As low as they are, I have my standards…