The soul of America!
Trip Start Jan 08, 2010
16Trip End May 31, 2010
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We definitely had to play the visitors role and stroll through the French Quarter. Some of the 3 city's best restaurants are found here. The market is on 5 blocks with retail and dining, live jazz, zydeco, Cajun and New Orleans Brass band. Rock, swamp pop, contemporary jazz and blues are also spread throughout the city. There's no better place to enjoy live music than New Orleans.
President Andrew Jackson (1828 - 1836), hero of the battle of New Orleans, advocated the establishment of a mint in New Orleans to help finance development of the nation's western frontier. The New Orleans mint is one of Louisiana's most intriguing landmarks. It's a great museum now.
We thoroughly enjoyed our 3 hour narrated van tour of the city. We drove by Nicholas Cage's 3 story house which is located just a block away from Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's house. Cage is here filming his new movie " Kick Ass" but we didn't see him
We drove around the Garden District, 9th ward, cemetery and devastation from Katrina. New flood gates and armoured levees have been installed to protect New Orleans from winds and strong storm surges. At the cemetery we saw above-ground tombs. Good use of space.
New Orleans has 2 important streets. Bourbon Street is a famous and historic street that runs the length of the French Quarter. It is the cultural hub of New Orleans. It has many restaurants, bars and souvenir shops. Courtyard and balcony dining are quite common here. The street is closed off at night for walkers to use the streets freely. Royal Street is closed during the day so visitors and locals to create a pedestrian mall. Street performers are set up on these streets.
The Imax presentation of "Hurricane on the Bayou" was exceptional! The story was told on a 50 foot 3D screen portraying the wetlands of Louisiana before and after Hurricane Katrina. It showed Katrina's powerful effects on the wetlands, call to restore Louisiana's wetlands, rebuild New Orleans and honour the culture of the city
On our last day in New Orleans, we decided to attend a cooking class at the New Orleans School of Cooking. We made corn and crab bisque soup, shrimp creole, bread pudding and pralines. While we were preparing our foods, we enjoyed local beer (Abita). We not only prepared a complete dinner with one of New Orlean's expert chefs, but we also sat down and enjoyed eating the meal we created. It is a "ga - ron - teed" good time for all.
We're off today to friends (Joe and Roberta) of ours in The Villages, Florida. See you there.