Day 13 - Friday

Trip Start Apr 09, 2011
Trip End Apr 24, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Louisiana
Friday, April 22, 2011

Went down to the Post Office in the federal building on Lafayette Square to send a couple of packages home to get our weight in the suitcases into the manageable range. When we came, we had to re-pack at the ticket counter, and were right at the 50 pound mark on both of our large suitcases. We were able to transfer stuff to the Rick Steves carry-on, which was eventually checked for free due to fullness of the plane (They didn't think there would be enough room for everyone to put their carry-ons into the overhead bins, so they offered free checking through to the final destination.) We had checked out where the P.O. was located earlier in the week and knew that we would have to pass through security. JG took the backpack and RC took just the two boxes, his wallet and what he usually carries in his pockets, and went to meet the X-ray machine. The machine showed a small pair of scissors in the larger box that we were mailing home, and the fellow at the machine would not let them pass (even though they were going to be mailed home). RC finally dug them out and called JG into the building to take them away (she was wandering the square taking pictures).

At the counter, the clerk was not happy with the way RC had closed up the smaller box -- it was not perfectly flat -- and talked about charging full price for the box (about $70 vs. $10.95). She finally relented and sent it for the lower price, grousing about the box not being flat all of the time. It will be interesting to see if there are any notations or comments added to the box when RC gets it at the office in Portland on Monday.

We ate a bar as we walked over to our main destination for the day -- the National WWII Museum. We purchased combo tickets that included the Tom Hanks produced 4D movie called "Beyond all Boundaries" and checked the backpack. There were guided tours being offered at 10:15, so we signed up and went on the D-Day Europe tour. It took about an hour and a half to make it through the tour part. We had noon movie tickets and went to stand in line for the theater after taking necessary stops.

The movie was very well done and included many special effects that account for the 4D designation. The seats shake when tanks are rolling, special effects snow falls on the audience, a 25-foot guard tower rise on the stage, an anti-aircraft gun rises, rotates and appears to fire above the audience, etc.

After the movie we went down to The American Sector restaurant and had a late lunch. JG checked out the small museum shop in the theater lobby, and we returned to the main pavilion to go through the European exhibits again, this time taking the time to read the labels and appreciate what was presented. The emphasis is on D-Day mostly because the museum first opened as the D-day Museum. A grant award caused the re-naming. We were just finishing up when the 5pm closing time arrived. We haven't seen any of the Pacific campaign displays yet, so we were able to get $5 second-day tickets in the movie theater building before that ofice closed. We also popped into the main shop but realized that we will be back there on Saturday so we left and headed into the Quarter.

We walked down to Harrah's and went into the casino to see what was going on in there. Lots of people doing lots of different types of gambling. When we exited, RC suggested that we walk another street in the Quarter that we hadn't done yet, so JG suggested Burgundy. We walked down to Burgundy and went all the way to Esplanade. There were a few bars on the street, but it appears to mostly be residential. At Esplanade JG got her Powerball lottery ticket. We walked down riverside to Dauphine and headed back towards Canal Street. About half way into the Quarter we heard music coming from the direction of the river and walked down to Bourbon where the Friday night crowd was just beginning to warm up. The streets were closed and there were mobs of people everywhere. Beads were being thrown from balconies, bands were playing music, drinks were being heavily promoted, and everyone was ready to let the good times roll. It took us a while, but we eventually made it down to Canal St.

JG was a bit hungry, so RC suggested that we head to Tujaques to see what they had on the menu seafood-wise. Walking by the Canal Cafe, which had tables set up on the sidewalk, RC suggested checking out the menu. It offered enough variety, so we had a seat and got ourselves some dinner. RC had a beer, a Lady Magnolia Pecan Ale. It was not great, but it was drinkable. We had a great time watching the passing crowd. Dessert was Bananas Foster since this is a Brennan;s restaurant. We got to watch the making of the dish, but it was too dark in the restaurant (done inside only -- no open flame out on the sidewalk) for video, but JG did get some pictures.

We walked back up to Carondelet and caught the streetcar back to the resort. We were packed in like the last day of French Quarter Fest, but the ride was fine. Thus ended another fine day of this vacation.
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