The Ride to New Orleans

Trip Start May 29, 2007
Trip End Jul 02, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Louisiana
Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Well, I haven't had as much internet access as I thought I would up to this point, so even though I am currently at the Habitat for Humanity worksite I am going to recap the trip from DC to New Orleans. I'm going to make it quick, and will had pics with captions to fill you in on the rest of what I've been up to.

After getting a very late start leaving DC (we left at 11:30 am instead of 9, whoops) we headed down to Monticello to see Thomas Jefferson's estate. It was actually a really interesting tour, things like that can sometimes be too drawn out but this tour was pretty quick, and did a good job of shedding light on Jefferson as a person through the way that he built and assembled his mansion. The only thing thing that struck me has a little odd was the way that the tour guides described his owning of slaves in purely economical terms, I thought they would have put more of a focus on the immoral aspect of the practice, but I think that has more to do with me being from the North than anything.

After that we headed to the blue Ridge Parkway which is a really scenic route that cuts through the Appalachian Mountains. The views were incredible, I was also surprised by how many deer we saw, no joke, the entire time we were on the BRP we saw more deers than cars, I'm just glad that we didn't end up running into any (I mean deers, but that goes for cars too ;) We ended up finding a campsite around ten and had to set up in the rain but besides that, it was really convenient, and the new ear plugs I bought did a great job of drowning out my Dad's snoring, so that was good too.

The next day was just a marathon of driving, we ended up driving like 650 miles, 100 of which were on the BRP where the max speed iss 45 mph. That night we slept at another campground, this time just outside of Birmingham Alabama, somehow after driving for 14 hours we arrived at the camp site with five minutes to spare, talk about cutting it close.

The next morning, we got up early and drove the remaining 350 miles to NO, which seemed like an absolute cakewalk after the previous days voyage. Eventually we got to Rose Lebonte's (sp?) apartment, who is a good friend of my Dad's. She was nice enough to take us out to an awesome local New Orleanian restaurant, and then put us up at her place. Sunday morning I dropped my Dad off at the airport and headed to St Bernard Parrish to volunteer for a week, which is where I am now, it has been a really good expereience so far,  but I'll write more about that next time...
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melissak on

enjoy your trip!
We just did a very similar trip in April, but we took a more northern route to wind up in San Jose. I was looking at your tentative out west ideas...the grand canyon is definitely worth seeing once, but I have to recommend Zion National Park in Utah. We went a couple years ago - it's not that far (in the grand scheme of things) from Grand Canyon - we were able to do them both in one (v. long) day, but I wouldn't recommend that. But Zion is probably one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen in this country. We definitely are going back there sometime when we have a few days to hang out. I actually think all of Utah is gorgeous...if you can get to Salt Lake, it's a pretty decent city and the Salt Lake Desert is amazing. I don't know if you've done Vegas before but if not don't miss it at least for a day or two. I'd skip the Hoover Dam, btw. Reno can be entertaining too if you're up that way, but not as a replacement for Vegas. But it's super cheap. We rented like the nicest room in a pretty decent hotel and it was only like $120 a night. There was a massive bathtub in the middle of the room. Kind of ironic, since it is the desert! Anyway, have fun. And watch out if you go through Nebraska. It's the only state where we got a speeding ticket.
-Melissa Kelley

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