New Orleans

Trip Start Jan 24, 2009
Trip End Mar 29, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Louisiana
Sunday, March 1, 2009

New Orleans is called The Crescent city because of the dramatic bend in the Mississippi river where the city is located.  I learned this nifty bit of info from the guide on the Steamship Natchez.  This is a real steam powered paddle wheel boat that runs on the river.  After Mardis Gras, I wanted to check out the rest of the city, so I took a cruise to see the place from a different perspective.  New Orleans is a really active sea port.  Aboard the Natchez, we were dodging ship traffic all along our two hour cruise.  The boat has a unique steam powered Calliope (whistle organ) that they use to entertain the guests but also advertise the boat when docked.  A lunch was included in the deal and it was actually some of the best food I had on the whole trip.  Catfish, red beans with rice, jambalaya, and bread pudding, YUM!

After the river run, I walked through Jackson Square (named after Andrew Jackson) and into the French Quarter.  The area is quite large and you could spend days wandering the streets alone.  The place is filled with shops and restaurants for seeming miles.  Tucked into the side streets are beautiful New Orleans style houses with decorative wrought iron gates and grill work.  People live here right along with all the businesses so you get to see the locals in action as well.

I was getting tired after all the walking, so I dropped in at the Cafe Du Monde for Cocoa and Beignets.  This is the "original" coffee shop for the French Quarter and is famous for their French style square doughnuts.  Buried in powdered sugar, they taste great but I could feel the pounds being added on as I munched down!  This place is old school with a very limited menu.  I got a little miffed because they didn't serve tea, how uncivilized!  Well, when in Rome, do what the locals do...

On another day, I caught the St. Charles line Street Car and toured the Garden District.  These are old fashioned electric trolleys that rune all over the city.  The Garden district is an area filled with beautiful old mansions from the early 1800's all the way up to the 1930's.  I couldn't get very many pics because they are almost all surrounded by these huge heritage trees that are as old as the houses.  If you keep going down the line, you get to the University district.  This is where Loyola and Tulane Colleges started.  They have fantastic stone and brick architecture from the turn of the century, you'd think you were in England.  Go a bit further down the line and you get to Audobon Park.  The Park is named after the famous naturalist who was a resident of the city and had a house in the district.  In addition to the park, the city zoo is located there.  I passed on the zoo tour as the weather was threatening to rain, besides, if I wanted to hear animals, I'd just call one of you guys!  (I know, that joke reeked)

I decided I needed a little culture, so the next day I went to the other side of town to City Park and the New Orleans Museum of Art.  This is a very nice all around collection of Art from contemporary to classical.  Surprisingly, they have a great native American and Asian art collection as well.  Being a weekend, I would have thought the place would be packed, but it was almost deserted.  Too bad.

Well, time to pack it in.  It was nice to take a break from the road and hang out for a while.  This traveling business really works you out.  I'm headed back West now, I'll be cruising through Texas for the next few days.  I'm working my way over to Big Bend National Park.  This place is remote, so no chance of updates till I come out of the mountains.  See you all in a few days.

"You can all go to hell, and I shall go to Texas" - David Crockett (Died at the Alamo)

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mrmaass on

Man I am so jealous. Before starting at seagate I got a chance to do what you are doing now and it was the best experience I ever had. Drove from LA to Miami with just me and the Dog in my POS child molester van.
Return trip was through Colorado, Utah, then I ended up in San Jose...for now.
When you get back to town let's go for a drive!

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