Sunday, February 1, 2009

Friday, January 30th & Saturday, January 31st New Orleans!!!! The trip from Houston to New Orleans was really uneventful …..other then arriving once again during rush hour!! We stayed at The Maison Dupuy located in the French Quarter. We walked through the area and down the infamous Bourbon Street bustling with bars and nightclubs….nonstop party atmosphere….a lot of Spanish/French influence with ironwork balconies in just about every building.

My first impression was too many bands….I had imagined that it would be more jazz but the college kids have taken over the French Quarter most nights after 9pm and it does get crazy!
We ate at the Red Fish Grill (seafood restaurant voted best seafood in the last 4 yrs)!


We started out having beignets at the world famous Café Du Monde…..and then walked around going through the shops in the French Market.

Later, we took the New Orleans City Tour. Best thing to do being in the city for the 1st time….though Jeff has been here twice! We saw the destruction of the Lower Ninth Ward, so sad to see so much of it in ruins and nothing being done about it….amazing how high the water came up to in some places - 22 feet! ….and on the houses a number on the outside showing how many people had died in the home. Brad Pitt had hired several architectures to start rebuilding homes but the homes that they built are not really feasible for the elderly (a big segment of the homeless). T hey are all different in design but really too big and expensive (green technology) and are impossible for elderly with stairs leading up 2 flights of stairs into the homes! It’s great that he is doing it but the outcome is not the best. We walked through St. Louis Cemetery (most cemeteries are above ground), went through City Park, the biggest park in the US, rode along Lake Pontchartrain with a glimpse at the world’s largest Causeway Bridge as well as the 17th Street Canal ( the new wall that has been built to hold back the water) and saw how Hurricane Ike has put so much pressure on the wall that it is pushed out at the bottom), and then followed St. Charles Avenue’s oldest running streetcar, passing dozens of old historic mansions, some taking up most of a city block! We went pass several homes that movies had been made from…… one in particular was The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons.

After the tour, we went back to the hotel to freshen up and out again going through the shops in the French Quarter. We loved seeing all of the activity in the streets such as people singing on the corners and watching the mimes. We stopped at the House Of Blues to listen to a Band. The band was only playing until 9pm and then the rock bands start playing. We did an exit out of there fast.
We had dinner at Arnaud’s, whose cuisine emphasizes classic French-Creole foods. We ate in the Jazz Bistro and were treated to a 3 piece jazz combo. I must say that our meals, the music and the atmosphere were fantastic….and it’s definitely in my top 5!
Sunday, Feb 1
Sunday we went out to a café for breakfast and then headed for the National World War II museum. It was very interesting learning more about what my Dad and many members of my family went through during those tough times.
Later we said our goodbye’s to New Orleans and headed through Mississippi, Alabama and arrived tonight in Penascola, Fla where we watched the SuperBowl! Being a Cleveland Browns fan all my life I just couldn’t cheer the Steelers on (though Jeff felt he should since he has a lot of family living in Pittsburgh). Maybe next year the Browns!!
Tomorrow we are headed North up to Albany, GA……we lose an hour tomorrow but it’ll be nice to be back with EST!

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