Saturday, December 18, 2010

New Orleans 2010

Amtrak Station New Orleans, LA
Boarded Amtrak’s Crescent along with my traveling companions for a visit to The Big Easy, New Orleans, Louisiana. I hadn’t been on a passenger train since I was a child. I was surprised at the roomy leg space and the ability to recline without my head ending up in some stranger’s lap.

I have to admit some things about it have changed. But, that’s to be expected after so many years. I really enjoyed it. Box lunches from Honeybaked Ham were distributed by our travel agent before boarding and they were delicious.

The following day we had a guided windshield tour of the “Paris of the Americas”. Since we didn’t leave the coach (bus) these pictures may have a bit of a reflection. Parade route taken during Mardi Gras. Numerous strands of beads still hang in the trees.

Our guide was very knowledgeable and a native New Orleanian giving us the history and the trivia of the sites seen. I won’t list all of the places we saw but here are some: This FEMA trailer was home for so many after the hurricane.
Though Fats Domino no longer lives here, this is his home and the production studio he had next to it. Our guide states that he lives elsewhere.

We saw the homes that Brad Pitt has been building through his Make It Right program After visiting the 9th Ward talking with its residents following Katrina, Pitt vowed to rebuild 150, green, storm resistant ,houses.

This home is designed to float if flood waters get too high. A new kind of ark.
The homes aren't free. Residents must pay for them but at a cost they can afford. Though stylishly built, they don't appear to be built for the handicapped. How is a person in a wheelchair supposed to mount those steps?

The cemeteries of New Orleans are a tour within themselves. There is magnanimous history and tradition behind New Orleans funerals.
One thing I do remember the guide saying is that a tomb can be rented. Families also reuse tombs. How’s that for recycling?

World War II MuseumVisiting a huge museum for real enthusiasts takes more than just an hour. Because of schedule and time restraints I couldn’t really drink it all in the way I like to when visiting a museum.
The Solomon Victory Theatre across from the museum presents an IMAX, 4D, surround sound interactive presentation of Beyond All Boundaries.The seats vibrate during tank and bomb simulations. Snow falls from the ceiling while a lonely soldier huddles next to a crackling fire in a snow drenched field. And you can hear the crackles and smell the smoke. There’s more but I won’t spoil it for you. This is the best interactive presentation I have ever seen.
From our lunch cruise on the Steamboat Natchez the captain pointed out several spots of interest. Among them:
Domino Sugar is manufactured in New Orleans.

are non mechanical storage containers on water. They can't be moved without the assistance of a ship's tow.
Ms. Harriett at the New Orleans School of Cooking dazzled us with cooking and conversation. She prepared a corn and crab bisque, Jambalaya, Bananas Foster(she even made it flame), and Pralines. Her presentation was similar to that of a cooking show on the Food Channel. The food was delicious.

Street Performers Human Statue. Uncle Louie
Street Musician

This Human Statue is similar to Robo-Tron.


1 comment:

  1. Great trip and thanks for sharing. I would love to go to new Orleans, but afraid I would become emotional.