Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Vacation Day 2

This is the view from our hotel room at 6:30 in the morning - on the 48th floor! Nice view huh! The hotel we stayed at included a free breakfast so we started our day there and then we were off and running for our daily activities. 1st up was the Super City Tour. It was a 2-hour tour and a great way to experience the city. A part of the tour we were taken through a neighborhood where you could see the effects left on the community by Katrina. We saw many homes that were in the process of being rebuilt and also vacant lots where houses have not been rebuilt. We saw many lovely homes in the garden district.
The tour bus made a stop at a cemetery. The cemeteries there in New Orleans are all above ground and they build small crypts to hold the bodies. For the most part they only hold two bodies. Interestingly enough, when you need to bury someone else in the crypt, the old body is taken out, the remains put in a bag and placed below the space for the casket and the new casket is put in. The names of those inside go on the front of the crypt. When you run out of space on the front of the crypt, the older names from the front are moved to the side of the crypt and the new names start once again on the front.

New Orleans is truly a lovely city to visit (well except for the heat and humidity). Patrick and I stopped into the Hard Rock for a drink and to enjoy the air conditioning before our next adventure began.
We then boarded another tour bus for the drive (1.25 hours) out to Oak Alley Plantation. I snapped this shot from the bus. I thought it was an interesting blend of the old and the new.
Oak Alley is an old plantation where the walk from the Mighty Mississippi is showcased by 28 (14 on each side) giant oak trees. The grounds are magnificent. We heard about the history and pageantry of the times during our tour of the plantation house. I am glad we made the drive out. It made me happy to hear that Patrick also enjoyed the plantation. I will post more pictures in a separate entry because Oak Alley gets a post all to itself!
We arrived back at the hotel in time to join the group for snacks in the Club Level Lounge on the 42nd floor. There we all relaxed and chatted before our next big adventure - the walk down Bourbon Street. Oh, my is all I can say. There is craziness at every turn. There are more gentlemen’s clubs and the like than you can shake a stick at! Second only to the bars! We saw many a (manly ladies) stumbling down the street. One such woman had her 3 friends trying to carry her away – she was that drunk. And they way she was being carried, we could tell that she was not wearing any panties!! (Oh my) We stopped to watch this performance for a few minutes. At some point her friends left her as she was making a spectacle of herself. They didn’t really go far. Scotty was watching from up the street and the friends stopped about where they were. After a few moments, they handed their purses to Scotty and asked him to hold them as they attempted to retrieve their friend once again. (Now you tell me, especially when in a strange city, would you hand your purse to a person you don’t know). They were finally able to get their friend off the street – and into another bar!! WTH?
As a group, we walked down the street, looking for a place to eat. We tried to get into Pat O’Brians, but since there were 12 of us, it would have taken an hour at least to get a table. We settled on a restaurant that was fairly empty and could sit us immediately. Umm, usually a sign and not a good one. Let’s just say that it wasn’t the best experience. Why is it that when you have a large group, the service severely declines. Go figure. After dinner the majority of the group was going to walk back to the hotel. WE decided to venture around the French Quarter some more. The night before I had seen a shop with some vintage glass bottles with cute toppers on them. I have a habit of seeing something I like, not buying it, and then wishing later that I had. So I searched for the store, found it and bought the bottle.
We passed a few bars playing live music and stayed listening at one for a set. Then the show started. The floor show included a song(?)/dance(?) featuring an older lady who had been a cabaret star many, many years ago. We stayed for two songs and decided we had enjoyed the show long enough. We ended our evening back at the hotel in the main lounge enjoying the company of the group.

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