A Big Easy Posting

August 07, 2017

Until this year, I had never been to New Orleans. Neither had Jane. So, since we were crossing the southern states in April on our way from Florida to Arizona, we were way overdue to visit the Big Easy.

We had heard that the roads in Louisiana were awful, and they lived up to their reputation. It's not uncommon for RVers to go around the state, rather than deal with the bad roads, but then you don't get to visit New Orleans, so we toughed it out. We stayed in a State Park that's just about 10 miles from the French Quarter, but much quieter. We could then easily drive to the city, or drive to the river and take a ferry boat across the Mississippi. We did both.

One thing that we didn't know about when we made plans for New Orleans is that we were going to be there during French Quarter Festival. Pretty much every street looked like this one:

At least we weren't trying to drive in it, or drive our motorhome in it, although we did see someone pulling a 40-foot 5th-wheel trailer through the French Quarter Festival! We spent a half day in the French Quarter, and given the crowds, that was enough. I think that if we want to really experience it, it will be better to go back when the place isn't wall to wall people. The other half of the day we rode the streetcars and did a walking tour of the Garden District.

There are some seriously impressive mansions, which are fun to see but must be an expensive nightmare to maintain! Most are wood structures, and the humidity must be tough on them.

New Orleans is also home to the National World War II Museum. This relatively new museum (opened June 2000) is really well done, and you can easily spend a full day here, as we did. The museum is spread over several buildings and includes many innovative displays. There's even a building full of vintage war planes used in WWII. When you first enter, you get an electronic card that represents the dog tags for a real soldier in the war. At various stages, you can scan your card and see how your guy is doing, what roles he played in various areas of the war, and whether or not he survives it. You can later review these videos online at dogtagexperience.org. My guy was "Barney Old Coyote," and he survived the war.

We spent our last day in the big Easy at a lesser known attraction: The Longue Vue House and Gardens, which we found through the American Horticultural Society membership that we have. This little gem gave us an insight into how the moneyed class enjoyed life in New Orleans back in the day.

It was a nice respite from the hustle and crowds of downtown, and another nice garden and house to visit. We received this AHS membership from Jane's friends at work, and we've made good use of the free admission to member gardens all along our travels.

So we got to enjoy four distinctly different aspects of New Orleans in our short three-day visit. We might want to return someday. I had always thought about taking the train from Chicago to New Orleans, spending time in the city, and then taking a cruise from there. But we never did. Maybe another time.

(For more pictures from our New Orleans visit, check out our New Orleans Photo Gallery.)

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  1. I appreciate your photo gallery posts so yes, please keep them coming. I so enjoy traveling through your eyes!


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