Marie and Tom's Vacation to
NEW ORLEANS Part 1
Oct 6 to Oct 20 2004
Amtrak stop in New Mexico for servicing and refueling.
Our bedroom was on the upper level on this side about the middle.
Our friend from Australia took this while at the platform in San Antonio, TX
Our group had just finished a spectacular Saturday morning brunch at the famous Court of Three Sisters in the French Quarter.It had been raining all night and was stating to clear up. The French Quarter is the historic old section of New Orleans, which has stringent restrictions to maintain the appearance and character. It is about one mile square.
This is a typical class. I believe this one was about the History of New Orleans. This instructor's name is Jerry Mc Curdy, and he was born and raised in New Orleans. He was excellent and taught many of our classes, and lead some of the tours.He taught Architecture and lead the tour. He also lead the Question and Answer evening session.
Back in the French Quarter again.
This is one of the old cemeteries where people cannot be buried below ground because of the water table. Almost all of New Orleans is several feet below sea level, and the city is surrounded by levees (dikes) which I guess to be about 15 feet high. They have an extensive set of canals to collect all of the rain water so that it can be pumped over the levees by huge pumping stations. They are all terrified that a hurricane will hit and the whole city will be destroyed. Most of the city was evacuated several weeks before we arrived, but the hurricane changed course and missed them. Some of the instructors regaled us with claims about how far they had to drive into Texas to find shelter
Marie and I went for a 2 hour ride on a Paddle Wheel Riverboat during one of our free time periods. That is the modern part of the city in the distance. They have a real challenge building big buildings since the soil is mainly river deposits that are not very strong and the bedrock is too far down.
This is the Cathedral of St Louis on the historic Jackson Square in the heart of the French Quarter. Marie is checking out General Jackson and his horse. Since the original settlers were French Catholics, the city retains a strong Catholic character.
Jerry is leading the group on an architecture tour in the beautiful old Garden District. The bus had to park outside the district, and we were encouraged to split up into a group on each side of the street. Jerry had a wonderful loud deep voice that we could hear well. This house is owned by the successful author Anne Rice, who is well known for her scary vampire books. She raised her family here, and since they are gone now, she has put the house up for sale.
As you might guess, cuisine is a major aspect of New Orleans life, and correspondingly, the Elderhostel is planned to provide a wide assortment of eating experiences. So, every meal except breakfast, was eaten in a different restaurant for a total of 8 eating experiences. This photo was taken at a cooking school located on the River Walk, which is a long two story building that runs along the Mississippi. We are told that it housed a recent World's Fair. The cooking school was owned and operated by Susan Murphy, shown here. She was a great entertainer in addition to being a great cook. We all watched as she prepared Shrimp Creole in that large pot and then gave us each a large bowl. It was excellent. She provided a number of other creations, all super. The chubby lady looking up at Susan is Mary Alice, the coordinator for our elderhostels. One side of the room was all glass with a fine view of the river traffic
The New Orleans Mardi Gras is world famous and has been continually growing since the early 1800s. It lasts about two weeks and the population nearly doubles.We visited a very well done museum about the Mardi Gras, and here Marie compares her costume to one of the many on display!!