Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Year 2010, The Non-Football Version

Well tonight is a good night for me to get caught up on the blog. I have a load of laundry in the washer, a load in the dryer, a pan of turkey meatballs in the oven, and the husband won't be home until super late tonight due to a work function. It's snowing quite steadily outside, and the BIG football game is not on for about an hour yet. So here I am finally. I have so many photos to share about our New Year's trip, I am going to do it in two posts. This one is void of any sports related photos, while the second post will be all football.

James and I were fortunate enough to spend the start of the new year in New Orleans. We took the long way around into the city, so we could drive across Lake Pontchartrain over the Causeway, one of the longest bridges in the world at almost 24 miles over open water. As you can see from the sun shining down on the water, it was a gorgeous day out. Even the haze can't spoil the view of the looming city in the distance.

We got a hotel right on Canal Street (two photos below from website- we were in the taller tower), and once we handed the keys over to the valet on Friday afternoon, we never saw the car again until we left on Sunday. We walked everywhere that weekend, including all the way over to the Superdome (see my next post for those details). The hotel was bustling with people in town for the big game, they even had a security guard working the seven elevators just for our tower, directing the flow of people on and off. Of course, we later found out that the opposing team was staying at that same hotel, so we were a very small spot of orange and blue amid a vast sea of red and black.

But we had a nice view out our window of the sights down Canal Street (top photo) and even of the French Quarter, or Vieux Carre for those of you who speak French (second photo). I don't have as many photos of the city as I should, I was not a great photographer this weekend. It was cold and blustery, and I kept my head down and my hands in my coat pocket for the most part.

There are certainly plenty of things to do and see in New Orleans, although we had a very short visit- this time (can't wait to go back). I felt as though we barely scratched the surface. Although I've been to New Orleans more than once, it has been many years since my last trip there. If someone had been living under a rock and never heard of Hurricane Katrina, you could never tell by looking around the city. At least in the downtown area, I saw no signs of the devastation, although I'm sure the locals can point everything out. I was glad to see the city full to the brim with tourists shelling out lots of money. I think most of our money was spent eating!!! You can't go to New Orleans without indulging in seafood! And there were gators (and Gators) everywhere you looked that weekend!

The city was still decorated for the holidays, and as freezing cold as it was, it definitely looked and felt like winter. No, it's not warm in the south these days, as I'm sure anyone watching the news already knows (I did mention that it's SNOWING right now here south of Atlanta). I know Mardi Gras is next month, so I'm sure these Christmas lights and all the greenery will be coming down very very soon for more festive decor.

Although football-related activities took up all of Friday, and we left on Sunday morning, we had all of Saturday to play tourist and walk around the city. Which we did, all day long, miles and miles of it. Boy, my feet were screaming mad at me that evening! But as we do no matter where we go, we made sure we mapped out all the penny machines in the city. There are so many of them, we only had time to make it to half of the locations, but we still picked up 40 pennies for the collection.

And try as we might, we never ever seem to go on vacation and completely get away from work....

But we did manage to relax a little bit. No, James doesn't carry a purse...

New Orleans is a beautiful city. It's beauty is everywhere you look, whether it's staring up along the balconies on Decatur Street...

...Or even gazing down at the sidewalk as you shuffle along on Bourbon Street. Although I imagine most people dragging along Bourbon Street may not have clear enough vision to notice these, although they are all over the city (some stores even sell replicas of them).

There is even fresh life in this old city, at one of their newer attractions- the Audubon Insectarium, where we made a new friend.

And of course saw one of our oldest and dearest friends.

And you can't talk about New Orleans without talking about the Mighty Mississippi as well. The heart and lifeblood of this country. Without it I don't think America would have become what it is today.

Of course everyone loves the food and music (and drinks) in New Orleans, but it is awash with art as well. We never made it to any of the galleries, but I plan to visit a few on our next trip. I had to settle for this Wyland Wall, "The Blues Whales". I should keep track of how many of these I've seen over my lifetime, it's quite a few.

Eventually we had to come back home, carrying a little bit of New Orleans with us. Strong chicory coffee, glassware, gifts for family, and even one piece of art. I couldn't pass it up, it looks just like General. This is "Cat du Monde", sitting at the famous cafe in New Orleans, from a series called Creole Cat by this artist.

Although I'm not sure if General truly appreciates this framed portrait of his long-lost cousin. When we came home that Sunday, we unpacked our clothes right away and General showed his disapproval at our being gone by jumping in the pile and peeing all over James' jacket and a few other items. Trust me, General, if I could take all five of you cats with us every time we traveled, I would!!! (Your daddy wouldn't, though.)

I will finish up with a second post about the weekend, but it will be all football, and it is mostly for my dad.....!

1 comment:

  1. Wow what great photos, I am glad you guys got to go.