June 28, 2007

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Below are the diary entries for June 28, 2007. We drove 0 miles (0 km) today; in total, we have driven 1831 miles (2929 km). Also, check out today’s photos.

Mark Day Six
Mark (June 28, 2007)

Last modified: July 2, 2007 at 18:26:01

I get out of bed at 8:30. Mom says that we have to go down to the French Market to eat breakfast, while I here am starving. How cruel. We walk for 20-30 minutes and get there. When we arrive, I see why Mom told us to walk here. We had a kind of French Dough nuts, delicious. They really were good. Way to much powdery crap on top though.

After breakfast, I feel regenerated so we again start walking down the street. We the "Jazz National Park" So we head in and learn that there will be a presentation at 3:00 today. We all agree to make the time to come and see. Afterwards, we head out to the ferry and see if we can get across to the other side of the Mississippi to see the Mardi Gras Thingy. While waiting for the ferry, Dad and I make some funny faces to pass the time:

Turns out, after a 10 minute walk in the 95 degree day with 85% humidity, that it was far to expensive to take the tour of all the floats they had. $17 each is to expensive I guess... Whatever... We walk back to the ferry and return to the French Quarter.

We walk through a mall; the "RIVER WALK". I eat a slice of pizza along with Frank, and we head out again. We walk for about 15-20 minutes and end up at the WWII Museum. I meet a VERY cool person there. He is a WWII vet. He was one of the people that steered the landing boats on D-Day. The only reason he's alive is because of Andrew Higgen. His museum we will see in Nebraska.

After the WWII Museum, we went to the Jazz thingy. I didn't think to much of it, but what ever, I'll live. It wasn't really jazz, it was Creole or something like that. I clapped when I was supposed to to, but what ever. I'll live if I don't like one thing this trip. If I didn't, I'd be dead in Atlanta... Ah well...

After that, we all went back to the hotel. Only with a short stop to get the tee shirt that I saw yesterday. If ya' wanna know what it says, go look in yesterday's post. ^.^ We got back to the hotel and Frank and I played in the pool. Hehe... We went back to the room and watched "The Sixth Sense". What a good movie. Gosh Mom snores... Well, that is after she came back from her and Dad's night off. They went into the city to do god knows what. Well...

That's about it for today, thanks for reading!

Eric New Orleans
Eric (June 28, 2007)

Last modified: June 29, 2007 at 11:51:47

Waking up in New Orleans... we're at the 19th floor (well, really the 18th because the hotel is missing the 13th floor) and have a view (as long as we look past the Marriott hotel, which is a block away and much higher than our Holiday Inn). Nicoline and I briefly wake up at six to see the sun rise but we go back to bed; the kids sleep until we get up at about 8:30.

Seeing that we are staying in the New Orleans, it would be a shame to have cereal for breakfast. Instead, we get dressed and go down to the French Market. OK, it is at the other end of the old quarter (a twenty minute walk), but here we sit down for coffee and beignets (a kind of French dough nuts) which are delicious.

After breakfast, we check out the National Park Service office and learn about a 3:00 performance there. They also point us to the free ferry across the Mississippi; Donna (a co-worker of mine) had mentioned that as well so it was on my list of things to look out for. The park ranger was able to point it out on the map for us.

We went down to the ferry over the boardwalk and came across a couple of statues and also the New Orleans Holocaust Memorial.

In the ferry terminal, there is a depiction of the history of Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

From the ferry we have a great view of downtown New Orleans and the Mississippi.

At the other side of the Mississippi, we walk over to the Mardi Gras World museum, but don't visit the museum itself. We just take a break in its air conditioned lobby, then take the ferry back.

We have lunch at the food court of the "Riverwalk" (basically a mall) before continuing to walk to the World War II museum.

We really didn't allow enough time to visit the museum. I spend some time watching a video about the battle of Midway, which was narrated by veterans who actually were there. Lately I have found the personal experiences of soldiers more interesting than the strategic details. After all, we already know how the outcome...

From the WWII museum, we walk all the way across town back to the National Park Service office for the Jazz presentation. Two park rangers sing, play music, and give information about the Creole roots of Jazz.

All day, I've been taking pictures of different New Orleans houses, which show a clear French influence with their iron balconies. The one thing I can't help wondering is, how did (and possibly still do) people manage to live in those houses without central air? Specially the top floor must be getting awfully hot in summer.

Some miscellaneous photos. Canal Street is a major thoroughfare from the Mississippi up to Lake Pontchatrain. It forms one of the edges of the French quarter.

This being a favorite tourist attraction, I wasn't surprised to see T-shirts being sold everywhere. Mark bought a souvenir T-shirt himself; I'll try and get a picture of him wearing it soon. But this sign at a fire station surprised me.

The whole region has not only a French but also a Spanish history. This Spanish heritage can still be seen in some of the street names.

We get back to our hotel around 4:30. On the way up, we pick up some pizza and soda for Frank and Mark; tonight is going to be a night off for Nicoline and me. Would you believe I hadn't considered this until Robyn (another co-worker of mine) mentioned it? But the kids are of course old enough to stay by themselves for an evening, while we go out together. Nothing fancy: we ate at the House of Blues and then sat on a park bench for a while, watching people go by. When we got back to the hotel around nine, Frank and Mark were watching "6th Sense" on the hotel TV. They and Nicoline were asleep by 10; I managed to work through today's photos and do a website synchronization before turning in myself around 11.

Nicoline New Orleans
Nicoline (June 28, 2007)

Last modified: June 29, 2007 at 18:50:11

Well, we walked alright. We walked to the French Market just off Jackson Square for breakfast and had coffee and beignets.

Then we walked a little further along Magazine Street, to the National Park New Orleans Jazz Park. The program we were most interested in didn't start until 3 p.m. so on the advice of the park ranger, we walked back along the waterfront to a ferry across the Mississippi.

A local advised us to walk along the embankment on the Algiers side of the city to where the Mardi Gras floats are built.

So we did that, and then got back on the ferry and walked through the River Front mall to the Convention Center to go to the National World War II museum. All this, mind you, in 95 degree heat and I don't even want to know what kind of humidity. According to yet another local, it's not even exceptionally hot for New Orleans yet. That will come in August and September, he said. I thought heat and humidity were bad on the East Coast, but this beats everything! How people ever lived here before airconditioning and wearing the sort of clothes they did is beyond me.

Anyway, we saw the World War II museum, which was interesting, but a little disjointed in my humble opinion. They should have more general information about the war instead of concentrating so much on individual campaigns. If you don't have a pretty thorough knowledge of the war in general, I think you're lost by the time you visit the Midway exhibit, however interesting the veterans' individual stories are. But that's just me. The reason, by the way, that the World War II museum is located in New Orleans is that that's where the landing craft that were used in all major World War II campaigns, including D-Day, were built.

From the museum we walked back on Magazine to the National Park service station, where we attended the ranger program. Two park rangers provided almost an hour of information, including music and singing, on the influence of Creole music on New Orleans jazz and how it traveled down the Mississippi out into the Caribbean. We learned that the expression "Hey, la bas!" is the "Whassup?!" of the French-speaking Caribbean. The French they speak, however, is quite different from the little French I remember from high school and also delivered in such a rapid-fire way that I can't do much more than pick up a word here or there.

Afterwards, we walked back yet again to let Mark buy a souvenir t-shirt and to get back to the hotel. I think we must have walked at least 4 or 5 miles today! All the same, we get the kids some pizza and soda and go out again for "diner a deux" and walk down a few blocks from our hotel to the House of Blues on Decatur Street and afterwards to Jackson Square to watch the people go by, which is an attraction in itself in New Orleans.

Mark Grivel wrote on June 29, 2007 at 15:14:08:

I looked on the weather channel, it said 85% humidity.. So humid... Not cool... -_-