Thursday, May 24, 2012

Walkin to New Orleans

My wife and I took our annual vacation (this year) to New Orleans, Louisiana. Why New Orleans?  Because my son gave us tickets to attend the Nawlins Heritage Jazz Festival. Originally, he and I were supposed to go, but when he couldn’t go because he has a new job. So, in exchange for the tickets. I promised him that I would go to see the FOO FIGHTERS concert. [Although my taste lies somewhere between the Neville Brothers and Trombone Shorty]

We drove to New Orleans and it was a 589 mile ride one-way. I haven’t driven in a long time; I  learned that 589 miles cannot be driven straight through without stops breaks and just an occasional side-trip. The other thing I didn’t understand is that on my way to New Orleans, I would be going through large cities that had traffic issues--depending on the time of day. For instance, Houston, Texas was on the way and I happened to hit Houston right at lunch hour. Needless to say, it was three hours traveling from one end of Houston to the other end in bumper-to-bumper five lane traffic. Then we get to Beaumont Texas and there was a repeat of traffic problems again. 

Finally, we saw the Louisiana State line and we took a sigh of relief. But as we traveled along, we hit a city called Lake Charles, Louisiana. I found biggest, highest, tallest bridge that I’ve ever seen. Immediately, I was white-knuckled. Interstate Highway 10 crosses into Louisiana. It was a virtual bridge because Louisiana is mainly water and swamps, and bayous…This highway was nothing more than a long—extended, 200 hundred mile plus bridge.

New Orleans…what a beautiful city. It’s everything the we had always heard of and then some. The rich heritage of the music, the historic French Quarter buildings, the amazing resilience and come back of the residents after to the year 2005 Hurricane Katrina disaster, and the friendliness of the of the local businesses. New Orleans is quite unremarkable city.

Canal Street is the city hotspot, yet we toke a few detours along the way. One of our detours was the infamous Bourbon Street, with its exciting music and an openness and nightlife. And of course, gambling is legal in the State of Louisiana. We took the Treasure Chest gambling boat as well as the Harrah’s Casino. It was pure fun entertainment.

So if you’re considering a vacation to an exotic place, I highly recommend New Orleans, Louisiana. With one exception; the driving. Sure, the long distance drive was rich with beautiful scenery, but I personally am planning to take a flight next time. I recommend you do the same. Merci Beaucoup, Nawlins…

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