Traveling to New Orleans

New Orleans

For the first time ever, I got most of my packing done the night before.  I still work up about 4:00 am, with my mind racing, thinking about what needed to be done.

We got to the airport in record time.  Our flight was at 11:45 and we were there by 9:45 am.  Another first.

We found a table with a very interesting woman from Indianapolis on her way to Boston and chatted a bit, had some coffee and breakfast-y stuff.  Read a little, just relaxed.

Then I heard the final boarding call for our flight.  I hadn’t heard any of the others.  Raced over the gate and were the last ones on.  A poor guy waiting in stand-by almost made it on.

It was a pretty uneventful flight.  There weren’t even any events like coffee or peanuts 😦

Even though we couldn’t carryon our carryons due to being last on the plane with the overhead bins being full, you’d think that they’d come off first on the carrousel but no.  I don’t know how last on became close to last off.

We got the shuttle bus Route #2 and headed for our home for the next few days.

The Wyndham Avenue Plaza Resort was the first stop! Their website says:

New Orleans, Louisiana is one of the prime vacation destinations in the world with a host of fun attractions, unforgettable special events like Mardi Gras, and epic nightlife complete with live jazz and blues seven days a week. Located in the historic Garden District, Avenue Plaza Resort is only minutes away from some of the most exciting urban districts, including the famous French Quarter, hip Magazine Street, scenic Jackson Square and St. Charles Avenue lined with grand architecture.

Just outside the door to these charming vacation suites you can easily catch the convenient New Orleans trolley line that travels straight to Canal Street and the French Quarter in just minutes and out to the fashionable Uptown district near Tulane University and Loyola University. You can also stroll through the Garden District to experience a real taste of the South, with the beautiful homes and historic landmarks that characterize this one-of-a-kind neighborhood.

We were greeted right off the shuttle by a most helpful gentleman who reminded us of some of the above and got us in to the registration desk.

After checkin, we got to our studio apartment, which is bigger than our first apartment was.  There’s a view of the pool out back, a courtyard and the “Ashley House”, which was built above ground. Despite being built in the mid 1800s Ashley House and its entire historic memorabilia survived the massive flood waters that devastated New Orleans.

It once housed prisoners of the Civil War, and is reputedly haunted by an ethereal woman in the parlor, a phantom pianist, and footsteps sounding in unoccupied parts of the house. Numerous “cold spots”, unusual electrical disturbances, and doors that are operated by unseen forces have been reported.

Though the ghosts in residence claim it was they who held the flood waters at bay, salvation was more likely due to the original designers building the property above ground because the common superstition of the day was that feared diseases such as malaria and yellow fever originate from the ground!

We’ll actually have to go check that out!

trollyAfter we got settled, we headed out four our first streetcar trip to Canal Street.  We got off at the end of the line, walked around a bit, then got something to eat at a Marriott.  Back on the streetcar for our new home.

I did a bit of work while Tom went out junk-food shopping.

Major nap, then shower, then bedtime.

We’re staying in the Garden District.  From http://www.neworleansonline.com/tools/neighborhoodguide/uptown.html

The Garden District is a dynamic community grounded in a strong sense of tradition. Some of its homes are still known by the names of the families that built them over a century ago, and official flags designating Mardi Gras Royalty are a common sight here during Carnival season.

Laid out in 1806 by Barthelemy Lafon as an open, semi-urban system of interrelated parks with basins, fountains and canals, the Garden District was “one of the earliest expressions of the Greek Revival to appear in New Orleans,” according to noted architect, the late Samuel Wilson, Jr. The streets still bear the names of the nine muses of Greek Mythology, and many of the mid-19th century Greek Revival and Italianate homes built in this classical setting remain.

Today stroll under the oaks of Coliseum Square or any of the smaller parks in the Garden District and you are likely to find locals playing with their dogs or reading on the grass. Walk down Magazine Street, the neighborhood’s commercial center, and feel the energy as antique shops give way to contemporary design studios, offbeat clothing stores, restaurants, and much more. Visitors can even find an old-world barber shop, operated by Irish barber Aidan Gill, who offers Guinness and whiskey with his hot towel shaves.

Dubbed the “Garden District” for its capacious showy gardens, this New Orleans Neighborhood is noted for its astounding scenery-just one of its numerous attractions. Visitors are amazed by the elegant homes and the stylish setting that lends itself to a very relaxing and enjoyable experience for all.

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