Tag Archives: New Orleans

New Orleans, Day One

New Orleans

Busy day!  We got up early-ish (it’s an hour earlier here) and decided to check out the sky deck.  Quite a view of New Orleans, including the SuperDome

From the Skydeck

From the Skydeck

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SuperDome

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Panorama of New Orleans

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Looking down on the Ashley House from the Skydeck

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Then down to the second floor to check out the laundry room, to see if we needed detergent or anything,  We couldn’t find the laundry room at all so we went to the front desk for directions, then back up to the 2nd floor.

Down to the courtyard,  I didn’t get many pictures because it was raining but here’s what I have…

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From here we went off to Walgreens for stuff we needed, forgot or just wanted.  We took that stuff home, then decided to go the other direction on the St. Charles streetcar.

Lots of interesting old homes.

From http://www.neworleansonline.com/tools/streets/saintcharles.html

St. Charles Avenue has been described most aptly as “The Jewel of America’s Grand Avenues.” It is, indisputably, the most superb collection of great mansions of the South. The Avenue offers to all an open opportunity to enjoy the lofty magnificence of true, gracious living from 19th century New Orleans.

Visitors to our City are able to tour the Avenue by foot, car or streetcar. A ride on the infamous Saint Charles streetcar provides a unique way to enjoy the splendor of the Avenue, from the statuesque monument at Lee Circle to its end point in the old town of Carrollton upriver.

The Avenue is also in glorious state as the place of residence for historic Audubon Park, for the City’s renowned centers of higher education – Loyola and Tulane – and a score of churches and Synagogues that are our City’s major centers of worship.

But above all, it is the place of residential grandeur where the wealthiest, the more powerful of those who built this great City once lived.

audubon-parkTom was looking at a map and saw that the Audubon Park and Zoo was right across from Loyola and Tulane – and it had a free shuttle – so we decided to go there.

Unfortunately, there was construction on the streetcar tracks so we got off at Napoleon and took a bus to Loyola.  We walked about a block and found the shuttle waiting, just as promised.

The Zoo was fantastic. Even though we saw only about a quarter of the exhibits,  we took lots of pictures, so many that Tom ran out of power.

Here are mine:

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Flamingos outside the Flamingo Cafe

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Flamingos. I tried to get this one with his neck extended.
I was fascinated by how they could wrap those necks around to rest their heads on their backs.

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Whooping Cranes

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About the Whooping Cranes

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Sun Bear.

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Tom’s hand inside a sun bear clar

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Sheep

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Goats

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White tiger sleeping

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White tiger.
White tigers are distinct for the normal coloration in that they lack the pheomelanin pigment that in normal tigers produces the orange color. They still produce the other color pigment, eumelanin, and hence are not considered albino. Compared to normal colored tigers without the white gene, white tigers tend to be somewhat bigger, both at birth and as fully grown adults.

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The he Asian small-clawed otter, is the smallest otter species in the world,[3] weighing less than 5 kg. It lives in mangrove swamps and freshwater wetlands of Bangladesh, Burma, India, southern China, Taiwan, Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Its paws are a distinctive feature, its claws not extending beyond the fleshy end pads of its partially webbed fingers and toes. This gives it a high degree of manual dexterity so that it can use its paws to feed on mollusks, crabs and other small aquatic animals.

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Feeding the goats and sheep

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More feeding time

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Still more food

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Adding oranges to the food

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Special treatment

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Getting greedy

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Should I or shouldn’t I?

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Where’s Mary?

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Leopard pacing

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Another leopard keeping a lookout

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This was in the Discovery area where we could interact with the birds, snakes and a variety of animals. I chose not to.

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Endangered Species Carousel
This beautiful carousel is decorated with oil paintings of Zoo animals and features a 60-figure menagerie including traditional horses, elephants, rhinos, giraffes and other vanishing species.

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This guy looked like he was meditating – or maybe plotting how to get out of the place!

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Hard to see with the shadows, but this is naptime.

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A peacock just wandering around

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Old trees line St. Charles Avenue

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More about the zoo from http://www.neworleansonline.com/directory/location.php?locationID=1249

Audubon Zoo is a New Orleans landmark and a living museum filled with some of the rarest and most beautiful creatures of nature.

There have been animals at this site since the 1884 World Exposition in Audubon Park. Today, Audubon Zoo is 58 acres of animals in their natural habitats. The Zoo consistently ranks among this country’s best.

Visitors are enchanted to find a unique wildlife haven full of New Orleans flavor, impressive 100-year old oak trees and a cast of animal characters.

Animal favorites include elephants Jean and Panya, the Komodo dragon and the white tiger brothers from California, named King Rex and King Zulu. But also look for bears, monkeys, snakes, orangutans, elks and more exotic animals than you can imagine!

Much of the zoo dates from early in the 20th century. The sea lion pool was constructed in 1928. Its graceful columns mark one of Audubon Zoo’s most romantic spots. Monkey Hill was built by Works Progress Administration workers to show the children of New Orleans what a hill looks like! At 28 feet, it’s the legendary “highest topographical point in New Orleans.” Today it boasts wading pools, a rope bridge and a safari trail.

At the Audubon Zoo, visitors can stroll through a real swamp right in the middle of uptown New Orleans. A Cajun houseboat on a lagoon full of 14-foot alligators faces a pair of playful black bears. A raccoon defies the laws of physics by snoozing on a narrow twig at the top of a tree. At the baby animal nursery, naturalists show visitors baby nutria, explaining why that innocent-looking fuzzy creature is jeopardizing the very existence of the swamps. Further on, the world-famous white alligators float in an exhibit constructed especially for them.

Rocking chairs throughout the swamp exhibit invite visitors to slow down and take in the ambiance of the swamp. An air-conditioned restaurant provides a welcome venue for a sit-down snack and drink.

Finally, after a bit of shopping in the souvenir shop, we found the shuttle bus driver and retraced our journey back “home”  It was naptime!  I was so tired I never heard Tom go out to buy groceries – or come back in.

My back has been bothering me since we got here, possibly from the plane, the luggage, the bed here, just because…  Whatever the cause(s) I took 6 Backaid pills to help but they didn’t really.  Maybe this will lighten up tomorrow.

We had frozen stuff we nuked for dinner then watched an old B&W episode of Perry Mason, the beginning of Drumline (I have it on my iPad so it didn’t matter that I missed the end!) then bedtime!

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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