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14 November 2009

WANDERLUST: Old Friends in New Orleans

Did you know that Walt Disney modeled his Cinderella's castle
after the Catholic cathedral in New Orleans?
One you know, you can never see this iconic architectural feature of Jackson Square the same.
Take a romantic carriage ride through the French Quarter
and get a history lesson about New Orleans--
one of the most intriguing places in this nation.
In New Orleans, crime is down; hospitality is up.
And your vacation dollars help this uncommon city continue their recovery.

Enjoyed an enchanting week in New Orleans, including Halloween on raucous and jam-packed Bourbon Street, where--against every odd--we bumped into old friends who led us to the party on Frenchman, where we got swept up in a fascinating festivity reminiscent of Mardi Gras, conducted--literally--by a big blue mouse. We joined the parade, delighting in masks and costumes and general pandemonium. Surreal revelry, to say the least.
The Big Easy is easily my favorite U.S. city. The music (Blues, Jazz, Zydeco), the food, the architecture, the history, the Mississippi River, the festivities, all tempered by the sad insights gained while volunteering in St. Bernard Parish after Hurricane Katrina combine to make this a place for me like no other.
Planning a get-away within the lower 48? Go to NOLA, where you often feel like you've left the country and landed in Europe. Crime is down; hospitality is up. And your vacation dollars help this uncommon city continue their recovery. I must say that on the Monday night of the rivalrous NFL game between the New Orleans and Atlanta, hoards of people were walking around in the Saints jersey with the number and name of Bush. Shocked me to the core that anybody in this city would wear their name on their back!

Here's a link to an earlier post on New Orleans. Just click here. You'll see this post again--sorry--but if you continue to scroll down you'll find an essay I wrote for the opinion pages of The Denver Post, plus some photos of a garden a friend and I planted at a home destroyed by Katrina.
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