Thursday, April 28, 2011

Yet more pics


I have some more pictures of New Orleans to show you.

This is the LaLaurie mansion. It's said to be one of the most haunted buildings in the F.Q. Nicholas Cage owned this building for a while with some other celebrities but sold it when he came into financial troubles. Due to its hauntedness, it's said no one is able to take a photograph inside without orbs or wisps showing up in them because of all the ghosts.

The story of this building goes like this, according to the carriage driver. This mansion belonged to a wealthy doctor and his wife; they owned many slaves. Supposedly, one day when a slave was brushing the hair of the dr's wife, she hit a knot and rather than face the wrath of the mistress, she jumped out of the 3rd story window to her death - the 2nd window from the far left. Many times the window was repaired but it would keep breaking seemingly for no reason so the dr. had the window cemented over. The story goes, the spirit of that slave is banging her head against the cement ever since. There was other scary stuff the driver told us but I won't elaborate here. Suffice it to say, what she told us of what went on in that building, doesn't make for pleasant conversation.

A better view of the cemented over window.

My boys in front of the water feature at the entrance of the aquarium.

A curious stingray.

Some souvenirs in a shop.

Popcorn feeding of the sea birds.

Ok, now for a little history lesson. Do you know the difference between a balcony and a gallery? I sure didn't. First of all, when I think gallery, I think art, not a balcony or terrace of some kind. The carriage driver explained the difference to us and I'll pass that on to you lovely folks. Balconies are the narrow ones, like that in my first post with all the people standing on it.

What you see here on the left is a gallery. This was a status symbol of the time. Kind of like having an expensive car in your driveway now. The wider "balconies" were called galleries. This allowed the servants access to all rooms of the house. Another element of wealth of the time was high ceilings. This house evidently belonged to some rich people because they had both wide galleries and high ceilings.

A view of the pool from our hotel room window. You can just about make out Jim and Logan at the bottom right corner.

A puppet street performer.

This is the ceiling in one of the pubs on Bourbon Street. I just had to take a picture of this. Jim wanted me to add mine to the collection. Yeah, right! Not!!!

More to come another time. Gotta run. Hope you enjoyed!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

More vacation pictures

Hi, everyone.

As promised, here are some more pics of our trip to New Orleans.

Below is a picture of a boat that was used during Katrina to rescue over 150 people. It's enclosed behind a fence.

This is the tomb of Maria Laveaux, a/k/a the Voodoo Queen, in the oldest cemetery in N.O. We were taken there during our carriage ride and we were given some time to go into the cemetery. We didn't stay long at all as Logan got the heebie jeebies but we did eavesdrop on a tour guide telling her group the history of this tomb. Evidently, Marie is not in the tomb as it was desecrated but we still left our offering of 3 pennies each outside of her tomb. Seems she was fond of copper and we weren't taking any chances offending any spirits. In fact, prior to entering the cemetery, we each had to knock 3 times on the stone entrance to alert the spirits of our presence. I don't know if the carriage driver was pulling our chains or not but I was not going to be the one to scoff at spirits after she told us that people have come out of there not feeling well after not knocking.

Here are my boys at a parakeet aviary at the aquarium. For a dollar you can buy these bird seeded sticks. You merely have to hold it up and within seconds, there's a bird chomping away on the seed while balancing on the stick. The aviary had to have hundreds of every colored parakeet in it as it was very loud in there but I think the elated squeals of children also added to the noise level. We bought five sticks to start with but I think Jim gave Logan more money to go get some more. We had a lot of fun in there. Jim got pooped on twice which I had to get out of his hair but that's what he gets for standing under the tree, right?

I just love this picture of Nemo. I got this thru the glass of the aquarium tank with both the fish moving and the anemone swaying. You had to hear all the little kids saying, "there's Nemo. Look mom, there's Nemo!" It was very cute to see their excitement.

Ever see an albino alligator? Well, take a look at this guy. This was a first for me as I'd never seen one in real life. They had a few of them at that aquarium.

Somewhere in the rainforest exhibit at the aquarium. It was jungle weather in there which makes me wonder why my kid is wearing a his jacket and why I didn't notice that before now.

This is the trolley that travels Canal Street. We took a similar trolley thru the Garden District.

This is what it looks like inside the trolley. The seat backs slide back and forth depending on which way the trolley is traveling. Pretty cool. Again, this was a first for me as I'd never seen anything like this.

First night at dinner.

This is what the view of the Mississippi River looks like when there isn't a ship between the 2 buildings. I think it's pretty cool this city girl can say she's been on the Mississippi River. Never thought I'd ever see it, let alone sail down it.

Lunch is over so I have to go but I'll be back with more. Enjoy the rest of your day and thanks for looking.

Much Needed Vacation

It's been a long time since I last posted. That's mostly due to the cable which connects the camera to the computer having gone missing. I guess I could have posted without uploading any pictures, but I always like to put up some pics so I didn't blog.

We've looked high and low for that missing cable to no avail and I just can't imagine where it's gone to. However, Jim just bought me this nifty little device that allows a number of different sized sd cards to be inserted into it which then connects to the computer, thus doing away with the need for the other cable.

Ok, so on to the good stuff. We took a little vacation last week to New Orleans. It was a spur of the moment booking as a surprise birthday gift to Jim to celebrate his 50th birthday which is this coming Sunday. Everything just fell into place when it came to this trip. Logan was on spring break, his last day of which is today, and Jim was on vacation last week as he tries to time his vacations to coincide with Logan's breaks from school so all that remained was me being able to get some time off from my job and we'd be able to get away. My boss was cool about it and gave me the 3 days I needed. I'd been considering for months what to do to celebrate such a momentous life anniversary. After all, one turns half a century only once so it needed to be marked in some way. I really didn't want to throw a big, fancy dinner at which I'd spend a lot of money feeding all his friends and have nothing to show for it after those couple of hours passed. So, I thought perhaps a mini vacation would be a much better use of the money which would also offer us memories to cherish as a family.

Fast forward to 3 weeks ago when one night we were watching tv and something came on about New Orleans. Logan said, "we should go there sometime" and jokingly Jim said, "hey, we should. Book it up, honey." That gave me an idea and the following 3 days found me at my computer during whatever free time I had doing research into a trip to the Big Easy. Little did Jim know when he said, "book it up" that I actually would. LOL

We had a really great time in New Orleans. 4 days was the perfect amount of time there and boy, did we pack in the activities. Between the two of us, Jim and I managed to take more than 2,500 pictures. Logan was in charge of video taping. I deleted several hundred pictures when we came home as Jim doesn't quite know when or how to turn off the flash so the pictures were bad but that still left us with plenty of fabulous shots of our mini vacation. I'll have tons of pictures to scrap.

N'awlins is such a pretty town, especially the French Quarter that just begs to be photographed. The Garden District is equally picturesque with those amazing mansions and well manicured lawns. Everyone we encountered was very pleasant and helpful.

On our first day there after settling into the hotel, we ventured out to explore our new surroundings. Our hotel was just 1 block from the French Quarter so it wasn't long or far until we were right in the thick of all the fun.

Here are Jim and Logan at the famous Cafe Du Monde. The service wasn't so great as we waited nearly a half hour for someone to come and clean our table and take our order but the sugary goodness called a beignet and coffee more than made up for the wait. While we waited, I got to talking with some ladies on the adjacent table which provided us with some helpful hints as to what to do and see while there. They'd been there many times before so they were a fountain of information.

Here is the view from our 22nd floor hotel room. It took a while to get down to the lobby from such a high floor because we stopped so frequently on the way down, but the view was pretty nice. I managed to snap this picture of a cruise ship heading down the Mississippi River. We saw many, very large ships go past our view.

This was a typical sight on Bourbon Street. Nearly every balcony had people on it enjoying themselves to the music that filled the air.

We went to the Insectarium which was just across the street and 1 block over from our hotel. I was very hesitant about going in there as I'm not keen on bugs but seeing as it was included in the package we bought, it made sense to get our money's worth. I saw some reallllllllllllllllly creepy crawlies.

We came across these guys as we wandered around the French Quarter. We would see many street performers during our time there but none quite like these guys. I don't think I've ever seen an "instrument" like the one he's playing.

I have plenty more pics to post but I'll do that later. For now, thanks for stopping by and I hope you are having a great day!