Almost two weeks ago, Wednesday, and Thursday we drove to New Orleans to do day visits. It was about an hour away from Buckaneer state park. Wednesday we visited the massive World War II museum, and Thursday we took a guided day tour of historic downtown. Our first rtop each morning was at a place to drop Cooper off for day care, which was about 4 miles from the center of town. Since I did not know the area, we parked in a Walgreens parking lot and got a Lyft taxi. This was the first time I used anything like this, but both days we had fine experiances with the drivers. It was about $15.00 each way for the ride.Will begin with the World War II museum.
WORLD WAR II MUSEUM.
We got there just after it opened at 9, more people were there than I thought, given the virus situation . The museum has five massive buildings all connected by covered walkways. The museum is about most everything on the war, the Homefront, merchant marine, European and Pacific theatres of war. The place was pretty awesome. We have been to a lot of WWII type museums and we knew a lot about different things. It still was very impressive, and we spent almost the entire day there.
A typical 1940’s kitchen and house were set up.
When you walked into different areas, they had them decked out in different themes, like jungle, beach, winter, etc.
Here were videos of landing barges getting loaded.
Aircraft carrier operations videos.
Many, many exhibits were around like the one above and below. I never could have done what the guy below did.
The last building we saw was where the aircraft were. These are not models but actual aircraft. This building was huge and seeing planes displayed up in the air was pretty neat.
I need one of these jeeps with the bazooka on it to blow some stuff up.
We then went to lunch at the restaurant inside the museum. It was very good food.
She is so pretty when she is hungry.
I did not take a lot of photos here. It was just to much information going on ,and this post would have been way to long. The museum is a great tribute to all who lived in those times, most of whom are now in the hands of god.
Our 2nd Day in “N’awlins”
Me & Dave and our tour group met with our guide Rene, who was a terrific guide. He lived in New Orleans most of his life and was very well educated on not only all the history about the city but all the cultures and languages of what makes New Orleans.
This is our tour “in a Nutshell”
This New Orleans Day Tour packs all the essential sights and experiences of the city into eight hours. Taste fresh pralines and step inside a Garden District mansion; a time capsule of the Old South, explore the French Quarter and Jackson Square and hear spooky stories in one of the city’s most haunted building. End your day with a beignet and incredible views of the mighty Mississippi river. If you only have a limited time in New Orleans, this is a great way to see it all.
Our first stop was at Aunt Sally’s a historic praline maker. The French settlers brought the praline recipe to Louisiana. A praline is made up of nuts, original recipe is pecans, white and brown sugar, baking soda, light cream, butter and brandy or vanilla.
We got to see how they were made and got some free samples of different kinds and flavors they made. The pralines were delicious. They even gave us a sample to take home. What a great way to start off the day!
Next we took a street car to the Garden District. We walked along the streets of The Garden District which has big oak trees lined with assorted homes and huge pre civil war mansions.
When they planted the trees along in the streets, there wasn’t all the concrete and stone. Since the roots couldn’t go into the ground, they stayed above ground and spread, as you can see below.
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One of our stops on the way was” The house of Broel. It is a historical mansion housing antiques & a museum of intricate dollhouses made by owner Bonnie Broel. The owner is a noted tailor. She designs mostly wedding gowns that are gorgeous but not anywhere near what the average person can pay for a dress. We couldn’t enter because it was by appointment only.
Dave was trying to get in but they locked the gate when they saw him.
It’s all about Iron
Like many old historical cities we’ve been to, it’s about showing off your wealth. They did it by purchasing huge plots of land that cover 3 city blocks. Then to separate their property they put up Iron Fences. Here are some in NOLA.
Our guide told us these blocks you see in front of the mansions were put there so ladies could get down from their carriages and step on these blocks without showing their ankels. It was a No No back then.
The Elms Mansion is now an establishment to have a lavish party, mostly wedding. It would be a great place to have a wedding reception, but as our guide mentioned, ” if you have money to spare have your gown made at The House of Broel and have the reception here. Why not! Pictures of outside and inside the Elms.
The room where Dave is sitting is called the “Suitors Room” it’s located right inside the bar room. Right behind him is a window that looks into the parlor. It had to remain open when there was a young lady and man in there. No showing your ankles off in here either.
Our guide told us the above candle holder was once painted brown and upon a really good cleaning someone found out that under the brown paint it was all pure gold. I think there are at least 4 more in the room that are pure gold.
The wallpaper above is hand painted. Our guide mentioned that when Michelle Obama visited the mansion she like the wallpaper so much a copy of it is now in the white house.
The Garden District is also the Mardi Gras parade route. There are signs of Mardi Gras all around, as they say it never ends in New Orleans.
Shotgun houses, New Orleans is famous for them
Generally a shotgun house is defined as a raised, single-story rectangular home with a narrow frontage—typically less than 12 feet wide—and no hallway. Tall-ceilinged rooms open onto one another from front to back, allowing for maximum ventilation in a hot, humid climate
Why is it called a shotgun house ? The explanation is that if you fire a gun through the front door, the bullet will go right out the back.
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Another stop located in what now is the heart of the Garden District, between Washington, Sixth, Prytania, and Coliseum streets, Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 is the oldest of the seven municipal, city-operated cemeteries in New Orleans. It is a non-segregated, non-denominational cemetery. There are immigrants from over 25 different countries and natives of 26 states.
It’s closed now for repairs, you can see it by appointment or by a tour. I bet a ghost tour comes here.
It’s time for Lunch !
Our stop was The Reconcile Café is a non-profit restaurant. It was founded by Craig Cuccia and Rev. Harry Thompson. It provides culinary and life skills training for at risk youth. Letting them enter the hospitality and entertainment industry of New Orleans. We both had catfish of some sort and it was really good!
Bevolo started making gas & electric lanterns in the French Quarter in 1945 and they still do today. We stopped in briefly and took a short tour. I didn’t need to see the place but I’m sure they wanted to see us buying one of their lanterns.
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Street Entertainment – The lady in the pink shirt sang and played the clarinet wonderfully! She is at the same corner everyday and draws a huge crowd.
Next stop Mardi Gras Museum
These are just a few of the lavish costumes they hand-made about 100 years for the Mardi Gras Parades.
Haunted Restaurant – Muriel’s Jackson Square in the French Quarter
Muriel’s is a huge restaurant that was once a mansion/ plantation. Our guide told us the owner, Pierre Antoine, who was extremely wealthy, to say the least, was a big time gambler. So much that he lost his mansion in a card game. He was in such misery he shot himself in the séance room, where Dave is standing. His ghost was so upset that when it became a restaurant he kept knocking on walls and moving things around. To make him calm down a bit, they added this table so he can dine with a guest and it seems as though he has quieted down.
The sign on his dinner table reads “Muriel’s Jackson Square, This table is reserved for resident friendly ghost Pierre Antoine. Please take a look at our séance lounge located on the second floor.
Another Snack !
The Original Cafe Du Monde Coffee Stand was established in 1862 in the New Orleans French Market. It is a traditional coffee shop. Its menu consists of dark roasted Coffee and Chicory, Beignets, White and Chocolate Milk, and fresh squeezed Orange Juice. The coffee is served Black or Au Lait. Au Lait means that it is mixed half and half with hot milk. Beignets are square French -style doughnuts, lavishly covered with powdered sugar.
We got there at a good time, after we sat down there was a very long line. It was good and one of the things you have to try when your in NOLA, but being from the Buffalo NY area I would choose a Paula’s donut instead of a Beignet anytime.
End of our tour
We ended the tour in front of St. Louis Cathedral looking out at the Mississippi River.
We had fun and learned a lot in our 2 day venture to N’Awlins. I’m glad I went, another thing off the bucket list, but it was just an O.K. city. I don’t need to go back unless I just happen to be in the area and it’s night time then I’ll try Bourbon Street at night.