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Monday, June 29, 2009

Vacation 2009.First Leg.New Orleans

I will always remember our 12 hour trip to New Orleans. We passed Baton Rouge around 10:30 and I was dozing. Stephen was driving, drinking red bull, and flipping through the stations looking for a song he could sing to. He said, "Melissa, I think Michael Jackson died." This statement shook me awake. I'm not the biggest Michael fan. I don't own any of his records, but I, and the world, wasn't expecting the King of Pop to die that day. So, I was surprised, and now awake.
We were trying to follow our googlemap directions to our hotel. Which, I have to stop and say, was really lovely and only $65. It was in the French Quarter, and only $65, and, yes, really lovely! Anyway, we were trying to find our way to our lovely hotel, and made several wrong decisions that sent us over the Mississippi twice. Once, we took what seemed like our own private interstate.
I've never been to New Orleans, but Stephen and I had watched a documentary about Hurricane Katrina last year, and so some of the sights were familiar. It was an eerie feeling coming into a city at 11:30, everything is dark, Michael Jackson just died, and the only association you have of the city is about a hurricane that trapped thousands of people in it without food or water.
We finally arrived at the hotel, unpacked the kids, and slept for about eight hours. When we awoke, we took a walk to Cafe du Monde to eat beignets and coffee. This little cafe was highly recommended to us, and I, in turn, highly recommend it to you. The beignets (French Doughnuts) were piping hot and cheap. We got a taste of what I took as New Orleans culture when our waitress took our $20 bill, counted out one five and five ones as change, and, when handing it back to me, said, "Don't forget to tip". We didn't.
We took the kids to see the Mississippi. They were asleep the first two times we had crossed it the night before. Then we headed back to the hotel and out of the city on to the second leg of out trip, Franklin, North Carolina.

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