The whole country is hot and humid and rather than try to run from it, I’m going to embrace it. Next week I’m traveling down the old ‘Sip until I can’t travel no more. I’m traveling to New Orleans.
Along the way, there and back, I plan on stopping by some of the places covered in John Barry’s Rising Tide. The history he relates in this wonderfully well-written book has always drawn me. I want to follow the river; to see the towns, the levees, and feel the story as I travel.
I booked my hotel through Expedia. I didn’t know I had an old but still valid $50 customer appreciation coupon with them and combined with the already low summer rates, managed to get a 4 star hotel in the French Quarter–the Omni Royal Orleans–for about the price you would normally pay for a Best Western along I-70. I expect I’ll enjoy it more than I would a Best Western along I-70.
I don’t plan on taking any trips to see the devastated sections of the city. Instead I plan on visiting some plantations, swamps, and haunted cemetaries. I hope to get out to listen to some Jazz, eat some good Gulf redfish and rice and beans. Have coffee and croissants for breakfast, of course.
I’ll probably take tours this trip, including the famous night time haunted house tour in the French Quarter. Tours provide employment, and the French Quarter isn’t necessarily the best of places to be by yourself–a woman in her 50′s at night carrying around a camera bag. I’m not afraid of the city; I’m just not stupid.
In a month, all the world’s journalists will converge on the city to remember Katrina. Be plenty of people visiting the devastated areas then. Luckily, I’m not a journalist; I can visit when the crowds are down, take photos of gators, and eat chocolate dusted croissants at a sidewalk cafe.