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The Big Easy, Louisiana "Bread"

Wow, there is a LOT to do in New Orleans!

We rolled in around noon on Tuesday, so I spent the first day running errands rather than going into the city. But on Wednesday I caught the 9:30 bus to the Superdome with Eric (he's one of the head train maintenance guys). We started off with a visit to the WWII museum. I don't have pictures of that because I'm a poor photographer and nothing I took came out well :/

The museum is set up so you can walk through it chronologically, beginning with Europe and ending in the Pacific. There were displays showing the weapons, gear and clothing of American, French, German, Russian, and Japanese soldiers. Some of the machinery was very impressive; there was a highly advanced gyroscope used in Japanese missiles, and a complex German coding machine. Also, I never realized how few soldiers America went into the war with as compared to other countries. But our mass production was unrivaled, and that gave us a huge advantage.

One thing that I thought the museum did very well was explain the tactics involved in campaigns throughout the war, including smaller but strategically important battles. It was very interesting to see how like a game of chess it all was, and how even retreats can be preplanned to create an advantage.

The self-guided tour ended with the atomic bomb display, which was dominated by a compiled video of the bombs being dropped and the aftermath, including footage of badly burned women and children. I can't help but feel shame that our country killed thousands of civilians with those bombs.
Anyway, Eric and I left the museum in kind of a dark mood, but I'm glad we went!

We visited the Riverfront Marketplace, which turned out to be a mall on the river...neither of us wanted that, so we found the French Quarter and ate lunch at Chartres House Cafe.

The food was VERY good. He got chicken alfredo and a beer, and I had blackened redfish with jumbalaya and veggies and SeaGlass white wine. Our appetizer was spinach dip, but instead of chips they gave us fried bowtie pasta. Delicious!

Then we went our separate ways. I explored the French Quarter a bit more, and stepped into a voodoo shop to see...well, to see what's in a voodoo shop!

Black salt, monkey paws, shrunken heads, etc. It was interesting!
I got a bit lost trying to find Cafe du Monde, but found this fountain instead:

Today (Friday) I did find the cafe. It's a hot spot for tourists, and it was PACKED.

They had a takeout window, so rather than getting a table I ordered some beignets there and took them to a less crowded part of the square. They were yummy, like chewy funnel cake!

Still, I don't see what the big fuss is about!

After that I moved on to the French Market. It's outdoors but is in a permanent structure, kind of like the grandstand at the Bloomsburg Fair.

There was all kinds of food...cajun spices, canned goods, fresh produce, beignet mix from Cafe du Monde :) There was another section with crafts and souvenirs...t-shirts, leatherworks, alligator heads, jewelery...flattened wine bottles...

I got a cajun crab cake salad (delicious), picked up a praline sample (pralines are a big thing here) and headed over to Jackson Square.

All around the square, there were artists painting and musicians playing. There were a lot of people, but it wasn't crowded like New York or Chicago...just sort of bustling :)

On the walk back to the arena, I took a few pictures of some interesting buildings. There is some gorgeous architecture in New Orleans.

Today was our last day of exploring...tomorrow is a three show day, and on Sunday we have a split but that doesn't leave much time for strolling around. I'll probably pay a visit to Rouses Market, a locally-owned upscale grocery. It's open all day, with free wifi ;D

Oh, if anyone's wondering, I didn't go to Bourbon Street at night. That's not really my scene :P