Sunny, blue skies greeted our second day in NOLA. Jaime and the men folk took themselves off to the WW11 museum while Sophie and I took in a few historic Confederate statues and went in search of someone to fix my camera. We had no luck with the camera. I'm trying to find a happy side to lugging my expensive gear half way round the world only to have it fail on me in a city full of photo opps. I'll let you know if I find one!
The historians thoroughly enjoyed their museum visit and were intrigued by the difference in dates for WW11. For us the war started in 1939 but of course here the start date is late 1941 and from a US perspective there is little acknowledgement of ANZAC involvement. Even though we didn't go in the museum itself, Soph and I browsed the shop and I wished I'd been here last year before Holiday Actor's production of South Pacific to stock up on costumes and props!
We caught a bus to the Garden District to check out a few of the 'little' houses we might buy if we ever move to New Orleans. This area is home to some seriously wealthy people like Sandra Bullock and Nicholas Cage. The preservation of these old southern homes is magnificent. We also visited the Lafayette Cemetery where everyone is buried above the ground. I have seen this before in Maori cemeteries in NZ where geothermal activity makes underground burial unwise. Here it is because of the high water table, a bayou cemetery. We had coffee and browsed at a 'real' book store and Taine was excited to buy a copy of the latest Wimpy Kid book.
The sun sets early in the South at this time of year so we just managed to see some boats come down the river before we had an early dinner on the esplanade. It was the most disappointing of our meals so far. I had been eagerly anticipating a New Orleans Poboy but I think we chose the wrong restaurant. My shrimp were deep fried, not grilled as requested and the bread was stale and dry. I realised too late that my alligator sausage had garlic in it and they charged me a dollar for a glass of water that I hadn't requested. Never mind, two bad food experiences (the other was Taco Bell, blaaah) in 10 days is a pretty good strike rate.
Tonight we went to an NBA basketball game. We certainly understood this game better than the footy and our cheap seats at the very top of the stadium provided us with a great view. Unfortunately the home team went down to the Utah Jazz. It was easy to identify with the NOLA Hornets because they wear the same blue and yellow as the Deakin Sharks! The Hornet's centre, Lopez, was awesome but he didn't have enough back up. As with the Longhorns last week, some sloppy ball handling would have earned my wrath at netball. One guy called and caught the ball out of court and a lot of easy shots went begging. Nevertheless, another great American experience. Hopefully we'll catch a game of something else in a town where we're on the winning team! One of the highlights of the half time entertainment was a troupe of 'senior' dancers. They were heaps better than the hair swinging Honeybees. There's hope for me as a cheer leader yet!
Today my happy motherly hiatus of having all my kids under the one roof (or hotel or car as the case maybe) comes to an end. Jaime & Xavier are catching the overnight Amtrak to Washington DC to continue their honeymoon alone and on Friday Sophie flies back to Austin to finish uni.
What an absolute privilege and joy it has been to have them all with us on this part of our adventure. I'm planning a family European road trip already ;-)