Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Bike Tour of The Crescent City

Since I was in the neighborhood, well sorta, I took a 3 hour drive over to New Orleans today to check out a place that's been on my must do list for a while: National D Day Museum.  For those not in the know, a  big part of the D Day landings was played by the Higgins Boat, a special landing craft built ini New Orleans by the Higgins Boat Co.  The former factory is now home to the museum that occupied most of my day in the Big Easy.  The museum spans 3 buildings and includes wonderful exhibits, a movie narrated by Tom Hanks, a 1940s style diner (with more than generous servings) and that's just in one of the buildings.  They are also adding more construction.  It's truly an amazing place and the timing was awesome since my brother Mike has just begun to unravel the wartime travels of our father in the South Pacific aboard mostly Liberty Ships that supplied the big warships.  Though I must admit my one disappointment was that I saw only one mention of the Liberty ships in the museum.  In the museum shop their computer showed that they did carry a book about the ships but the clerk nor I could find it.  Oh well, brother, I tried. 

After lunch in the diner I decided to leave my car in the lot since it was paid until nearly 9pm.  I took my bike off the back and headed to that little place where they play all the big football games.  It sure is big and at night they light it up in purple. 

Keeping in the vein of WWII I made a stop at the Molly Marine statue in the middle of Canal Street.  She's been there proudly being the "woman behind the man behind the gun" since the 1940s. 

Just step through the gate and turn left.
Next I went down the road to the grave of the one and only Marie Laveaux.  Even in death she commands a large daily crowd.  Fascinating. 

Next stop Bourbon Street of course.  It was amazing to ride down the middle of the French Quarter in the late afternoon sunshine dodging spring breakers and the other few tourists who braved the area during spring break (bad planning on someone's part).  Finally I cut across Jackson Square, past Cafe du Monde (also full of spring breakers) and over to the New Orleans Hamburger and Seafood House where I had a delightful dinner date with my wonderful nephew Chad. 

He's been living here in the quarter for a year now and loves it.  I haven't seen Chad this happy since he lived in DC.  He's just a big city guy unlike me.  I did enjoy the day and the sights, including the small impromptu parade that came down the street during our meal, I am ready to retreat back to the small quiet country spot where my seeker rig waits for me.  But all the city hassle was worth it to see the parade and enjoy my visit with Chad.  Hope we get to meet up again soon.

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