This is one georgeous city. Mainly because we are staying in a two bedroom apartment in the French Quarter (about 900 square feet). It’s really spectacular. I am not bed obsessed but my antique canopy bed is great. We have walked the Quarter all day and I will fill you in on more tomorrow.
This city of New Orleans is so mystical. A city of extremes from the vision of France on our balcony to the wonderful food and fascinating people. Everything is so different here. We took a trip to the Metarie Cemetery. It’s quite unique as all the burial sites are mausoleums due to the lack of earth beneath the surface. This cemetery had some of the most extravagant monuments to the departed. Our second tour was another homage to the departed but in the most heart-breaking of circumstances. We went driving around the “9th Ward”. This was the most devastaed section due to the levee break and incredible flooding. Our tour guide and dear friend Sabrina explained that a barge was slammed into a section of the levee causing this catastrophy. She moved back to New Orleans four months after Katrina with her mother who had evacuated from Metarie. Her mom luckily had no flooding in her home. Sabrina remarked that her experience driving through the “9th Ward” at that time caused her severe emotional distress as she looked at a place that appeared to have been bombed. Our experience was sad as we saw many homes still standing with wire and pipe skeletons through the empty window frames and missing doors. I took a few photos and had to ask Sabrina to leave. I felt like a voyeur of someone’s tragedy. I am so glad New Orleans is a city that came back from this disaster. It’s a wonderful place. Take a look at the photo gallery for some of the special views of this city.
Wow, I was so surprised that I enjoyed this city so much. The hotel was spectacular (go to photos). Hotel Icon is a renovated bank and the decorator gets an A+ from me. Everything was so well appointed and the design was total class. I really enjoyed the luxurious bathroom that even had a rubber duck on the tub ledge. How cool is that.
The baseball game at Minute Maid Field was perfect. Seats behind home plate and in the club level. The ball field is also really well designed and domed. Yeah, my hot flashes appreciated that. The Astros beat the Pirates in a really fun and exciting game.
My second day in Houston was visiting the Houston Museum of Natural Science. There were two special exhibits on display. The terracotta warriors from the Chinese emporers tomb. The second exhibit was all about diamonds. I especially loved that one. Two highlights from these exhibits made them quite memorable. Besides seeing fabulous diamonds I was tickled to see a sample of modern iconic jewelry design included “Diamonds by the Yard”. This is something mom bought in the 70’s. She was so hip with the times. The second special feature was the restored terracotta warriors. In fact, one fully restored warrior was so perfect. Until you approached and he reached out to shake your hand. What a little make-up and costuming can do.
I walked part of the way back from the museum to photograph some great public art. The downtown area is filled with cool restaurants, nightclubs and newly renovated loft type buildings for residences and offices. LOVED IT.
My final taste of an impressive stay was a little snack that I had at the Italian restaurant down the street from the hotel. Sea scallops with a special sauce and braised scallions. I have to give this appetizer the big 5 O’s. What a great place to visit.