Κυριακή, 12 Ιανουαρίου 2014

December 13th-16th 2013 - A Weekend To Remember In New Orleans, LA (LOUISIANA)

PROLOGUE

After having being in New York in order to see the city and get some credits for the Au Pair Program, it was time to take the second and last class for the rest of required credits for the program's successful completion. Since, I learnt about the weekend classes and how fast and "easy" an Au Pair can get credits, I chose to take another weekend class. The class was held by the Sojourner Douglass College of Maryland, but located in New Orleans,LA. The topic of the course was similar to the one in New York and its name was "New Orleans Tour and the American Experience".

Friday, December 13th 2013

I left home to go to the airport after the kids had left for school. My flight was at 11:15 am (Pacific Time) and there was one stop in Dallas, TX for couple of hours. I arrived in Louis Armstrong International Airport at 9 pm. After an "adventure" at the airport trying to find out the transportation to go to the hotel, finally, I made it and went to sleep.

Saturday, December 14th 2013

The signing-in for the course was early in the morning. The first day of the class was the tour in the city of New Orleans [ Downtown/Financial District, French Quarter, Garden Quarter etc.].

From the bus, the tour guide showed us the Financial District where all the headquarters of the city are located until we made our first stop at the Louis Armstrong Park and Congo Square.http://www.neworleansonline.com/directory/location.php?locationID=1341 Then, we went to the Basin St. Station http://basinststation.com/flash/index.html. Next stop was the St. Louis 1st Cemetery. 

St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is the oldest and most famous. It was opened in 1789, replacing the city's older St. Peter Cemetery (no longer in existence) as the main burial ground when the city was redesigned after a fire in 1788.
It is 8 blocks from the Mississippi River, on the north side of Basin Street, one block beyond the inland border of the French Quarter. It borders the Iberville housing project. It has been in continuous use since its foundation. The nonprofit group Save Our Cemeteries and commercial businesses offer tours for a fee.
Famous New Orleanians buried in St. Louis No. 1 include Etienne de Boré, wealthy pioneer of the sugar industry and the first mayor of New Orleans;Homer Plessy, the plaintiff from the landmark 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court decision on civil rights; and Ernest N. "Dutch" Morial, the first African-American mayor of New Orleans.
The renowned Voodoo priestess Marie Laveau is believed to be interred in the Glapion family crypt. Other notable New Orleanians here includeBernard de Marigny, the French-Creole playboy who brought the game of craps to the United States; Barthelemy Lafon, the architect and surveyor who allegedly became one of Jean Lafitte's pirates; and Paul Morphy, one of the earliest world champions of chessDelphine LaLaurie is also believed to lay in rest here. Architect and engineer Benjamin Latrobe was buried there after dying from yellow fever in 1820 while doing engineering for the New Orleans water works. In 2010, actor Nicolas Cage purchased a pyramid shaped tomb to be his future final resting place.[4]
The cemetery spans just one square block but is the resting place of many thousands. A Protestant section (generally not vaulted) lies in the north-west section.

Around 1 pm, we arrived in French Quarter  here St. Louis's church is located and in front of it is the statue of Napoleon inside the Plaza D' Armas. The French Quarter had Christmas decorations every where with red ribbons and Christmas trees pointing that soon the Christmas would be celebrated. Anyway, across the church, it's the Washington's Artillery Park and beyond that the Mississippi River. The four corners of the Plaza D' Armas host different artistic, cultural events such as jazz musicians, parades, etc. At one corner, it's the famous "Cafe Du Monde" which serves the best beignets and marks the start point of the French Market.

Leaving from the French Quarter, we passed through many different neighborhoods. During this tour, I noticed that the architecture of this city differs depending on which neighborhood someone is. For example, I saw from small, not-well-preserved cottages till huge, classical-style mansions. I admired the Garden District, and especially the houses on St Charles St. http://www.neworleansonline.com/neworleans/architecture/.
Next stop was the City Park (http://www.neworleanscitypark.com/) where we rested for while.

From there, we ended up downtown. It was time to explore the nightlife of New Orleans. Bourbon Street is full of bars, pubs , cabarets and adult stores. Therefore, when the sun sets down, all the people go out to have fun on Bourbon St. Walking on the street with some other Au Pairs, whom I met during the class, I noticed people being on balconies and throwing fake necklaces to the pedestrians. Why??? I have no idea!!!! Hahahahahaha

It's impossible to describe how crazy, funny that night was. I can say only two things  that I had a blast and don't think about going to New Orleans... JUST GO!!!!!

Sunday, December 15th 2013

The whole day was spent in a hotel attending the class. After all, it was an interesting and controversial course. I liked it and I am glad with my choice to take this class. The end of the day found me in a hotel room getting some rest.

Monday, December 16th 2013

My flight back to Seattle was early in the morning with a stop in Dallas,TX (for one more time). After a long flight and several minutes of delay, I made it home.!! 


AT LAST BUT NOT LEAST !!! :

In New Orleans, someone will notice things that nowhere else in the U.S.A would be able to see like the Fleur-de-Lis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fleur-de-lis), the Creole culture (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_New_Orleans) and the jazz music (http://www.neworleansonline.com/neworleans/music/jazzclubs.html).