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2002 New Orleans Vacation - September 7 to 13, Part 1


Road Trip Map
My 2002 Orlando / New Orleans Vacation. 15 days, 3530 miles.
[Note: All picture time stamps are -5 hours off. They may have been based on GMT in the Eastern Time Zone, where I was just before this trip. It was after this trip that all times were standardized to my home time.]

Well, yes, this trip started out in Orlando. I was in Disneyworld, but more importantly I was taking a photo record of Universal Orlando with my brand new G2. But that's another page.

Now, none of this would normally have any import, but starting someplace in Alabama or Mississippi, I met up the remnants of Tropical Storm Edouard. What fun that was.

Why New Orleans? I wanted to see it before nature claimed it back. Let's face it. The Crescent City is on the Mississippi delta, which every year deposits more and more of the Midwest around it. So every year, New Orleans seems to sink.

And more to the point, New Orleans had been lucky in that a major hurricane hadn't come their way. Texas and Florida certainly has had their share of major catastrophes, and they weren't below sea level. So in 2005, Katrina didn't surprise me. But I was there before that event.

Oh, and if you ever go there, bring your antacids. You can't get away without eating all sorts of wonderful, tasty, fried foods...

Jo flew into the Louis Armstrong Airport about 8pm on the 7th. We were based in Slidell, a suburb of New Orleans.

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French Quarter - September 8

We picked up a transportation pass, and Jo decided she wanted to do the lunch cruise on the Riverboat Natchez. We had some time to kill before the steamboat left, so we took a walk down Decatur Street.

French Quarter
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Steamboat Natchez - September 8

The Steamboat Natchez is a state of the art, honest-to-god paddleboat. It took us a dozen miles or more up the Mississippi, a nice ride. The lunch they served left a little to be desired, though. While the ride on a real steamboat was okay, I probably wouldn't do a meal cruise again...

It would have been interesting to see the Mississippi a hundred years ago when these were the main vessels on Ol' Muddy...

Steamboat Natchez
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We took a walk down the riverfront, to the Aquarium of the Americas, but only took video inside. Then we did a short walking tour of the French Quarter.

Riverfront / French Quarter
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Honey Island Swamp Tour - September 9

This is one of the pictures that convinced me it would be okay to go digital and abandon film. Too bad it was a defective dragonfly. Taken near the Pearl River, Slidell, Louisiana.
The Honey Island Swamp is a 150 square mile swamp, one of the most pristine river swamp areas left in the country. It's supposed to be inhabited by a Big Foot/Yeti type creature named the Honey Island Swamp Monster. I didn't see it.

I don't know why we took a swamp tour, but it turned out to be a very good tour with an excellent guide. He also had an excellent recommendation for dinner...

Of course, all this was pre-Katrina. The Pearl River was right in the way of the hurricane...

Honey Island Swamp Tour
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Fort Pike State Historic Site - September 9

After the swamp tour, we decided to take a visit to Fort Pike, a Louisiana State Historic Site just up the road from our tour.

Fort Pike was one of those Forts built after the war of 1812 to protect America's coastline from invaders.

It all seemed to be a pretty good idea until the rifled bore cannon was invented in the 1860's, which could take apart these brick structures in no time, with no effort. Oh well.

Fort Pike was completed in 1826. It was seized by the confederacy in 1861, and was taken back by the Union in 1862. Most of these forts were abandoned after 1880, some of which became landmarks, like Ft. Sumter and Ft. Pulaski, and other's became state historic sites like this one.

Fort Pike State Historic Site
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End 2002 New Orleans Vacation - Part 1 of 2.

Jump to: Part 1 Part 2

  • 08/09/2013 - Complete rewrite to two pages, updated to v3.11
  • 08/31/2014 - Update to v3.2