We left Washington on an 8:30am flight from Reagan International airport after saying goodbye to Ceri and Allen the previous evening.
We picked up an hour during the flight and arrived at around 10:00am. We made our way to the Hotel (noticing just how flat the land is here) checked in and then proceeded to look at how to explore this place. (Oh the Hotel we are staying is part of the Waldorf-Astoria chain and is very nice – actually all of our accommodation has been great really).
Did I say it was hot here – IT IS VERY HOT HERE! No storms brewing yet but we are still watching what is happening with Tropical Storm Isaac. It has passed through Haiti and they are now looking at whether it will hit Miami (and other parts of Florida). The Republican Party Convention is due ot be held in Tampa, Florida next week and this is a concern for them and some of the Governors of the various States have decided not to attend. So we will keep watching what is happening on this front as we are due to fly to Miami on Monday!
Anyway back to the present. We opted for a tour of the city which was really interesting. The tour guide showed us some of the areas hit by Cyclone Katrina (there are a number of areas that have not been repaired. We saw the levies and just how low lying many of the houses are in this area.
We saw some absolutely lovely houses too. We also visited one their cemeteries and found out about how (and why) they bury people here. It was really interesting. I won’t dwell on it here but the Guide did tell us about people being buried alive during the outbreak of yellow fever (in the 1800’s I think). During this time they didn’t have the technology to determine whether someone was dead or in a coma so everyone was presumed to be dead. In order to ensure everyone was dead they (apparently) tied a rope to their ankle with a bell attached so that if someone was not dead they would here the bell ringing (and this is where the terms “dead ringer” and “saved by the bell” came from). Even if this isn’t the case it was an amusing aside at the time (maybe you actually needed to be here to get the impact – and my sense of humour is a little warped at times!).
Anyway after the tour we decided to explore some of the streets on foot. At this point let me say some of the streets (and their inhabitants) where interesting. Extremely noisy, very colourful and some looked different.
After walking around a number of streets we decided to return to the Hotel. I was so hot I had to peel my clothes off (and a shower was never so good). I reassessed my wardrobe and put on some more appropriate clothing (I had stayed in the clothes I had dressed in from Washington – which included shoes and socks). We found a great restaurant (Mr B’s) and afterwards strolled around and visited some galleries which we are going to revisit tomorrow.
So all in all a very interesting day. I will put up some photos to convey the day. Cheers. W