Travel Journal Entry, Part 2
Sandie Maxa


Like my fellow Americans, I've been watching the news footage of Hurricane Katrina's destruction with sadness. The losses in the beautiful city of New Orleans (and the rest of the Gulf Coast) are devasting. Let's hope our country is able to help rebuild a city with as much charm and grace as it had before the storm. Here is what I loved about New Orleans on my first and only visit.

New Orleans, Louisiana

After 19 hours and 5 states we FINALLY got off the train! Amtrak's The City of New Orleans transported us from Chicago to New Orleans overnight and although we're on firm ground now, I still feel like I'm moving. The city is beautiful and more exotic than I imagined. Here are the highlights.

+ porches in the French Quarter with their incredible lattice work, high ceilings and French doors
+ white and coral colored magnolias
+ the trollies snaking through the Garden district
+ savory shrimp etoufée at Napoleon House
+ the elaborate Mardi Gras costumes and krewe floats at the city's museum
+ the expansive river views - the Mississippi is so narrow in northern Minnesota that you can walk across it
+ the kind, friendly people with soft accents
+ the stagnant swamps and seeing my first alligator
+ seeing the real-life streets of my favorite James Bond movie, Live and Let Die
+ eating muffuletta sandwiches from Central Grocery on the train back to Chicago; everyone was jealous because the olive salad in the sandwiches stunk up the whole car.