How can you not LOVE a city where you can eat dinner and get your cocktail to go? Or walk up to a window, buy a drink and keep on walking - with your drink, in public and no one wrestles you to the ground to arrest you for an open container? I was reminded on this trip why New Orleans is such a wonderful place to get away, relax, enjoy the sites - people, architecture, history - and DRINKS! If you have not been, I would recommend New Orleans to anyone. If you take your children, however, be prepared. Larry Flynt's clubs, and many, many others, are everywhere, basically porn pictures are in front of all of the strip clubs on Bourbon St. and the strippers are frequently outside lurring men, and women, in. So if that is something you would not want your kids to see, you are forewarned. New Orleans makes Vegas look tame, in my opinion. (And yes, we have taken our kids to Vegas!) We had to laugh when one little boy was asking his dad, "Tell me again why there is vomit on the sidewalk?"
With all of that, even though the burbs are like burbs everywhere, I don't think we will be moving. Motorcycle Guy and I both make many decisions based on our gut. In this case, there are too many high priority items - education, long term effects of transferring with the spin off company, etc. - that tell us "DON'T GO!" The suburb we liked best was very nice and is a lake front community - on Lake Pontchatrain. The same lake that had a storm surge (it feeds into the ocean, so when the ocean had it's storm surge from Katrina, so did the lake), the city next to Mandeville, where we also looked, flooded. Mandeville had a lot of storm damage from winds and rain, but no flooding. Next time that may not be the case. Though it's similar to all burbs, it does have a different feel that I can't explain. Like all large suburbs I have been in, there's lots of strip malls, commercial property, suburban sprawl. With the flat terrain and vegetation, it reminded me very much of Florida when you are not right along the ocean. Of course, as I told Motorcycle Guy, a lot of the things that were making me apprehensive about moving to Kansas were exactly what I have listed here - suburban sprawl, strip malls everywhere, not feeling very warm and fuzzy - and I ended up loving it there. But the education was good and it was a 1-2 year, which turned into three years, assignment, which meant if I hated it, we would be moving on. With NOLA, it's a permanent move, assuming if whoever buys the spin off in three or so years would keep Motorcycle Guy on. I think we have decided this is a great short term move, get quite a bit of money out of it with signing bonuses, annual bonuses, salary increase, stocks, etc., but long term, who knows since the future of the company is unknown. Then we may find ourselves in NOLA without a job or being transferred again with a new company. If we did not have kids, though, we would so be there, living in a loft in the French Quarter. That would be SO dangerous. AA would have a new customer - me!
Here are some pictures of our trip:
The Causeway - this is a 24 mile bridge that takes you from New Orleans to the North Shore over Lake Pontchatrain, which is a "brackish" lake, which means part fresh and part salt water. It's a weird feeling to be on a bridge and not be able to see land anywhere around you. The end of the Causeway comes out in Mandeville, where we were looking as a possibility to live.
This is me in Mandeville with Lake Pontchatrain behind me.
I am ha-ha-happy!
Why I am I happy? Check out the sign above my head!
This says it all!
You can't go to New Orleans without getting a picture of this!
Here's Bourbon St. at sundown.
My kind of entreprenuer!