What lies behind New Orleans and what currently lies before New Orleans are very small in comparison to what lies "within" New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina & the BP oil spill haven't done Louisiana Tourism any favors lately... but you can't tell that if you visit the area now. It's business as usual there! I met with 9 regional entities in two days & the combined attitude was resilience & deep pride. The spirit of the locals invigorated me & my love for the Bayou.
Since "The Storm" a few years ago, LSU won the Championship in Football & the Saints won the Superbowl. Everyone in the region rallied & fought with them. The tourism industry is no different! The conventions are back, the festivals are back, the restaurants are all open, the bars are open, the streets are cleaner, the new hotels are fantastic, homes are being rebuilt... this area is better than ever. New Orleans is the flavor of America, the Party of America and the soul of America. She's deep, she's dark and she's a little crazy. You should do your part and visit her soon.
Oil Spill, Schmoil spill... I ate local seafood every meal. A cajun food feast at Deanie's, beignets at Cafe Du Monde, crawfish-gouda-spinach quesadillas in Baton Rouge & 4 Dozen oysters at various stops around the French Quarter. "delicious as the less criminal forms of sin."
Ted's Top 5 Things He Learned About Travel on This Trip:
1. Cleaning trucks & high pressure water guns now clean the streets of the French Quarter every morning. The water has a hint of lemongrass which has the infamous party region smelling fresh each day.
2. The Bayou Country Summerfest is this weekend in LSU Football Stadium. Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift, Keith Urban and others will all be there. I snuck in the stadium while they were setting up.
3. Louisiana has the tallest State Capitol in the US. 34 Floors and 450 Feet Tall.
4. New Orleans has tons of new non-stop flights. KC has 5 new flights a day. I flew for $164 round trip. Only 1 1/2 hr flight. I stayed at the Maison Dupuy in the Quarter for under a $100 a night!
5. Don't ever, ever, visit your beautiful, talented, single, independent, fun, in-shape, clever, spirited and influential sister-in-law in her home town of Austin and fail to mention her in your Travel Blog... ever. How was that Erin???
Well... as the media continually bombards us with how bad the disaster is to Louisiana & you ask yourself "how can I help?...can you think of a better way than to listen to live jazz at the Spotted Cat after three pounds of crawfish? I didn't think so...
"We'll be fine son... it's not the size of the dog in the fight... it's the size of the fight in the dog."