There’s a bit of Mississippi overlap here so bear with me.
“February 28th 2015
The Natchez Trace Parkway is a secluded strip of asphalt. It took me a while to even figure out how to get onto it.
The parkway doesn’t have any commercial or residential developments directly off of it. Most of the roads that intersect it actually pass above or below without any interchange ramps. It’s a neat idea, and it has motivated me to look for other national parkways to take instead of the highway and freeway routes.
On my way to New Orleans I traveled along the Mississippi River levee.
Before visiting I heard that New Orleans is practically its own country, and for most practical purposes, that’s true.
There are gilded statues, french street names, and ornate architecture. The party laws are more relaxed than I am used to too, two of them being no closing time for alcohol sales and no issue with open containers in public.
I met a great group of Montreal Canadians who had driven 25 hours straight just for a week long vacation in The Big Easy. That’s dedication. (*10/29/15 Update: Since then two of them, a young married couple, have started their own road trip adventure. Check them out here)
The people, the food, the language, the history, the bars, and especially the food, all made for a fun time. And I still feel like there’s so much to explore.”
Real quick ⇒ I went to the National WW2 Museum which is in the downtown area.
My honest critique is that it was a bit dramatic, there are strobe lights and loud war sounds as you walk through the chronologically laid out displays, but the thing they did really really right are the oral history podiums. The podiums have touch screen displays where you select a video of an old timer telling a short anecdote from the war.
Some were tragic, told between the breaths of a remorseful man.
Some were violent and visual, told in cold jest and time hardened, matter-of-fact conversation.
Some were pleasant, told by men who chose that one instance to hang on to and mentally replay until the storytelling was perfected.
At just a few minutes in length, each story put a magnifying glass over the events of both the European and Pacific Theaters, and the degree of resolution sometimes came down to just 10 or 20 seconds of the most memorable event in that persons life.
This museum has all the weapons you could care to see. They have all the vehicles and planes, all the uniforms and medals, and the battles and progression through the years is well detailed, but for me the Oral Histories were the real take away.
Stories stay relevant.