Day 8: Katrina’s Toll

We spent most of the day today touring New Orleans, and seeing first hand the community four and one-half years after Hurricane Katrina ripped this great city apart. The topic of Katrina, and its impact on this great American city, is a serious one, and I’ll be putting together a longer blog on the topic in the next few days. For now, though, it’s safe to say that we really were moved by seeing first-hand how many communities in New Orleans are still digging out from the devastation, and how much of New Orleans will never be the same.

After leaving New Orleans, we had a leisurely drive east along the Gulf Coast, stopping for an hour to play on the beach. The weather was still a bit brisk, but the sun felt great, and the sand along the Gulf of Mexico is so soft and white.

We’re staying tonight in Mobile, Alabama, and will explore here tomorrow. We did have one hilarious experience, though. On our drive east, Elizabeth was calling hotels to make a reservation for us, trying to find something reasonably nice that is pet (and, even harder, pig) friendly. Well, she found someplace that sounded good in the guide book, and tried to make the booking. The reservation person, when told we are traveling with a pet pig, declined to accept us, but Elizabeth got the manager on the phone and convinced her that we were a safe guest. For the time being, we thought we were in great shape.

Well, when we got to Mobile, our GPS system took us to the location of the hotel, which was in an area with several hotels. But we drove around the block three times, trying to find our hotel, and the only other place we could find that seemed to match the address was the Mobile Bay Adventure Inn. I jokingly said, “Well, the only thing we know for sure is that this isn’t the place we’re staying.” Elizabeth re-dialed the reservation number, and found that, in fact, we were booked at the Adventure Inn, which would have been a new personal low for level of accommodation that any of us has EVER experienced. Fortunately, despite the hugely crowded parking lot (:-) ), we were able to cancel the reservation and land on our feet. We then went to a great restaurant (NoJa) in Mobile, and retired for the evening — thankful for many things.

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