New Orleans by Bus with the Colorado Traveling Ducks

We rode our Hop On Hop Off bus for parts of two days.

Hop On Hop Off Bus

Come with us and we will show you some of New Orleans.   New Orleans has one of the best, if not the best, World War II museum.

National World War II Museum

There are several buildings and plans to add more.   Then the Ogden Museum.

Ogden Museum of Southern Art

This is a museum of Southern Art.   New Orleans is famous for its Mardi Gras celebration the week before Ash Wednesday.   But it really begins much earlier.   There are several old homes with balconies.

Many building with balconies

During the many parades of Mardi Gras, beads are thrown from the floats.

Mardi Gras beads

Many of these beads are still draped over the wrought iron on the balconies.   Unexpectedly we found this restaurant which is part of the original restaurant on top of the Eiffel Tower from Paris, France.

Eiffel Tower restaurant

Until 1981 this restaurant catered to the elite on top of Paris’s Eiffel Tower.   Restoration in 1981 required this restaurant to be taken down and replaced with a smaller and lighter restaurant.   This one was taken apart and stored in freighters.  John Onorio and Daniel Bonnot paid to ship the restaurant to New Orleans, where it was rebuilt on St. Charles Avenue.   The restaurant has since had a few owners and is now used as an event space.  This statue of Joan of Arc also has a history.

Joan of Arc statue at French Market

This statue spend many years in storage, final being unveiled in 1972.  Joan stood outside the International Trade Mart until 1999.  When a casino purchased the property Joan was kicked out.   But she found a new home at the French Market, got a fresh coat of gold and a new guided pennant.  And we all love her now.    During the American Civil War, Jefferson Davis was president of the Confederate States of America.

House where Jefferson Davis died

This is the house where he died on December 6, 1889.   Shopping in New Orleans is fun.

Fleurty Girl. Popular store.

This popular store, Fleurty Girl, had many interesting and unusual items.    Be sure to check it out when you are in New Orleans.   And here is Manning’s.

Manning’s

A few blocks from the Mississippi River and close to the French Quarter, Manning’s is of interest to football fans.  Manning’s opened in 2012.  The restaurant and sports bar were created by Harrah’s Casino and Archie Manning.  Archie Manning, a 12 year quarterback with the New Orleans Saints football team, was voted New Orleans most popular athlete.   On display are items from Archie’s career and also the careers of his sons, Peyton and Eli, both NFL quarterbacks.   Peyton Manning ended his career here in Denver as quarterback of the Denver Broncos football team.   It was a hot day in New Orleans, so we hopped off the bus and entered the aquarium, located along the Mississippi River.   We watched an IMAX movie about South Sea Coral Reefs.   It was great, but we want to show you the lobby.

Jelly fish in aquarium

These hanging sculptures are fun.   The jelly fish are made from trash removed from the ocean.

Jelly fish in Aquarium

Even closer, this jelly fish looks great.

In aquarium

And not just jelly fish were featured.   Isn’t it great that organizations are pulling plastic and other items from the ocean and doing something wonderful?   We think so.   Today we wanted to show you that whatever you like, you will probably find it in New Orleans and a lot of new, unexpected things also.   This is a fabulous city.

New Orleans Saint Louis Cemetery Number One with Zeb and Soapy

We are ready.   We have our tickets.   We are at the Basin Street Station information center.   The tour is about to begin.   Saint Louis Cemetery Number One is the oldest and most famous cemetery in New Orleans.   It opened in 1789.

Colorado Traveling Ducks with our guide

At the entrance with our guide, we are ready to enter.   So many.

One tomb may be for many family members

These tombs are large and close together.   One claims to have remains of more than 80 human family members.   All tombs are above ground.  Remember, New Orleans is below sea level and located on the Mississippi River where the river meets the Gulf of Mexico.   Here is possibly the most famous grave in the cemetery, actually in the entire city.

Marie Laveau

Marie Laveau was the most famous voodoo priestess.

Marie Laveau

But she also attended the Roman Catholic Church.   That is why she is allowed to be buried here.   Her followers leave flowers and tokens of admiration.   You can see how the cemeteries arranged.

Rows of tombs

There are many rows, each with several tombs.  Here is an unusual situation.

Future home of Nicholas Cage

This pyramid has been purchased, but there is no body here.   The American actor, Nicholas Cage, likes New Orleans and this is his tomb.   He purchased this in 2010 and when he dies he wishes to be buried here.   Some of you may recognize this one.

Large. Was in a movie

This tomb was used in a Hollywood movie.  I’m not sure which movie, but maybe Easy Rider.   This tomb reminds us that this cemetery is really old.

Old tombs

This one has places for many human remains.

Places for many

Each in a separate tomb.   Looks like more than one human buried here.

Homer Plessy

One of them, Homer Plessy, was the plaintiff for the landmark 1896 Plessy v Ferguson Supreme Court decision on civil rights.   There is so much history here in the cemetery.   Our cemetery tour was very interesting and our guide was wonderful.   Back at the information center, we rest on this decorative coffin.

Decorative coffin

We get back on the tourist bus.

Soapy’s mom on bus with cemetery in background

Soapy’s mom is here with the Saint Louis Cemetery Number One in the background.   Due to vandalism, people can only visit with a tour guide.   Relatives may apply for special passes.   Visit a cemetery.   It is really interesting.

Colordo Traveling Ducks Visit New Orleans, Louisiana

This summer, I, Zeb the Duck, Soapy Smith Duck and our moms flew to New Orleans.   This was our first time in New Orleans. We stayed at French Market Inn.   We were in the French Quarter, across the street from the Mississippi River.   Let’s look at our hotel.   It is old brick.   We have a courtyard.

Doorway on left goes upstairs to our room

There is a small swimming pool, but we are too busy seeing New Orleans to swim.

Close to the street, but quiet in here.

These narrow passages offer protection from the intense New Orleans sunshine.   From our second floor room, we look out our window.

View from my room

Soapy and his mom have a similar view from their room.   This is so much more peaceful than looking at the street.   Let’s walk a little and maybe eat lunch.

The Gazebo Cafe. Love it!

The Gazebo Cafe offered outside seating and musicians performing.   What to order?   The New Orleans Sampler.

Our first New Orleans meal

It was so good, the humans starting eating before the photo.   We have red beans and rice, gumbo and jambalaya.   These are typical and famous New Orleans food items.   And they are delicious.  We are next to the French Market.   This was once the great bazaar and pulsing commercial heart for New Orleans.

French Market food stalls

Now is it bustling with tourists, like us.   The food stalls smell wonderful.   We did sample some on a later visit.   Tastes as good as it smells.

French Market souvenirs

Wandering through the souvenir area of the French Market is fun also.   It is pretty hot, so the humans bought tickets for the Hop On Hop Off tourist bus.

Hop on Hop Off tourist bus

Riding around New Orleans we smile at the VooDoo Mart.

Voo Doo Mart

That just seems so New Orleans.   And look at this Holiday Inn.

Holiday Inn with huge clarinet

We love the huge clarinet on the building.   New Orleans has music everywhere.   Jazz is famous in New Orleans.   Wow.

Mercedes Benz Superdome

Look at the Mercedes Benz Superdome.   We see this on TV during our football season.   The football arena is covered, so the Super Bowl Football game is often played here.   Many years ago, our Denver Broncos played here in a Super Bowl Game.   Now we are at Basin Street Station for our tour bus.

Basin Street Station and information center

This is also an information center.   Next to this building is a famous cemetery.   We bought tickets for a cemetery tour and we will take you there next time.   We are liking New Orleans.

Manassa, Conejos and Antonito in San Luis Valley, Colorado with Zeb the Duck

Humans say this is our last day to explore the San Luis Valley.   After leaving the town of San Luis, we go to Manassa, Colorado.   Manassa is the birthplace of Jack Dempsey.

Jack Dempsey, the Manassa Mauler

Jack Dempsey was born in Manassa June 24, 1895.  He became a boxer and was heavy weight champion from 1919-1926.   This was sculpted by Bob Booth.   Dempsey was often called the Manassa Mauler.   The small Jack Dempsey museum was closed for the season.

Jack Dempsey museum

We were there in late September.   I liked this old bell.

Old bell

I, Zeb the Duck, like old things that I can touch.   Our next stop was in Conejos, Colorado.   This street is dedicated to veterans.

Conejos, Colorado. Tribute to veterans

New trees were planted this year.   I hope they survive their first winter.   Our Lady of Guadeloupe Parish is the oldest parish in Colorado.

Church for oldest parish in Colorado. Conejos, Colorado

This is the church they currently use.   The first church was built of pickets in 1863.   A larger church was built, but was destroyed by a fire in 1926.   This church has been in use since 1927.

Inside

The inside is beautiful.   Looking back toward the entrance.

Inside. Choir loft

The choir loft is in the back, but we could not climb to the loft when we visited.   Look at this window.

window

As I have mentioned, I, Zeb the Duck love stained glass windows.   Outside we admired the grotto.

Grotto

Isn’t this nice and peaceful?  We are only a few miles north of Antonito, so we go into town.   There is a great train ride from Antonito.   Maybe next time?   We go to see Cano’s Castle.

Help mom

Hey mom.   I don’t know this dog.   This is not our Chloe.   Tom has rescued me.   Thanks Tom!

Cano’s castle

We learned about Cano’s Castle on RoadsideAmerica.com   Cano, a Vietnam Veteran, is building this castle, using an assortment of materials.   I see many hubcaps and other materials.   There are thousands of aluminum cans.   The ends of the cans are cut off and nailed to the walls.   The middle of the cans are turned inside out and hammered to the walls to create aluminum siding.   Cano came out to talk with us.  He is building this for Jesus.

Cano’s castle

If you are near Antonito, Colorado, you should stop to see Cano’s Castle.   You can only look from the street.   There are no tours of this creation at this time.   It is interesting to see what people can and want to do.  We enjoyed our trip to Colorado’s San Luis Valley.   But like everywhere, there is still so much more to see.   Hope you visit soon.

Shrine of the Stations of the Cross in San Luis, Colorado

Today we are following the path up the hill to the Shrine of the Stations of the Cross.

Up cement steps. To chapel on the hill

I, Zeb the Duck, am ready to walk up this cement path.   That chapel is pretty far away.   Where is the cement?

Good dirt path

Most of this path is dirt.   But it is an easy path, so all is good.  People come from all places to visit this Shrine of the Stations of the Cross.   We met and chatted with a very nice couple from England.   Here we are at Station I.

Station of the Cross I Pilate condemns Jesus to die

This is where Pilate condemns Jesus to die.  All of these sculptures are done by Huberto Maestas.   We think these sculptures are fabulous works of art.   Huberto Maestas has his studio here in San Luis, Colorado.  Each station has a beautiful sculpture and two plaques explaining the station and some biblical explanations.   This is Station VIII, Jesus speaks to the Women.

Station VII Jesus speaks to the women

We wanted you to see the detail and expression in these sculptures.

Station VIII Jesus speaks to the women

This station has two sculptures.   One of the women and one of Jesus carrying his cross.   At Station XI Jesus is nailed to the cross.

Station XI Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

These are bronze sculptures.   At Station XIV Jesus is laid in the tomb.

Station XIV Jesus is Laid in the Tomb

As you can see, many humans have left objects on the cross.    Traditionally there are 14 Stations of the Cross, but here a 15th station has been added.

Station XV The Resurrection of Jesus

This station shows the Resurrection of Jesus.   The path is a little less than one mile, but seems like an easy walk if you stop to see each sculpture and read the two plaques at each station.    At the top we entered the small chapel.

Chapel

No regularly scheduled church services exist here.

Inside chapel

The interior is very nice.

Inside chapel

I, Zeb the Duck,  like to show you views from the front and from the back.   Humans sometimes leave offerings here.   We found a small bunch of fresh carrots near the front.  The view of San Luis from the top is beautiful.

View of San Luis and the “Vega”

The valley is one of only a few “vegas” or public grazing lands in Colorado.   The pastures belong to all the people.   Not to a single person.   This is a nice community feeling.  If you are in or near San Luis, Colorado, we hope you visit the Shrine of the Stations of the Cross.   We really enjoyed our time here.