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Showing posts from September 24, 2006

Day 29: San Antonio, TX

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Saturday 9/30 We leave towards San Antonio. While we stay mostly on I-10, here and there we leave the Interstate and check into little villages such as Weimar, once in a while. Most of them are pretty much down – almost ghost towns. It’s a pity to see those little villages die out. We arrive San Antonio late evening around 8PM. We called the Menger Hotel and a very friendly lady guided us via cell phone through town to find the place. When we arrive the front desk had the most professional and friendliest staff on our trip. It was late we are hungry and hope to find a restaurant on what is called “The River Walk”. We heard about it as one of the attractions in San Antonio. Wow – what a unbelievable place. It is now after 9PM and there are restaurant after restaurant packed with people – pretty much everything is outside at this gorgeous little river. And again what a high level of service in every restaurant and bar we went to. We planned to leave in the morning but decided to stay on

Day 28: Galveston, TX

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Friday 9/29 Today we don’t do anything but hang out at the beach and at the pool. In the evening we tour around old town Galveston, the Strand and have dinner in one of the many beach restaurants.

Day 27: Houston / Galveston, TX

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Thursday 9/28 After a quick breakfast we are curious about a thing called “Home Finder Center”. It is an information center about a gigantic home development called “The Woodlands”. We wanted to know what it is. New homes between 3,700 and 6,000 sft range from $250,000 to about $700,000. The homes here are probably a 10th of the price in California. The Woodlands represent “Boom Town”. The whole area around Houston is booming like nowhere else in the country. Las Vegas? A slow moving village in comparison. After we kind of digested our initial shock of living conditions here versus other places in the country we are heading towards Galveston at the Gulf coast. We don’t expect a lot since people told us it is nothing special, the gulf has oil platforms all over and it may be dirty. What a surprise when we get there. Galveston is a great beach community. The beach is perfect, the sand like powder and absolutely clean. Of course we have perfect weather conditions now in late September an

Day 26: Lousiana - Houston, TX

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Wednesday 9/27 In the morning we take I-10 out of New Orleans towards Slidell where we do a Swamp Tour. This tour is certainly one of the highlight of our trip. We are guided deep into a tropical yesterday. It feels like 2 Million Years back in time. After a few minutes the first alligator is approaching us. Captain Nolan guides us and a few other people deeper into the swamp. We are going towards a very small arm – looks like unapproachable. But we just push through the vegetation. About 100 yards further it opens up again and we are in the middle of an entirely green covered area. As the boat goes forward we see the water in the back which closes right after us. It is beautiful and hard to explain with words – even with photos. After about 3 ½ hours we return to civilization and back to current time (2006). We hit the road again and head towards Houston Texas. We pass by other villages which still lay there, destroyed from Catharina. By sun set we arrive Texas. And right immediately

Day 25: New Orleans, LA

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Tuesday 9/26 On our way to New Orleans we stopped by Brookhaven. Jackson Street has some very nice, very large plantation homes we just liked to see. And on the road again we drive south on 61 to New Orleans. Further south we missed the junction to hit the 10 and then cross Lake Pontchartrain, using the large bridge across the lake. But that was actually fortunate. We continued the 61 which is build on concrete posts and guide is to some of the swamp land. This was a very nice ride. In the afternoon we arrive at New Orleans. From I-10 we still see the devastation from Hurricane Katharina 1 year ago. Some areas look like the hurricane was yesterday while other areas are pretty much rebuilt. We missed an exit and drove through one of the poorest areas. People sit on the street and talk or wait for better times. Nobody is busy cleaning up the dirt. We enter Bourbon Street, which welcomes us with a sweet smell of trash. Now we realize that this town is not devastated by Katharina but by t

Day 24: Nashville, TN - Vicksburg, MS

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Monday 9/25 In the morning we decided to see Graceland since it is on our way towards Mississippi. As we were guided through Elvis mention we learned a lot about him and his music. Even so I wouldn’t call myself an Elvis fan – I was glad we stopped by (All the true fans forgive my ignorance). Mid day we drive down 61 towards Vicksburg. We even went a while on SR 1 and drove through hundreds of cotton fields. This road is far of any major traffic line. We mostly cross tractors and big trucks moving the large cotton bars. This is an interesting piece of America. Unlike many farm states where people complain about their lives and express some sense of jealousness Mississippi seem to prepare them for the future. This state unlike some of their neighbor states is self-confident and forward looking. In the evening we arrived in Vicksburg, a cute little town at the Mississippi River. We looked for a very hard to find place called Cedar Hills Mansion. It is one of the oldest homes in Vicksbur

Day 23: Ashville - Memphis

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Sunday 9/24 We leave Ashville very early in the morning. No more rain and we head towards Nashville Tennessee (Picture left). We arrive in Nashville this Sunday around lunch time and it feels like any other city on a Sunday at lunch time: a bid dull. We spend some time at the old fort and drive through down town where are the bars and restaurants are. It feels like we should come back on a Friday or Saturday. So we decided we hit the road again and try to make it to Memphis right in time to have fun in down town where some musical festival takes place. 3 hours later we arrive in Memphis. A very nice town. Much nicer than what people told us. There is a beautiful city center, with a trolley and coaches who brings you from place to place. Peabody near Beale Street is the heart of Memphis with endless restaurants, bars, pubs and shops. We walk from our hotel 6 blocks to where the action is. Laud music guides us in the right direction. Probably 20 or more live bands play in the various p