Sunday, February 27, 2011

Electrical Power in Europe

I have an adaptor that I can use in France, but my next extended trip includes France, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, and England.  I have started the research to determine what I need to take with me so that I don't need to spend the time on my travel to get a converter.

I normally carry several electronic devices that I use on a regular basis: iPhone, small camera, and large camera.  I also take a small netbook so that I can archive my photos, blog, and connect to family at home.

I want to be able to balance the variety of plugs, making sure that I can go to the different countries, with the need to charge my electronics overnight.  I also need to consider space, since I will be traveling with only a carry-on bag and a backpack.  I also need to make sure that I will be able to plug my US plugs laptop plug is three pronged.

These are my options. The pricing is very reasonable and I am going to purchase several so that I can take a limited time to recharge.

The links below are affiliate links. These are the ones that I found on Amazon.

Friday, February 18, 2011

New Orleans - Old street names

I liked these tiled street name markers.  A few were taken at various stops along the same street.  I wanted to post them all here so that I could look at them and pick a few that I wanted to print. The frame holds three.  Which three do you like the best?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mississippi River - New Orleans

I am always drawn to the water. The river is low at this time of year, until the Spring thaws start to feed water in from the northern rivers.  There is a walkway along the river and it creates a nice place to bike, jog, and walk.

Wooden stairs lead down in to the water, or river's edge,
depending on the time of year and water flow.

This is looking west towards the center of the city
and the highrise hotels.

This is looking east towards what appears to be
an industrial area.

This is looking north, away from the river,
and back at the St Louis Cathedral.

This is directly across the river.  There appears to be
a nice long log laying in the sand as the perfect place
to stop and take in the scenary.

This shows how nice the walkway is, paved with bricks
and lit by tall lamps.

Birthday Picnic in Courtyard

Happy Birthday to our "Birthday Girl"!  We celebrated with her birthday lunch in the courtyard of Place D'Armes.  Baguettes, meats, cheeses and fruits, along with some yummy red wine created quite the feast. We pulled our resources and found towels for tablecloths, cups and glasses from the rooms. 

"Birthday Girl" gets to wear the special hat. 
Check out her hubby's expression.

Our Pinot Noir wine from "Pinot Evil".

Friends gather around the festive tables.

More than enough for all to enjoy.

This photo didn't work as well as I thought that it would.
I was trying to get me in with the group.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Inside Jackson Square - New Orleans

Jackson Square is a nice park area in front of St. Louis Cathedral.  It is lush and shady, with plenty of benches.  The iron work is beautiful and while most has been painted, some of the benches show a little wear and rust, adding to the charm of the park.
There is an entrance on each of the four sides
with gates and lamp posts.

Lamps light the way and make a beautiful scene at night.

There are fountains throughout the gardens.

St Louis Cathedral stands watch over the park.

Drinking fountains

A large fountain at the main entrance.
The banana bushes had some damage with the recent cold weather.

Benches are available throughout the park.

These trees had bright red berries.

Mardi Gras Decorations in French Quarter

Preparation for Mardi Gras begins as Christmas is winding down.  Twinkle lights and trees stay up, the colors change from red and green to purple, green and gold.  Every day brought new decorations to the balconies and storefronts.

Tree decorations shown in a storefront window

Balconies are dressed with ribbon, balls and twinkle lights

The "Christmas Tree" in the hotel lobby has been
changed to a "Mardi Gras Tree" in mid January.
It will stay that way through mid March.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Court of Two Sisters in New Orleans

This restaurant has a small and discrete street front, but it is very large inside. We made reservations for Saturday Jazz Brunch and ate in the courtyard. The day was perfect and the service was great. Troy made sure that we had everything that we wanted, and also made sure that we had ample encouragement to eat as much as we wanted.

Jazz floated throughout the restaurant and courtyard.  Start the video and then browse through the pictures below so that you can enjoy the sounds along with the sights.

Famous Historical Court of Two Sisters!

Fountain gurgled as we entered the courtyard area
The eggs were cooking in the large pot of water.
Omelettes made fresh.  Hollandaise sauce was incredible.

Long buffet line of hot foods.

Turtle soup in the cup.
Scrambled eggs, breakfast meats, breadpudding (dessert early),
bananas foster (dessert early), sweet potatoes

Shrimp with roumoulade sauce, chicken curry, ambrosia,
fruits, and pecan pie (dessert again)
The two hour meal was made complete by the conversation and laughter of friends.

More dessert. King Cake!

Touch the Charm Gate!

Art and Artists at Jackson Square, New Orleans

Jackson Square is a lively area.  The inner park is fenced off.  Be sure to take time to look at the decorative gates.  There are benches inside the park in shady places.  Look up in the trees to see random Mardi Gras beads.  Artists line the outside of the fence with their unique New Orleans artwork.

On the day that this photo was taken, the Rock and Roll Mardi Gras marathon was held.  The route was on Decatur in front of Jackson Square.  See other postings for more photos of the marathon and the music along the route.
Jackson Square in front of St. Louis Cathedral

Artists display and sell their work along the fencing outside of the park

There is something for everyone.

And artwork for every decor and taste.

The benches provide plenty of room to sit.
Vendors set up tables and stands in the empty spaces.

Horsedrawn carriages seat from two to eight people.
The silver man sitting on top of the newspaper stand is a mime.
Tips to show appreciation for his work go in the bucket.
I NEVER saw him move.
Click to see the musicians in Jackson Square

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pirate's Alley cappucino and gelato

Cappucino and gelato at La Davine's
Time for a snack as we are walking around the French Quarter.