Allan and Jenny's Spring 2005 Adventure

This page links to pictures from Allan and Jenny's Spring 2005 vacation. It started with a trip to St. Louis for the NCAA Men's Baketball Final Four in St. Louis on April 2.

Then on April 6 we went to New Orleans to start a "train cruise" on the American Orient Express to Washington, DC, with stops in Vicksburg, Savannah, Charleston, and Richmond/Fredericksburg.

Links:

April 2: St. Louis Saturday
Wandering around town including the Capitol and the Arch. Then the Saturday games of the Final Four.
April 3: St. Louis Sunday
A visit to the St. Louis Zoo, a sort of artistic picture of the Old Capitol, and shots from a blues club we found in a neighborhood called Soulard.
April 4: St. Louis Monday
First, a visit to a very odd museum, which included a collection of architectural figures from now-demolished or "refurbished" buildings. Then lunch with some street performers, and finally the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship.
April 5: New Orleans, Louisiana
Just three pictures as Jenny and Allan start eating and drinking their way through New Orleans.
April 6: New Orleans, Louisiana
Brunch at Brennan's, beignets at Cafe Du Monde, rain in the French Quarter, and boarding the train to start our trip on the American Orient Express.
April 7: Vicksburg, Mississippi
First stop on the American Orient Express: Vicskburg, Mississippi. The seige of Vicksburg resulted in a Confederate surrender that divided the South into two parts along the Mississippi. We toured the battle lines of the beseigers and defenders and saw the large number of monuments placed in the National Military Park by the participating states, both Union and Confederate.

In Vicksburg itself, we had lunch at a home that was once owned by Jefferson Davis' older brother. Davis himself lived here after being freed from prison after the war, and gave a famous speech from its front balcony thanking the people of Vicksburg (and, by extension, the whole South) for their efforts.

April 8: On the Train
We spent Friday on the train, traveling from Jackson, Mississippi to Savannah, Georgia. This page has some pictures from the train.
April 9: Savannah
Savannah is the hospitality city in the South: in Atlanta they ask, "What business are you in?" In Charleston they ask, "What is your lineage?" But in Savannah they ask, "What will you have to drink?"

We had a trolley tour of the historic district and the Riverfront, and then a "progressive lunch" where you have Mint Juleps and the entree at one house and dessert at another. Then we saw Fort Pulaski, a fort the Confederates took over. It fell when the Union used new-fangled rifled canon that could reach it from the next island.

April 10: Charleston, South Carolina
There are people who preferred Savannah, and people who preferred Charleston. (Jenny thinks the ladies prefer Charleston and the gentlemen prefer Savannah.)

We toured the historic area of town by horse-drawn carriage. One story: there is a church steeple that the guide is pointing to in one of the pictures, and that steeple lasted through the Revolutionary War and the Civil War with some hits but without any permanent damage. What it couldn't survive was the building of a parking garage nearby: some supports cracked and the steeple started listing to one side. They're restoring it now.

Then we went to the Magnolia Plantation, where the (third) plantation house is open for visitors.

April 11: Monticello and Richmond, Virginia
We visited The Citadel, then Monticello (Thomas Jefferson's home), and Monument Avenue in Richmond.
April 12: Washington, DC
We arrived in Washington, DC on Tuesday morning and started our visit there. We stayed at the Hay-Adams Hotel, where some rooms overlook the White House. Mostly, we walked the stations of the American cross: the war memorials on the National Mall.
April 13: Washington, DC
Today we saw the Asian Art collection at the Smithsonian's Sackler Gallery. Then we went on a tour of the Library of Congress, and later of the Kennedy Center. At night we saw the Washington Ballet perform Romeo and Julet. It was their first performance of it, a preview before Opening Night.
April 14: Washington, DC
This day in DC, we had a tour of the Capitol, where we saw the two statues submitted from Hawaii: King Kamehameha and a very odd statue of Father Damien. Then we went to the National Gallery, where they let you take pictures of the works they have - something we're not used to.

We went to Georgetown to see what that was like, and then back to the Smithsonian's American History museum. Here, we got a back-stairs tour of some items not on display through an odd bit of serendipity: while on the train, we met a historian in the Arts & Entertainment department. The only pictures we took of that are of the historian's office.