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Dublin Airport, Ireland, May 2012

Finally the day had come: travel day! We packed our luggage and went to Dublin Airport. Here we are in the lounge in the new terminal 2 waiting to board our plane. We would be flying with Aer Lingus to Chicago.
"Our usual flight", Roger added - sligthly bragging.
This was Magnus' first transatlantic trip and he was very impressed. McBear said we were going to fly an Airbus 330. In Chicago, we would change to terminal 2 and end up in New Orleans.


Somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, May 2012

On the flight we had window seats. Here's Roger enjoying the great views. We had hoped the flight path would go across Greenland so we'd be able to see the ice sheet that covers most of Greenland, however, our flight path this time went south of Greenland.


New Orleans, Louisiana, May 2012

In New Orleans we stayed at the Marriott Hotel. Here we are in Canal Street with the Marriott in the background. New Orleans is in the very deep south and very hot and humid. We were all sweatty... and smelly, especially McBear. Tom was complaining about the smell in backpack.
"McBear, you should take showers more often" Roger pointed out.
"I am just cautious," McBear was defending himself. "Showers wear out your fur, and I want to last at least one human lifetime!"
"Oh, that won't be many years," Tom was teasing, "no owner would want to live more than half a life with that smell in the house!"


New Orleans, Louisiana, May 2012

From the top of the Marriott at the 41st floor we had great views of New Orleans. We could see all of the famous French Quarter with its buildings in old French colonial style.

To the right, we could see the mighty Mississippi River. Tom thought it was spelt misiscipee. Roger thought it was spelt Miseesseeppee and McBear used to spell it Mississeepy. Magnus was totally baffled and had no idea there was a problem with the spelling at all. We ended up counting the s's, the p's, the e's and the i's. It turned out there are four s's and two p's; four i's and no e's: Mississippi... Phew!


New Orleans, Louisiana, May 2012

The next morning we went down to see the mighty Mississippi. At almost 4,000 miles, it is among the three longest rivers in the world. We enjoyed the sunshine, strolling along the River Walk among people. We didn't see any bear citizens, and McBear of course was a bit disappointed.


New Orleans, Louisiana, May 2012

We strolled around the narrow streets of the French Quarter. Here we are in front of the St. Louis Cathedral at the famous Jackson Square. The cathedral dates back to the late 1700 hundreds, however, the present look dates back to 1850.


New Orleans, Louisiana, May 2012

We went to see the Louisiana State Museum next to the cathedral. The museum tells the story of the hurricane Katarina and how it ravaged New Orleans in 2005 leaving many homes ruined. Many belongings were lost. A teddy bear was found in the mud after the disaster and put on display in the museum. McBear and Roger felt very emotional.

We went for lunch at Coop's Place down Decatur Street. Here, we had a gorgeous Jambalaya Supreme, yummy! During our stay we went to many different restaurants and had Gumbo and Crawfish pie!


New Orleans, Louisiana, May 2012

Many of the buildings in New Orleans are colonial and have a balcony framed by wrought iron like on this photo. They are built in French colonial style which is called creole style.


New Orleans, Louisiana, May 2012

To get around the city centre, we took the tram. In New Orleans, they call it a street car. Tom was a bit baffled.
"Why call it a street car? Most cars run in the streets! I mean, you don't see many cars driving inside buildings, do you?"


Brevard-Rice House, New Orleans, Louisiana, May 2012

We went out to the Garden District to see the many fine buildings in this area including the Brevard-Rice House. This used to be the home of the world famous author Anne Rice who among many books wrote Interview with a wampire.

Roger, who knows a great deal about authors - being an author himself as he pointed out - said that Anne Rice decided to sell the house at the end because of too many fans around the house. In fact, we ourselves weren't the only ones around to see the house.
"So what are we doing here?" Tom asked.
"Good point!" McBear agreed. "Let's leave and go for coffee somewhere".


New Orleans, Louisiana, May 2012

Nearby we came across an... Irish Pub! Surprise, surprise! Tom said it was very hot, so he went inside immediately to have a pint. McBear and Roger waited until the photo had been taken before following the others inside.

Having seen the house of Anne Rice, we all felt inspired and wanted to write something. McBear wanted to write a proposal for a constitution for TARNO - Toy Animals' Rights of New Orleans. Roger wanted to write "How the citizens of New Orleans welcomed my visit". And Tom was thinking of writing "How I got to visit all bears and bars in New Orleans".


Oak Alley, Louisiana, May 2012

One of the days we hired a car and went on plantation tours between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, the capital of Louisiana. We visited four plantations including the famous Oak Alley. Some of the filming of Interview with a Vampire actually took place at the main building at Oak Alley. Oak Alley is one of many plantations associated with the slavery up until the civil war in the United States. After the war, slaves were given their freedom.

Oak Alley has an incredible alley of old oaks nearly 300 years old!


Oak Alley, Louisiana, May 2012

Oak Alley is located almost at the banks of the Mississippi River. We went to see the great river boat, American Queen. Although it's almost brand new, the boat is a genuine steamboat built as a steamboat from the old days. One can go on a river cruise. It's the largest river boat ever built.


Laura, Louisiana, May 2012

We went to visit Laura, an other plantation named after one of its owners. It is not as large as Oak Alley, but still the interior and furniture looked very nice and fine.


Laura, Louisiana, May 2012

Laura was indeed a very different experience in that the guide told us about the lives of the slaves that lived on the plantation. Here we are in front of one of the old cabins that housed a slave family or two.
"Not sure I would have liked to be a slave," McBear said.
"Maybe you were a slave bear in a previous bear life and that explains your passion for freedom and toy animals' rights in this life."
"Good point, Roger, very good point."



New Orleans    Texas    The Wild West   




Old Oaks in great numbers
lined up
one by one
at OAK ALLEY

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