Sunday, April 11, 2010

Our NOLA Trip - 28th Wedding Anniversary Part V

Unfortunately, due to being able to post only 5 pictures per post here, I’ve had to divide up the report. And since blogs are arranged how they are, you have to go backwards. So start on “Our NOLA Trip – Part I” and go from there through “Our NOLA Trip – Part X”

We walked from there to City Park (with a MUCH needed potty break at Burger King - long live the KING!). What a fantastic place! (The park of course….. the Burger King was only so-so.) We only saw a small portion of it – it is the fifth largest public park in the country -- and were so impressed. It was very much damaged by Katrina - being under 3 feet of water, but if you are new to the park, as we were, it just isn't evident. The huge oaks hang heavy with Spanish moss - I tried to get the effect in a photo, but couldn't quite capture it. They have a mini amusement park, golf courses, picnic areas, boating, an art museum, botanical gardens and lots more. We spent some time in Storyland and the Train Gardens in the Botanical Gardens. Storyland is a small park for kids with charming little vignettes and figures from fairytales and kid lit:

Some are large enough to climb on - an especially cool one is a fire breathing dragon that is a slide. Kids climb up his tail and slice down his flame:

Most of the figures are molded fiberglass and brightly colored. They included the 3 pigs and their houses, Jack climbing a beanstalk, The Old Woman who lived in a shoe, Peter and Captain Hook fighting in a crow's nest in a little ship, etc., etc. All kid-sized and very charming and nostalgic to someone who grew up going to Storybook Land and The Enchanted Forest!

Mr. Kim: Storyland was cute, but the Train Gardens were really charming. Overall the track layout covered maybe 100 feet by 50 feet and was more or less laid out in the shape of NOLA between Lake Ponchartrain and the river. Two volunteers were there keeping the trains running on time and doing general repairs. We got a quick impromptu primer on G gauge trains, building manufacture, and the old neighborhoods (sort of) represented. Three trains and two streetcars were running:

Me again: I agree completely. The Train Garden was whimsical and charming and very well done. Between the volunteer engineers and the additional miniature houses designed by local artists it is truly a labor of love. What we saw at the Botanical gardens was lovely - still Katrina damaged and not much in season just yet:

Just now it is post peak camellias and prior to all the bulb activity, I suppose. I'd love to see it all in full flower.

One of the whimsical birdhouses at the Botanical Gardens:

There were a number of these, done by local artists in the various styles of NOLA architecture – including a little shotgun cottage.

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