Friday, 22 February 2013

Train Trip 2013 - Alpine to New Orleans

Very sad train station in Houston
We left Alpine in the evening and arrived in Houston just before noon. An ugly white non-descript building, Houston most definitely does not have one of America’s great stations! 

Surrounded by highway overpasses with skyscrapers in the distance, we didn’t hold out much hope for finding a nearby coffee shop during the short stop here. However, a newer looking building with a section of green roof and wind fans on top caught our attention. Upon closer inspection we learned it was the City of Houston’s Green Building Resource Center and inside was a small area of displays featuring green building and other green innovations. It was an interesting way to spend our 40 minutes. 
Houston's Green Building Resource Center
We arrived in New Orleans about 9 p.m. The next day we took the Charles Street Trolley and went to the Audubon Zoo. Rather than take the shuttle from Charles Street to the zoo we walked the mile + through Audubon Park which is one of the highlights that I remember from our trip here about 12 years ago. Trees, water, flowers, old southern homes lining one side . . . gorgeous!

I didn't take many photos at the zoo because I knew Andrew was getting some really good ones! 

The next day we went to the aquarium (more of Andrew's photos) in the morning. It was a warm but windy day and with threatening rains so we spent the afternoon at a couple short Imax films (The Last Reef and Hurricane on the Bayou) and Andrew went to the Insectarium while I went to the Southern Food and Beverage Museum.

The Museum mostly featured the history of food and beverage in Louisiana --  sno-cones, sugar cane/sugar factory, cajun influences and MRE's (meals-ready-to-eat) a la Hurricane Katrina -- but there was also some information from other southern states. Did you know that Alma, Arkansas, is the Spinach Capital of the World, hosts a yearly Spinach Festival and their town water tanks are painted to portray large cans of spinach with a picture of Popeye on them?

Oh, and have you ever wondered how to make moonshine? How to modify your vehicle so that the weight of the moonshine doesn't give you away? How best to keep yourself from getting robbed while transporting moonshine? Well then, this is the place for you!

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