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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international consultants. About living in Italy, the Veneto area near Venice; in Indonesia, central Java. Why we love the southeast of the United States and moved back from Italy. Our love for gardening, the botanical way. Sharing with you our manifold treasures from exotic places and even offering several in my Mariette's Back to Basics LLC Boutique, for others to enjoy. As well as high end silver items from Giovanni Raspini, Italy |  google.com/+MariettesBacktoBasics 
I also do classes and consulting... too much to list here! Check out my google.com/+MarietteVandenMunckhofVedder ABOUT page, where you see my other LINKS and email address; you just scroll down.Thanks!
Love to bring back some romance and quality to the daily life of others... 

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Friday, March 16, 2018

We DID go back to New Orleans!

On Saturday, February 24, 2018, both of us were flying from Atlanta to New Orleans, using our free Delta Airlines companion ticket which would expire on the 28th. 
The weather forecast was excellent.
So we booked our room for 3 nights at the Hyatt Place New Orleans/Convention Center which is very close to The National WWII Museum, a 3 minute walk. 
So on Sunday morning we got up for our breakfast, which is on the 3rd floor.
Actually inside the squared space between the four walls with rooms.
Now we were ready to walk to Jackson Square for the 11:00 AM Mass at the Cathedral-Basilica Saint. Louis with organ and choir.
BUT... it was pouring down!
Hyatt Place New Orleans/Convention Center
Well, having our breakfast here on the 3rd floor at the Hyatt Place New Orleans/Convention Center's Guest Kitchen gave us NO view to the outside.
We soon were in for a weather surprise...
That perfect weather forecast of 28ºC or 82ºF had gone down to about 21ºC or 70ºF and 100% WET.
So out came my travel umbrella and we ordered a taxi instead.
That made us arrive early but this was perfect for admiring this magnificent Cathedral-Basilica from the inside.
What a gem is this French Quarter landmark! Click on link for info...
We took our photos after having first a chat with the Rector and found us a perfect spot up front, so Pieter could follow Mass easily.
It meant a lot to us for being here at Mass at the oldest Catholic cathedral in continual use in the United States on Sunday.
Check out more photos from the interior on my TripAdvisor's review: What a treat for going to 11:00 AM Sunday Mass with Organ & Choir and on husband Pieter's: City Tour from American Cruise Line's did NOT include this but we went back!
The above 2 photos of Jackson Square are made on Monday as we walked past without any rain.
We did however manage to walk back to our hotel on Sunday, after Mass.
Pieter took a nap and next we went in 3 minutes walking to The National WWII Museum.
Husband Pieter in front of THE NATIONAL WWII MUSEUM
Me in front of THE NATIONAL WWII MUSEUM with the huge WWII sign on top, next to the tree.
The Museum Campus is HUGE, you can see it on photos in the above link.
Do you notice the red bricks?
Commemorative Bricks or ROAD TO VICTORY BRICKS that could be purchased for $ 250 to honor a personal hero.
NAMES of fallen HEROES... those that served during WWII and civilians.
Just click on the pink hyperlink for more info.
Yeah, Take a selfie with FDR at The National World War II Museum soon... and I did!
A beautiful bronze Franklin Delano Roosevelt sculpture.
Here you can read the complete text on a FB Page from Studio EIS, who did this bronze sculpture.
It is just over 1 year old.
My husband Pieter, who was a teen during WWII, did enjoy this museum tremendously.
There is a departing train, all set in the time of the 40s and you follow a personal screen with video.
The outside windows do transfer you back in time with a real movie being shown.
Then you are ready to explore the wonderful museum with video on the walls and spoken narrative and lots of artifacts too.
There is everywhere a chance to sit down while watching a short video of that section, so even elderly can enjoy it!
We did go to The American Sector, a 1940s style restaurant American Classics with a Gourmet Twist, conveniently within The National WWII Museum, without having to go onto the street.
Even though you can have dinner there without visiting the Museum, click on link for info from which street to enter.
The food was absolutely delicious and the price of a drink during Happy hour (daily from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM) is half-priced.
We went for a Chicken & Andouille Gumbo (served with rice) and a delicious Victory Garden Salad with Greens, Cherry Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Shaved Radishes and Champagne Vinaigrette.
Everything does take you back to the 1940s, even the bill presentation in this flat tin!
Close to our hotel, Pieter leaning against these balls...
A perfect Sunday with a total walking distance of 5.5 km or 8,846 steps.
We traveled very light this trip with only 1 carry on for both of us and my Kipling backpack.
Pieter had nothing to carry and he thus managed very well!
On Monday we walked back to the French Quarter and past Jackson Square where I then took the first photos.
We both felt very safe near Jackson Square with the sight of this French Quarter Task Force New Orleans vehicle... 😘
So we walked a little further to the Old Ursuline Convent.
The Oldest building in Mississippi Valley
Make sure you click on the above pink hyperlink as their website is incredible and it gives you a perfect aerial oversight!
New Orleans Oldest and Most Historic Building
This was really stepping back in time on this Ursuline Timeline.
1727 Ursuline nuns arrive in New Orleans from France.
The Ursuline Convent is the oldest institution of learning for women in the present USA.
We visited on Monday and this photo I took from the inside garden where still part of the Wedding Reception Tent is visible.
Every weekend they have a Wedding Mass at St. Mary's Church and they offer their court yard for wedding receptions.
Ancient French Religious Paper Lace
Proud for having such a vintage piece as well: {Vintage Religious Paper Lace from France and Immaculate Conception} click to see my previous post.
St. Mary's Church on Convent - Altar
Like viewing a slice of heaven!
Detail of altar
Talented artists gave their very best to create this in honor of God and the Holy Mary.
Photo of the ceiling and organ of St. Mary's Church with husband Pieter sitting in the pew, before I joined him there, for a quiet and peaceful moment in prayer.
It was a very special trip for both of us.
One with a lot of religious meaning as we are so far away from family and with Mom and my sister and ALL of Pieter's siblings and Parents in heaven.
Praying for Peace in this World and also between family members as some have strayed away from their heavenly Father.
As for Pieter, with his heart condition he's on the edge of moving to heaven and each day is a gift from God!

You also can check out here for more photos on husband Pieter's TripAdvisor: New Orleans Oldest and Most Historic Building together with St. Mary's Church on Convent.
It was a very nice experience and now we were ready to walk back...
We did stop at the golden statue of Joan of Arc, Maid of Orleans 1412-1431
A gift from the people of France to the citizens of New Orleans
In Dutch and in French we call her Jeanne d'Arc
This is where the Joan of Arc statue is located in-between Decatur St. and N Peters St.
NOW it was time for a special, historic treat at the Original Café Du Monde.
The one at 800 Decatur Street 70116, New Orleans and open 24 hours a day!
This familiar New Orleans landmark has been located in the French Market since the early 1860's.
Pieter happily smiling with his café au lait and our shared saucer with hot French beignets.
A small glass of water (delicious water!) got also served with it.
Those French beignets brought back fond memories of my dear Mom as she used to bake them for New Year's Eve; Apple Beignets or Apple Fritters in English.
Sure don't understand why they use such EXCESSIVE powdered sugar?!
We opted for the quiet indoor seating and here you look out onto the large covered patio for outdoor seating.
A great experience and I did not heed my diabetes type 2 diet!
Loved the memory of Mom's baking too much...
For Pieter it was the very same childhood memory as also his Mom did bake them!
We have been under French rule so long that there is so much French culture in the South of The Netherlands.
Back on Jackson Square in front of Jackson's statue and the Cathedral-Basilica where I stand next to an antique cast iron urn with plant.
It is only 2 minutes walking distance from Café Du Monde!
There also was a fabulous cast iron fence all around...
In the morning we had seen this statue from the other side of the road and wanted to have a closer look now.
It is in-between Decatur St and N Peters St
Jean Baptiste de Moyne de Bienville Founder of New Orleans 1717 from Canada.
Slouched at his feet is a generic, nearly nude Indian... holding a peace pipe.
Standing with his back to Bienville is Father Athanase, a Recollect monk.
Click here for The Bienville Monument New Orleans by Andria Patino to have a far better look from the other side.
That was our two-day history trip back to New Orleans.
Sure one could stay for many more days but I wanted to be back in time for choir rehearsal on Tuesday.
Our flight back with Delta was great; that means check in and TSA screening.
In Atlanta it was a disaster as they herded both of us to the main queue, regardless of our TSA PreCheck status!
Clearly the TSA Pre is marked green above the code!
Then they took my MacBook and said it had to be removed from its case and go through again.
While they were searching our carry on, my MacBook was carried back for another screening.
Actually 3 black women were messing with it, my clean and neatly folded undies were dropped onto the floor and things got stomped back into the carry on.
After a very SLOW pestering search I asked for my MacBook as it never showed up on the belt.
One of the three barked back at me telling me that I never had a 'laptop'!
Oh yes I said, my rosé MacBook and you took it back, after I removed it out of its burgundy case you certainly took both back.
She started getting louder and louder and I insisted to see the supervisor.
A black gentleman came and the 3 women were very loud screaming that I didn't have one.
I kept calm and described it to him, and also the burgundy case.
He then said, if you HAD it, then it must show up on camera, we do capture everything daily.
I was not allowed to step into that section but he soon said; yeah, there it IS!
Miraculously the TSA women came walking up to him and me with my MacBook in hand.
On line I found out that Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson ranks 4th in TSA theft firings... and that was in 2012!
What a difference with the absolute courtesy we received in New Orleans where our TSA PreCheck did get honored and no shoes off and no MacBook out of its case.
Guess next time we fly from Savannah, I'd rather enjoy reading a good book instead of such a stress situation again. It took us 1 hour and we barely made it to the gate.
I was so worried about my poor Pieter, with his very weak heart condition.
He cannot walk fast, let alone run!

Thanks for your visit.

Related links:
Saint Louis was King Louis IX of France | story of this ONLY French King being declared a saint

Thursday, March 8, 2018

St. Louis Cemetery No.3, New Orleans, Louisiana

Well, we did opt for a New Orleans City Tour after disembarking from Highlights of the Mississippi Cruise.
Here we are walking a historical New Orleans above ground cemetery also called Cities of the Dead just click the link.
The tomb on this photo is a very expensive one... all Italian marble.
Every 2 years a person can be added to such an above ground tomb
The same tomb of Italian marble  to the right, where we stand with our tour guide, me in orange top.
A long alley... it really looks like a City of the Dead!
St. Louis Cemetery no. 3
For more info you can click: NOLA History: Exploring St. Louis Cemetery No. 3 as it explains a lot.
There was a statue of PADRE PIO near the entrance gate.

We toured this City of the Dead shortly after 9:00 AM and the bus did drive through areas with nice historical homes but most time was spent on the UNO and we got an ear full of sports information.
Sports is NOT the most important thing and certainly does not represent NOLAS history well.

Very disappointing that we did not enter more in depth into the true history of this beautiful city, the way I'd experienced it in 1988 when I was on a bus tour.
We only stopped at some café where coffee and beignets could be had and there was a gift shop.
Sure the bus did drive past those stately mansions and we also did visit history museum.
The tour bus did drive past the beautiful St. Louis Cathedral Basilica, where the statue of General Andrew Jackson is standing in the center of Jackson square.
This is from Southern Lady magazine March/April 2009...
Saved because we were dreaming of this!
As much as we enjoyed the cruise and its highlights, I might have to take my Pieter back one more time for walking Jackson Square with its famous General Andrew Jackson on his bronze horse statue set against the
beautiful Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis King of France
Then having Mass at the oldest Catholic cathedral in continual use in the United States on Sunday at 11:00 AM with Organ and Choir.
And visit the Old Ursuline Convent Museum... as well as The National WWII Museum.
It sure was a pleasure!

Thanks for your vist.

Related links:
Mother River Statue in New Orleans, Louisiana | previous post by me
Pilot House and Upper Deck of the America | previous post by me
Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana | previous post by me
Baton Rouge and Rosedown Plantation, Louisiana | previous post by me

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Mother River Statue in New Orleans, Louisiana

After dinner on Tuesday, July 11, we did get off the boat to visit this magnificent and meaningful Mother River Statue, just next to where our boat was docked.
Me, touching the Mother River Statue in New Orleans, to give you an idea about its enormous size.
It was already 7:30 PM so probably not the best light...
This is the spot where the above photo is taken, the bridge is visible too.
Quite impressive to see this huge Mother River Statue, against our cruise ship America.
Our cabin is just right from that street lantern, the 2nd window with balcony on the 4th deck and below those red words America. You also can see the Pilot House on the 5th deck, in the front.
There was an exit door right outside of our cabin, from the center hallway, exiting to the outside deck in front of the boat where I've taken the previous videos shown.
One video I took also from the upper deck, all the way to the right (back of ship).
Such beautiful artwork this Mother River Statue!
Mother River Statue in NOLA = New Orleans, Louisiana
Americans LOVE abbreviations!
By sculptor Joseph Cleary
MARCH 8, 2001
It was nearly impossible for finding any information about this great sculptor Joseph Cleary and this from askART Joseph S Cleary was the best I could find!
Also in a September 2007 Orinda Historical Society Newsletter he got mentioned.

Thank you for your visit!

Related links:
Pilot House and Upper Deck of the America | previous post by me
Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana | previous post by me
Baton Rouge and Rosedown Plantation, Louisiana | previous post by me
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