New Orleans – Louisiana

On January 31, we moved to Boomtown Casino and Hotel New Orleans  in Harvey, Louisiana.  On the way there, we also went to Wedell-Williams Aviation and Cypress Sawmill Museum.  At the museum, there were three different sections.  One was about aviation, and there were lots of airplanes, as well as a movie.  Another was about shrimp-catching, and there was a small aquarium tank with different types of shrimp and a few other creatures.  The other one was about cypress trees.  We got to learn about how they cut down and turned trees into planks, and we looked at a whole bunch of machines used for the gigantic treesOn the way there

The next day, we visited the French Quarter Visitor Center in New Orleans, which is another of one of the Jean Lafitte national park sites.  At this visitor center, we learned about the history of New Orleans and how it was built.  New Orleans was originally started by the French in 1718.  The movie that we watched in the visitor center taught about how New Orleans used to be a swamp that was flooded my the Mississippi river depending on the seasons.  We learned how the levees were built to protect the city, an how the drainage system works.

When we first got to New Orleans in the morning, it wasn’t crowded at all, and the weather was sunny but cool.  When we left the French Quarter Visitor Center, it was super crowded.  We walked around and saw people dressed and painted to look like metallic, gold statues, and we also saw many paintings and sculptures.  The buildings in the French Quarter looked fancy to me (they were French style), with their balconies and pillars.

After, we went to the New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park, which, as the name implies, taught about jazz.  The visitor center was pretty small, and there weren’t many displays about jazz music.  However, there was a program there where we got to learn another form of music.  We learned to play African drums from a man named Segunon who was born in Cote D’ivoire, Africa.  We had lots of fun, and since we were using our hands to drum, my hands were red afterwards and slightly numb.  After the drum lessons, we got to watch him play the African xylophone, which he made, and it looked like planks of wood over gourds.

Finally, we went to Chalmette Battlefield, another of one of the Jean Lafitte national park sites.  In 1812, the U.S. began a war with Britain, a result of Britain forcing people into the Royal Navy, including Americans.  Chalmette Battlefield is where America won the last battle (of the War of 1812) in 1815.  A treaty to end the war had actually been signed, but due to poor communication, the two fighting sides in America didn’t know, and that’s why the battle at Chalmette Battlefield was fought.

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