Wednesday, January 27, 2010

a quick post to share some photos from winter break!

top: me at the 360-degree monet waterlily room at the musee orangerie, paris!

I just wanted to post a few links to photos from my winter break. I feel so lucky to have had a true break, filled with exciting travels, lots of "firsts", and only a little bit of work.

From Dec 18-31st, my partner Jordan and I took our first long-distance train trip, starting in Phoenix, AZ and ending in New Orleans. It was my first experience with Amtrak, and I sincerely hope it won't be the last! After a lovely couple of days hiking in the Phoenix and Tucson deserts, we hopped on the train for the first leg of our trip, from Tucson to San Antonio, TX. I loved staying in our little "roomette" in the sleeper car (dimensions: approximately 6 feet by 3.5 feet) and it was a great experience going to the dining car for all our meals. After a couple days in San Antonio (which coincided with Christmas day, which meant most places were closed), we hopped back on the train for the culmination of our trip: four days in New Orleans, where neither of us had ever been. Some photos below...

photos from NOLA: "Katrina graffiti" still visible on houses from the post-storm rescue efforts; Jordan admiring a plate of PRALINE BACON (yes, that's right) from Elizabeth's cafe; a new recycling center that has opened up in the Garden District

The whole trip was fun, but for us urban-planning geeks the true highlight was exploring the diverse neighborhoods of New Orleans. Though evidence of destruction was still plainly visible in some areas, we were wowed by the vibrancy of the city and were happy to see evidence of so many community development, environmental, and health projects that have sprung up in the recent years.

After returning to California for a few days, I went on another trip to Paris with my mom! Another first for me. Although we got caught in a wintry storm, we had fun exploring the art museums, taking advantage of the fabulous metro system, and sampling from the numerous neighborhood bakeries we had near our hotel. Although no city is without problems, Paris definitely has a lot going for it and I hope I can visit again and again in my life. Here's a gratuitous shot of the Tour Eiffel on a foggy night:

That's all for now!


jordan said...

I love praline bacon!