|The Inn on Bourbon Ramada Plaza Hotel|
I'm glad the Power Pass got us in for free, since it wasn't worth the $10 it would have cost to get in. But we learned about local cuisine and I appreciated the section on the development of the cocktail.
We made a brief stop at The Historic New Orleans Collection, but elected not to go through it all. Instead, we went to the Presbytere, a museum at the north end of Jackson Square featuring two exhibits.
The first was "Living with Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond," which told the story of the devastating hurricane and its accompanying flooding from a number of different perspectives. The personal recollections were a lot more moving than the more scientific information, but together they made for a powerful combination.
The other Presbytere exhibit showed the history, costumes and traditions of Mardi Gras, New Orleans' most famous festival that draws thousands to the streets for its lavish parades each February.
We went for our last Po Boy and then went to the other Beerfest location on Bourbon Street. They had a two for one special, but the friendly bartender went two better than that and brought me four beers that I'd never had before: Voodoo Bengal, a 7.5 per cent alcohol pale ale with a hint of ginger; Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan, which is made with whole roasted pecans; Lazy Magnolia Jefferson Stout, which is brewed with sweet potatoes; and NOLA Brewing Hopitoulas, which had a nice citrus and pine bouquet.
We returned to our hotel, picked up our bags and caught the shuttle to the airport. We had a stopover at Washington Dulles International Airport, where we had time for a burger and a pint of Hefeweizen at the Gordon Biersch Brewing Company restaurant, before returning to Buffalo.
It was back to the Econo Lodge, where we stayed before we left, and then a trip down Main Street to the heart of Buffalo the next morning. We stopped at a river that had a small waterfall and then drove around downtown for a while before crossing the Peace Bridge back to Ontario. I took the scenic route along Lake Erie and the Grand River, and detoured through the Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve.
I hadn't been to the reserve since working as a reporter for the Brantford Expositor in 1989, and almost every store we passed was selling discounted cigarettes -- and sometimes nothing else. While there are still some run-down-looking houses, many others are newer or in better condition than back then, which was good to see.
Brantford's downtown is still in rough shape, however. After a drive around the city, it was homeward bound to Stratford and the end of the trip.