I know what you’re thinking. Tacoma? Why stop in Tacoma when Seattle’s less than 35 miles away, and when Tacoma smells kinda funny from I-5, anyway? I thought these very things (and worse) for about 15 years, until I finally pulled off the highway and found myself in the uber-cute downtown Tacoma, muttering apologies under my breath.
Perhaps I’m biased because I’ve never lived in a state that didn’t have a border on water, but I think if you’re visiting a place that’s on a waterway it’s a good idea to get on the water if at all possible. River tours of Paris and London and canal tours of Venice and Amsterdam are de rigueur – so why not a river tour of Portland, Oregon?
Inside the Presbytere building to the right of St. Louis Cathedral is the “Living with Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond” exhibit at the Lousiana State Museum – and it’s a sobering must-see when you’re in New Orleans.
Driving through a ghost town of boarded-up houses, abandoned supermarkets, and an empty five-story hospital with moldy curtains blowing through broken windows, I had to remind myself that I wasn’t in a war-torn country or touring the immediate aftermath of a natural disaster. The neon lights and karaoke bars of Bourbon Street were light years removed from this scenery – no matter that they were only a few minutes’ drive away.