Thursday, January 28, 2010

You know you're having too much fun when... completely forget about blogging for three whole days! (My bad.)

Here are a few fun facts for ya.

You can get really expensive hotels for ridiculously low prices (USA only) by bidding on priceline. Seriously. We stayed at a fay-an-cee Hilton in Houston for only $60 per night (regular price $179) - which is about the same price as staying at the Super 8! Over the course of four nights in hotels, we have saved a good $400. Or you could look at it this way - we've spent no more than we were willing to spend but got to stay in a bunch of 4 star hotels.

There are two main differences between cheap hotels and fancy ones. First - space. In fancy hotels you actually have room to walk around the bed. Second - service. In cheap hotels, if the front desk staff are feeling lazy, they will just tell you, "no, we don't have extra pillows here."

Good service costs. At least in America. The good people who help out with a friendly smile are working hard to earn their tips.

Okay, enough about hotels...

One of the most fascinating things we've done so far is to go on a Katrina tour. It is heartbreaking to see the number of abandoned houses that are just sitting there and falling apart. Many homes still bear the "Katrina tattoo," which is a spray painted "X" with letter and numbers in each of the 4 sections. The letters show who checked the house (NS - National Security, NOPD - New Orleans Police Department, etc.); some numbers indicate the date; other numbers the number of people found; and still other numbers to show how many were alive and how many dead.

Another devastating fact was to learn that the government has spent millions (or was it billions) on repairing certain things in the city - such as City Park, while neglecting to do anything to repair and restore a single one of the hospitals that was shut down by Katrina's damage. In our tour alone we saw three massive hospitals, all completely abandoned and vacant.

So sad. It just made me think about Haiti...

On another note, have you ever seen a 26 mile long bridge? We drove on one between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Wild, eh?! It's all swamp, so the only way to get people across it is for them to go over it.

And to complete the blog post of all sorts of things you never knew and many you never wanted to know... I would like to offer a public service announcement to all those considering eating nothing but rich, fried food for a week - this is a bad idea! You digestive system will never forgive you. Neither will your pants.

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