Sunday, June 28, 2015

Day 14: Going Back

Today's Distance: 196 miles
Total Distance: 4462 miles
Today's Destinations: New Orleans Museum of Art in City Park; Jackson, MS

Seems like whenever we stay at someone's house overnight I forget to blog!  Yesterday we went to the New Orleans City Park because we heard it was really cool.  What we didn't know is that it's also really big!  REALLY really big!  We kind of drove around aimlessly trying to find the sculpture gardens, but instead we found something even cooler: The New Orleans Museum of Art!

This museum, like the park in which it stands, is huge.  Three stories and I don't even know how many galleries per floor.  It mostly had paintings by European and American artists, ranging from medieval to modern, but there were also some sculptures, especially in their collections of African, Native American, and Oceanic tribes.  There were also several items in collections from 1800s revival periods (Gothic, Renaissance, Rococo, and Classical revivals, that is).  They also had some Indian, Chinese, and Japanese art and sculpture.

We wandered around in there for I think a couple hours, but it got colder each time we went up a floor, and I had dressed four outdoor New Orleans weather so I was pretty frozen by the time we got to the third floor.  My favorite galleries were the Dutch and Flemish Renaissance one (no Peter Paul Reubens or Rembrandt but several similar artists) and the early modern art one (a few Picassos, a Kandinsky, some Monets and a Manet, among others).  There were also a few big 19th-century portraits that were almost like photorealism - the way they captured light and dimension, the sharpness or fineness or whatever of the brush strokes, were really remarkable.  Oh, and there was a gallery for five Louisiana artists, as I understood it.  One of them had lost hist brother in 9/11 - he had been a fireman.  Anyway, he created these portraits of a ghostly white World Trade Center floating in a blue background, each one showing the buildings from a different angle.  They were sort of wispy and translucent, giving this impression of existing in another dimension or being partly material and partly ethereal.  They were very beautiful but also very sad.

We ate lunch on the road (leftovers from Aunt Cindi's) and started the drive to Jackson.  I keep fiddling with the settings on our GPS and I had it set yesterday to the most fuel-efficient setting, so instead of taking I-55 all the way up, we went on a state highway that runs parallel to it, which included taking a causeway over Lake Ponchartrain.

Lake Ponchartrain is like a miniature ocean.  Okay, maybe it's not that big when compared to other large bodies of water that are also not oceans, but that causeway was like 20-something miles long and while you're on it, you can't see anything but water.  It was really cool.  Taking the alternate highway also made for a really beautiful scenic drive past lots of Southern country homes.  It took a little longer, but we had a lot of time to kill so it wasn't a big deal.

Jackson, MS, is where Justin and I went to college (Belhaven University), where we started dating, and where we got engaged.  We both loved it there and have many great memories so it's really nostalgic for us being back.  We're staying with one of my former dance professors and her husband, and I spent a lot of yesterday hearing about how the dance department has expanded, how it has changed, and how it's stayed the same.  Today we're going to walk around the campus a little bit for old time's sake, but we also need to run some errands (like getting the oil changed in the car).  I wish we could stay longer, but at the same time, it is summer so school isn't in session and anyway, most of the people we knew are no longer in town.  You know what they say about going back - you can never really go back.  But it's nice to visit once in a while.

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