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Our 2017 Road Trip, Part 40: A Night at the Omni

chandelier!

I double-dare you to top this backdrop, Hyatt.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Every year since 1999 my wife Anne and I have taken a trip to a different part of the United States and visited attractions, wonders, and events we didn’t have back home in Indianapolis. From 1999 to 2003 we did so as best friends; from 2004 to the present, as husband and wife. For 2017 our ultimate destination of choice was the city of Baltimore, Maryland. You might remember it from such TV shows as Homicide: Life on the Street and The Wire, not exactly the most enticing showcases to lure in prospective tourists. Though folks who know me best know I’m one of those guys who won’t shut up about The Wire, a Baltimore walkabout was Anne’s idea. Setting aside my fandom, as a major history buff she was first to remind skeptics who made worried faces at us for this plan that Maryland was one of the original thirteen American colonies and, urban decay notwithstanding, remains packed with notable history and architecture from ye olde Founding Father times. In the course of our research we were surprised to discover Baltimore also has an entire designated tourist-trap section covered with things to do. And if we just so happened to run across former filming locations without getting shot, happy bonus…

In our travelogues we rarely share in-depth about our hotel experiences. The three-diamond service level that usually fits our vacation budget doesn’t lend itself to many five-star anecdotes of above-and-beyond awesomeness. If we mention the hotel in context other than as a basic setting, that’s not always a good thing. Exhibit A: the Hyatt Place where we stayed in Baltimore. Our check-in process on Day Two was one of our Bottom 5 hotel experiences to date. And the drawbacks didn’t end with that single evening full of hitches. A week after we returned home from this trip, I reviewed my credit card bill and found that the Hyatt charged us a second time for the five nights we’d prepaid through AAA, and charged us full price rather than the agreed-upon sale price. It took me a month of negotiations between the two companies to get the larger, erroneous charge off my bill, long enough for it to incur a finance charge while I waited.

Thankfully our final hotel stay on our 2017 road trip was the complete opposite of our Baltimore Hyatt letdown.

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2015 Road Trip Photos #33: Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?

Bourbon Street Neon!

The neon of Bourbon Street, one last time.

Our final sixteen hours in New Orleans saw physically debilitating lows, frustration with the transitory nature of small businesses and mapping apps alike, a few new sights that came along at just the right time, and final encores with our favorite French Quarter sights before we bade farewell to Louisiana.

Right this way for the final French Quarter roundup!

2015 Road Trip Photos #24: New Orleans State of Mind

Katrina Memorial!

This “Scrap House” sculpture is a Hurricane Katrina memorial perched across the street from the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. One of several surprise finds along our long, dehydrating path.

Over the last several entries in this series we’ve shared large batches of photos and memories from our visits to the National WWII Museum and to Mardi Gras World, but those two locations weren’t the only points of interest we saw on Day Three of our trip. For this episode we backtrack to recapture some of those random bits that made their own impacts on our overall New Orleans experience.

Right this way for a sort of New Orleans potpourri gallery!

2015 Road Trip Photos #14: The Road to New Orleans

Bourbon Street!

One of the G-rated stretches of notorious Bourbon Street on a Sunday evening. Even Party Central needs its downtime.

There she was at long last — New Orleans!

We reached our primary objective at the end of Day Two, thankfully before sundown. All the post-Katrina tourism resources we consulted in our vacation research (books, travel sites, AAA brochures, message boards with supporting posts from wary New Orleans residents) seemed unanimous on one important message: anyone caught outside in New Orleans at night will be swiftly, repeatedly murdered. Perhaps that’s not the reality, but we weren’t prepared to call Fodor’s bluff during our first hours in town. No matter how long we spent in Alabama or at stops along the way, we wanted to be in New Orleans and checked in at our hotel while the sun was still on our side.

We met our objective, and all it took was a long, nearly featureless drive through an unrelated state, braving the cramped hallways that pass for roads in the French Quarter, and cutting a major stop from our itinerary.

Right this way to, at long last, New Orleans! Eventually!

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