On the 4th day of our trip Andrew and I had hoped to take a trek down to the Gulf of Mexico, but we awoke to a thunderstorm that morning. Quick flip of plans and we decided to head over to the National World War II Museum. On our way there, I’m pretty sure we drove past a movie set. That’s not something you get to see everyday!
Lucky for us, our visit to the museum fell during “Museum Month” in NOLA. This meant that with Andrew being a student we got in for roughly half the price, just by signing up to become members! You begin your time in the museum on a train car where you receive a card with a soldiers information on it. You can use this card in either the European or Pacific Theater exhibits to follow the real life story of your soldier during their time in the war.
The museum is made up of 4 buildings. The first is where you start your journey and can view some planes and other military vehicles. They also had a really neat exhibit about an artist who traveled with soldiers during the war and created art work to share with the people back at home. Very moving!
The next building was where the theater was located to give us a 4D experience of “Beyond All Borders,” a 40 min film put together and narrated by Tom Hanks to give you an introduction and overview of the war. It really opened my eyes to how things were for the U.S., since most of my WWII studies have focused mainly on Europe.
Following that it was time for our U.S.S. Tang submarine experience in the third building. Each of us was given a card that showed us who we were and what our duty on the submarine was. About 30 of us were herded into the “submarine” where we were given commands from our captain and then took place at our stations. We were in charge of the depth gauges. Sadly, I can say, neither of our soldiers were among the survivors in our mission.
Following our submarine mission, we decided to head over to the museum’s Soda Fountain for lunch. This was located back in the main building and we both enjoyed some fantastic Mac and Cheese. They also have another restaurant that is a bit pricier but uses all local ingredients from the “Victory Garden.”
Following lunch, we went over to our final building which included the European and Pacific theater exhibits. We started with the Pacific exhibit where we followed Andrew’s soldier through his journey. My soldier was part of the European exhibit, but my card quit working halfway through :(. No matter though, we still enjoyed the exhibits. I do wish they had a few more machines available for following the soldier’s stories though, it got awful backed up at times.
We spent a little bit more time back in the submarine building taking pictures of aircraft displayed in that building. Some of the catwalks got a little high for my liking though! I’m really glad we gave ourselves the whole day to be at the museum, because we definitely needed it with doing the whole package deal.
We were getting hungry for dinner after our time at the museum, so we drove back down into the French Quarter and found a much more convenient parking area by Cafe du Monde this time. We were on a quest to find some real NOLA cuisine. The first restaurant we had thought about trying didn’t open for another two hours and we didn’t feel like waiting that long, so we thought we’d find some alligator in the French Market instead. We were unsuccessful there due to it being late in the day, but did eventually find some at the Market Cafe nearby, and boy was it tasty! The for dessert we grabbed some beignets at Cafe du Monde. Despite what several people say about it being busy, I didn’t really think it was and our wait was very short. Do come prepared with Cash though as that’s the only form of payment they accept!