"For my two weeks of February vacation I decided to return home to New Orleans. It has been six months since Hurricane Katrina, so I was very anxious to see how the city has changed. Unfortunately, New Orleans seems only to have taken small steps to clean up and rebuild. There are still large amounts of debris and lots of destruction. Once I got past the initial shock of seeing my devastated city, I was able to appreciate my time with my parents and pets in their new home. Luckily, the popular and historic parts of the city were unharmed, so my French friend and I were able to do a lot of sight-seeing. We walked around the French Quarter or “Vieux Carré” known for spicy Cajun food and jazz music. We also took a boat ride along the Mississippi River; we toured a sugar cane and cotton plantation; we went to the zoo; and we took a haunted tour of the city to learn more about some local ghost stories. Despite the condition of the city, my friend and I had a lot of fun, and I was sad to say good-bye, once again, to my parents at the end of the two weeks. However, they will be joining me in Paris this summer, so I don’t have to wait too much longer."