Lionizing Around New Orleans:

Good Food, Good Times, and All That Jazz

                                    by Jerry Whittle
     The National Federation of the Blind of Louisiana is

pleased to announce a wonderful array of tours for this

year's national convention in the great City of New Orleans.

To millions of tourists each year the Crescent City is world

renowned for good food, good times, and good music. This

year's selection of tours reflects the diversity and charm

of the great American city at the mouth of the mighty

Mississippi. Federationists interested in these tours will

want to make reservations early. If you have not yet made

your room reservations for the convention, call the National

Center for the Blind and speak to Mr. Cobb. Our block of

rooms at the Hyatt is now full, but he can take your

registration information and make a reservation for you as

soon as we have worked out arrangements with other hotels.
     Even though the tours are fabulous and the Big Easy

beckons, the heart of the convention is reuniting with old

friends, making new ones, enjoying the hospitality of the

host affiliate, browsing through the expansive exhibit hall

to view the latest technology or purchase a new cane from

the NFB store, hearing wonderful and informative agenda

items, winning door prizes, and receiving inspiration at our

annual banquet. With all of these diversions, the days and

nights won't be long enough; however, one thing is certain--

the National Federation of the Blind of Louisiana will be

working hard to help you have the most wonderful week of

your life. New Orleans is the place to be the first week of

July, 1997. Where else can you have so much fun this

inexpensively?
     All tours will be pre-sold. Tour spaces are limited, so

book early. The deadline to book tours is May 15, 1997.

Tickets will be mailed to you after May 15, but prior to the

convention. To make tour reservations, include the following

information: name; address; city; state; zip; phone; number

of tickets, types (adults or children two to twelve), and

tour number for each tour. Send this information with your

check for the total amount due made payable to The Life of

the Cajun Tours, 4761 Hwy. 1, Raceland, Louisiana 70394, or

call (504) 537-3179. Please make your reservations as soon

as possible; space is limited on some tours. We must have

twenty-five or more people for each tour we sponsor. The

following is the complete list of tours:
                      Saturday, June 28

1. New Orleans Super City Tour. 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., $18

     adults, $9.50 children.

2. N.O. City Tour & River Cruise. 12:00 noon to 4:30 p.m.,

     $31 adults, $15.25 children.

3. River Road Plantations (two homes including meal). 9:00

     a.m. to 4:30 p.m., $54.50 adults, $35.50 children.

4. Oak Alley Plantation (no meal). 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.,

     $29 adults, $15 children.

5. Swamp Tour, Cajun Meal, Cemetery, City Tour of Thibodaux

     (working sugar cane plantation). 9:00 a.m. to 5:00

     p.m., $49 adults, $37 children.

6. Global Wildlife Center (with meal). 9:00 a.m. to 4:00

     p.m., $46 adults, $37 children.

7. Dinner Jazz Cruise & Transportation. 6:00 to 9:30 p.m.,

     $49.75 adults only (must be twenty-one or older).
                       Sunday, June 29

8. New Orleans Super City Tour. 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., $18

     adults, $9.50 children.

9. N.O. City Tour & River Cruise. 12:00 noon to 4:30 p.m.,

     $31 adults, $15.25 children.

10. River Road Plantations (two homes with meal). 9:00 a.m.

     to 4:00 p.m., $54.50 adults, $35.50 children.

11. Oak Alley Plantation (no meal). 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., $29

     adults, $15 children.

12. Swamp Tour, Cajun Meal, Cemetery, City Tour of Thibodaux

     (working sugar cane plantation). 9:00 a.m. to 5:00

     p.m., $49 adults, $37 children.

13. Global Wildlife Center (with meal). 9:00 a.m. to 4:00

     p.m., $46 adults, $37 children.
                      Thursday, July 3

14. New Orleans Super City Tour, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., $18

     adults, $9.50 children.

15. Oak Alley Plantation (no meal), 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., $29

     adults, $15 children.

16. Swamp Tour, Cajun Meal, 12:40 to 5:40 p.m., $44 adults,

     $33 children.

17. Global Wildlife Center (no meal), 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., $27

     adults, $25 children.

18. Dinner Jazz Cruise & Transportation, 6:00 to 9:30 p.m.,

     $49.75 adults only.

19. Pete Fountain Jazz Club (with 1 drink, twenty-one and

     older), 9:15 p.m. to 12:15 a.m., $33 adults only.

20. Night Life-Top of the Mart Lounge, Peter Fountain Jazz

     Club (with three drinks, twenty-one and older), 7:15

     p.m. to 12:15 a.m., $42 adults only.
                      Tour Descriptions
New Orleans Super City Tours, Tours 1, 8, & 14

     Travel through three centuries of history and romance

as you encounter "the city that care forgot." Absorb the

sights and sounds of the famous French Quarter and historic

Jackson Square. Your licensed guide presents the history,

landmarks, legends, and splendid architecture that made New

Orleans famous. Walk through one of our above-ground Cities

of the Dead (cemeteries) and marvel at stories of voodoo and

piracy on Bayou St. John. Enjoy a ride along Lake

Pontchartrain's shore before traveling through Mid-City en

route to Uptown New Orleans. Follow the clickety-clack of

the St. Charles Avenue streetcars past universities; Audubon

Park; stately mansions; and the world-famous, exclusive

Garden District. Then follow New Orleans into the twenty-

first Century as you pass under the shadows of towering

skyscrapers in the Central Business District (CBD). Cost:

$18 adults, $9.50 children. Includes bus transportation from

the Hyatt for the Super City Tour, 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.,

Tour 1, Saturday, June 28; Tour 8, Sunday, June 29; and Tour

14, Thursday, July 3.
New Orleans City Tour and River Cruise, Tours 2 & 9

     This tour combines the steamboat Natchez Cruise (paddle

wheel) plus the Super City Tour. After your exciting

motorcoach tour through New Orleans, you'll have a few

minutes to rest or snack before boarding the historic

riverboat Natchez to the delightful tunes of the steam

calliope. Experience the sights and sounds of river life

that enchanted characters of history and literature like

Mark Twain's Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer. View the ever-

changing skyline of the Crescent City from the sunny decks

and climate-controlled comfort of the majestic Steamer

Natchez. Cruise past the Chalmette Battlefield where the

legendary Jean LaFitte and his buccaneers joined forces with

Andrew Jackson to defend our city against the British in the

Battle of New Orleans. Cost: $31 adults, $15.25 children.

Includes bus pick-up at the Hyatt, City Tour, and Steamboat

Cruise, 12:00 noon to 4:30 p.m.; Tour 2, Saturday, June 28;

and Tour 9, Sunday, June 29.
River Road Plantations, Tours 3 & 10

     Travel back in time to Nottoway and Oak Alley,

Antebellum mansions nestled along the banks of the

Mississippi River. Leave the modern skyline of cosmopolitan

New Orleans behind as you enjoy the panoramic view of Lake

Pontchartrain and travel over the Bonnet Carre Spillway.

Your narrated motorcoach tour takes you past six Antebellum

plantation homes surrounded by massive oaks, sugar cane

fields, pecan groves, and Louisiana countryside. Walk

through two of these beautifully restored homes while

resident guides, many in period costumes, tell the history

of the homes and elegant lifestyles of wealthy plantation

families. Enjoy an authentic Cajun country lunch complete

with charming southern hospitality. Cost: $54.50 adults,

$35.50 children; includes bus transportation from the Hyatt,

tour of two homes, and meal. 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Tour 3,

Saturday, June 28; and Tour 10, Sunday, June 29.
Oak Alley Plantation, Tours 4, 11, & 15

     Feel the gentle breeze of southern hospitality on a

tour that takes you back to the glory of the Old South.

Experience a bygone era in one of the South's most beautiful

settings--Oak Alley Plantation, built in 1839. Marvel at the

unbelievable view of a quarter-mile-long alley of twenty-

eight magnificent oak trees, each over 250 years old. Along

the way view the majestic cypress trees in the swamps

bordering the Mississippi River. Travel past three other

plantation homes, legacies from the past grandeur of

historic River Road, from your luxury motorcoach. Cost: $29

adults, $15 children. Includes bus transportation from the

Hyatt and tour of plantation homes (no meal), 1:00 p.m. to

5:00 p.m.; Tour 4, Saturday, June 28; Tour 11, Sunday, June

29; and Tour 15, Thursday, July 3.
Swamp Tour, Cajun Buffet, City Tour of Thibodaux, Cemetery &

Working Sugar Cane Plantation, Tours 5 & 12

     Cajun tour guide will bring you to beautiful Bayou

Bouef where you will enjoy a leisurely boat ride into the

beauty and serenity of Louisiana's most picturesque regions.

You will see alligators, nutria, birds, moss-laden oak

trees, and much more. Those who dare can hold a live

alligator in their hands and pet the silky nutria. Following

the boat ride and history of the region, you will be treated

to a Cajun buffet, including gumbo, alligator, and other

wonderful dishes. You can visit the Trading Post with a

large selection of gifts and crafts. We travel to Thibodaux

for a city tour and walk through a cemetery known as the

"Cities of the Dead" and visit a working sugar cane

plantation, the store museum, and craft shop. The day will

be filled with the history, culture, and heritage of the

Cajuns. Cost: $49 adults, $37 children; includes bus

transportation from the Hyatt; Cajun tour guide; boat ride;

buffet; tours of Thibodaux, Cemetery, and sugar cane

plantation, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Tour 5, Saturday, June

28; Tour 12, Sunday, June 29.
Swamp Tour & Cajun Buffet, Tour 16

     This tour is like the previous one except that there is

no tour of a sugar cane plantation. Cost: $44, adults; $33

children; includes bus transportation from the Hyatt, Cajun

tour guide, boat ride, and buffet; 12:40 to 5:40 p.m.; Tour

16, Thursday, July 3.
Global Wildlife Center, Tours 6 & 13

     Ride across Lake Pontchartrain on the world's longest

bridge and take a guided wagon tour of a 900-acre home to

many rare, endangered, and extinct-in-the-wild animals from

all over the world. Custom-built covered wagons pulled by

tractors offer comfortable seating with no obstruction of

the scenic view. When the wagons stop, animals will approach

to be fed. Come eye to eye with a buffalo and feed a family

of giraffe. The group will enjoy a meal at a local

restaurant. Cost: $46 adults; $37 children. Includes bus

transportation from the Hyatt, wagon ride, and meal. 9:00

a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Tour 6, Saturday, June 28; Tour 13,

Sunday, June 29.
Global Wildlife Center, Tour 17

     This tour is like the previous one except that no meal

is included. Cost is $27 adults, $25 children; includes bus

transportation from the Hyatt and wagon ride. 1:00 p.m. to

5:00 p.m.; Tour 17, Thursday, July 3.
Dinner Jazz Cruise, Tours 7 & 18

     When night falls, we board a riverboat and cruise on a

jazz-filled adventure. The sounds of a dixieland jazz band

fill the air as diners enjoy a lavish creole meal. Cost:

$49.75 adults only (must be twenty-one or older); includes

bus transportation from the Hyatt, dinner, and jazz cruise.

6:00 to 9:30 p.m.; Tour 7, Saturday, June 28; Tour 18,

Thursday, July 3.
Pete Fountain's Jazz Club, Tour 19

     On this unique tour you'll experience New Orleans

nightlife as a native would. You'll see and hear one of the

great New Orleans jazz musicians, Pete Fountain. Enjoy one

complimentary drink while he performs. Cost: $33, adults

only; includes bus transportation from the Hyatt, Pete

Fountain's Club cover charge, and one drink; 9:15 p.m. to

12:15 a.m.; Tour 19, Thursday, July 3.
Nightlife--Top of the Mart Lounge--Pete Fountain's Jazz

Club, Tour 20

     From cool to red hot jazz and everywhere in between--on

this unique tour you'll experience New Orleans nightlife as

a native would. Your evening begins at the Top of the Mart,

where you'll relax with two complimentary drinks as you

enjoy the revolving cityscape. From there you're off to see

a New Orleans institution--Pete Fountain. Enjoy one

complimentary drink while he performs. Cost: $42, adults

only; includes bus transportation from the Hyatt to the Top

of the Mart and Pete Fountain's Club, and three drinks; 7:15

p.m. to 12:15 a.m.; Tour 20, Thursday July 3.
Y'all come.