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.
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.