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New Orleans Trip Report

Old Oct 1st, 2004, 04:48 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2004
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New Orleans Trip Report

Here?s a brief report on my recent trip to New Orleans and Cajun Country. I was my second trip to NOLA.

Hotels:

Dauphine Orleans: It was fine, but nothing special. The courtyard rooms across the street from the main hotel are best. Conveniently located on a very quiet street just one block from Bourbon St. Breakfast is adequate. My only complaint is that they advertise ?afternoon tea,? which turned out to be tea/coffee and oreos - not exactly what I had in mind. All in all, I?d stay there again, but might look at other options.

Tfrere?s B&B (Lafayette) How this place gets such high ratings in guidebooks is beyond me. It?s OK, but again, nothing special. It is not very convenient to anything and is on a main road which makes sitting outside noisy. Don?t let them put you in the rooms on the back addition. They are substandard. No shampoo, etc. All in all, I would not recommend it.

Restaurants

Café Du Monde: Your don?t miss New Orleans experience. Note that one order of beignets gets you 3 wonderful, hot, fresh pastries, so plan accordingly.

Acme Oyster House: Had excellent raw oysters, OK oyster Po Boy and very good seafood Gumbo. Very good food and prices.

Gumbo Shop: Had good Gumbo and catfish. Again, excellent value.

Mr. B.?s Bistro: Had Gumbo and grilled tuna. Gumbo was the best I had on the trip, and the tuna also good but overcooked. The deserts were outstanding. Service, as in all New Orleans restaurants, was friendly.

Don?s (Lafayette): Terrible, just terrible. Watery gumbo and poor crawfish bisque

Mulate?s (Breau Bridge): Great Oyster Po Boy and so-so gumbo. (I ate a lot of gumbo on this trip because there isn?t much between raw and fried on your standard seafood menu down there) Weird, but the gumbo in NOLA was much better than the gumbo in Cajun territory. Sometimes authentic is not best! However, the place should not be missed for the Cajun dancing, even if you only watch. Randolf?s is another good Cajun dance hall.

Attractions:NOLA

Enough has been said about the French quarter, so I won?t elaborate. If you are a not a late night party person, however, be aware that you can see it all in a day and half.

Warehouse district: absolutely nothing there worth the walk.

Garden district. The mansions are OK, but not especially impressive. The cemetery is an interesting walk. It is a good excuse, however, to take the streetcar.

Zoo. Took the streetcar to the zoo and boat back down the river. A good way to spend time. They have a swamp exhibit, which is a good alternative to a complete swamp tour. The South American area, with faux Incan ruins was also fun.

Nottaway Plantation: Somewhat disappointing. I had been to other plantations in the southeast and all had big beautiful grounds with gardens and ponds, slave quarters, etc. Nottaway was just a big house. The tour has some interesting family history, but I expected a plantation to be a lot more than a house. They are very commercials and must have mentioned their restaurant and the fact that they are also a B&B about 1000 times. Actually, staying there with the run of house at night might be fun.

Traveler alert: Laura plantation burned down 2 months ago.

Attractions Cajun Country

Visited several towns. Breau Bridge is too small to be worth the trouble. St. Martinsville is marginal, with a few historic items. The Evangeline tree is just a big oak. New Iberia is the best place to visit. A sizeable town with some stores. All Cajun historical exhibits are whining ?poor me? about how they were ?brutally? kicked out of Arcadia. They don?t mention how they could have stayed if they had merely sworn allegiance to England. But they refused and formed a 5th column inside British territory, so the Brits had no choice but to expel them.

It was a good but not great trip. Last year, we had narrowed our vacation choice to Las Vegas and New Orleans and went to Las Vegas. That was the right choice.
metellus is offline  
Old Oct 1st, 2004, 07:09 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
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Sorry your trip has such a negative hint to it. Maybe it was your expectations of some of the places that were a bit "off" rather than the fault of the places themselves.Not necessarily the food or rooms but the places you visited.

The Cajun story is not a whiny one but rather a story of choices made & our area is better for them coming here. Remember that the US was founded by people that were tired of being told what to do or believe so how can you fault the Cajuns?

Laura Plantation had a fire at the main house but the other buildings are open for tour. There is a restoration gala scheduled for tomorrow.
In fact, here is a quote from the plantation website-
Is Laura Plantation still open ?
Yes ! Yes ! Yes ! Laura Plantation is still open for tours.
How much of the house was damaged ?
60-70 percent of the house was damaged. The façade, floors, walls and basement
remain standing and form a solid basis for restoration to begin as soon as possible.(Please say ?damaged by fire? and NOT ?burned down.?)

Some people come to visit here with expectations of a Disney like adventure. They are not always satisfied with what they see. Las Vegas is pretty much standard- gambling & entertainment. New Orleans is an everchanging city of many different facets. It is impossible to compare the 2.
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Old Oct 1st, 2004, 07:26 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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metellus, I as a Cajun thank you for deigning to visit the state of my birth and honor the citizens with your superior, non-whiny presence. What you conveniently leave out of your snarky characterization of the Acadian diaspora is that the English primarily expelled the Cajuns from Canada as a naked land grab; the richest farmland in Canada at the time was owned by the French-Canadians in Nova Scotia. So the Cajuns headed to areas with linguistic and cultural similarities: southern Louisiana and Wisconsin (a small but thriving community of Acadian-Americans lives there).

Sorry New Orleans and Cajun Country weren't the Disneyworld theme ride you moght have hoped for. I'll take Louisiana, warts, grime and all. At least it's real.
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Old Oct 1st, 2004, 08:06 AM
  #4  
Dan
 
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I have to say I don't think I'd travel well with the original poster!

You can always skip Paris for future visits and just visit the one in Vegas!
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Old Oct 1st, 2004, 01:28 PM
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I guess you Cajun types can't face the truth. Self pity is just so much fun, isn't it.
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Old Oct 1st, 2004, 07:57 PM
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Dear Metellus -
You sound so right for Vegas and so wrong for Louisiana.
I'm a Californian (of English descent) who loves those "whiny" Cajuns. We've vacationed in Louisiana 7 times (it's our favorite place in the U.S.) and have no desire to go to Las Vegas nor Disneyland.
Different strokes for different folks.
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Old Oct 1st, 2004, 08:46 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
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Poor Cajuns? Just like those poor Jews whining about the holocaust? or poor black Africans with apartheid?

Give me a break, metellus. Don't go to an ethnic/racial/social group museum and expect not to hear things from that groups' point of view!
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