Sep 17, 2014 Leslie Jerden
I just got back from a fun tour of New Orleans hosted by one of the travel agencies we use to book trips for Club:go. I have been to New Orleans before and have enjoyed the city each time.
This trip I especially enjoyed a "Swamp Tour." The bayous are beautiful with lush greenery. Large cypress trees, hundreds of years old, create green canopies over many of the canals. Thick grasses grow in the shallow, muddy banks. Many times I saw alligators swimming alongside our boat, making stream lined ripples in their wake. I saw swamp pigs (huge black pigs with large tusks) and many different types of turtles. The boat was a simple steel open view vessel, with wooden benches along the interior sides made from the same cypress we saw so abundant in the bayous. The guide was a delight with a southern creole drawl that you would imagine a swamp man to have. He surprised everyone with a baby alligator on board that we each held and posed for pictures with. I would definitely recommend this excursion!
The next best thing was the New Orleans School of Cooking. This is sitting with a chef who cooks up fantastic NOLA cuisine right in front of you. There is enough food for all to eat their fill. We enjoyed french bread, sausage gumbo, chicken etouffe, pralines, and a coconut pineapple bread pudding. Drinks were pitchers of water, tea, and beer. The food was excellent! The chef even offered up the warm scrapings from the bowl of his homemade praline mix. I happily volunteered for that, and yes....I licked the spoon. I can report this was one of the best things I've ever tasted. I had to control my urge to lick the bowl. A bonus, recipes for all dishes were printed and sent home with each dinner guest. Guess what's cookin' at my house?
The hotel was located in the French Quarter in a very convenient spot. It was comfortable and friendly. There was a nice pool and open garden area common to the French Quarter and definitely part of it's charm. This hotel was the Maison Dupuy. Pronounced "May Sawn Do Pwee." Don't make the mistake of calling it Mason Da Pooey. It is embarassing...
If you have thought of heading to New Orleans, I would recommend it! There is so much to see and do. You will find friendly people, and great food.