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Louisiana tour

Louisiana, the land of gumbo, zydeco, crawfish, gator steaks and les bons temps, is about as foreign a place you can travel to while still staying within the USA. Join Father Tom on this touristic American treasure sampling the best of Cajun and Creole influences.

We will start in Lafayette, founded by the Acadians in the 19th century. Here the legacy of Louisiana’s French, Spanish and Caribbean ancestors comes together in creating a city that is the heart of Cajun country. Then onto New Orleans, the “Big Easy,” that after being half-drowned, is welcoming back visitors with the music, food and sites it’s famous for.

* Round-trip transportation from Montauk to JFK Airport
* Round trip non-stop air from JFK to New Orleans
* Accommodations at hotels listed below
* Hotel service charges and taxes

* Lunch at a local Cajun restaurant
*A Mississippi dinner cruise with entertainment
* Dinner at the famous Randols in Lafayette
* Dinner at the Latil’s Landing Carriage House Plantation restaurant
* Coach transportation throughout our itinerary
* Sightseeing as per itinerary in the Lafayette area including Swamp Tour, a Plantation Tour and more
* Sightseeing in New Orleans including the French Quarter, the 9th Ward, the Garden District and more

* Visit and Mass at the St Louis Cathedral, the oldest Catholic Cathedral in continuous use in the America
* A contribution to St Therese’s Roof Fund


Day 1- Sunday, November 13 – Depart Islip for Lafayette
Depart Montauk this afternoon for our non-stop flight from JFK to New Orleans. Upon arrival we will have a private coach take us up to Lafayette and a well-deserved rest at our accommodations at our hotel.

Day 2- Monday, November 14 – In Lafayette – Swamp Tour & Avery Island (L/D)
boatAfter breakfast, we head west from our hotel to our first stop at McGhee’s Landing for a Swamp tour which will take us into the interior of one of America’s greatest river swamps, the Atchafalaya Basin, Louisiana’s answer to the Grand Canyon. The Atchafalaya is North America’s largest river swamp and ranks among the top 10 wilderness areas in the United States. The vistas have the appearance of pristine cypress, swamps and marshes, as we glide over the waters in a special Air-Boat. Lunch will be in St. Martinville, the place where Cajun began. After lunch we continue south to New Iberia Avery Island tourand follow the signs to Avery Island, a mysteriously beautiful place and one of five salt dome islands rising above the flat Louisiana Gulf Coast. These islands formed over the eons when alluvial sediment covered a vast plain of salt left behind by an ancient saltwater ocean. Surrounded by low-lying swamps and marshes, Avery Island is also the home of world-Louisiana foodfamous TABASCO Sauce, where the pepper fields grow, the factory hums, and the McIlhenny family and their employees continue to live and work much as they have for generations. We return to our hotel to refresh ourselves before leaving for about a 45-minute ride to Lafayette to Randl’s where the spirit is deeply rooted in the values and traditions of Cajun culture and the real heart of Cajun cooking. As soon as the fiddler starts tuning up and the first dancers hit the floor, no one’s a stranger at Randol’s.

Day 3- Tuesday, November 15 – In Lafayette – Swamp Tours & Touring the Plantations (D)

plantation tourinteriorThis morning we begin our tour of Nottoway Plantation Restaurant & Inn, the largest plantation home in the South. Built in 1859, this Greek Revival and Italianate mansion boasts 53,000 square feet. It is the largest antebellum mansion in the South. Here we will have lunch in the elegant yet casual mansion Restaurant. After lunch, it’s to the Oak Alley Plantation – The most place_settingphotographed plantation in the South. Located in Vacherie, it’s a National historic landmark. Return to our hotel where we have the afternoon free to explore this delightful city on your own, especially with its great selection of restaurants serving everything from spicy po’boys to crawfish etouffee. Then in the late afternoon, we are off again to a special dinner at the Houmas House where we will have a drink at the Turtle Bar (built in 1828 as a pigeon house) and then walk to the main house to have dinner at the Latil’s Landing and the Carriage House before returning to our hotel in Lafayette.

Day 4- Wednesday, November 16 – To New Orleans including visit to St Louis Cathedral
horse_carriageDepart this morning for New Orleans and check into our hotel. Lunch is on your own before we meet in the afternoon for a sightseeing tour of the city with an overview of New Orleans. Experience the history and culture of the Creoles as we first visit the French Quarter and learn all of the history surrounding this special part of the city. Then onto view the garden district before going to visit the 9th Ward of New Orleans, affected by Hurricane Katrina. After the ride through the 9th ward we visit the city park and a special Cemetery tour, showing some of the most unique grave architecture and burial plot management in the entire United States.  We end the day with a visit to the St. Louis verandahCathedral, one of New Orleans’ most notable landmarks. Few cities in the world are so identified by a building as is New Orleans. This venerable building, its triple steeples towering above its historic neighbors, the Cabildo and the Presbytere – looks down benignly on the green of the Square and General Andrew Jackson on his bronze horse and on the block-long Pontalba Buildings with their lacy ironwork galleries. Truly, this is the heart of old New Orleans and the Cathedral Basilica of St Louis King of France is the oldest Catholic cathedral in continual use in the United States. The evening is on our own. Maybe horse_statuestart with a drink at the bar of Columns in the Garden District and then dinner at one of the many great New Orleans restaurants. Of course try some of the city’s music offerings. And, one place to visit is situated in the heart of the French Quarter on St. Peter Street is Preservation Hall which presents intimate, authentic New Orleans Jazz concerts 350 nights a year featuring ensembles from a current collective of 100+ local master practitioners. On any given night, audiences bear joyful witness to the evolution of this venerable and living tradition.

Day 5- Thursday, November 17 – In New Orleans – Visit to St Louis Cathedral (D)

new orleans tourToday is a free day to relax and do some independent exploration in the “Big Easy”. Maybe do your own Cemetery tour of burial places which are built largely above ground with a variety of beautiful tombs paddle_wheel_boatrunning from Creole grandees to the odd-looking pyramidal tomb financed by actor Nicholas Cage.  Take a streetcar past the mansions and live oaks at the end of St Chares Avenue. Maybe have lunch at Nick and Jennys, a rambling cottage that dishes out favorites like savory crawfish and andouille cheesecake.  Visit the World War II museum located in the heart of the Warehouse District and one of the most enticing, modern, and comprehensive World War II museums in all the country. It explores on_stagethe lives of the American men and women who took part in World War II through letters, recruitment posters, weapons, film, and even fighter plane replicas and a real Sherman tank. Return to our hotel in time for our departure on a dinner cruise aboard the famous Steamboat Natchez as we journey up the mighty Mississippi. Stroll the deck, cozy up with friends, and delight in the sparkle of the urban shoreline at dusk.  We will listen to live jazz music performed by the Grammy-nominated Dukes of Dixieland, view the incredible city skyline and enjoy dinner.

Day 6- Friday, November 18 – Depart New Orleans back to Montauk
day_6The morning is at leisure to relax and maybe visit some of the spots you may have missed the day before. The French Quarter and Jackson Square, Café Du Monde and the French Market. The architecture here is amazing and you will feel like you are in another place. Or maybe the Garden District with its interesting architecture, gorgeous gardens and celebrity homes including the former author Anne Rice and homes of film stars Sandra Bullock and John Goodman. Lunch on our own before we transfer to the Airport for our flights home and back to Montauk.

Accommodations (Hotels or similar)
hotel_double_treehotel_monteleorIn Lafayette, the Hilton DoubleTree Lafayette (3 nights) and in New Orleans, the Hotel Monteleone (2 nights).



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