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Non-concertina Advice Wanted


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A couple of friends are attending Mardi Gras in New Orleans, then planning to spend a week or so exploring further along the southern coast or further inland. I've been asked for recommendations of places to visit and things to see, but it's a region I don't know. So I'm asking you all.

 

They're not musicians, though they appreciate many kinds of music. I think they would enjoy an exposure to Cajun culture, but I have no idea where to direct them for that... and they don't speak French (but both are fluent in American). They love nature... both beaches and bayous would be great. (Anybody know where to find the Ivory Billed Woodpecker?) They're not interested in casinos.

 

Ken Coles has met the one; the other is a friend of hers I don't know well. The one I know is, among other things, a scuba diver, aspiring astronaut, and photographer, who travelled alone around the world (starting with the trans-Siberian railway from Moscow through to China) right after graduating high school.

So, suggestions, anyone?

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Space Camp in Huntsville Alabama for adults. They have a 3 day, and 6 day package. Train in their scuba under water simulation of zero gravity? :unsure:

http://www.spacecamp.com/

Thanks, Leo. I'll pass that on, though I'm sure she's beyond it.

 

Maybe they can get over to Savoy Music Center's Saturday Cajun session near Eunice.

That sounds great! I was actually thinking of Marc, since I met him once, many years ago. But I didn't know about the Music Center, or sessions. Thanks, Laitch.

And of course, I'm hoping for even more suggestions.
:)

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Maybe they can get over to Savoy Music Center's Saturday Cajun session near Eunice.

 

Yes, and also on Saturday, starting around 8am or so and lasting til noon, is a live radio broadcast and cajun dance at Fred's Lounge in nearby Mamou...just up the road from Eunice. You haven't lived until you've seen a room full of Cajuns (and visitors) drinking beer and dancing to a live Cajun band at 9am. Check with Savoy's on their session time, and try to make both. They can find the Fred's broadcast on the am dial while they are driving there.

Ask local folks in Eunice and Mamou where to eat Cajun....Cajun food in N.O. is mostly tourist tripe (they do creole superbly, though).

 

Between New Orleans and Eunice they should take the River Road a day or two before, and visit some of the plantations. Oak Alley is spectacular, and Laura's plantation is a classic creole one (pre-dates the 'Tara' look). If they get that far, the town of St Francisville is simply superb for old homes, churches, restaurants, and nineteenth century atmosphere.

 

If they have enough time, Vicksburg's Civil War battlefield (and the town) are superb, as is antebellum Natchez, both on the Mississippi River.

 

South of N.O., they can visit the swamp in Jean Lafitte National Park, the same outfit that takes care of many of the historical places in New Orleans itself. In the Atchafalaya swamp west of N.O., there are swamp tours to be had. Google. Daytrip from N.O.

 

The Ivory Billed woodpecker sightings were in Arkansas, I forget the river...it can be googled. They have not been able to repeat the sighting; most now doubt that the bird was anything other than the pileated woodpecker.

Edited by Dan Worrall
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[various great suggestions]

The Ivory Billed woodpecker sightings were in Arkansas, I forget the river...it can be googled. They have not been able to repeat the sighting; most now doubt that the bird was anything other than the pileated woodpecker.

Thanks, Dan. Good stuff there.

 

I know about the ivory-billed; I put that in as a joke. Besides, if my friends did see one, they wouldn't dare admit it, for fear of antagonizing hyper-competitive bird watchers, who would be offended at the thought of rank amateurs succeeding where they have failed. :ph34r: B) :D

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While in Eunice on a Saturday, stay long enough for the 5 PM broadcast from the Liberty Theater - music, the crowd dances in front of the seats, Cajun humor, all usually hosted by the entertaining folklorist Barry Jean Ancelet. I never miss it when in Louisiana!

 

Ken

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Y'all can drive 8 hours northwest to the DFW area and get drunk with me and my degenerate bandmates, maybe go see a good show, depending on the day. Perhaps some live, cut-rate professional wrestling.

 

I'm here.

 

But, really, stay in NOLA as long as possible. If you find my lost heart there, hold it for me to come pick up.

 

:(

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Very good suggestions, here. Take the ferry across the river at St. Francisville. Folks used to sell boudin (local sausage) and pralines to munch on while you waited to get aboard. And, by all means, try some crawfish (boiled or in a stew called 'etouffe'), po' boy sandwiches and King cake.

 

Maybe they can get over to Savoy Music Center's Saturday Cajun session near Eunice.

 

Yes, and also on Saturday, starting around 8am or so and lasting til noon, is a live radio broadcast and cajun dance at Fred's Lounge in nearby Mamou...just up the road from Eunice. You haven't lived until you've seen a room full of Cajuns (and visitors) drinking beer and dancing to a live Cajun band at 9am. Check with Savoy's on their session time, and try to make both. They can find the Fred's broadcast on the am dial while they are driving there.

Ask local folks in Eunice and Mamou where to eat Cajun....Cajun food in N.O. is mostly tourist tripe (they do creole superbly, though).

 

Between New Orleans and Eunice they should take the River Road a day or two before, and visit some of the plantations. Oak Alley is spectacular, and Laura's plantation is a classic creole one (pre-dates the 'Tara' look). If they get that far, the town of St Francisville is simply superb for old homes, churches, restaurants, and nineteenth century atmosphere.

 

If they have enough time, Vicksburg's Civil War battlefield (and the town) are superb, as is antebellum Natchez, both on the Mississippi River.

 

South of N.O., they can visit the swamp in Jean Lafitte National Park, the same outfit that takes care of many of the historical places in New Orleans itself. In the Atchafalaya swamp west of N.O., there are swamp tours to be had. Google. Daytrip from N.O.

 

The Ivory Billed woodpecker sightings were in Arkansas, I forget the river...it can be googled. They have not been able to repeat the sighting; most now doubt that the bird was anything other than the pileated woodpecker.

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