Submitted by: Chuck and Gayle Ingham #10
Since this is the last day we will be touring, Chuck and I want to thank our Wagon Masters, Skeeter and Pat Craig, and our Tail gunners, Spence and Madi Schaaf. We cannot express the gratitude and appreciation for all the work, time, organization, and fun you have put into this trip to make it so memorable for all of us! Thank You! Thank You!!
We would also like to say thank you to all our fellow travelers. We enjoyed our travels and meeting you all. Happy trails until we meet again!
At 9:00 A.M., we boarded the bus with enthusiasm and realization that this would be our last tour together. We again had Roland Newell as our guide for the day while Ernest drove the bus throughout the city of New Orleans.
The bus took us up Canal Street, through the French Quarter, Royal Street, along the Garden District, along Esplanade Avenue and over canals. Went into the Carrollton District, upper French quarter, Lower French Quarter, and along Basin Street.
Roland discussed the architecture and the buildings all built at various dates from 1700 up. The Pontalba buildings built in 1848, the Ursulines convent, built in 1752, oldest building in New Orleans, went by The Louisiana Supreme Court building, saw Napoleon House.
Roland told about the Ironwork on the buildings, the French colonial homes, Spanish Colonial, Federal townhomes, Shotgun houses and the Creole Plantation houses.
He made it a very enjoyable trip for such a comprehensive city tour.
We walked through Louis Armstrong Park which includes the Mahalia Jackson performing Arts Theater.
Our guide told some stories about Louis Armstrong struggling as a child in New Orleans and making money he hid in his mouth so the older kids and elders wouldn’t steal from him: thus the nick-name “satchmo”.
We then boarded the bus and went to City Park for Coffee and beignets.
After our sweet fix we continued our bus tour, listening to Roland tell us stories of the city, its residents, and their homes.
He discussed the plantation crops, including sugar cane, indigo, rice, & cotton and even touched on tobacco in other states.
Our next stop was Mardi Gras World where we got to try on some costumes and have a taste of King Cake before we were taken on a tour of the place. Floats are constructed here to the specification of the Krewes. The process begins the day after Mardi Gras and continues all year.
We posed for a group photo here in front of a float.
One more stop was at the St. Louis Cemetery. Burial is above ground because the water table is so high. With the modern drainage systems in place, this is no longer necessary, but has become custom.
Finally, we headed out to Lake Ponchartrain for our Farewell Luncheon at Landry’s Cajun Seafood.
We had a delicious lunch of fried shrimp, Chicken BLT, or catfish, salad and cheesecake for dessert.
For her exemplary leadership and talent as a Cajun, and comedian with more energy than the energized bunny, Chuck and Nancy Stivers made an Entertainment/Leadership Award presentation to Pat, our “leader and a half”
We all had the opportunity to stand and express our thanks to our leaders and to our fellow travelers for such a great trip, food, friendships, and laughter and fun for 27 days of Cajun experiences.
Our leaders left us with a bag of fond memories: candy, leftover from the bag passed on the bus, a souvenir and the following poem:
May your tires stay inflated to the proper P.S.I.
May your days be forever sunny without a cloud in the sky.
May your holiday tank always hold whatever you have to give.
May your roads be straight and true with no mountains too strong.
May all your neighbors be friendly and everyone get along.
May you be safe in your travels and wherever you may roam?
We pray that god will ride with you and guide you safely home.
We then went back to our K O A park and had a social and drew numbers for all the prizes in Foxie’s basket so it could be returned to Joe and Donna.
Another great day was had by all!!