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6/7/09 2:20 P

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Thanks, Joey and Anarie !

Anarie, good advice on the bra. I've been debating what I want to bring with me for clothing. I'm trying to travel as light as possible.

Yes, the Cafe Du Monde is on the list of things to do. My friend has to have beneights when there. He's a big beneight fan. We'll see how I like them. I'd rather concentrate on gumbo or catfish.

I'll definitely be shopping at the French Market. I was wondering where the best bargains were to be found. I am looking to bring back tons of souveniers. Thus the need to pack light now. ;)

Joey, I-81 is exactly how we're going and yes, we are going along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Harrisonburg struck my buddy as a good place to park (stop) for the night, so to speak.

One of things I want to do is hit a couple of "caves". No, not real splunking. but taking a cave tour or two to see the geology.

Other folks I know who've been to NOLA, told me to skip the river boat cruise. they say the view of NO isn't that great from the water and it's terribly commercialized.

We might do a plantation. It depends how we're doing for time. I nixed doing a swamp tour because it cut into city time. I'll have to look at gaters, later.

Admittedly, a big portion of the trip will be driving. still... I am SOOOOOO excited. the furthest south I've been is Washington, DC and Alexandria.




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6/7/09 11:54 A

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Oh! I forgot the rest of the trip.

I presume you are heading up I-81 from Tennessee to get the Harrisonburg.

By far, the most wonderful thing you could do on this part of the trip is to cut over to the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive to travel through Shenandoah National Park. It would take longer, but put you in the heart of the most beautiful parts of Virginia. The Skyline Drive part is the best. There is a National Park fee.

Some of the small towns along 81 have stuff to offer, and some don't have much at all. Roanoke is a pretty cool little town. There is a small outdoor market in downtown, and some nice galleries and shops. You'll see the big star on the mountain; a thing to do is to hike up to the star. If you ask in town, folks will tell you how to drive up to the trail. There's a great view from up there.

Luray is a nifty place, too.

I haven't been in Harrisonburg in many, many years, chiefly because I spent quite a lot of time there and it was never a very interesting town. However, it has been so long that things might have changed.

Warrenton is historic and interesting, with beautiful houses.

Harper's Ferry, WV is by far the most interesting place along the entire length of 81. It is a day trip, or at least a half-day, by itself. There is a ton of history there. Ghost tours are conducted every night.

One more thing about NOLA: carry a little pocket map of the Quarter with you. It will help immensely.

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6/7/09 11:39 A

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Anarie, I got nailed by the shoe guys for $5. It was a valuable, if humiliating, lesson. Karen, think of Bourbon Street as a carnival, with some of the same sorts of people. That said, everyone is nice, nice, nice!

The coffee at Community House blows the coffee at Cafe du Monde away. Still, you do need to do what Anarie said!

Take a day, or even two, and just walk the streets of the Quarter. Explore the galleries on Royal and Chartres. Check out the voodoo shops. There's a nifty voodoo museum on Dumaine. Take a ghost tour or two, and don't miss the cemeteries.

Cafe du Monde is on Decatur, close to the water. Keep walking east on Decatur to see the French Market. Keep going, cross Esplanade, and enter Faubourg Marigny, the more bohemian neighborhood. Explore Elysian Fields Avenue and Frenchman. There are some eclectic little shops and galleries, and a few nice little coffee shops and cafes.

The most incredible burgers in the world are found at Port of Call, 838 Esplanade Avenue. Calories? Don't even ask. Have a Monsoon or two, and you won't care.

If you have an absinthe or three, you don't want the Czech stuff. French is good. You also don't want them to flame the sugar -- it's just a show and it ruins the absinthe. Yes, they are supposed to use that much water. It seems like a lot. The Old Absinthe House on Bourbon Street does a nice job.

Cruise the gay bars out a little further on Bourbon. You'll have a good time and there will be fewer frat boys.

Modern amenities are on Canal Street, which runs the west border of the Quarter. There is a Walgreens on Royal, one block into the Quarter from Canal.

We had a great meal at Chartres House Cafe on Chartres Street.

Take a small camera, and lots of photos!

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ANARIE's Photo ANARIE Posts: 13,209
6/7/09 2:18 A

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I'll try to get on tomorrow and mention a few more things, but my quick & dirty advice for New Orleans:

The French Market really is the best place for souvenirs. Lots of variety, prices are as good as anywhere, and great atmosphere. While you're there, you MUST have beignets and cafe au lait at Cafe du Monde. No, they're not healthy, and the beignets aren't even that good (the coffee's fantastic, even if you don't like coffee), but it's something you've gotta do in New Orleans. While you're down around Jackson Square, if anybody tries to bet you $20 they can tell you where you got your shoes, the answer is you gots 'em on yo' feet.

And my number one weird piece of advice: carry a clean bra in your purse, because you're going to sweat like you've never sweated before. You sweat just sitting still, even if the thermometer says it's not that hot. Being able to change your bra keeps you from getting smelly.


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6/5/09 12:57 P

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Well, folks... my road trip is a go ! I'm flying to New Orleans this Tuesday to meet up with my buddy. From there, we'll be driving to Philadelphia. Yeah, I know long haul. But we're making pit stops.

New Orleans to Chattangooga to Harrisonburg, Va to Philly.

So, for those of you who've been to NO, what do you recommend ? Was there anything in particular that you really enjoyed ?

At Chattanooga, we're going to Rock City and Look Out Mountain. We'll may be hiking in Harrisonburg.

thanks all ! oh and did you know it's cheaper to fly from Boston to NO than it is to fly from Philly to Boston ?

karen


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