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Dock Advice: don't get on the wrong ship

Tom and Lanna's Cruise Adventure

by Tom Beall

We got into New Orleans at night after a long train trip from Oregon, and took a cab to the Hotel St. Marie in the French Quarter. All I can say about the French Quarter is that it is very OLD. We ate so many different foods that were interesting, so we DID manage to eat our way through NO. Crawdad season has not begun yet so when we had them, we ate frozen, which is not as good. Gumbo, etouffe’, boudain balls, po boys, lots of shrimp and even alligator, and turtle soup.

Yes, we went to Café du Mon and ate beignets and coffee, and of course we had breakfast at Brennan’s. Brennan’s now has the dubious honor of being the most expensive breakfast we have ever had. That being said, their Milk Punch (milk and brandy) is good enough to put on cereal, and the Banana’s Foster (created there) was scrumptious!

Famous New Orleans Cemetery

We took a tour bus and saw the devastation of the ninth ward, a cemetery, and a lot of places important to the residents. We took the river walk along the Mississippi, went to Bourbon Street day and night. Our hotel was just a block off Bourbon Street and we walked everywhere in New Orleans. A lot of construction is going on in that area because they are getting ready for the Super Bowl this year, so the sidewalks and streets are torn up. I’m glad we saw New Orleans but we don’t need to return. 

Mock up of Mayan ruins in Cozumel

We cruised to Jamaica where we took a tour, visited a rum distillery. Yeah Mon! Then to Grand Cayman and another tour, this time again a rum distillery. Then on to Cozumel, Mexico. We again joined a tour, and enjoyed a trip to a local tequila distillery (are you sensing a theme here?) At this point, enough is enough. Neither of us are hard liquor people, and after sampling rums and tequilas by 10 AM, we knew why.  We did, however, bring home a bottle of rum and some tequila samplers.

Cruise ship interior

We have decided cruises are not exactly our cup of tea as they are too commercialized, and there's too much time “at sea”, where you are a captive audience. Although I did buy my retirement watch on board. Well, to quote Gallagher, “It was on sale, and I was going to buy it anyway!”

San Antonio Riverwalk

When we got back in to New Orleans we rented a car and drove to San Antonio, Texas. We had a nice hotel with a balcony on the river walk where we could drink our wine and watch people. I wanted to see the Alamo, and it was within walking distance of our hotel.

We flew home from Texas through Salt Lake and then back to our home in Eugene and our own wonderful bed. We are thankful we could do this trip. It makes us happy to live where we do though, even with all of that famous Oregon rain.

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