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daliflor

** New Orleans: PHOTO journal @ Western Caribbean & NOLA post-cruise (Sept. 2012) **

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Driving back to New Orleans... reading a poem titled apropriately "I am LOUISIANA."

 

 

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"I'm Spanish moss on a live oak tree

Cajun fried shrimp and a cypress knee."

 

 

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"I'm New Orleans, the land of dreams Creole cookin'

and a Mardi Gras king."

 

 

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"I'm the Louisiana Hayride and the birth of the blues,

The Evangeline, Chickory Coffee and Baton Rouge."

 

 

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"I'm when the Saints Go Marchin' In the Superdome,

The Atchafalaya and an old plantation home."

 

 

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"A sugar cane patch, Pete Fountain, French Quarter

and Satchmo."

 

 

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"Well, I'm the Mississippi River as it rounds the bend.

I am Louisiana. Ya'll Come Back Again."

 

 

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VIDEO(some of those bridges and swamps seen from a Jet Blue plane):

 

 

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Back in NEW ORLEANS!

 

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"If your American dream is painted on a canvas

Neatly folded in the corner of Andy Warhol’s mind

New Orleans is a hurricane beating down your coast"

 

 

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As our driver was heading to the French Quarter,

we were all mesmerized by the incredible colors of the New Orleans SKY that Tuesday afternoon...

 

Even our knowledgeble tour guide and excellent driver stopped talking for a change,

taking in the beauty of the nature...

 

 

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"If you close your eyes

And feel the easy ride

Of the St. Charles Street Car

Where a solo tuba

Blows the scent of magnolia

Down narrow streets

and everyone plays possum with the heat"

 

 

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"where former slaves pay homage to the first Americans

by masking in suits of rhine stones and bright colored feathers

that transform security guards into Indian Chiefs

doing rain dances on Congo Square

where the drums drum

and the wine drink

and the big chief sing"

 

 

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"if you can envision the souls of yesterday

living in the music

that rises from the cracks in the sidewalks

New Orleans is your dream

With a heart as soft

As the spanish moss

Dripping from centuries old oak tress"

 

 

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"Spin your umbrella

And wave your bandanna

It’s Mardi Gras time

And everybody’s happy"

 

 

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It was a perfect end for a memorable day!

 

 

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"I remember where my city [of New Orleans] was

It was tucked in a river bend

Its proud spires and columns wide

Stretched out from friend to friend."

 

 

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"We had a way of life there

That few could understand

How black and white could fight so

To occupy this land."

 

 

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"This lazy Southern city’s

Charted course was not to speed

All stopped at Mardi Gras time

To catch a cup or bead."

 

 

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Driving along the famous Bourbon Street in NOLA on a Tuesday afternoon... October 2012!

 

 

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"The sounds of jazz were born there

The music that is our nation’s

Went out on record players

And broadcast out on stations."

 

 

 

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"The food was known as gourmet

All clamored for a taste

And overeating platefuls

Could end up on your waist."

 

 

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"The sweet smell of praulines cooking

With coffee and chicory

A statue in a park

Honoring “Old Hickory”

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"And when the winds came blowin’

And the rain came pourin’ down

People stayed and “rode it out”

Because they loved this town."

 

 

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"Dispersed we are, we sit and wait

We live beyond our means

The plaintive song we sing, of course,

Is “To Miss New Orleans.”

 

 

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So here we are... at The End of our Combo Tour (Swamp Tour & Plantation Tour)...

Cajun Pride Swamp Tours' wonderful driver and excellent tour guide dropped us off at the hotel

that Tuesday, late afternoon...

 

 

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And then the van was gone... like one of those famous local ghosts (Game Over!)

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Back to the Country Inn & Suites Hotel in New Orleans @ the French Quarter...

(great rate via HotWire.com and spacious, comfy rooms!)

 

 

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The hotel is convenient located in the heart of Downtown New Orleans, on Magazine Street -

very close to Canal Street & Decatur Street.

 

 

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Our fabulous Concierge, DIANA CHACON -

we followed her advice and had a delicious dinner later that night - our last one in NOLA, post-cruise!...

 

 

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Our Country Inn&Suites hotel also included a continental breakfast too (beside free Internet) and the rooms were spacious,

comfortable, and clean, some of them featuring exposed wooden beams and brick walls, making them charmingly unique.

 

Additionally, we must say that the staff couldn't be more helpful and friendly, so thumbs up!

 

 

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This historic hotel is comprised of seven 19th-century buildings, giving it a charming,

boutique feel that "artfully blends old world charm with modern comforts."

 

 

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(changing for "the last supper" @ NOLA)

Edited by daliflor

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On Tuesday night, we followed the advice of our lovely Concierge Diana and went to dinner close to the hotel, in the French Quarter.

 

 

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Both places recommended by the Concierge lady were crowded that night.

 

 

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However, we ended up at the Palace Cafe on Canal Street simply because

the other place had a wait list of at least 45 minutes, so we decided to be pragmatic.

 

A young fella from Scotland (living in Canada now) joined our small group for dinner.

 

And boy, did we had a blast or what that night?!

 

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Located on historic Canal Street, Palace Café is housed in the Werlein building (former home of Werlein's,

the nation's oldest family owned retail music chain), which has served as a New Orleans landmark since the turn of the century.

 

 

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Palace Cafe serves classic New Orleans dishes (Creole cuisine) and our waiter, Lloyd, mentioned that

"We are happy to accommodate any dietary restrictions" (i.e. they have a gluten free menu).

 

 

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Palace Cafe supports local farmers and fishermen.

Their fresh products are what make this Creole cuisine so flavorful, we were told that Tuesday night at dinner.

 

 

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Among the Starters @ Palace Cafe:

 

Crabmeat Cheesecake

A Palace Café signature dish! Baked in a pecan crust with a wild mushroom sauté and Creole Meuniére 9-

Shrimp Rémoulade

Spicy boiled shrimp dressed wtih New Orleans rémoulade served in a crisp tomato cup on micro greens with herb vinaigrette and chopped egg 8-

Oysters Pan Roast

Oysters poached in rosemary cream with herb breadcrumbs, served in a roasting skillet 9-

Barbecued Shrimp

in a New Orleans style barbecue sauce, spiked with Abita beer and served with a Leidenheimer crouton 9.5-

Fried Oyster "Loaf"

Corn fried oysters served on grilled ciabatta bread with melted St. Andre cheese and sherry-tasso cream sauce 9-

Crab Claws Bordelaise

Sautéed blue crab claws with New Orleans style bordelaise sauce with garlic, lemon, parsley and Creole seasoning 9-

Crawfish Maltagliati (seasonal)

Louisiana crawfish tails, housemade herb pasta and Covey Rise tomato ragoût, finished with black pepper mozzarella 11-

 

 

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"Flavor of New Orleans" cuisine is served at this upbeat and lively grand café owned and operated by

Dickie Brennan, of the famed New Orleans restaurant family.

 

 

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The previous post had a mixture of Starters and Main dishes.

 

Our group tried pretty much everything that night:

from steak to fish and seafood and even a... Turtle soup (enriched with fresh lemon and lots of sherry)!

 

 

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Personally, I found my Catfish Pecan delicious!

 

Pecan-crusted with Creole meunière sauce, spiced pecans, popcorn rice served with the vegetable du jour -- Mmmm, very good!

 

 

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Other specialties @ Palace Cafe:

 

Pepper Crusted Duck Breast with Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras

Set on parsnip mashed potatoes with a citrus-confit salad and sauce au poivre 29-

Shrimp Tchefuncte

In a Creole meuniére sauce with green onions, roasted mushrooms and popcorn rice 19-

Andouille Crusted Fish

Pan-roasted and served with Crystal beurre-blanc, chive aïoli, rissole potatoes and vegetable du jour 22-

Crispy Braised Pork Shank

With a warm salad of crispy sweet potatoes, bleu cheese, frisée & housemade bacon finished with a Ponchatoula strawberry barbeque sauce 23-

Rib-Eye and Shrimp

12 oz. cast iron-seared rib-eye accompanied by Lyonnaise potatoes and jumbo Gulf shrimp, finished with toasted pine nut brown butter sauce 35-

Grilled Gulf Fish Panzanella

With house-made olive bread croutons, local cucumbers, tomatoes, grilled eggplant, capers and spinach tossed in an Italian parsley pistou 24-

Rotisserie Chicken aux Champignons

Served with truffled mashed potatoes and lemon-arugula salad, finished with a Creole marchands de vin 19-

Creole Seasoned Filet

Grilled 8 oz. filet with roasted shiitake demi-glace, grilled onions and Stilton bleu cheese crumbles accompanied by green onion mashed potatoes 35-

 

 

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Finally, the reason that I had to share my starter that night - to leave room for... DESSERT!

 

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Tuesday night, we decided to ease our friend's emotional pain (cause by the night before robbery) and

had the waiters bringing her a piece of cake to make a wish for a Belated Happy Birthday:

 

 

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(we still don't know her B-day wish that night but after tremendous stress and beaurocratic pain,

she was able to make it back to UK... fortunately)

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Dessert time!!! Had the Bananas Foster - a Palace Cafe favorite!

 

Fresh bananas sautéed tableside in brown sugar and cinnamon,

then flambéed with banana liqueur and rum, served over vanilla bean ice cream 7-

 

 

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VIDEO (the making of the Bananas Foster @ Palace Cafe in NOLA):

 

 

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VIDEO (the making of the Bananas Foster @ Palace Cafe in NOLA):

 

 

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Voila! The final product is now ready:

 

 

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With the dessert, at Jennifer's recommendation, I decided to try one of the specialty coffees: Palace Cafe Coffee -

Nocello, Chambord, Community Coffee and whipped cream, topped with dark chocolate bits

 

 

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palace-cafe-new-orleans.gif Once we arrived at NOLA'S Palace Cafe,

we were immediately taken back to an era of hospitality and Southern food.

 

 

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Great atmosphere, delicious food, good service, beautiful building and interior decor,

and stellar location on Canal Steet will have me coming back one day!

 

 

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The Country Inn &Suites hotel is convenient located in the heart of Downtown New Orleans, on Magazine Street.

 

 

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This historic hotel is comprised of seven 19th-century buildings, giving it a charming,

boutique feel that "artfully blends old world charm with modern comforts."

 

 

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Our 2012 CruiseMiles Party cruise ended on the same joyful note as it started: chatting with friends over drinks...

 

This time not aboard Carnival's Conquest cruise ship to the Western Caribbean but rather

by the fireplace at French Quarter's cozy hotel Country Inn and Suites (by Carlson).

 

 

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"The Mississippi is always the same

When I watch it from the rocks

Of the bank,

A little more pollution

Each time I visit...

 

French Quarter,

New Orleans,

Ages past, while ghosts

Of my ancestors still walk

The cracking streets.

 

New faces constantly

And graffiti that begs

"Stop the killing!"

In a city where the murders

Top the nation in their numbers.

 

The sadness of the river,

If she could carry the pain away;

 

The relentless flowing

Shifting and moving

Barges, ships

And gambling boats

From place to place;

 

New Orleans, I love you!"

 

 

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Cheers, Good night & Good luck !!!

 

 

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“A cruise itinerary which begins and ends in New Orleans offers passengers two vacation experiences in one trip,"

said Gary LaGrange, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Port of New Orleans .

 

 

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"Most passengers will spend a couple of days in New Orleans either before or after their cruises."

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Thanks for the wonderful photos of NOLA. It brings back the fantastic memories of our first trip there in March this year.

 

Despite the relatively high hotel costs, we will make our next cruise a departure from New Orleans...it is a simply amazing city. It so different to anything else we have seen in the USA. And, oh the food!

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Wonderful pictures. Great job. We go to NO in less than four months. Will look at the swamp tour you did.

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Thanks for the wonderful photos of NOLA. It brings back the fantastic memories of our first trip there in March this year.

 

Despite the relatively high hotel costs, we will make our next cruise a departure from New Orleans...it is a simply amazing city. It so different to anything else we have seen in the USA. And, oh the food!

 

Indeed! The cuisine, the music, the Mississippi River, the ambiance... charming city, NOLA!

 

Wonderful pictures. Great job. We go to NO in less than four months. Will look at the swamp tour you did.

 

You'll have a great time! Thanks for the positive feedback too!

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Really enjoyed your posts!!! Can't wait to visit NO in April!!!

 

Cresent City looks great...will put it on my "for sure" list.

 

Thank you kindly for the positive feedback!

I am confident tat you'll create wonderful memories in this fantastic city!

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The Carnival cruise was fun.... quality of Celebrity services NOT matched on a Carnival cruise, so Carnival will not be on top three choices for next cruises..

 

DW liked NOLA very much and we plan on going back for a <land tri>p during MG this year!!

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