Posts Tagged With: Louisiana

Swamp Tour at Lake Martin

Lake Martin

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We drove over to the Lafayette area specifically to be able to spend some time on Lake Martin.  I read several reports that I did not need to book ahead but to see how the weather was and then call that day to reserve a spot on a tour.  BAD ADVICE!  Do NOT do this!  It might be December but tours on Lake Martin are in high demand.  You can imagine my surprise when the first available tour was two days later when we were to be in Mississippi. This was not looking good!

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Visiting Vermilionville in Lafayette

I had plans to spend around 24 hours in Lafayette on our trip.  We wanted to tour Lake Martin and then fill our time in around our swamp tour.  I gave the family the option to tour the Alexadre House, Vermilionville or the science museum.  They said they were house toured out and not up for thinking.  (Her words.) So we set off for Vermilionville.

Vermilionville is right near the Lafayette airport and situated along the river. The small village shows the life of Creole and Acadian historic life. They moved several original homes to this location and show life from the late 1700’s to 1890s.

Vermillionville

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Wander the Garden District

Christmas morning saw us with no concrete plans.  Old me would have had something booked, new me polls the family now.  The vote was to ride the street car to the garden district and poke around until we were bored.  I knew we needed the St. Charles line and our Free Tours by Foot guide had recommended boarding at the corner of Canal and Carondelet street.  Boarding there gave us the best chance to get a seat and not have to stand for the ride.  $3  a person gives you a 24 hour pass or $1.25 exact change each ride.

Canal street

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We rode the streetcar down to Washington Avenue. This would also be where you would want to exit for Commander’s Palace Restaurant.   Right across the street is Lafayette Cemetery.  Since it was a holiday the cemetery was closed but normal hours are 7-3pm daily.

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Time for Oysters!

We arrived late evening in New Orleans and we were hungry.  I had read several places that Acme and Felix’s were the place for oysters.  I had also read that Acme usually had a line down the street.  Since it was late Friday night we avoided the long Acme line down to the corner and had a short wait at Felix’s.

Felix's Oysters

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We were seated in the room on the far side and quickly given our drinks. I tried a Mississippi Honeybee and I could have sat and sipped those all weekend.  Yummy!

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Country Inn and Suites New Orleans

Country inn & suites NOLA

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We had a slight mishap when we were leaving the airport.  Life had been a little beyond crazy and I had forgotten to update the GPS.  I got in the car and started to type the hotel and it found nothing.  Nothing at all for Louisiana.  We are NOT stellar with maps, even less so in the dark on a very busy night on highway 10.  There was a football game Saturday and the highway was jammed.   It was not a great start to our time.  Daughter was able to get directions on my phone and was helping navigate us around.  Much easier when its not bumper to bumper traffic but we found the hotel a short time later in the business district.

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Our Annual December Getaway

This past December like the prior two we headed to a warmer climate for seafood and relaxation.  We tossed around going back to South Padre again, I swear we have the same conversation each August.  While it was a top contender it was not our winner for our December 2016 trip.

Canal street

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Wrap up on 2016

This is the crazy post where I try to dig back through my brain and figure out how many nights we spent in hotels.  I can safely say not near as many as 2015.   Our family needs are changing and we do more small weekend trips away now that our daughter is older.

2016 saw us take a spring break trip to check out three colleges for said daughter.  The Holiday Inn IHG mail in promotion points came in really handy for this trip to Pennsylvania.

Franklin & Marshall

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We also did a couple of single nights in hotels before a college visit to make sure we arrived on time and for a little family break.  Nothing wrong with relaxing in a hot tub and eating seafood on a weeknight.

Since our daughter was heading to South Africa for a few weeks in June we used a night in Radisson Kalamazoo for a family night.  Enjoying their great pool area and local food before we went our separate ways for most of the summer.

Kalamazoo Radisson

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August saw the girls having free time and Southwest airline credit to use so we went to Savannah and Charleston for a long weekend.  I did not want to lose $124 in credit from when I re-booked price changes. I let Daughter pick the destination and I was surprised by her choice.  She fell in love with the south and everything about Savannah.

Bonadventure Cemetary

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Labor day brought us to South Bend for a quick get away.  The work hard play hard Club Carlson promotion was offering triple weekend points so we took in the Celtic Festival.

Learning to throw an axe.

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Then we took our long December vacation to Louisiana and Mississippi.  This time we cleaned out my husbands IHG points account leveraging it for three nights.  I really wish IHG did more mail in promotions!

Creole Queen foggy ride

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Also new to us this year was staying a hotel night before a long race.  It is easier on the family if they can hang out at the room for a couple of hours after an early starting run.  No parking hassles, no freezing while they wait or looking for bathrooms. I like walking to the start and knowing they are comfortable.

Foreshore adventure run

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So this years math:

3,358 airline miles in 2016

19 nights in a hotel

2 nights in a Bed and Breakfast

Losing the second night free benefit with Club Carlson kept us lower on our stays this year and I am not really focusing on one chain at the moment.  Whomever has the best promotion gets my business for now.   We seem to be doing more driving than flying these days. And with my daughters schedule its really hard to get away for more than a couple of nights at a time.

For 2017 we start off with a bang, my daughter has an opportunity in D.C. so we will soon be headed there for a bit.  We are tossing around heading back to Florida for our winter getaway.  We were lucky with mostly nice and unusually warm weather in Louisiana but going further south should up our warm weather chances.

Creole Queen

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Who knows where this crazy hobby will take us this year!

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