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My husband and I love to travel, and when we travel, we love to go off the beaten path. I'd love to hear about the quirky or not-necessarily-in-the-travel guide. If we were coming to your hometown--what should we see?

My hometown is Washington, DC, and a lot of the standard stuff really is must-see. One of the less known things though, is the statue of Albert Einstein not far from the Vietnam Memorial.



Betsy
 

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LOL! Will put it on my list for the next cross country trip, Jeff! I was looking at the location on the map and we've obviously come very close to McGregor a couple of times as we drove through Texas.

Found the website:
http://www.mcgregor-texas.com/

Betsy
 

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My DH is from New Orleans and all of his family are still there. Whenever friends ask for things to do there this is the list we give them.

Things to do in New Orleans

Restaurants and Things to Eat:
Commander's Palace in the Garden District - best restaurant in the world, very dressy (gentlemen are required to wear a jacket) expensive - about $50 each for dinner without alcohol. Asked to be seated in the Garden Room. Service is at a slow leisurely pace, so do not be in a hurry. If it's not on the menu, ask the server if the fried eggplant appetizer is available. A shrimp remoulade should be your choice for salad. The turtle soup is superb. Pick your entrée and then split a bananas Foster and a bread pudding dessert. Take a taxi or do valet.

Beignet (pronounced ben yay) - The original place to get Beignets is Café du Monde near the French Market. If you do not have time to get there beignets are available in the Riverwalk next to the Convention Center.

Captain Andersons - in the Riverwalk good gumbo and red beans and rice. Both these dishes are required eating while in N'Awlins.

Mother's Restaurant - Great red beans but the specialty is a po-boy called a Ferdie. Cash only.

Camellia Grill - If you have a whole morning available take the streetcar to Camellia Grill for breakfast. They do not open until 9AM and you will wait in line to be seated. Cash only. As an alternative, if time is an issue, cab it there and take the streetcar back.

A STREETCAR RIDE IS MANDATORY WHILE IN NEW ORLEANS.

Mandina's - Corner restaurant cuisine on Canal Street. Superb Turtle Soup, best-bet entrees are trout almandine or trout meneure and the bread pudding is great. Everything on the menu is excellent. Again the service is leisurely, so do not be in a hurry. Cash only about $25 each and cab it.

Muffaletta - this is a sandwich of Italian cold cuts and provolone cheese on Italian Bread. The original is from Central Grocery in the French Quarter. If you cannot get there, I am sure there will be one of the food stands in the Riverwalk making muffalettas.

ACME Oyster House - in the French Quarter. Great raw oysters and seafood po-boys.

Copeland's - On Saint Charles and Napoleon. You can cab it or take the streetcar. Spicy Cajun Cuisine. Required appetizer is the onion mum. Anything else on the menu per your preference and it is all good.

Lucky Dog - For a snack while in the French Quarter you will see Lucky Dog street vendors. The best hot dog ambiance you will ever experience.

Manuel's Hot Tamales - Another street vendor favorite of the locals. Roll up your sleeves.

Tourist favorites in the French Quarter are Brennan's, Arnaud's, Galatoire's, Emeril's, The Palace Café, Chez Paul's (Paul Prudhomme). These are all quite good but pricey and touristy.

Things to Do

If it still exists, for a drink, the best panoramic view of New Orleans is from the bar atop the ITM Building. It does a 360 rotation every 90 minutes. This is on the down river end of the Riverwalk adjacent to the Hilton.

If it no longer exists, go to the bar on the top floor of the hotel at Canal Place (I think it is a Westin) on the edge of the French Quarter.

Another bar hop is Pat O'Brien's and the required drink is a Hurricane. Ask to be escorted to the rear piano bar.

Remember, in New Orleans there is no north south east or west, you are going up river (uptown), down river (downtown), towards the river or towards the lake.

The Riverwalk - this is adjacent to the Convention Center and is a conglomeration of food stands and stores. Wear comfortable shoes.

THE FRENCH QUARTER - during the day the Quarter is relatively safe. At night be careful. If you turn a corner and there are not 2 cops, go back where you came from.

Between the Convention Center and the Riverwalk is a trolley that will take you to the French Quarter and the French Market.

Jax Brewery - similar to the Riverwalk but on a smaller scale.

Church Architecture

New Orleans has several very beautiful churches if you are interested. At some point in time, if you do any of the things listed above, you will be close to these churches.

Jesuit Church on Baronne Street - when you take your streetcar ride Jesuit Church is a half block away from where the streetcar meets Canal Street. If you do go, there is a little shop close buy that makes the best pralines in New Orleans.

Saint Louis Cathedral - in the French Quarter adjacent to Jackson Square

Sacred Heart Canal Street - if you go to Mandina's Restaurant Sacred Heart Church is right up the street.

AFTER CHURCH- - - -The downtown casino - a must walk through but it is actually boring. The most fun casino is Boomtown in Harvey, LA across the river from downtown on the "west bank". Probably a $20 cab ride each way but, if you win, who cares.

HAVE FUN AND BE SAFE.
 

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If you are visiting in the Portland, Maine area...Start your day at Standard Baking, with a cranberry walnut scone for breakfast:





Then go to Portland Head Light. Yes, it's on everybody's list, but you have to see it:



Mosey down the coast and stop and have lunch at Ken's Place in Pine Point. Order the fried clams in crumbs and make sure to ask for the homemade tartar sauce.



Continue south and visit Old Orchard Beach. Walk on the pier and take a ride on the ferris wheel:



Continue south and drive by President Bush's house on Walker's Point. If he's in residence, you might see some secret service guys patrolling by boat, which is always fun.



Hop on the Maine Turnpike and go back to Portland. Walk around the Old Port a little bit, then have dinner at Street and Company:



The lobster fra diavolo is very good! ;)



Finish the day with souvenir shopping at L.L. Bean. It's open 24 hours, no locks on the doors!



That is my idea of a perfect day in the greater Portland area!

L
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Great, Kathy!

Been to NO and done some of this, not likely to do some (while on vacation, wearing a jacket is totally a no-no to my husband, so not likely to go to one of the fancy places you mention. Love beignets and streetcars!!  Am definitely saving your post for our next cross country trip.  Don't know if we'll do it before or after McGregor, though.

You didn't mention one of our mandatory stops, Preservation Hall.  Saw incredible Dixieland jazz there the last time we went, I think in 2007.

Thanks,

Betsy
 

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Kathy said:
My DH is from New Orleans and all of his family are still there. Whenever friends ask for things to do there this is the list we give them.

Things to do in New Orleans
That's a great list. I would also add: plan a three hour visit (morning is best) to the D-Day museum. It is excellent and you need to give yourself enough time to really look at all the exhibits. There is a good restaurant right close by. I think it is one of the ones owned by Emeril. Have lunch there after visiting the museum.

L
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Y'all are doing great!

Leslie, the only thing I've done on your list is the Portland Head light; we go to Maine pretty often, will definitely refer to your list for the next trip!

Betsy
 

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Kathy said:
My DH is from New Orleans and all of his family are still there. Whenever friends ask for things to do there this is the list we give them.

Things to do in New Orleans

Restaurants and Things to Eat:
Commander's Palace in the Garden District - best restaurant in the world, very dressy (gentlemen are required to wear a jacket) expensive - about $50 each for dinner without alcohol. Asked to be seated in the Garden Room. Service is at a slow leisurely pace, so do not be in a hurry. If it's not on the menu, ask the server if the fried eggplant appetizer is available. A shrimp remoulade should be your choice for salad. The turtle soup is superb. Pick your entrée and then split a bananas Foster and a bread pudding dessert. Take a taxi or do valet.

Beignet (pronounced ben yay) - The original place to get Beignets is Café du Monde near the French Market. If you do not have time to get there beignets are available in the Riverwalk next to the Convention Center.

Muffaletta - this is a sandwich of Italian cold cuts and provolone cheese on Italian Bread. The original is from Central Grocery in the French Quarter. If you cannot get there, I am sure there will be one of the food stands in the Riverwalk making muffalettas.
We did the above mentioned eats. Enjoyed all of them. Central Grocery is the best! I couldn't believe how big they make the muffaletta.

We went to Commander's Palace the first weekend they reopened after Katrina. Very nice, great service, great food. You can also request to eat in the kitchen.
 

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Leslie said:
I have always wanted to see the Mutter Museum, but I haven't made it, yet.
Would you settle for the Dr. Pepper Museum?


We don't have anything so grand here in McGregor, but Waco's just up the road a bit. Or we could take you out to Crawford where you could see the fence around the Bush Ranch and all the houses for sale.
 

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That's quite a museum, Jeff.

Somehow, I think the Bush home here in Maine is more my taste than the one in Crawford! LOL.

Which makes me think of The Perfect Storm, which is not available on the Kindle. :mad: The book was so much better than the movie. In that storm, the waves came up and took out the front of the Bushes' home. All their living room furniture washed out to sea. I always hoped that Barbara was in the mood to redecorate when that happened. LOL.

 

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pomlover2586 said:
Umm......cows? ???
LOL - that's along the lines of what I was thinking. Umm....cornfields? (I guess the Field of Dreams film site is only a couple of hours away)..but, you all can come see me if for any reason on God's green earth you're passing through Ottumwa, Iowa and we'll have a party!
 

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crebel said:
LOL - that's along the lines of what I was thinking. Umm....cornfields? (I guess the Field of Dreams film site is only a couple of hours away)..but, you all can come see me if for any reason on God's green earth you're passing through Ottumwa, Iowa and we'll have a party!
If not in Ottumwa, how about Iowa? Anything? DeMoines? Love the name Ottumwa.... I've hardly been anywhere where there wasn't SOMETHING!

Betsy
 

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Wonderful small towns in Iowa!  We head a bit north of you to Iowa Falls and Decorah once a year to visit family and friends.  Hope to swing by Spencer one of these years - hometown of Dewey - the cat that changed the world!
 

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Iowa small towns are great.  There are definitely some interesting attractions throughout the state.  Betsy you would love the Quilt and Textile Museum in the middle of Amish country in Kalona, IA.  Lots of other things to see would be:  The Hobo Museum in Britt, World's Crookedest Street in Burlington, Buddy Holly crash site/museum in Clear Lake, the American Gothic House in Eldon (just down the road a piece), the only working Danish Windmill in America, the Field of Dreams, the John Wayne Museum in his hometown of Winterset and the Herbert Hoover library/museum in his hometown of West Branch.
 
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