This is the first of two parts where we travel from New Orleans to Memphis via the Mississippi River.


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Mississippi River Cruise Part One


Cabin 248 - our room for the cruise. All the suitcases easily fit under the bed. (I definitely over packed.) Very roomy for a cruise ship. Nicer than many hotel rooms we have stayed in.

...Opening Comments from Bob

This Page: Jan and I had the opportunity to escape the never-ending snow and take a river cruise up the Mississippi River from New Orleans to Memphis. This issue will cover our time in Louisiana. Part 2 in April will cover the rest of the trip from Mississippi to Tennessee. The first two poems are trip based, The Mississippi River Cruise and Houmas House. The third, The Voyage, is a serious one speaking to a journey all are on.

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Viking Mississippi, our ship and home for the Mississippi River cruise discussed in this issue and next month's.

New Orleans, LA: We spent a day and half in the Big Easy before departing on the cruise. Mardi Gras
was just beginning on our day of departure.

Upper Lf. Clockwise: Local artists sell their works on Jackson Square; Louis Armstrong museum is an easy
walk from the French Quarter; partialview of the Mississippi River port; a tour group standing
under a huge Live Oak on the museum's grounds


Three Poems

Comment: Being around such a historic river that has so impacted US history, one can't help but be
inspired to write poetry.

Comment: This short prose poem is on Houmas House. This large sugar plantation survived the
Civil War through a ruse. The owner, originally from Ireland, hung a large Union Jack flag across
the front of the home and claimed a form of sovereignty with Great Britain. The ruse worked and
the plantation was spared the torch.

Comment: A bit about the voyage we are all on.

Located in Darrow, LA (Day 2 of the cruise) The main house exterior is pictured in the above poem.



New Orleans French Quarter

There are so many recs one could give. I will first provide one that is not common knowledge. Stop at the Quarter Grocery and Deli (836 Burgundy St.) and order from the small deli in the back one or more of the following (warning: the servings are large): the catfish, shrimp, jambalaya, or po'boys. Unbelievably tasty and reasonably priced. Locals go there. Rec. #2: Of course, you have to try the beignets at the famous Cafe Du Monde. By the lines, evidently much of the world already is aware of this pastry. The young man below graciously posed for me while devouring the tasty treat.

Viking Mississippi River Cruise

While you pay top dollar, we have never experienced such high caliber of service as we did on this cruise. This shipping line continues to receive the highest ratings of any line by national travel magazines. Be warned, as Jan and I took one of the last two openings in 2023, I believe 2024 is also totally booked. You will have to check if interested.

Please take a look at the online book and gift pages.


Day 3 Mississippi River Cruise: The Atchafalaya Basin in Louisiana is the nation’s largest river swamp, containing
almost one million acres of the nation’s most significant bottom-land hardwoods, swamps, bayous, and backwater lakes.
Pictured is a small portion of the Henderson Swamp Loop. Pic. 1 - Our means of transportation Pic 2 - a partial view of
the swamp Pic 3 - Years ago an artist painted the picture of the Last Supper and displayed it miles into the swamp By
the way, alligators are always looking for a snack.

I-10: You are looking at an engineering marvel. The Atchafalaya Basin Bridge is a pair of parallel
bridges between Baton Rouge and Lafayette which carries Interstate 10 over the Atchafalaya Basin.
With a total length of 18 miles, it is the third-longest bridge in the US. Because of the water depth,
some of the pylons are on floats. The guide told us that on the weekend it is common to have speedboats
including water skiers zipping up and down the water corridor between the pylons.


Louisianans enjoy their wetlands. Hence, some have vacation homes as well as permanent ones on the
water. Pictured are two houseboats (look like traditional homes) hooked up to all the land utilities. Of
course, you have to endure the many insects and other creatures that love the swamp. Besides alligators,
black bears are extremely prevalent in the area.


Day 4 Mississippi River Cruise: St. Francisville, LA: This small, well-maintained, community benefits
greatly from tourism. Pictured above is Rosedown Plantation. During its heyday right before the Civil War,
it was a major producer of sugar.

The plantation gardens were beautiful for this time of year. They really won't bloom for another two months.

I won't bore you with many shots of Rosedown's interior but found this one very interesting. The pictured
needlework was done by Martha Washington and given to her friend, the plantation owner's wife.

Having left Louisiana and under the bridges of Natchez, MS. More about Natchez in April.


Tai Chi Corner

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