Monday, March 14, 2011

Amato's Winery and New Orleans

After leaving Betty’s in Abbeville we stopped at Amato’s Winery outside of Independence, LA. We found Amato’s through Harvest Hosts. For those of you that do not know about Harvest Hosts I am enclosing their website:

We plan on using these hosts a lot on our trip. If you join Harvest Hosts, mention my name.

Amato’s was a beautiful setting in the country with a pond, fields, and lots of trees. Henry and Jesse were very busy getting out cases of wine for an upcoming festival. They were very hospitable and even suggested some festivals to see while in the area.

On Saturday we went to New Orleans to see the French Quarter. We drove on Hwy 55 down to Interstate 10. Dean was amazed at the amount of water; we drove over 33 miles of highway that was elevated on concrete pillars between Lake Maurepas and Lake Pontchartrain. The day before we drove over Atchfalaya Basin between Lafayette and Baton Rouge with miles and miles of elevated highway. No wonder the nickname for this state is the Wetlands.

We walked around the French Quarter seeing all the famous landmarks: Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, French Market, Preservation Hall, and the Mississippi River. Bourbon Street is lined with bars and restaurants. We had lunch on Bourbon St at the Cajun Cabin and tried some Cajun specialties: crawfish ettouffee and red beans and rice. Then we walked down Royal Street, which I thought was the highlight of the day. This street was closed off to traffic and street musicians and magicians were performing along the street. I bought a CD of one singing group and had my picture taken with them. We really enjoyed our day in the French Quarter. Maybe the next time we come it will be for Mardi Gras!

Jackson Squrare, St. Louis Catherdral, and carriage rides off Decatur Street.

Dean leaning on the oil lamps. The balconies were still decorated a week after Mardi Gras.

One of the bands playing on Royal Street. This guy could puff out his cheeks like Louis Armstrong.

Jay-Ray & Gee Trio on Royal Street.

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