Butterfly Survey Training

Do you like butterflies?

Saturday April 7 11:00am

Guided nature hikes

Walk and Discover Nature

Ongoing throughout the year

Flower and Garden Show

Discover New Flowers

Join us this March 23-25, 2018

Art in Roman Life

Cedar Rapids
Museum of Art

View Roman Antiquities on Display

We’ve always wanted to visit NOLA ever since the movie “Interview with the Vampire” and how it showcased its beauty in Gothic charm, it’s long and deep history including its unique architecture and also that we’re big Saints fan. Plus Creole is one of our all time favorite cuisines to enjoy with its unique blend of French and Spanish spices mixed with American staples. Below we’ve set out our wish itinerary  for NOLA.

Our Best Time to Travel

Skip Mardi Gras! Everything is over priced and its extremely crowded not to mention vomit and trash everywhere. You can still party like its Mardi Gras even when its not the time. But with that said.

Our favorite time to travel anywhere in the world is either early fall or late spring. Especially early fall as most kids are back in school and colleges are back in session. The crowds are small if at all, most everything is on sale and your saving options are ample. Sure you have to consider possible cool and wet weather but that’s can add an additional layer to your whole experience.

Checkout The Weather Channel monthly average map at this link https://weather.com/maps/averages/normal-temperature to get an idea of your departure and arrival temps to pack accordingly.

Save by Doing your own Connections

You could book a ticket from your regional airport to your nearest international airport but you’re most likely wasting hundreds of dollars. Instead drive to your nearest large airport and park in long term or research your coach options such as bus or commuter train. We prefer to drive ourselves so that we have one less thing to worry about, the drive to and from the airport.

Click over to Flights.Google.com, our number one search engine for flight savings. Of if your using a travel consolidation site such as travelocity, make sure you use an incognito tab to save even more. Cookies aren’t always your friend.

Get the Cheapest Hotel you’re Comfy With

We will not recommend that you use room sharing apps for your accommodations, as we’ve never had good experiences using any of them and to be truly honest, we don’t feel at all comfortable sharing a home with a stranger. Besides a standard hotels offers complimentary breakfast, privacy, secure parking and common politeness.

And save more money by booking the least expensive hotel you’re comfortable with. A truck stop hotel although cheapest, is not recommended but a five-star spa resort is a bit overkill if you don’t intend on using any of the onsite extras. And all hotel beds are uncomfortable regardless of price.

Remember to use both the  hotel’s direct website and a travel consolidation site such as travelocity to compare rates. And always use an incognito tab to save even more. Cookies aren’t always your friend.

Book a Little Ride for our Adventures

Remember to get a ride at the airport. You can use public transit in the city but we’re going to adventure in the sounding country. Get a mid sized sedan to help save on gas but also big enough to carry any and all wonderful nick-nacks bought throughout our wondering. And needs to go without saying but no drinking and driving.

The pick-up and drop-off should be the airport your landing in and always double check the times match with your landing and departure times plus or minus 2 hours.

A Must-Stop at the Quarter

As the oldest, iconic and most popular location in all of NOLA, we must make a stop in the Quarter. Depending on when you land, for us it was a weekday, we drove to the Quarter for an early lunch. We decided on a small cafe, for which are plenty, along with loads of bars and restaurants to pick from.

The French Quarter offers both self-tours and guided-tours along with private tours and themed tours all at reasonable rates and at all times of the day or night. With such a high number of things to do, a tour that focuses on what you’re interested in helps greatly in deciding on what to see.

We’ve decided to buy tickets on the hop-on hop-off red bus that drives around the three major squares of the Quarter. This way we can jump on and jump off when ever we want. And we have a finish time hard set as the bus stops running by 5:30pm.

You can purchase advanced tickets here http://www.bigeasy.com/hop-on-hop-off to have them ready before hand. Each square has too many attractions to name here and we encourage you to do your homework on what you’d like to see per location before hand.

The map to the right shows the route the bus will take to better help you decide what you’d like to see first. You could also just stay on the bus and do the entire circuit all at once and go back to the French Quarter to shop or dine.

Discover the Bitter-sweet Plantations of New Orleans

Soon after breakfast we headed off to discover the historical plantations of New Orleans. We will take a roundabout tour of the plantations so that we don’t overlap on driving and can take in as much as we can on one trip.

Our first stop is Laura, a plantation with a high reputation for its historical value. Please log onto the website for complete details.

Laura Creole Plantation
2247 La Hwy. 18 River Rd.
Vacherie, LA 70090
www.lauraplantation.com

Next on our tour is the St. Joseph Sugar Plantation. With its picturesque grounds set within are original slave quarters, this plantation can transport the visitor back in time.

St. Joseph Plantation
3535 Hwy. 18
Vacherie, LA 70090
www.stjosephplantation.com

Our next stop is the unforgettable Oak Alley Plantation with its iconic entrance lined with massive ancient and gnarly moss covered oaks that unforgettably frame the plantation itself at the end of the cave-like frame created by the branches. We will have lunch at one of the plantation’s cajun and creole restaurants or cafe, before walking the grounds to discover the plantation’s history.

Oak Alley Plantation
3645 Highway 18
Vacherie, LA 70090
www.oakalleyplantation.com

Our last and most impressive destination is the Nottoway Plantation. Nottoway probably the most impressive plantation in all the tour with its resemblance to the white house and its immaculate grounds. It can easily be seen from the highway as its right up against it. We look forward to viewing its many regal rooms and museum quality decor.

Nottoway Plantation
31025 Louisiana Hwy. 1
White Castle, LA 70788
www.nottoway.com

We will end our day by having dinner at the Vessel NOLA a converted church with second floor seating and unique delicious fare.

Vessel NOLA
3835 Iberville St, New Orleans, LA 70119

Art and Culture of New Orleans

Every city worthy of culture will display it within the walls of a museum and it’s always worth visiting these cathedrals of art to marvel in wonderment. Our first destination will be the NOMA, the oldest fine arts museum in the city of New Orleans. The NOMA has an eclectic collection of fine art from both local history and worldwide artworks.

New Orleans Museum of Art
1 Collins Diboll Cir, New Orleans, LA 70124

Established in 1911, we’re going to have lunch at the Parkway Tavern a neighborhood bar and hangout with a patio known for its classic po’ boys.

Parkway Bakery & Tavern
538 Hagan Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119

After lunch we will head over for a visit to a an antique 1800s apothecary, now a museum with Harry Potter style exhibits of early medicines bottles, superstitious cures and other brown themed wonders.

New Orleans Pharmacy Museum
514 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Afterwards we will take a small walk to an Artist Market that showcases authentic local arts and crafts by a variety of local artists who sometimes also work at this space.

Dutch Alley Artist’s Co-op
912 N Peters St, New Orleans, LA 70116

Then we’ll take a shorter walk over to a large bazaar full of vendors selling all sorts of odd things and forget-me-nots.

French Market Outdoor Bazaar
2-48 French Market Pl, New Orleans, LA 70116

We’ll end the day with a light fresh dinner at Eat New Orleans. It’s a bright restaurant that serves farm-to-table Cajun meals.

Eat New Orleans
900 Dumaine St, New Orleans, LA 70116

Remember to have fun and never give up on your curiosity!

Images are provided impart from any of the following locations: unsplash.com, freepik.com, foodiesfeed.com, pixabay.com, publicdomainarchive.com,  realisticshots.com, jaymantri.com, wikipedia.org. All content is for entertainment purposes only. Always consult a doctor, the suggested use of all products and your overall care. All material is  owned by their respective owners and are only used for journalistic examples.

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