#9 New Orleans, Louisiana April 1 - April 5, 1992

Wednesday, April 1: Elegant Southern presence overarched this reunion in New Orleans hosted by Tizo Robinson and his wife Anne. Known as "The Crescent City" because it is located on a curve of the mighty Mississippi River, New Orleans is a thriving port. Like the city, the headquarters for this 9th mini Pontchartrain offered grace and warmth characteristic of Southern heritage. The Robinsons served cocktails for the early arrivals with dinner on one's own.

Thursday, April 2: Information packets regarding the mini's activities were obtained in the Hospitality Suite. The day's highlight was a professionally narrated boat tour of one of America's wildest and most pristine river swamps Honey Island. Minigoers were bused across Lake Pontchartrain to Crawford Landing where wetland ecologist Dr. Paul Wagner had established the 70,000-acre wildlife preserve in 1982. The evening was spent at the world-famous Mulate's Restaurant and Dance Hall noted for its cajun cuisine.

Friday, April 3: Breakfast at the hotel featured a humorous speaker. Knowledgeable guides escorted groups to the Garden District for a walking tour. The Plimsol Club, with spectacular views of the Mississippi River high atop the World Trade Center, was the venue for lunch. A representative of the city's Port Authority spoke on activities in this well-situated city. Then a full afternoon of indoctrination of New Orlean's history past and present

including a visit to Longue Vue. This 50-year-old eight-acre estate, built for cotton broker Edgar B. Stern and his wife Edith Rosenwald Stern, offered a large formal garden surrounded by six smaller ones. It was planted in 1940 with materials indigenous to the Gulf South. The Greek Revival style mansion, decorated with its original 18th- and 19th-century English and French furnishings, provided a tantalizing backdrop. A half hour upriver at the Destrehan Plantation the minigoers enjoyed dinner and dancing to a jazz band.

Saturday, April 4: A tour of the famous French Quarter was on the day's docket. The imposing statue of General Andrew Jackson on his rearing horse is a central figure in the square named for this hero of the 1815 Battle of New Orleans. It is flanked by the Pontalba Buildings one of which houses the Louisiana State Museum. Dominating a bend of the Mississippi River is the French Market that has been a vibrant part of the New Orleans scene for more than 165 years. Other historical sites, museums, art galleries and antique shops dot this historical area. Some of the attendees opted to see the sights from the steamboat Natchez. All gathered at Antoine's for cocktails, an authentically prepared Creole dinner and dancing. This internationally renowned restaurant has been operated by the same family since 1840.

Sunday, April 5: All day for those staying over was spent touring two plantations. These antebellum mansions, many of French-Spanish colonial architecture, are dotted throughout the South. Simplicity is the keynote in the exterior design of these graceful Southern homes.


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