Activity note: Easy walking inside hotel; at your discretion if you’d like to go out.
Afternoon: Program Registration. After you have your room assignment, check the message board for the location to register with the Road Scholar program staff, which is also where the Orientation session will take place. You’ll receive a welcome packet with your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. If your arrival is delayed, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. General Information. Some field trips will be walking, others via motorcoach. In addition to meals at the historic Monteleone Hotel, we’ll dine out at some of the city’s fine restaurants; depending on the number of participants, we may break into smaller groups. Breakfasts will be in the hotel’s Criollo Restaurant, ordered from a select menu. As a special bonus, you will have vouchers to use at two popular jazz clubs and the Louisiana State Museum. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Evenings at leisure offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable through personal independent exploration, engaging in available activities on your own, or simply relaxing and making new friends among fellow participants. The Group Leader will always be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local conditions/circumstances including weather. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
Dinner: In the Criollo Restaurant, we’ll have plated and served meals with coffee, tea, water beverage choices.
Evening: At leisure. Live music fills the Carousel Bar & Lounge overlooking Royal Street right inside our historic hotel — a French Quarter landmark since 1886. The Carousel evokes a spirit of fun with the renowned Merry-Go-Round, the city’s only revolving bar. Have a welcome drink on us! Live music continues on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.
Activity note: Walk 1 block from hotel to bus for field trip; walk 3 blocks from bus for lunch.
Breakfast: In the hotel, order from a select menu with coffee, tea, water beverage choices.
Morning: In this introduction to New Orleans, learn about our history and culture, traditions, celebrations, people, and what it means when we say, “It’s a New Orleans thing.” The entertaining class is taught by a humorist who has lived here all her life. She exudes the “joie de vivre” that makes New Orleanians distinctively memorable.
Lunch: Depending on which group you are in, either Monday or Tuesday will be lunch at the renowned Commander's Palace. The other group will eat out independently and the next day we’ll switch. The cuisine at Commander’s has been described as a blend of Haute Creole and modern New Orleans. This restaurant is one of the few to win the coveted James Beard Award (the “Oscars” of the food world).
Afternoon: We’ll board a motorcoach and continue our delightful introduction to New Orleans as our instructor points out significant sites and reveals more about the city’s people, traditions, and unique culture. We’ll have some stops along the way (depending on timing and weather).
Dinner: Enjoy delicious New Orleans cuisine at one of the city's top restaurants and order from a select menu.
Evening: At leisure. Experience nightlife in the French Quarter. If you’re a music aficionado, there are lots of options. You’ll have a voucher (drink included) for Fritzel’s European Jazz Club and for Maison Bourbon Jazz Club. The Quarter has something to offer for almost every interest and taste.
Activity note: Walking 8 blocks in the Garden District.
Breakfast: Hotel select menu choices.
Morning: Following a background presentation by a local expert, we’ll board the motorcoach and become immersed in New Orleans architecture. We’ll learn about various types of iron works, architecture, and historic homes with some stops along the way. We’ll then set out on a walking field trip with a local architect in the aptly named Garden District, one of the loveliest neighborhoods in the country. It was laid out in 1832 for incoming, well-to-do Americans who were not interested in mingling with native New Orleanians. The feeling was mutual! Grand houses were built on large lots that encouraged the development of beautiful gardens.
Lunch: The group that ate out on their own yesterday will dine at Commander's Palace and the others will have lunch independently.
Afternoon: Back at the hotel, enjoy a musical surprise with some New Orleans grassroots musicians. The grassroots music scene developed after Katrina out of a need for hard hit local musicians to have opportunities for performing and networking.
Dinner: Out at another excellent restaurant.
Evening: At leisure. Go out to experience more New Orleans night life, music, and culture. If you haven’t used it yet, your voucher for Fritzel’s or Maison Bourbon is good any night. Or have a relaxed evening at the hotel. The choice is yours.
Activity note: Walk at your own pace through the World War II Museum; benches available.
Breakfast: Hotel select menu choices.
Morning: Go to the National World War II Museum, and see the film “Beyond All Boundaries” narrated by Tom Hanks. Through first person accounts and amazing special effects, we’ll take a journey through the war that changed the world. Formerly known as the D-Day Museum, the National World War II Museum was founded by eminent historian Dr. Stephen Ambrose, author “Band of Brothers” and other best-sellers. A self directed exploration takes us through three buildings that house exhibits highlighting the role of participants from world leaders to the everyday men and women whose contributions helped to win the war, as well as those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Many items in the vast collection — such as uniforms, weaponry, vehicles, medals, diaries, letters, artwork, photographs, and other mementos — are on display while thousands of records and archives are available to scholars for ongoing research.
Lunch: At the National World War II Museum, we’ll have vouchers for lunch in the restaurant.
Afternoon: Stay as long as you like at the WW2 Museum or return by bus to the French Quarter for some free time. Use vouchers for the Cabildo or Presbytere. On your own ride the Natchez paddlewheeler or peruse the many art galleries near the WW2 or on Royal Street.
Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. If you have something special in mind, we recommend making reservations in advance.
Evening: At leisure. Take this time to experience more of our very special city and what it has to offer.
Activity note: Walk 5 blocks from hotel to Cooking School.
Breakfast: Hotel select menu choices.
Morning: We’ll be joined by the managing editor of the Tennessee Williams Journal, whose love of writing and New Orleans is evident in her enthusiastic lectures. We’ll learn about some of the famous writers who lived in and wrote about the French Quarter including William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, John Kennedy Toole, and more.
Lunch: At the world renowned New Orleans School of Cooking, an expert local chef will teach us how to cook Creole and Cajun, and explain the difference. We’ll see the preparation of a traditional dish, then have it for lunch. For dessert, we’ll sample the best pralines in town and other surprises!
Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. We’ll have vouchers to explore the Cabildo and Presbytère flanking St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square. All were constructed during the Spanish period (1795-1799). The Cabildo was the center of government. The Presbytère, built on the site of what had been the residence of Capuchin monks, was used for commercial purposes. Both are now key components of the Louisiana State Museum. The Cabildo displays artifacts of American history as well as rarities such as Napoleon’s death mask. The Presbytère’s interactive exhibit on Mardi Gras traces our annual celebration from its origins to the present day with an exquisite collection of artifacts and memorabilia. Another exhibit expresses Louisiana’s saga of resilience in the face of disasters. You might also like to stroll along Royal Street with its antique shops, visit the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, or go for a ride on the paddlewheeler “Natchez” — last authentic steamboat on the Mississippi. There are so many opportunities to experience our people, cultures, and celebrations.
Dinner: We’ll dine around at special New Orleans eateries and share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends.
Evening: One more opportunity to enjoy New Orleans Jazz with your voucher if you haven’t used it yet, or on your own wherever you like. Then prepare for check out and departure following our final event in the morning.
Activity note: Walk 4 blocks to/from restaurant. Hotel check out by 12:00 Noon.
Brunch: At the celebrated Court of Two Sisters, we’ll settle in for a true New Orleans delight, the Jazz brunch. The elaborate buffet offers tasty hot and cold New Orleans favorites from eggs any style to Creole jambalaya, grits and grillades, gumbo, classic desserts, and much more; coffee, tea, water included, other beverages available for purchase. Tap your toes to the music of the restaurant’s resident Jazz trio. Enjoy this final dining and musical experience with a broader and deeper understanding and appreciation of our city, the one and only New Orleans. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!