Facebook Page
New Orleans Part II

America by Amtrak, Coast-to-Coast and Border-to-Border

New Orleans (NOL)

Part II


Served by these Amtrak Trains:  No. 19 and 20 CRESCENT, No. 58 and 59 CITY OF NEW ORLEANS, No. 1 and 2 SUNSET LIMITED.

July 17 - 20, 2016

Photography and text by Carl Morrison

(Click any image for a larger copy; Click BACK in your Browser to return to this page.)

St. Charles Streetcar Ride - Continued from Part I


From Decatur and Canal St., I walked two blocks up Canal St. and caught the St. Charles Streetcar, "The World's oldest operating streetcar line." to ride a complete loop.


Not air conditioned, but occasional showers during the ride dropped the humidity momentarily. 




From the beads hanging in the trees (above) and on the electric lines (below) along St. Charles Avenue, Mardi Gras parades must come this way.


There are many homes, churches, educational institutions, and parks along St. Charles Avenue.





The double-tracked streetcar lines runs along a park-like right-of-way.

_MG_3865.JPG  _MG_3867.JPG

This car had tangled with a streetcar earlier, and lost, as we passed, but was out of the way as we returned.


Many modern hotels align St. Charles Avenue, as well.  Part of the IHG hotels, this location has rooms for about $115 in July.


I liked the decor of this Cafe and the rain looks like snow, but I assure you it was NOT cold enough to snow.


I recall seeing sand along routes through the snow, but perhaps the rain makes the tracks slick in New Orleans so they need sand.


I got off the St. Charles streetcar back at Canal St. and took the red streetcar back down to the riverfront.  There, I took the Riverfront streetcar south and found some supper at Mike Anderson’s Seafood in the Outlet Collection at Riverwalk.


The best thing about the Outlet Collection at Riverwalk was Air Conditioning and relief from the humidity.


I saw most of the 25,000 Lutheran youth, all with these backpacks, at the Food Court in the mall.


The Du Monde Cafe in the mall takes credit cards, the original in the French Market takes only cash.


A definite Mardi Gras theme in the mall and shops.


Adjacent to the Outlet Collection at Riverwalk was the Creole Queen riverboat.  Since I wanted to hear some jazz, have dinner, and take a riverboat ride, I purchased tickets for their twilight cruise for the next evening with Matt.  At the ticket office, I asked where the least expensive place to buy tickets was and she said, "Here, I'll give you $5 off each ticket."  I bought two.







A few steps and I was back at the loading area for the streetcars to the Cemeteries or Loyola Avenue.  I took the Loyola Ave. streetcar, past my Holiday Inn Hotel on to the end of the line, the Amtrak Station.  I had only been at the station at night when I came into town, so I thought this would be the best time to take exterior photos while the Streetcar took it's 10-minute end-of-line break.  Note the abundance of police cars throught NOL and the streetcar operators, although very busy, are very helpful to assure tourists which line and which stop will get them to their destination.


After arriving on one track, the streetcars pull to a dead end track, the operator takes out a bar from under the car and puts it in that slot and moves the switch so he can head out northbound on the right track.  He switches the power from the front to the rear, covers the old console and moves to the console on the opposite end of the car so he is now in the front.



New Orleans Greyhound and Amtrak Union Passenger Terminal, and the end of the Loyola Avenue streetcar line.



View from the Amtrak Station, across Loyola Avenue to downtown New Orleans.


A lone Italian Cafe is between the Amtrak Station and the Holiday Inn.


Interesting art piece in the Italian Cafe.  I could have pointed out the 25 states we went through on the train to anyone who was interested.


I returned to my 10th floor Holiday Inn room to await Matt's retun from California to rejoin me on our Tour. 


Matt used Uber from the Airport to our Holiday Inn on Loyola Avenue.  When you use Uber, you can send anyone a real-time view of where you are at the minute.  I awaited until Matt was back at the hotel then made a screenshot of the map.  I walked down to the lobby, and there he was.  We had supper in the Clarinet room in the hotel and hit the hay for a big day tomorrow in New Orleans.


Second Day in New Orleans

We decided to take the two-plantation tour by Cajun Encounters Tours.  It was a good choice from the beginning, starting with the pickup at our Holiday Inn.  That is a good reason to select a good hotel so that you do not have to get to the starting point of your tour - they pick you up at your hotel!

Our bus driver had 20 years experience of driving a school bus where she said her number one priority was "Safety of her Passengers".  That is what you to hear when crossing the Lake Pontchartrain bridge!


She said, "If you do not like my driving,  my name in Barbara.  If you like my driving, my name is Brenda!"





Before our tour, we had time in the gift shop, and around the visitor center to enjoy the country air and vegetation.








The ceramic jars were purchased filled with olive oil.  Emptied, they were burried to the neck to store gain.


This lower level of the home had many, many wine racks like on the left.








Rose banana




We reboarded the bus for  5-minute ride to Oak Alley.


Oak Alley Plantation



300-year-old oaks line the entrance from the Mississippi River.


Oak Alley's back door.


Dinner bell that could be heard 4 miles away from the plantation house.


Employees are dressed in period costumes.



Our tour guide.


There are ample mirrors in the house for self portraits.




Handkerchiefs cover fly catchers.

Giant fan, operated from a rope in the corner by a 10 - 12 yr. old slave boy who moved the fan slightly for a breeze, but not enough to blow out the candles.


View from inside the first floor of Oak Alley with the Mississippi River beyond.


Family China pattern, recently purchased at auction from the family descendants.


Upstairs rooms.


Guest breakfast.  If the pineapple was not cut, it meant that you were to take it on your journey home, "Good bye."



View from upstairs hallway toward the river with resurrection ferns on the limbs of the Oaks, which regreen with rain, even after 15 years of being brown.

_MG_4326.JPG     Other 2nd floor bedroom views  _MG_4328.JPG


2nd floor outside balcony view


Upstairs doors and shutters.  All could be opened in summer for cooling.



Yours truly from outside, reflected in an interior mirror.


Section of original interior wall.  The house was restored from being used as a cattle barn for 20 years.


Sugar plantation office within the house.


South of the house through only 150 yr. old Oaks and simulated slave quarters.


Simulated slave quarters.




Oak Alley Inn, modern accommodations.  Rates $148.50 to $247.50 plus tax.  My friend Carole Walker has stayed here.

Oak Alley e-book of their photography contest

List of productions filmed in part or entirely on location at Oak Alley Plantation -


St. Joseph Plantation. A nearby plantation home not open for tours, but rather used for film productions.


Bridge back to New Orleans after the Plantations Tour.



Some exports.


Transferring product from river barge to ocean vessel.


Beautiful weather returning to New Orleans past the Superdome.


Another cemetery view. 


With the humidity here, wild ferns start growing in abandoned buildings.


N. Rampart/St. Claude Streetcar Expansion


Since Matt had not been on the streetcars yet, we boarded the Loyola Ave. streetcar near the Holiday Inn Superdome and rode Canal St. downtown.


Each of the two days, I purchased the $3 Day Pass allowing me to ride up to the 4 streetcar lines.



Inside the streetcars is this layout, however you must watch the street signs outside to see your location as opposed to modern streetcar electric signs.


For one block, the St. Charles (right) comes out onto Canal Street then turns back west.  Note Police cars using the level streetcar tracks to move more quickly through traffic in downtown.


The back of the "Haunted" sign said, "Not Haunted".

We walked down N. Peters St. to Decatur, then toward the French Market to get to St. Louis Cathedral.


A Mardi Gras parade must have come this way.


Drugs in the French Quarter.


Thinking of Sue, I spotted this sign as we had crossed to Chartres Street to get to the Cathedral.


The owner was just locking up for the day, but reopened to show us her loom inside.


While I photographed the loom, Matt noticed the resident cats.


Bicycles are a popular mode of transportation in the French Quarter.


Again for Sue we noticed the store at 629 Chartres.


With the sun in our face, I found a crepe myrtle tree to block the sun for a shot past banana trees of St. Louis Cathedral.


Jackson Square, on the Mississippi River, had well manicured tropical plants.



True to tradition, the wrought iron balconies around Jackson Square had the initials of the creator within.


St. Louis Cathedral, with Andrew Jackson statue, from Decatur Street.


There are several artists set up around Jackson Square.


Cafe Du Monde, for beignets.  Cash only and a long line, but we captured a photo of it.


If you go around back, you can watch them being made.



Fountain behind
Cafe Du Monde.


We took the Riverfront Streetcar from French Market to Canal Street, close to our dinner date with the Creole Queen Riverboat. (Windows up means no air conditioning on this line.)


If no one is seated in the back control seat, passengers can sit there.  I was surprised that it was not covered like all others I had seen.


Code numbers that the driver must enter as various passes are shown and cash is entered into the fare box.


Creole Queen boarding for our Dinner and Jazz Cruise on the Mississippi River with Hwy. 90 bridge behind.


Timetable for the cruise is 6 pm boarding and 7 pm departure, 9 pm return.  I suggest arriving at 6 for a window seat.  Adult price is $77 ($72 if you request a discount at the ticket booth.)  You can take the cruise without dinner for $44, but there is no other food available onboard.



Beef Brisket


Wine I liked was $6 a glass or $24 for a bottle.


Third level seating and jazz band.

_MG_4535.JPG    _MG_4534.JPG


No one played this, but I wish they had.



As we pulled away, the Natchez did as well with a nice blast on the whistle.


Some Katrina damage leaving only the facade of a warehouse on a damaged pier.


Crescent Park in the French Market District

Part of the French Market District, Crescent Park is a 1.4 mile, 20 acre urban linear park that connects our community and visitors to our riverfront.  This unique public space provides breathtaking views of New Orleans, native landscaping, bike paths, a dog run and multi-use pavilions for all to enjoy.



Transferring product to and from ocean-going ships.





Some historic buildings below the level of the river.



Domino Sugar loading dock for exporting sugar from the Louisiana sugar plantations and farms.





We had a full moon rising on this July 20, 2016, on the Creole Queen in New Orleans, Louisiana.


New Orleans wrought iron on a riverboat, flag of the USA, and a full moon, life is good!


And a super sunset developed viewable from the bridge of the Creole Queen.



New Orleans at twilight reflected in the Mississippi River.


St. Louis Cathedral.


New Orleans' Hwy. 90 bridge and the full moon reflected in the Mississippi River.


For a slide show of all New Orleans photos, click:

We used Uber in all 5 cities. Here's a free Uber ride (worth up to $20) on the Uber app
 To accept, use code 'carlm3106ue' to sign up. Enjoy!
Details: (The code will already be entered)

Top of this page

Back to the Table of Contents of "America by Amtrak"