A New Orleans Feast

A Junior Enrichment Experience for North Carolina Teaching Fellows


May 17-23, 2003



Mark Canada

Updated May 7, 2003
© Canada, 2003


What better place for a feast than New Orleans, Louisiana?  On a typical day, you can enjoy the tastes and aromas of jambalaya and etouffee, fill your ears with jazz music and Cajun accents, feast your eyes on Creole architecture and strange bayous, and feel the rumble of a streetcar.  Then there are all the feasts for your mind: classic literature, world-class art, and, of course, a wealth of history.  We will sample it all and more in this Junior Enrichment Experience, which will feature visits to the French Quarter, Garden District, Jackson Square, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Museum of Art, and an antebellum plantation, along with walking and driving tours of the city and a riverboat dinner cruise on the Mississippi River.  The complete details of our accommodations, itinerary, and transportation appear below.  We look forward to meeting you!


Mark and Lisa Canada
(910) 277.0714 / (910) 280-0128






Carry-on: Comfortable clothes, walking or running shoes, sweat shirt or lightweight jacket, swimsuit, ball cap, rain gear, toiletries, prescription medications, alarm clock

Daypack: Sunglasses, wristwatch, student ID, camera with your name and address on it, cash for souvenirs and incidentals

We have offered some suggestions for items to pack in the space at the left.  Because some attractions may offer student discounts, please carry your student ID with you at all times.  You can plan to dress casually for most of the trip, but include one “dressy casual” outfit—a knit shirt and slacks or a skirt—just in case. The hotel offers an indoor pool, so you may wish to pack swimwear.

Because we are traveling by train, your luggage should be small enough to fit in an overhead compartment. The trains can accomodate larger bags, but they have to be checked and loaded into the train by a porter, and you will not have access to those bags while traveling.  So try to limit yourself to one piece of modestly sized luggage and a daypack.  The daypack should contain everything you wish to have with you while we are out and about in New Orleans.  If you plan to buy souvenirs, make sure you leave enough room in your bags to accommodate these items.  Make sure each piece of your luggage has your name clearly marked on it.  Finally, you will need to have a picture ID to board the train. 




Saturday, May 17

6 p.m.: Orientation

Sunday, May 18

3:30 a.m. Depart via Amtrak

7:50 p.m. Arrive in New Orleans

Monday, May 19

7:30 a.m. Breakfast

8:30 a.m. City Tour
p.m. Lunch at Lulu’s
2 p.m. Aquarium

6 p.m. Dinner at Jacque-emo’s
7 p.m. Loyola & Tulane

Tuesday, May 20

8 a.m. Breakfast
9 a.m. Walking tour          

of Garden District

11:30 Lunch at  Sugar Magnolia; cab to Museum of Art
p.m. Museum of Art

6 p.m. Dinner at hotel

7 p.m. Preservation Hall

Wednesday, May 21

8 a.m. Breakfast
9 a.m. Walking tour of

French Quarter

Noon lunch at Gumbo Shop

2 p.m. Free time in French Quarter

6 p.m.  Dinner in Jackson Square


Thursday, May 22

8 a.m. Breakfast
a.m. Plantation Tour
1:30 p.m.
Lunch at Cajun Cabin

3 p.m. Free time

6 p.m. Dinner and Riverboat Cruise

Friday, May 23

7:20 a.m. Depart New Orleans
1:30 a.m. Arrive in Charlotte

Saturday: Gather in Charlotte

We will meet this evening at the Sleep Inn at 701 Yorkmont St in Charlotte.  (From I-77, take Exit 60; from Hwy 74, take I-485 West to I-77 North, then Exit 60.)  You may want to figure extra travel time for traffic delays; this is a NASCAR race weekend.  Beginning at 6 p.m., we will gather to review our itinerary, to learn a little about New Orleans, and to meet each other, share a simple meal, and socialize.  Your parents are invited to join us for this informal session.

Sunday: Travel

We will rise early – painfully early – to board an Amtrak train to New Orleans.  Your trip includes first-class accommodations on the train to New Orleans, which means you will share a private “room” on the train with another student.  Your meals in the dining car are included in your ticket.  We’ll ride coach class on our return.  These trains usually have a club car with a television, but bring along a good book, too, and, if you like music, tapes or CDs. (We recommend literary works set in New Orleans, such as the play A Streetcar Named Desire and the novel A Confederacy of Dunces, and music such as jazz, zydeco, Paul Simon’s Graceland, and anything by Clifton Chenier.)  If the train is on time, we’ll arrive in New Orleans at about 7:50 p.m. and check in to our hotel.

Monday: Overview of the City

We find it helpful to get a general view of a city on the first day of the visit, so we will begin with tours of the city and of the Longue Vue House and Gardens.  We will grab a quick lunch at Lulu’s and then set off for the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas.  Following the Aquarium, we will enjoy a casual, but traditional New Orleans meal at Jacque-emo’s in uptown New Orleans and will visit the campuses of nearby Tulane and Loyola universities before returning to our hotel.

Tuesday: Art, Culture, and Music

Today our travels will show us the art, culture, and music of New Orleans.  We’ll begin with a walking tour of the exclusive Garden District; some of you may wish to see the Mint Jazz Museum at this time or shop along Magazine Street.  We’ll stop for lunch at Sugar Magnolia.  Following lunch we’ll tour the Museum of Art, where you can see a special exhibit on Jefferson, Napolean and the Louisiana Purchase.  We’ll grab a quick supper at the hotel and head off to the music club Preservation Hall, where we’ll finish up the day. 

Wednesday: French Quarter

The French Quarter is the oldest and probably best-known part of New Orleans. We’ll assume the customary laissez-faire attitude for the day, starting with a walking tour and coffee and beignets at the world-famous Café du Monde . We’ll shop independently at the French Market for a couple of hours and regroup for lunch at the Gumbo Shop.  We’ll split up to see more of the French Quarter and then regroup at Jackson Square, where we’ll have a casual supper of po-boy sandwiches.

Thursday: Time and the River

“Time and the River” is the theme for today.  We’ll take a thorough tour of the historic River Road, bayous, and the plantations along Oak Alley.  After an authentic Cajun lunch at Patout’s Cajun Cabin and maybe a dance lesson, we will split up for a few hours of free time in the afternoon. At 5:45, we’ll gather for a riverboat cruise and dinner on the Mississippi River.

Friday: Travel

We will rise early and depart for home.




Room Assignments

Laura Sheffield/Emily Arnold

Kerry Allen/Brandi Benton

Anna Ramey/Jennifer Drum

Krystal Forte/Jennifer Gagner

Carrie Goodnight/Jessica Jones

Erica Lynch/Corie Mellinger

Marva Pittman/Carol Corbin

Raychl Smith/Tamika Walker

Austin Adams/Thomas Cooper

Michael Inman

Mark, Lisa, and Will Canada

Esprit Canada/Heather Jaques

We will travel by train from Charlotte to New Orleans and back.  On our way to New Orleans, you will share a private “room” with another student; your meals in the dining car are included in your ticket.  On the return trip, we will travel coach; that is, each of you will have a seat of your own, but we’ll eat as a group in the dining car. On both trips, you will be able to roam throughout the train at your leisure.  If you would like more information about traveling by train, please call Amtrak at (800) USA-RAIL or visit the Amtrak Web site at www.amtrak.com.






Sleep Inn

701 Yorkmont St.

Charlotte, NC

(704) 525-5005


Homewood Suites

901 Poydras St.

New Orleans, LA

(504) 581-5599


Room Assignments

Suite 1

Laura Sheffield

Emily Arnold

Kerry Allen

Brandi Benton


Suite 2

Anna Ramey

Jennifer Drum

Krystal Forte

Jennifer Gagner


Suite 3

Carrie Goodnight

Jessica Jones

Erica Lynch

Corie Mellinger


Suite 4

Marva Pittman

Carol Corbin

Raychl Smith

Tamika Walker


Suite 5

Austin Adams

Thomas Cooper

Michael Inman


Suite 6

Mark Canada

Lisa Canada

Esprit Canada

Will Canada

Heather Jaques

As noted in the itinerary above, we will meet at the Sleep Inn in Charlotte on the night before our train leaves.  Since the train is leaving so early in the morning, we assumed many of you will not even go to sleep that night.  So we have rented two rooms for students who wish to stay up until the train leaves and one room for those wanting to sleep. If your family is staying in the hotel, you are welcome to stay with them, if you wish.  


In New Orleans we will stay at the Homewood Suites downtown, four to a suite. The Homewood Suites offers a daily full breakfast and a manager’s reception every weekday evening.  In addition there are an indoor swimming pool and a jacuzzi.


Because our return trip from New Orleans will land us in Charlotte in the wee hours of the morning, you may want to make hotel arrangements for May 23/24.  These arrangements are not covered by your payment.





Deposit: $350 by February 15, 2003
Balance: $350 by March 15, 2003

Please mail checks to:

Mark Canada
English professor
Dial Humanities Building
Pembroke, NC 28352-1510

The cost of this trip is $950 per person. Your North Carolina Teaching Fellow scholarship covers $250 of this cost, so you need to come up with $700. This sum covers travel to, from, and in New Orleans, as well as all accommodations in New Orleans, all of your meals, our expenses for accompanying you, and admission to all attractions on the itinerary, except for optional attractions you choose to attend during recreation time.  To cover those optional excursions, as well as incidental expenses such as snacks or souvenirs, you should plan to bring some extra cash with you.  You will need to send me a deposit of $350 by February 15, 2003, and a check for the remaining $350 by March 15, 2003. Please make each check out to Mark Canada and mail it to the address at the left.



To make our time in New Orleans, as well as our trips there and back, as safe, productive, and enjoyable as possible, We have put together the following guidelines. Please read them carefully, detach this form, sign it, and mail it to me along with your check.

Signature: ___________________________________________________  Date: _____________________