2014 Dallas, San Antonio, and on to New Orleans

Cheapmos(t) 8480

It seems strange to take a Texas tour, but except the San Antonio part which is a repeat from 2012, most of the rest is new. In Houston, the 2nd day is, although a repeat, virtually new since it has been many years since I've been to the Space Center Complex. Also, I definitely DON'T want to do any big city driving any more - so leave the driving to Cheapmos(t).

Visit Austin, San Antonio, and Houston-and some of its historical landmarks, museums, and other sights before crossing into Louisiana for time in Lafayette and New Orleans. Tour highlights include a behind-the-scenes tram tour of the Johnson Space Center, home to NASA and the U.S. Space Program. Visit Southfork Ranch, notorious as the filming location for the Dallas television series, and the San Fernando Cathedral, the oldest cathedral in the United States. Take a boat cruise through the swamps of Louisiana's Atchafalaya Basin.

Visit the Sixth Floor Museum, the location from which Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly shot President John F. Kennedy. At the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park and Texas White House, hear the story of Johnson's life. Also visit the Bob Bullock State History Museum that tells the "Story of Texas." Of course, nobody can leave Texas without visiting the Alamo, where we have a private guided tour. Be a part of San Antonio's River Walk at holiday time. For over 30 years, the spectacular parade along the River Walk has featured decorated and illuminated floats with celebrities, bands, and lavishly costumed participants. The lights will dance above us in joyful color-and we see it all from our reserved seats.

This tour is listed as "Texas, the Lone Star State, with Christmas in San Antonio" but we got short changed and just have Thanksgiving instead. Cheapmos(t) strikes out again. The weather may be a major problem during the trip - and I had booked it thinking that even November would be "mild" along the Gulf Coast.

Day 1, Sunday, Nov 23 Dallas
It's been 6 weeks since the Chattanooga trip and this is to a different part of the country. This may however turn out to be Shivering-NovemBRR. Start with a very short flight. I'll take the StuporShuttle about 10AM (make that 10:30 for the STUPORShuttle), hopefully with very little rain.

United UA 4709Houston - Dallas12:55P - 2:11P1:16

The StuporShuttle in Dallas is only $19 to the hotel but Cheapmos(t) will do it for the same price - actually a StuporShuttle voucher. It took almost an hour for a shuttle to show up, and a long time to get almost to our hotel (we had to walk about 2 blocks) since all the streets around it were blocked off by their "Here Comes Santa" weekend festival - which unfortunately is directly across the street from my room = VERY noisy and continues until after 10. This isn't the welcome to Dallas I had expected! There isn't much time to explore for junk-food and getting around anywhere is blocked off in almost all directions by street (and sidewalks) closures for the festival.

Our Tour Director, Patrick Nielson, is NOT on hand because he is at the airport. So no one is on hand this evening to answer questions. It is only a mid-sized herd of cattle - 29 of us, but still not a great start to the trip. It is a decent size room but the thermostat on the wall has no effect, and it is quite cold in the room. No meals and no disOrientation, although Cheapmos(t) does include "most" breakfasts during the tour. Lodging: Hotel Indigo Dallas Downtown 2 nights (F ST)

Day 2, Monday, Nov 24 Dallas / Excursion to the "Southfork Ranch"
(all new) We have a Continental (er, make that Micro-Nental) Breakfast from 7 - 8: orange juice, toast and cereal. It is still "cold" when we meet our tour director, Patrick, for the first time and he gives us un-autographed copy of the "Gospelz of St. Patrick" from the "holey Tour Bybel." We have to be on the bus at 8:20. Today is dedicated to the sights of Dallas, beginning with a very boring visit to the infamousy notorious SOUTHFORK RANCH, the filming location of the Dallas television series which I never watched. Tour the Ewing Mansion, featuring an array of memorabilia. See the gun that shot J.R., Lucy's wedding dress, the "Dallas" family tree, and Jock's Lincoln Continental. Maybe I should just stay on the bus and take a nap but Cheapmos(t) won't allow that so I have to settle for a moderately uncomfortable chair in the Visitor Center.

Return to the hotel in Dallas for a short food break, then we have a city sightseeing tour that features the DEALY PLAZA where history buffs can learn all about this moment in history at the SIXTH FLOOR MUSEUM, the location from which the alleged killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, fired the lethal shots on 22 November, 1963, that killed President John F. Kennedy. We actually do get to go inside here and there is a long sequence of photo presentations narrated on a "personal audio guide, but no pictures are allowed inside.

We make a short photo stop at Pioneer Plaza to see the bronze statues of a cattle drive - 29 steers and 3 drivers., commemorating the trails that brought settlers to Dallas and cattle to market; then a brief drive through the Historic West End, getting back at the hotel a bit after 5. (CB)

Day 3, Tuesday, Nov 25 Dallas - Fort Worth
(all new) We have to have our luggage ready at 7:30 then after another Micro-Nental breakfast we leave at 8:30 for a journey to Fort Worth, a Texas city famous for its unmistakable combination of "cowboys and culture." Visit the Stockyards National Historic District to enjoy an excellent "Stockyards Experience" by seeing the SPIRIT OF THE WEST movie. Afterward, meet the drivers/cowboys (7) of the Fort Worth Herd for a nice introduction presentation drive with a private meeting in a side corral, and then see a Longhorn cattle when they take 18 longhorn cattle out for a "walk." Then visit the TEXAS COWBOY HALL OF FAME. It's here that the museum pays tribute to over 70 cowboys and cowgirls who have excelled in the sport of rodeo, and Western lifestyle. Part was very good, but not worth the time allocated. Lunch is in the Stockyards and I chose a recommended BBQ restaurant/bar - very poor; the bag of popcorn I bought later was a much better deal.

Then after more time there, we head to the hotel arriving a bit after 3 so our rooms will be ready. The rest of the day is at boredom. To make up for the expensive poor lunch, I had dinner at a next-door Subway sandwich shop. Overnight is in Fort Worth. Overall, we had a nice day but my lunch could have been much better. The hotel is nice - it just seems like we have to walk halfway to downtown Fort Worth to get to our rooms. Lodging: Radisson Hotel Fort Worth North - Fossil Creek (F)

OPTIONAL: TexMex Dinner & Line Dancing at Billy Bob's NOT OFFERED and this was the only optional that I was considering. Enjoy a TexMex dinner at Joe T Garcia's then HORRORS!! continue on to Billy Bob's for line dancing lessons and a live band at 8:00pm. $42 MAYBE - for the dinner.

Day 4, Wednesday, Nov 26 Fort Worth - Austin
(all new) We have to have our bags ready at 7:30 but we do get a much nicer breakfast buffet. We depart for Austin at 8:30 - about 3 hour drive with a "pit stop" in Waco. Listen and hear the sounds that make Austin the "Live Music Capital of the World" - at least they call it "music." From blues and indie rock to country, jazz, and more, Austin's nearly 200 live music venues will grab our attention.

On arrival, visit the BOB BULLOCK STATE HISTORY MUSEUM (our tour director keeps calling it the Bob BOllock Museum) that tells the "Story of Texas." This should be a HIGHLIGHT stop and is. But sadly we were told, while still on the bus, that no pictures were allowed. Then when we get inside, we found out that Cheapmos(t) had struck out again - but by then, the bus, and my camera, had gone away.

After lunch, either bought at the museum or what we had picked up at the mid-morning pit stop, take a city slightseeing tour that features Austin's historic downtown, including historic Sixth Street, the Texas Capitol complex (brief stop), Governor's Mansion, and the University of Texas which our tour director called all day, "The University of Texas San Antonio."

Lodging: Inn & Suites North Austin. All Drury hotels on our trip are rated at just ST class but I would rate this one higher than that. Also, extra unexpected special addition: all the Drury hotels have a 5:30-7 "kickback" with a free drink (free soft drinks, plural) and "munchies" which are in effect a light to medium dinner buffet. (ST++)

Day 5, Thursday, Nov 27 Austin - San Antonio
(Mostly repeat from the 2012 trip) After the now expected nice breakfast at 7, we have a late start today: bags out at 9, and depart at 10 because we have only a short 1 hour drive. About 10:45 we make our 40-minute "rest stop" at a "Buc-ee's" gasoline station (with 240 gas pumps) and a huge store where they sell overpriced food and lots of junk stuff - also way overpriced. Despite the inflated prices, probably the best place (NOT) to get a "light lunch" before the dinner tonight.

Today we make our way from Austin, home of the "University of Texas San Antonio" to the most visited city in Texas-San Antonio. From the stones of the Alamo to the meandering paths of the historic River Walk, San Antonio takes us on a journey through a land as grand as its reputation. Upon arrival, take a stroll along the cobblestone sidewalks of the River Walk to uncover the Spanish colonial architecture, and fountain-laden parks and plazas that makes San Antonio one of America's most picturesque cities.

We arrive at the hotel about 12:15 and check into our hotel where most of the rooms are ready so other than dinner tonight, the rest of the day is for us to be bored - or shiver along a very chilly "stroll" along the River Walk (just go down to the basement level of the hotel and from there right out on the River Walk). As I was told yesterday, they do have the 5:30-7 drinks and "munchies" activity here.

At 6:30 we leave to enjoy(?) a Thanksgiving Day Buffet "Feast?" at McTaco Burgers? TamalesKing served with Kentucky Fried Tortillas? BurritoHut? in San Antonio? Actually it is at some "greasy spoon" called the McMengers Taco and Burrito Stand / aka Mengers Colonial Room restaurant - in the antiquarian (at least 10 years old) nearby (10 minute walk) Mengers Hotel, so it may be decent. Shiver (42F) our way back late (9PM) to the hotel. Lodging: Drury Inn Hotel San Antonio Riverwalk. (ST) (B/D)

Actually the Menger Hotel is an old, famous, historic hotel. It's beautiful. We visited it as a special stop on my 2012 trip. Tonight it was beautifully decorated with lots of Christmas stuff, and the dining area was nice. However: 1) they can't count and were 3 seats short at the table that was set up for us so 3 were exiled to another table; 2) they took drink orders first but it took 45 minutes to get my coke by which time I was long since finished eating; 3) the meat dishes were too dry (turkey) or lots of gristle (ham); 4) they kept running out of various selections so that we had to make repeated trips to the buffet line to get what we wanted. The hotel "munchies" might have been better.

Day 6, Friday, Nov 28 San Antonio / cold tonight
(Mostly repeat from the 2012 trip) Note: I'm glad our guided walk today is by a local guide. Our tour director for the full tour, despite this being a Texas tour, definitely does NOT speak "Texan" or "Texian" names, etc. There are times I have no idea what/where/who he is talking about.

Today due to all the expected huge crowds, as a security measure we have to wear wristbands when in the hotel and to get back in after we leave. Also we will have to use our room key cards to get in through the outer doors.

We do get another nice buffet breakfast at 7. Hooray for the Drury Inns. Starting at 9, today's guided sightseeing begins with a visit (repeat) to the SAN FERNANDO CATHEDRAL, the oldest Cathedral in the United States. Our guide introduces us to the art, history, and architecture of the Cathedral. Our next stop (repeat) is the MISSION SAN JOSE, one of five Spanish colonial missions. Both these visits were very nice but by now we are running late.

Our final is when we visit the ALAMO. After standing in line for a very long time (apparently about one million of the annual total of four million visitors are here on this holiday weekend) we get about 3 - 4 minutes to be inside. Walk the lines drawn for independence It was here that a small band of Texans held out for 13 days against the Mexican army. Although the Alamo fell, the phrase "Remember the Alamo!" has come to symbolize courage and sacrifice for the cause of liberty. There is no time at all to see any of the grounds. We now have to make a dash for our bus which is about to leave for our last stop of the morning.

We next get to experience downtown's authentic Mexican marketplace, El Mercado. Interact with working artists or sample local cuisine at family-owned restaurants in the largest Mexican market north of the Rio Grande. Not bad, but I'm not interested in doing any shopping. I get a slice of pizza for lunch. We get back to the hotel, about a hour late, and there is little time until time for bar "munchies" (also in a rush at 5:30) before we head out for the evening.

The long term forecast is for a high of 65 today, then tonight cooling to 45 - 50 tomorrow morning.

(NEW) We leave the hotel about 6:15 for a short walk to the next attraction getting there at 6:30 when we get seated crammed butt-to-butt in narrow, uncomfortable folding chairs. This evening, arrangements have been made to enjoy shivering (though it wasn't as cold as forecast) through the RIVER PARADE AND HOLIDAY LIGHTING, along the River Walk and the floating parade of approximately 25 professionally decorated and lighted River Barges, whatever we can see from our reserved seats. We have to wait about 1 hours cramped butt-to-butt before anything shows up. This parade is their equivalent to our Houston "Thanksgiving Day" / "Santa Claus Arrives" parade. Despite the seating, this turned out to be a nice evening.

It was a fairly good day today with the only problem being so little time to see anything at the Alamo. I'm taking tomorrow on my own, but the crowds there will still be horrible.

Day 7, Saturday, Nov 29 San Antonio / BORING LBJ near Fredericksburg / skip and do it myself
(Repeat / Boring / Loser of a day) What is scheduled: It is only a short drive to a very boring, repeat, visit to the LYNDON B. JOHNSON NATIONAL HISTORIC PARK. Hear the story of the 36th President, from his ancestors to his final resting place, at his beloved LBJ Ranch in Texas Hill Country. Visit the TEXAS WHITE HOUSE, including the President's Office, living room, dining room, den, and yellow sitting room, restored to their 1963-1968 appearance. (VERY ho-hum)

. Next, visit one of the largest working WILDFLOWER FARMS in the U.S. But it is late November so it is very, very doubtful that there is anything to see. There is a scheduled 1 hour lunch stop in Fredericksburg, but that isn't enough time to see what I would like to - the Pacific War Museum. Later (Don't) enjoy a WINE TASTING before returning to San Antonio. (CB)

As it was planned, this is, for me, the poorest day of the trip so I stayed at the hotel in San Antonio and explored the area there. It was definitely more interesting than what is shown / planned above. Since the hotel is right on the Riverwalk, it was easy to find some nice places to see and things to do. I had plenty of time to check on the Alamo (it is close by) but the crowds were still awful (wall-to-wall Sardines.) It was definitely the better choice than the LBJ bit.

I wish we went to the WWII/Nimitz museum instead - and the new schedule if this trip were in 2015 does have a free afternoon for that. They added an extra day in the Hill Country and deleted one day in New Orleans. Hard choice since I signed up to see New Orleans but I do wish we had lots of free time in Fredericksburg. Major GRITCH.

Day 8, Sunday, Nov 30 San Antonio - Houston
(mostly a "repeat" since I live here) Breakfast is at 7; bags out at 7:30, depart at 8:30 for the long drive to Houston. It turns out to be very light traffic the whole way so we are running ahead of schedule all the way to the hotel. We make a quick (45 minute) "pit-stop" in Luling at another Buc-ees (spending lots of BUCks is EZ here). Stop for lunch on our own in Columbus. The weather has been getting progressively more cloudy and is now totally overcast, and we even get some light rain as we leave Columbus.

Houston is a city of firsts-home to the first successful human heart transplant, America's first public television station (KPRC??), and the first word spoken on the Moon. We have a drive-by-shooting slight-seeing tour of America's fourth-largest city that includes the Theatre District that is second only to New York City.

{I haven't been in downtown Houston for several years, but ho-hum!} It is probably good that the city tour is scheduled for a Sunday - far less traffic. Our city tour is from about 2:30 to 5:30. Don't marvel at the gigantic maze of the world-infamous Texas Medical Center, whose 675 acres and 54 nonprofit institutions make it the largest medical complex in the World. Enjoy a view (new) from the highest sky lobby in Texas from the 60th floor of the JP Morgan Chase Tower (oops, it is closed on Sundays so maybe we can do it tomorrow when we come back from the Johnson Space Center. Last and definitely least is a (ho-hum - can I skip this?) visit to Downtown Houston's Tunnel System that takes us 20 feet underground to stroll through an interconnected series of restaurants, shops, and world-class (???) architecture. Why is there no visit to Houston's excellent Natural History Museum??? Time???

One other good thing: we are staying at another Drury Inn so have two more nights of bar "munchies." The hotel is smaller much like in Austin. Looking around, the eating area and the place to set out food is smaller than in San Antonio, so the selection, both "munchies" and breakfast, will is smaller - again, like in Austin. We get back to the hotel at 5 which is in time for "munchies.". Lodging: Drury Inn & Suites Galleria 2 nights nice room but it is right across from the elevator so is noisy) (ST)

Day 9, Monday, Dec 1 Houston in the RAIN
(~new - it's been many years since I've done this) Special Monday morning weather update: Rain throughout much of the area and will get worse and more widespread about noon continuing through the afternoon; current temperature in the low 60s; we won't get to 70 today before the front comes in and really drops the temps. Low 40s tomorrow morning..

Breakfast, a bit limited but still nice, starts at 6 but we don't leave until 9. WEATHER PERMITTING (in a light rain): A special HIGHLIGHT today is a visit (in the rain) to SPACE CENTER HOUSTON and from there, a 2 hour tram ride into the Johnson Space Center, home of NASA and the U.S. Space Program. After the tram ride, we still have 3 more hours to explore the exhibits and movies of the Space Center Houston. We arrive (in the rain) when it opens at 10, and are there until about 3:30.

Look behind the scenes on a guided tram tour (an open tram and it is still raining lightly) of JOHNSON SPACE CENTER. It's not really "new" but has been many years since I've actually been on the Space Center grounds.

Be a part of history in the making as we witness engineers, scientists, and astronauts shaping the future of space exploration. With this behind-the-scenes journey, we also visit the Historic Apollo Mission Control Center, the astronaut space mock-up training, and the Saturn V Rocket, the most powerful moon rocket ever built and one of only three moon rockets remaining in the world. We had to go up 87 steps to get to the old Mission Control Center (long but not bad) however on the way down, 2 people had the misfortune of having their cameras make an "express" trip all the way down. There is also a new exhibit: a NASA 747 with a Space Shuttle mounted on top - the piggy-back configuration when NASA had to fly the shuttle from California back to Florida. It was I\raining lightly to medium the whole time. However, I consider it an excellent visit.

There was enough time for that stop to go up to the top of the JP Morgan Chase Tower for the view of Houston. When we got there and got off the bus, the temperature was 49F with a "good" breeze and more of that rain. That made for a very cold 50 yard dash from the bus to the building. When we got to the viewing floor (60th) we were well up into the clouds/rain/fog so could barely see even the building across the street. So much for a panoramic view but I don't consider it a great loss.

Despite very heavy evening traffic (in the rain), we did make it back to the hotel by 5 but sadly this is our last night for a free/included "Munchies" dinner.

Day 10, Tuesday, Dec 2 Houston / Lake Charles / Lafayette
(new) It is COLD this morning. Breakfast starts at 6, bags out by 6:30, and we have an early departure at 7:30 since it is a long drive today along the by now very familiar from so many previous trips (and therefore boring) Interstate 10.

We pass boring prairies, swampy marshes, and abundant (?) wildlife takes us first to the Texas/Louisiana border at Lake Charles for a brief stop. Then we go on to Lafayette, Louisiana by 11:15 for a lunch on our own at the "Cracker Barrel" restaurant. There is no dinner or "munchies" included tonight so I splurged on a nice lunch.

After lunch we visit AVERY ISLAND. Surrounded by swamps and marshes, the island is home of world-infamous Tabasco Sauce. Tour the Visitor Center (what visitor center) and learn how peppers are grown, harvested, and turned into sauce. (For me, this is totally ho-hum.) Then we make the mandatory visit back to the gift shop for samples, including Tabasco ice cream, and choices from a couple of hundred (at least) different items with the Tabasco name/logo.

For those who survived sampling the Tabasco sauce, we drive to where we can cruise the Atchafalaya Basin, and board our boat at 3:30 for a one hour CRUISE through the winding, swampy waterways of the Basin. The boat is supposedly enclosed but the windows are so extremely dirty that we have to have them open despite the low temperature and breeze. Shiver. We see a couple of alligators and some (few) birds - most recently left when the latest "cold" front moved in. As we leave, the best sighting is a family of possums (1 adult, 4 young) scampering across the road. Afterward we continue on to our hotel, At least it is a nice room. No free dinner tonight, just courtesy cookies and lemonade when we check it. Lodging: Ramada Lafayette (F) (CB)

The only option here is a Cajun seafood dinner and dance. NO THANKS!!

Day 11, Wednesday, Dec 3 Lafayette - New Orleans
(all new) Breakfast (the last of our included or free meals) starts at 6:30, but Cheapmos(t) is too cheap to include the waffle station. From here on, we are on "Starvation Rations" and eating courtesy of Walmart. Bags have to be ready by 7:30 and we depart at 8:30.

This morning we have a guided visit to the HOUMAS HOUSE PLANTATION & GARDENS. It turns out to be much better than I had expected. History is reflected in the many antique furnishings and works of art that grace the home. In 1963, the defining Bette Davis film, Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte, was shot on the property.

Our lunch stop (on our own) is in Laplace, (Subway) then we continue across Bayou / Swamp Country into New Orleans, the capital of Dixieland and the "City Care Forgot." ("Katrina" didn't forget!!) On arrival, about 2:30 we check in then at 3 have a 2-hour (3-hour) guided slight-seeing tour (all drive-by-shootings except for one short pit stop) which focuses on the sights and sounds of New Orleans, featuring French Quarter landmarks: (the tour busses are restricted to one main street going through the French Quarter so we don't actually see much) St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square, and a visit to a unique above-ground cemetery. Due to traffic and other problems, the tour runs a full 3 hours but the entire last hour, and a bit more, is in the dark so we are driving by somewhere special but it can't be seen because it is off in the darkness somewhere.

Evening is at leisure/boredom in the hotel - unless we want to risk going out in the total dark and getting lost or worse. Since we are in expensive New Orleans, Cheapmos(t) doesn't include ANY meals here. Instead, more Walmart snacks. The hotel is, in my opinion, the worst of all on the trip: a) very dark - not enough lights; b) no stand for opening my luggage; c) no free wi-fi so no nightly updates (what they do have is VERY expensive); d) no refrigerator for my snacks/drinks; e) a/c problems; f) VERY expensive food; for example the Starbucks here charges 40% more than the Starbucks on the corner 2 blocks away; g) no breakfasts included - and we are stuck here for 2 nights - but at least the location is good. Lodging: Sheraton New Orleans 2 nights (SF T)

Day 12, Thursday, Dec 4 New Orleans
(new) VERY heave fog this morning - I can't even see the ground from my 25th floor room. A full day at leisure? No. I start by walking about mile to visit the National WWII Museum - not as great as the Nimitz/Pacific museum, but good. (HIGHLIGHT VISIT) I do it first since I don't know how long it will take (ends up being most of the day).

Besides the three story museum and some other exhibits, there are two presentation, a ~1 hour film "Beyond All Boundaries" which is excellent, great, fantastic, etc; and a short 20-minute simulation, "The Final Mission (USS Tang)" which is good but over-rated. I ate lunch there in their snack shop - it is better than what I have from Walmart. It has been a great experience, the best of the trip.

Afterwards, there is that mile walk back to the hotel (arrive ~3:20), Rather than take either of the miserable swamp rides, I went "across the street" from the hotel and use a "walking tour" map to take a short - about 1 hour (it IS getting late and overcast so almost dark meaning no pictures) "stroll" through the centuries-old French Quarter. Tonight I definitely "pass" on a 2-hour cruise (not for $74) from the heart of the French Quarter on New Orleans' only steamboat, the Natchez. (No meals - it's our "best" hotel so Cheapmos(t) skips even the breakfasts. "Cheap-mos(t)-skates!")

Jean Lafitte Airboat Swamp Tour Take a ride through the swamps by airboat $76 NO

Jean Lafitte Swamp Tour with R/T Transportation Head down to the hot, humid swamp by conventional excursion boat. $50 NO

Steamboat Natchez Jazz Cruise with Dinner Savor the food and noise aboard the Steamboat NATCHEZ - Enjoy buffet dining and live jazz $74 NO

Day 13, Friday, Dec 5 Departure
The trip ends today with no breakfast, just the last of the Walmart snacks, but with guests departing on individual schedules. My transfer is at 11:05 and is right on time to have plenty of time for a 1:30 flight. Besides the Walmart snacks, I got some junk-food at the airport since, as usual in New Orleans, no breakfast is included and what is available in the hotel is extremely overpriced. (B)

United UA 1061New Orleans - Houston1:30P - 2:40P1:10

It is a remarkably easy and quick transfer home, arriving about 4:30.

It is 31 days until the Globus "Guatemala and Costa Rica" trip January 6-18 then 83 days until the Road Scholar "Albuquerque/Taos/Santa Fe" trip April 12-19. Then after 42 more days, June 1-19 is the Road Scholar "England/Scotland/Wales" land tour.

Meals: Better than usual for Cheapmos(t): 10 (of 12) breakfasts and 1 dinner - plus 5 free bar "munchies" dinners courtesy of the Drury Inns.

Selected pictures
Click to enlarge

Ft Worth
Ft Worth
San Antonio
San Antonio
Houmas House
Torpedo Boat
WWII Museum
New Orleans

Day 1, Sunday, Dallastravel day
Day 2, Monday, DallasAM Worthless; PM good
Day 3, Tuesday, Ft WorthAM very good; PM Ho-Hum
Day 4, Wednesday, AustinAM very good; PM OK
Day 5, Thursday, San AntonioAM Travel; PM Thanksgiving dinner
Day 6, Friday, San Antonio2 nice stops; PM Alamo Disaster
Day 7, Saturday, San AntonioOn My Own - generally good
Day 8, Sunday, HoustonAM travel; PM mixed reviews
Day 9, Monday, HoustonAM/PM Excellent except for rain
Day 10, Tuesday, LafayetteAM Travel; PM mixed
Day 11, Wednesday, New OrleansAM nice; PM nice
Day 12, Thursday, New OrleansOn My Own - excellent
Day 13, Friday, Houstontravel day

The National World War II Museum www.nationalww2museum.org
945 Magazine Street
(504) 528-1944
Neighborhood: Arts District/Convention Center
Hours: Mon-Sun 9am-5pm; Museum admission is $23 for adults; $20 for seniors over age 65 (minus $1 with coupon)