Join NY Times best-selling author, Robert Hicks, on a journey to New Orleans, the setting for his newest book, A Separate Country. It is based in the years after the Civil War, on John Bell Hood, arguably one of the most controversial generals of the Confederate Army—and one of its most tragic figures. Robert E. Lee promoted him to major general after the Battle of Antietam. But the Civil War would mark him forever. At Gettysburg, he lost the use of his left arm. At the Battle of Chickamauga, his right leg was amputated. Starting fresh after the war, he married Anna Marie Hennen and fathered 11 children with her, including three sets of twins. But fate had other plans. Crippled by his war wounds and defeat, ravaged by financial misfortune, Hood had one last foe to battle: Yellow Fever. A Separate Country is the heartrending story of a decent and good man who struggled with his inability to admit his failures-and the story of those who taught him to love, and to be loved, and transformed him.
This is an exceptional opportunity to follow in the steps of the Hood family and to see how their story unfolded in the mind of the author. We’ll visit the Hood home, the cemetery, understand the city of New Orleans in the Reconstruction era, and come to know the city through its history, its people, and its food. We promise you’ll be inspired, captivated by the lure of the city itself, and come away with a new found sense of its historic past. No stranger to the “Big Easy” Robert will lead us to places he knows well and that have inspired him to return, not just to write his book, but because it is a place that never disappoints.
Thu/March 18: Arrive in New Orleans where we will stay at the luxurious Maison Dupuy Hotel in the French Quarter. Our welcome reception this evening will give us time to become acquainted with one another and our host, Robert Hicks.
Fri/March 19: Today we’ll learn about the Hood family and the Reconstruction era as we see the Hood home, Lafayette Cemetery, the home where Confederate President, Jefferson Davis, died and take a leisurely walking tour of the French Quarter. During the Reconstruction era French painter, Edgar Degas would visit his cousins in New Orleans and create some of his most famous paintings of the Cotton Market and his cousin, Estelle Mousson, who would marry his brother Rene. We’ll visit the New Orleans Fine Arts Museum and the Degas House to learn more about the family, the art, and the history during the Civil War and post-war eras. Dinner with Robert Hicks at one of his favorite “haunts”.
Sat/March 20: Today we venture out to the Warehouse District to visit the famed Ogden Museum of Southern Art. Robert’s involvement with the “O” and his background as a collector and an expert on Southern arts makes this visit a must on our itinerary. And, as luck would have it, we are also next to the Confederate Museum which opened its doors in 1891 and since that time has been celebrating over 100 years of Southern heritage and tradition. It is the oldest museum in Louisiana and houses one of the largest collections of Confederate memorabilia in the U.S. And to continue our museum day, we can’t miss the famed WWII Museum nearby.
Sun/March 21: One of the most celebrated things in New Orleans is food. Today we start with an early lunch at the New Orleans School of Cooking where the history of the food is presented as the food is prepared by the chefs. It’s as entertaining as it is satisfying! We’ll save the afternoon to spend some leisure time together as a group or as you wish. Tonight we’ll meet for our farewell dinner – Robert’s choice!
Mon/March 22: After breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight home or choose to extend your stay.
Tour Price: $1595 per person double occupancy Single: $1995
Tour Includes: Four nights hotel accommodations with taxes, breakfast daily, sightseeing with Robert Hicks as indicated, admissions, one lunch, two dinners, welcome reception, motorcoach transportation for sightseeing, airport transfers, a signed copy of A Separate Country.
A $300 per person deposit is required no later than December 15, 2009 to secure your place on this tour.
To Make Your Reservation Contact: Charlene Corris Custom Travel Concepts, P. O. Box 80391, Springfield, MA 01138