On Eagle's Wings

On Eagle's Wings
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:29-31


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Up a Not so Lazy River

Dear Heart's dream has been to go on a river cruise. He really, really wanted to do the Viking river cruise in Europe, but after many discussions about it, we finally reached a compromise and this past week we vacationed on the American Queen Steamboat from New Orleans to Memphis. A river cruise in the good old USA.

The mighty Mississippi

We saw some new places and learned so much, but I am only going to post a few highlights of this wonderful trip here since it is now a fading memory. So, lots of pics and not too much text.

 On the River Walk in New Orleans.
We had dinner the first afternoon at the Drago Restaurant in our hotel,
the Riverwalk Hilton,
then strolled around the River Walk Mall checking out all the shops.

On Saturday, we did the New Orleans City Tour. One of our stops was Cemetery #3. It fascinated me that so much money is spent to build the tombs, anywhere from $5,000 to $500,000. But, there are entire families buried in the same location. When a person dies, they are placed in the top portion of the structure and then one year and one day later the remains are moved to the bottom portion of the tomb. This allows time for the body to fully decompose and make room in the top for the next body. I wondered what happened if someone died before the passage of that time period and was told they are placed in a "temporary holding" tomb until they could be buried with the family.

We saw the French Quarter and had lunch at the Jimmy Buffet Margaritaville Restaurant, then walked around the French Quarter for the time we had. Er, that is, I walked around while Dear Heart sat in the shade waiting for our bus.

We toured the city and saw the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina. I can't imagine living through such a horror and wasn't surprised to hear that 75,000 never returned to New Orleans after that. 

Our boat was waiting for us

First stop was the Nottoway Plantation in St. Francisville, Mississippi.

Our guide informed us that the dishes set out on this table
were very expensive. She wasn't kidding. According to her, these exquisite
dinner plates are worth $1,000.00 EACH!!

Gorgeous old trees everywhere.

Vintage dancers demonstrating for us.
Times have changed!

Graceful home and furnishings. The 
lady of the house hid her jewelry in the bedpost
when the Yankees occupied the home.

A bit of a change at our next stop:
Accommodations not quite so inviting here.
This excursion was not only interesting but very compelling

LSP a/k/a Angola Prison has a very bloody history and many sad tales to tell.
Horrible things happened here, but I won't go into the detail of that.
The focus here is on the redemption that has happened and is happening to many of the inmates there.

Here is a brief description of the book Cain's Redemption, a very good book I bought and read on my return home:
"Formerly known as America's bloodiest prison, the 18,000 acres that comprise Louisiana's Angola State Penitentiary are now home to 5,000 inmates, a full range of seasonal crops, a 9-hole golf course, yearly rodeos, a Bible seminary, a museum, and much more. All of this came into being at the behest of Warden Burl Cain, who is now the longest-standing warden in the history of Angola prison. Under his leadership, the inmate population of 5,000 has gone from regular knife fights to Bible studies. Cain is a strong believer in the ability of the gospel to turn the most incorrigible of sinners into productive, moral citizens. Because eight out of ten prisoners are serving life sentences without parole at Angola, Cain has taken upon himself the task of making the lives of these prisoners productive and educational. Through a partnership with New Orleans Baptist Seminary, prisoners have the opportunity to get a bible degree and even be transferred to other prisons as a missionary. 

The Angola phenomenon has been covered by such media outlets as Time Magazine, Christianity Today, and in the award-winning film documentary, The Farm: Angola, USA. Author Dennis Shere combines his background in journalism and law to bring readers this account of redemption and life change in the most unlikely of places: a maximum security prison." quotation credit

 They grow their food.

They have opportunity to learn.

 Make use of their creative talents

Perform a play of the life of Christ

Show compassion to fellow inmates in their time of need.

Build a special carriage to carry the deceased to a final resting place with dignity.

Jesus came to set the prisoner free. He certainly does that at Angola. Because of Him, they have hope of eternal life beyond the life sentence here on earth. He hears the moaning of the prisoner and demonstrates His great power by saving those condemned to die. Psalm 79:11.

We next toured the charming town of Natchez. 
Below are two of the restored mansions we saw.
I never tire of going through these historic homes.
 Rosalie Mansion
Stanton Hall

Vicksburg, Mississippi
We took a 16 mile bus tour around the grounds of this famous Civil War Battle.

I like this African American monument.
Two black union soldiers holding up their wounded brother, a field hand.
One soldier is looking back, the other forward.
This represented leaving behind the oppression of slavery
and looking forward to freedom!
Love it!

Rockin' and

Rolling down the river. Each night the
American Queen Steamboat Company offered extremely talented entertainers
who were absolutely fantastic! We were very impressed. The food was outstanding!

Dan, Dear Heart, Tom, Peggy, Chuck, Tina, me, and Char.

Our dining partners each evening was a group of delightful people 
with whom we quickly felt we had known for a very long time!
Tom and Peggy were our neighbors on the boat, so we spent a lot
of time visiting on our veranda.

The Lord blessed me every day with the some of the most amazing sunsets.

Who could ask for anything more?

Well, I do believe we have some pretty nice sunsets here at home, too.


  1. Connie- What a wonderful, wonderful trip. Hubby would like to do the Viking Cruise in Europe, too...but this might be a good compromise for us, too. What a great memory maker. Glad you enjoyed it. That sculpture is fantastic. xo Diana

  2. Oh my, what a fantastic trip you took!! I have always dreamed of taking the paddle wheel up the Mississipp. Thanks for sharing the fun with us! Great photos!

  3. Looks like such a wonderful trip. Loved all the pictures.

  4. What a fun trip! I love the plantations and would enjoy going through the homes too. I've always wanted to take a cruise around the coast of Maine. Maybe one day! Love the sunsets....don't we live in the most wonderful country in the world?