New Orleans’ Faulkner House Books Opens a Page of History

When you visit New Orleans and stay with Bluegreen Resorts at its recently renovated Bluegreen Club La Pension at the edge of the French Quarter, you’ll have all the lively color, fun, music, and cuisine of the neighborhood almost at your doorstep. Explore the beauty and history of St. Louis Cathedral – the oldest building of its kind in North America – at the center of historic Jackson Square, which is also home to the elegant Pontalba Buildings, constructed in red brick in the middle of the 19th century. When you wander Pirate’s Alley behind the cathedral, you’ll find a small, off-the-beaten-path book shop, the charm of which will encourage you to stay and browse away an afternoon.

Book lovers won’t want to miss Faulkner House Books, located at 624 Pirate’s Alley, opposite the cathedral’s rear garden. Lovingly restored by its owners, co-founders of The Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society, Inc., the shop is housed in the building Nobel Prize-winning novelist William Faulkner occupied in 1925 while he was writing his first book, Soldier’s Pay. Declared a national literary landmark, Faulkner House pays tribute to the author and to many notable peers through its extensive offerings of some of the best works from the literary canon of the American South. Here you will find rare editions of the works of Faulkner and others, as well as affordably priced volumes by acclaimed classic and contemporary writers.

The cozy indoor space is filled with light and quiet, as you look up at row after row of books that invite you to read and enjoy. Writers whose Louisiana-set work you are likely to encounter include Robert Penn Warren, author of the classic All the King’s Men, Walker Percy, who wrote the iconic National Book Award winner The Moviegoer, and John Kennedy Toole, who penned the sprawling and widely beloved novel A Confederacy of Dunces. Any of these novels, and many others that crowd the Faulkner House’s shelves, would make meaningful New Orleans-themed gifts for yourself or someone special.

Commander’s Palace – A Legend on New Orleans’ Culinary Landscape

Stay at Bluegreen Club La Pension, Bluegreen Resorts’ vacation getaway in New Orleans, and immerse yourself into a rich and varied heritage of music, entertainment, culture, and cuisine. The city famous for its French, Creole, Cajun, and Spanish influences offers plenty of restaurants to suit a range of palates and price points. If you’re in the mood to enjoy a true old-fashioned New Orleans dining experience at an iconic restaurant, make a reservation at Commander’s Palace in the Garden District.

Distinguished by its turquoise-and-white-striped Victorian façade, Commander’s Palace has been a focal point of the New Orleans landscape for more than 130 years. The restaurant, established by Emile Commander in 1880, practically grew with the Garden District itself. English-speaking new arrivals to the 19th century city found themselves at odds with the French-speaking Creoles who had long been settled in the Vieux Carré. So these new arrivals founded their own community in the Garden District, building distinctive Greek Revival-style homes still very much in evidence today, and creating their own culture, gastronomic and otherwise.

Commander’s Palace, at the corner of Coliseum Street and Washington Avenue, was attracting gourmets from all over the world within a generation. In the 1940s, new ownership meant a refurbishment of both the restaurant and its menu. In the 1970s, the building again refreshed its image, with additional glass walls and trellises bringing the beauty of its outdoor setting further inside.

Today, the chefs at Commander’s Palace prepare Creole and American-inflected dishes, and are continually expanding their repertoire. The meats, seafood, vegetables, and fruits that fill the menu are the freshest available, sourced from local farms and bayous. Over 1,000 herbs are grown on the restaurant’s roof and flavor renowned dishes such as fois gras du monde. The restaurant’s famous desserts include luscious treats such as Creole cream cheesecake and pecan custard pie infused with molasses.

Reservations are a must, and prepare to look your best: The dress code is business attire, with jeans discouraged for everyone and jackets preferred for men, making Commander’s Palace a truly one-of-a-kind dining adventure.

The Field Museum – Exploring the World in Chicago

One of the most exciting, diverse, and cosmopolitan cities in the United States, Chicago offers visitors a wealth of restaurants, shops, theaters, and museums from which to choose. By staying at Bluegreen Resorts’ Hotel Blake, located in the heart of the South Loop in the historic Printers Row neighborhood, you’ll be able to take advantage of all the cultural and educational activities available.

If you and your family enjoy indulging your curiosity about science, anthropology, and the history of life and human cultures, you need to visit the Field Museum of Natural History on your next trip to Chicago. Permanent exhibitions available for you to explore include “Evolving Planet”; “Inside Ancient Egypt”; and “SUE the T. rex,” devoted to the largest and most detailed fossil of the prehistoric predator ever unearthed. Moreover, the museum’s play lab offers children of all ages the opportunity for hands-on exploration of scientific concepts in a fun environment.

The Field Museum of Natural History opened after the renowned World’s Columbian Exposition, which drew many visitors to Chicago in 1893. Named for businessman Marshall Field, who contributed $1 million in initial funding, the museum soon began to acquire objects that defined the study of natural history; gemstones from the Tiffany collection; and ethnological collections that spanned the cultures of the Pacific Rim people, Africa, and North and South America.

The museum is now home to more than 20 million biological specimens and artifacts of culture, the sum of which tell a rich story of the past and present of the Earth and all its inhabitants. From masks fashioned by Inuit people to the remains of dinosaurs that once roamed the Arctic region, you will be astonished by all there is to learn about on any visit to the Field Museum. In fact, the museum’s collection is so large and so much a part of ongoing research in a number of scientific disciplines that only a very small fraction of its holdings can be displayed to the public.