Part 7: In which we go on a swamp tour
Our Saturday in New Orleans was a hot one. And was largely spent outside of New Orleans. We took a swamp tour. A glorious, fabulous, quirky, silly, touristy, marvelous, cajun swamp tour. We visited the Honey Island Swamp near Slidell, Louisiana. And, apparently, we chose the same tour company as the Jolie-Pitts, Forrest Whitaker, Jason Lee and others. No celebrity spotting on our tour, though.
The tour was ridiculously overpriced as we got the ticket that included pick-off and drop-off in New Orleans. We took a mini bus, so I know the profit on the transport was huuuuge, but as my sister was working and it was convenient, we didn't care too much. Sometimes you spend too much on vacation fun.
For me, the tour was all about one thing: gators. Now, of course they don't guarantee that you'll see a gator. But we saw plenty. It was so fun!
Our tour guide was absolutely mental. But in a good way. I'm sure that all his stories have elements of truth, and some certainly were fact. But a lot seemed to be tall tales spun in the swamp. But he got a little alligator to chomp a marshmallow off a stick. So that dude is golden in my eyes.
It really was just so much fun!
I loved the colors of the swamp. Especially once we came off the rather calm, brown waters of the main bits of the Pearl River and into the narrower channels of the swamp. The deeper we got the greener the water became (covered in tiny plants) and the more golden the air became.
The wildlife was certainly something to admire. We saw alligators, raccoons (nothing special there, but Louisiana raccoons are smaller than their midwestern cousins), herons, giant spiders, beautiful dragonflies - so many lovely creatures!
It was an experience I'll never forget. I'm so glad we went!
That night,after a nice, cool, rest at my sister's house (and a change of clothes!) we dined out at Bistro Daisy. My brother-in-law is a chef and has been at Daisy since its beginning. But, taking a new position as a personal chef to a well-to-do family (in aid of the incoming bambino), it was his last night there. As the sous chef, there were a lot of things that were made by him exclusively. I had his ravioli. And it was amazing. I have since tried to duplicate it and not been terribly successful. But it was a great last meal out in New Orleans.
The next day we had ice cream for brunch (at Creole Creamery - land of quirky, local flavors) and soon after got our cab to the airport. Many hours (aka: the next morning) later (via Dallas), we touched down at Heathrow. Our American Adventures over. For this year. For this summer. Life may bring me back to the US to live for a while in the not-too-distant future. But it won't diminish the special place this trip has had in my heart: taking my main squeeze through my country, to my places, to see things that can only be found in that land. I'll keep this trip with me for a while, I think. It was a pretty special couple of weeks.