Tuesday, October 8, 2013

New Orleans

Visiting New Orleans is like visiting another country. A very strange country where people should be speaking English, but have very strong accents, and where you die in the humidity and see tons of scary wildlife. Seriously, it's pretty out there. And it was great to visit at least once in our lives, especially since we got to go and see our good friend Kelly, who we met up in Vermont. 

Kelly has been living in New Orleans since we finished school in May, so she was a great tour guide of the city. She took us to the levy and around the famous streets in downtown New Orleans. We went to a restaurant to sample some cajun dishes and were treated to some amazing jazz music by the Shotgun Jazz Band - which was simply amazing. By far the best thing about the restaurant we went to. 

The next day we went on a swamp tour to see some gators and other swamp life. It was so great. Our tour guide spoke like he was from the swamps, well actually he said he grew up in the swamps so that makes sense. :) And he would feed the gators marshmallows and hot dogs to get them to jump out of the water. Pretty sweet. 

The alligators were right next to the boat. Seriously kind of freaky. Actually, all of New Orleans was a little bit spooky. It reminded me of almost every episode of Scooby Doo. It is a spooky town for sure. 

One of the alligators working for some food.
Some of the swamp looked like it was covered in grass because of this weird plant that floated on top. And if you look in the picture on the left, you will see a bunch of stumps coming out of the water - those aren't stumps, but are the roots of the big tree. They go into the swamp and back up like an anchor. So weird.  

The next day we went to Oak Alley Plantation for a plantation tour, and we were lucky enough to meet up with Rebekkah, another SIT pal. The plantation was cool, we got to see the mansion and reproductions of the old slave quarters. It was very interesting. I had never imagined going to a plantation before, so props to Kelly for suggesting it.   

This particular plantation is on the Mississippi River and has 300-year old oak trees lined in both the back and front of the plantation mansion. They were huge and so beautiful. It makes me want to have oaks at our house, although I don't think I will live long enough to see them mature to this beauty.

The house was beautiful and had a wrap around balcony and porch. 

The whole gang in front of the house.
And of course, before leaving Louisiana, Caitlin insisted that she try Waffle House. She had never heard anything good about the restaurant, but the reviews she had heard made her intrigued to try it out for herself. This one actually was pretty decent, and our waitress was fun, so we didn't mind that the food wasn't the most amazing. After all, it is super cheap and friendly. :)

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