Thursday 20 June – 40+ Celsius with the humidex and it rained most of the day. We packed up and left at 8:30 and drove to Bayou-Seguette State Park and got site 78. This park is right across the Mississippi River from New Orleans. We paid $35 a night and it’s a beautiful State park with big sites and nice cement pads. We set up and then we drove around the park taking pictures. There are lots of rabbits here and we also saw armadillos and lots of other birds including egrets, ducks, turkey vultures etc. I think I may have seen an armadillo once before, they are pretty cute. We enjoy this type of park more than the KOA type parks. If you go to New Orleans and you are camping, this is the place to go.
Friday 21 June – sunny and so hot, it was at least 42 Celsius. We left our site at 8:30 and drove to the Ferry Terminal. It cost $20 to park our truck for the day, we parked just down from the terminal. The ferry cost two dollars each person for each way and the ride was only about five minutes. Pretty good prices I’d say!
We got off the ferry and we walked to the ticket booth on the wharf because we wanted to take the Creole Queen paddle boat tour. The boat was leaving in 15 minutes so we booked it, $27 each. We sat on the main level at the front with a good view. The Mississippi River is fast-moving, we couldn’t believe how fast it flowed and it’s a muddy colour. The tour guide talked the whole time about New Orleans and all the history of the New Orleans area. Very interesting. I have wanted to come to New Orleans since I was a kid for the music and the food.
After traveling down the river for a while, we stopped at Chalmette Battlefield. We docked and got off the boat and walked up the battlefield site. This was during the War of 1812. There was a guy dressed up in that era and he did a presentation about the history of the site. I was reading that this was the location of the last battle of the War of 1812; as well as the last land battle ever fought on American soil between the USA and a foreign enemy. This occurred on January 8, 1815 and was known as the Battle of New Orleans. I also read it was unnecessary as the treaty ending the war was signed two weeks prior to this battle; however, if England HAD captured New Orleans it would have given England more power in the negotiations that were still evolving. Andrew Jackson also became a national hero due to his involvement in this battle and the 7th President of the USA.
We went into the Visitor Center and looked around and then it was time to go back to the boat to continue our tour. Small World, while sitting on the boat, we ended up meeting a young guy from Calgary and a couple from Nova Scotia. We have seen very few Canadians in the US since we have been travelling.
The tour was over and when we got off the boat, we headed back downtown and went into the St. Louis Cathedral. The Cathedral is located across from Jackson Square. Beautiful cathedral and the park was also very well maintained and pretty.
We walked around the area by the Church and saw some cool street performers and other fun stuff.
After that we went onto Bourbon Street. Part of the street was under construction but we walked up and down as best as we could. The street was smelly, dirty, kind of run down. Also they were playing Country music and some Pop music. Where’s the jazz? So disappointing. We walked down a few streets looking around and stopping in here and there.
Some random photos of Bourbon Street and area……
Well this was a surprise! Who have thought Chewbacca was on Bourbon Street?
We went into a Visitor Centre. They had a piano and Clint played it for a bit. The Visitor Centre was in a lovely old building.
Then we went to the Chartres restaurant which was really good. I had a southern fried catfish Po’ boy sandwich and crab bisque. ( Every time I see the word bisque, I can picture Elaine from Seinfeld talking about “the bisque”) Clint had a platter of four different items, one of them was gumbo and I can’t remember the rest. We also shared a piece of pecan pie and it was completely different from what we know of as pecan pie. It was really good but hard to describe! There is photo below, so good. Maybe my friend Diane from Indianeskitchen can find me a recipe!
We left there and walked back to the ferry to go back across the river and back to the truck. We went back to our site and chased around some raccoons in the yard trying to get pictures. I do love the Trash Pandas.
Saturday 22 June – sunny and hot. We drove to the Jean Lafitte swamp tours. We had Captain Brent on boat number five. The tour took about 1 ½ hours and we sat right at the front. We saw tons of alligators and one green heron. The cost was $25 each and it was a nice trip. We just drove up and down different canal type water areas and saw different flowers and landscape. He had a baby alligator on board that he passed around for people to hold, I did hold him but honestly wish I hadn’t. I am not keen on that type of animal handling. Just to say, this is not a zoo or anything like that, all the animals/birds are free to go where they want. I did enjoy the different scenery and seeing the alligators swimming past us.
We got back to the truck and drove down to the South end of this area but there wasn’t anything there. Then we stopped at the Texas roadhouse for lunch, typical bar food, which I’m okay with. Finally, home to walk and drive around the park and photograph birds. It’s a very cool park, we also drove down to the different water areas they have. Lots of rabbits!
Sunday 23 June – really hot and in the 40’s. We got up early to take the 7:30 ferry but when we got there, the terminal doesn’t open until 10:30. Wish we had known that lol. We ended up driving Ramsey the Truck to New Orleans and it was so early we got a good underground parking site for 20 bucks for the day. We walked up to a little restaurant to have a coffee and wait for the ticket office to open at VIP City Tours. We wanted to take a city tour. The price was $40 each and a small bus picked us. Jarred was our driver and tour guide and he was excellent. We sat in the front seat.
They had lots of buggy rides available. Just recently they have banned buggy rides in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. There is some controversy about the welfare of the horses.
We drove toward Ward Nine where Katrina hit. We also got off at a cemetery and Jarred took us through it and spoke on the area. Very cool cemetery as far cemetery’s go…… Then we stopped at a city park and got beignets; these are famous in New Orleans but we did not care for them. Each to his own! Then our guide drove through the Garden District and the city market areas. It was a very interesting tour and we got to see lots of New Orleans. We spoke to him when we got off the bus at Bourbon Street and asked about where to go to see live bands.
He told us the best place to go was Frenchmen Street to listen to music and sit and have a drink. He let us off at the City Market or French Market, and we walked all through the market. I bought a hobo purse for $18. The market is pretty cool.
Then we walked down Bourbon Street again just to make sure that we didn’t like it lol and THEN we walked over to Frenchmen Street. We went into Bamboulas bar as we could hear, and see, that there was a live band playing. We sat the bar and had a few beers. We listened to two different bands that afternoon and they were both really good. We really enjoyed our time there. And the beer wasn’t bad either. We were there for a couple of hours and I ended up buying CD’s, two for $20. Since we have been home, and to this day, I listen to these 2 CDs all the time. Yes I’m THAT person that still buys CD’s and listens to them. I like to support local talent. After we left there, we walked down Bourbon Street again just to ensure for the THIRD time that we didn’t care for it! But honestly, you do have to go down Bourbon Street if you go to New Orleans.
We stopped at a restaurant called the Royal House and had dinner. It was really good food, we had beans, rice, sausage and chicken and shared a piece of pecan pie and red velvet cake. All the food we had in New Orleans, so good!
Some random photos of our trip to New Orleans.
We are tired and stuff so back to the truck and we drove back to the trailer about 6 o’clock. It actually worked out pretty good taking the truck over to the city. It only took us about 40 minutes to get back but we also stopped for gas. Clint wanted to go for a drive to look around in the park, he went and I stayed home and read a book.
Tomorrow we are a’ headin’ to Texas!