Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Day 2 - Tour Day

Angie and I ran into Cajun Encounters on Decatur during Day 1 and thought a day spent seeing the Louisiana sights might be fun.

The tours offered were, City Tour, Swamp Tour, Plantation Tour, and Fright Tour. In addition to these, Katrina Tours and Recovery Tours were all the rage. We each picked what we wanted to do and they had a combo where we could do one in the morning and one in the afternoon. A full day of touring.

I selected the Swamp Tour and it was suggested that we do the tour in the morning where the wildlife would be more active as the heat of the day would not yet be reached. Since I hate the heat, it sounded like a grand idea.

The tour would pick us up at hour hotel at 7:15 to get our day started. We were picked up and whisked away to the bayou and swamps north of New Orleans. We drove over Lake Pontchartrain and saw some of the devastation from Katrina. The abandoned homes were numerous, some still having the rescuers markings on them stating that they had been searched. It was erie.

We got to Honey Island Swamp and started out tour. We boarded the boat of Captain Ted, a real Cajun, and for the next two hours he drove us around the swamp and bayou giving us the skinny on the swamps, the ecosystem, Katrina, Nutria, gators, why the swamps are needed, etc.

After the tour, we were returned to Decatur for lunch. We found Central Grocery, and their speciality, the Muffuletta. The Muffuletta is an Italian hero on a Focacia bread and covered in "Olive Salad". We ordered a whole, which is about 12 inches in diameter, and began to feast. Angie promptly proceeded to remove the Olive Salad ("the best part") and I put it on mine. They were delicious.

Upon being well fed, we embarked on our plantation tour, Angie's selection. We were bused about an hour and 10 minutes West of New Orleans to the Oak Alley Plantation. The grounds of the plantation date back to 1700 when a row of 28 Live Oak Trees were planted giving the plantation its name. The house was built later that century and has a interesting history as home, plantation residence, etc. The grounds did not have the slave quarters anymore, but the history of the 113 slaves on the grounds was recorded. It was very interesting.

We were returned to our hotel and we promptly went to the pool to cool off. If memory serves, we brought a couple of Hurricanes with us.

After refreshing from our hot day, we got dressed up and went down to the hotel restaurant...Dickie Brennan's Bourbon House Seafood. Angie has an awesome seafood platter with Fried Oysters, Soft shell Crab Claws, Shrimp and Catfish. I had a Filet and a dozen raw oysters. We had an AWESOME meal and a great ending to a fun day.
Tomorrow: Day 3 - We traveled to New Orleans to do WHAT?!?!



ChefMichele said...

Sounds like you had a great time! No Cafe au lait and beignets for breakfast??? I know they cant compare to Daddys crepes and a good cup of joe but...when in Rome....Pictures are great- cant wait to see more. The plantation house looks like Forrest Gumps house. LOL. Glad you and Angie had some quality time together even with all those hurricanes. Love yas

Scott Lessard said...

You mean, BECAUSE of those Hurricanes!!! LOL