New Orleans and Bayou Recap

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Such ambiance!

Length of Stay:

  • 4 days, 4 nights

Highs:

  • Kayaking in the Bayou
  • Exploring the unusual cemeteries
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Above-ground stone crypts

Lows:

  • Spending more money than I had originally anticipated

Favorite Hike:

  • Bayou Coquille Trail and March Overlook (at Jean Lafitte NP)
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Just a lil’ gator

Favorite Treat(s): [so many!]

  • Beignets
  • Seafood gumbo
  • Aligator meat po’boy
  • Crawfish étouffée fries
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Crawfish étouflée fries

 

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N’awlins

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Famous Cafe Du Monde beignets

The food is incredible.

The sights are boundless.

The humidity is tolerable.

The laid back, slower pace of life in this city has earned New Orleans the nomenclature The Big Easy. Streets cater to pedestrians, narrow alleys are ideal for intimate meals, and music seems to seep out from unexpected places. Compared to my recent stint in NYC, N’awlins was relaxingly mesmerizing.

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A cute pedestrian-only alley

The Garden District is a playground for celebrities. Who knew that the likes of John Goodman and Sandra Bullock regularly call this city their home? I took a walking tour of this neighborhood, marveling at the gorgeous architecture and delightful foliage of plantation-turned-mini-mansion neighborhoods.

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City Park was another highlight of this fascinating city! The green space was well-kept and an intriguing place to meander whilst sipping a chickory coffee (bitter).

And now to end on a quote (of an author I’ve never heard of):

“Yes, a dark time passed over this land, but now there is something like light.” – Dave Eggers

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City Park

* Check out the N’awlins Bayou post

In the Bayou

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My last gator sighting had been in the wild world of the Everglades.

I was overdue for a look at one of these fascinating critters.

Chock one up for Louisiana – it sure packs a punch when it comes to the local flora and fauna found within the beautiful landscape of the Bayou. I saw 7 alligators, including an adorable baby one I named Jeremiah! There were snakes, bugs, fish, and all sorts of interesting things to look at during my hikes within Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. Besides another stamp in my passport, I gained an appreciation for this area of our country, discovering a serene paradise.

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Hooray for another National Park site passport stamp!
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Strolling along the boardwalk in Jean Lafitte NP

The smells were fruity and organic. The sights were varied and unique. The sounds reminded me that I was surrounded by many different animals, some that only live within the delta of this state.

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A gator…

During my Bayou swamp kayak tour the night before, I appreciated the peace-giving atmosphere of being enclosed by the baldcypress trees. I snacked on the Mayhaw fruit – a type of berry that tastes a bit like an apple – as I paddled within the wetlands. Unlike some of my other kayak adventures (Biscayne and Mammoth Caves), this one allowed me to truly get off the beaten path. Our guide was a local who grew up along the river, an expert as navigating his way around the swamp ever since he was just a little kid.

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Our expert guide informed me that this tree is referred to as “The Hand” by the locals.

Louisiana may not have an official National Park, but it has so much to offer when it comes to natural places. I finished my morning hike with a bowl of gumbo from a local establishments, replete with seafood fresh from the wild.

I miss Jeremiah the alligator already. 😦

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My friend Kate and I (she did most of the paddling). You might recognize her from my second trip to the Rockies.