New Orleans & Abita Springs

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Waking up early to pack and check out of our room we hit the road early to arrive at Abita Springs with enough time to eat before the Abita brewery tour.

To get to Abita Springs you have to travel over this long toll road that crosses the Pontchartrain Lake. 

For some reason we didn't actually have to pay a toll. 

It was really weird crossing that thing. Nerve-wracking. It was the complete opposite of claustrophobia. Agoraphobic. The lake was so big that you when you got in the middle of it you couldn't see land one way or the other. I found it really weird that there weren't any boats, people swimming or fishing, or jet skis. 

We arrived in Abita Springs with an hour and a half to kill so we first went looking for somewhere to eat. 

We found their tiny little center of town and decided to stop for some pastries at this cute little shop. 

Maple Street Bakery & Cafe. 

We got a pastry to tide us over for later and ended up deciding that pastries and beer probably wasn't the best breakfast so we decided to eat real food at the Abita Brew Pub

As our last chance to get authentic Cajun/Louisianian food we both decided to get their Combination Po Boy which comes with any combination of shrimp, catfish, and oysters. Didn't get a picture though. I had scarfed it down before I remembered to take a picture. 

Finally it was time to go to the brewery and get ready for our tour and tasting. 

While waiting in the parking lot we got some pictures of these bugs they call "love bugs". All of Louisiana seemed to be swarming with them. They don't bite and aren't really a nuisance but they are interesting to see. 

I hope he bought her dinner first. 
Basically, the bugs find a mate and then stay together for a week so that the female can get super preggers and then she lays the eggs and dies. But they literally stay together for the ENTIRE week flying, creeping around, eating-- stuck butt-to-butt.

After getting a semi-decent picture of love bugs we went inside to start the tour. The way they conducted their tour was interesting because you walk into an open seating/chatting area with a long bar that faces all their taps. For about 30 minutes before the tour you are able to self pour as many cups of whichever beer you want. While you drink and talk you watch a video of their brewing process and history of the brewery. Then, you get to tour the small facility while they give you a little bit more in depth tour. Then you go back out to the tasting room and for another 30 minutes you can down more beer and buy your souvenirs. 

We even got to try some of their specialty beers that only come in bottles. We asked and they pulled one out and let us have a cup. 

Afterward we hopped in our car and headed home. I really wanted to stop in Robert, LA. but Robert thought the world would implode (and we were already a bit late on our drive back home).

We did stop however, in Nowhereville to get some pizza for on the road and then once more at Bucee's for gas. We arrived back in San Antonio about one in the morning tired, upset that both of us had to wake up for work in the morning, but overall really pleased with everything we did on our vacation. 

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