NOLA Day 2

Friday, September 21, 2012

The second day on our trip we decided to be touristy and go on a swamp tour. The place we had to drive to was about 30 minutes away but since it took so long to get around all the construction and chaos the first day we decided to give ourselves enough time for getting lost/stuck in traffic/and random traveling. Needless to say, with all my fore planning we arrived...30 minutes before we had to be there. 

But while there we were treated to a close up view of a cute alligator. If you can call an alligator cute that is. 

I do. That thing is super cute.

Anyway, on our tour we found out that alligators LOVE marshmallows. It doesn't seem that such large, bumpy, mean-looking animals can like something as fluffy and sugary as marshmallows but there ya go. The tour guide (who had a very thick cajun-y accent) told us that they feed them marshmallows because they float on the water and then they come closer to the boat where they then feed them chicken, fish, and other meats. 

We saw alligators, turtles, snakes, raccoons, and a creepy old shack. Then, on our way back to our meeting place we got to hold a baby alligator which made me kinda creeped out at first but then when you hold it (and you have to hold it because even the 7 year old held it) it's nice and cool and just chills with you like a scaly cat. 

After driving back downtown we dropped off our stuff and then went to find some tasty food. Though we were in the Cajun capital of the US (I don't actually know if that's true) we both had a hankering for some pizza. While getting ready we had the cable in our hotel room set on their closed TV program about all the fun, exciting, places to visit and eat in New Orleans and The Louisiana Pizza Kitchen caught our ear. Offering pizza with a Cajun twist we decided to indulge in both of our cravings at once.

Italian Sausage, Some other sausage, and ALLIGATOR sausage. 
Truthfully, I did not feel a bit guilty about eating an alligator even though I had just held what could have been its offspring. It was super tasty, complementing the cheesey, gooey, thin crust pizza. The beer on the left is mine. I could have passed on it entirely. We don't have it here in Texas so I don't really have to worry about running into it but believe me if I should ever see it again I will remember to STAY AWAY.

We then went across the street to the French Market. I was in flea market heaven.

Then because we are Americans and nothing if not gluttonous we decided to imbibe on some adult shakes. Mine was the better of the two. It tasted like a chocolate banana milkshake...but with AMARETTO. The only thing that made me sad was to find out that they are only in LA but it means that we will just have to make another trip there. Because, I'm dead serious, those shakes are totally worth it.

Robert's on the left, mine on the right. 

After dropping off our souvenirs and taking a little rest at the hotel (in the air conditioned) we ventured out again ready to finally hit Bourbon St having never gotten to it the night before. But before getting shitfaced we wanted to eat some typical New Orleans cuisine. At a restaurant on Bourbon St we decided to split a sampler platter.

Gumbo, Red beans & rice, Sausage, and Jambalaya
Our waiter, a true godsend, was either eavesdropping or just took a lucky guess that I wanted to listen to some real jazz and see some real New Orleans. With our check he brought us a hand-drawn map and directions on how to get to what he termed "The local's Bourbon". And in true New Orleans fashion he timed it by drinks. It was a 1-2 drink walk.

So instead of going drinking on Bourbon we walked through the busy street on our way to Frenchmen St. It turned out to look kind of like our SA South Town. Smaller, older style houses, very artsy, and like busy Bourbon Street there were bands and troubadours playing on the street but unlike Bourbon it was more Indie music as opposed to jazz. And our waiter was right; it only took us about a drink to get there.

We walked up and down the street, deciding which venue to go into first. Each had their own bands playing a different type of jazz. We went into a few different clubs, listening to their live music and drinking cocktails and beers we'd never had before.

After sitting and drinking in a little alleyway for about an hour just listening to each other and the slight breeze we decided to go back to our hotel and try for Bourbon the next day. 

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