Friday, November 9, 2012

The Big Easy: Day Two

My brother had to wake up CRAZY early to take his friends to the airport, so my sister and I were up for the day before they were.  We headed out, taking the car.  We got breakfast technically in walking distance from the apartment, which was lovely.  Then we visited an old cemetary.  Many of the graves were dated in the 1800s, some from the early 1900s, and only a few from the past 40 years or so.  There was an engraving for 2012, though.  Many of the tombs were made of brick and had been very worn out by the past hundred or two years of weather, and were in crumbling ruins.  Some were under a perpetual care contract and were painted sparkling white.  We wandered around for an hour or more, taking in the sights and eavesdropping on tour guides to glean a little information.

Then we headed to Villalobos dog rescue, of "Pit Bulls and Parolees" fame.  Jen had seen the show, so she was pointing out stuff and people she'd seen on the show, but I'd never seen it.  A guy, presumably a parolee, gave us a tour, and we got to see the dogs and let them lick our hands through the cages, but we weren't allowed to walk them.  I mentioned something about how my sister is the dog lover, and I'm more of a cat person, and he said, "Oh, we have cats."  Soon, someone brought us some tiny kittens to snuggle.

After that, we went back to the apartment to meet up with my brother and SIL, who hadn't even eaten yet.  We went with them to get breakfast for them, lunch for us.  Then we drove to the Jean Lafitte Nature Reserve.  We took a short walk from the visitor center on a boardwalk across a swamp, which had some pretty vegetation, but we didn't see any critters.  We drove to a different trailhead, and that trail had a few bridges and sections of boardwalk, and was entirely boardwalk at the end, but for the first half of the trail, was mostly gravel on a natural levee.  That area is supposedly the best place to spot alligators, and some people coming back toward the trailhead said they'd seen just the eyes of one toward the end of the trail, but we, unfortunately didn't see it.  In fact, for pretty much the entire hike out to the end, we only saw one critter--a grey squirrel like I see pretty much every day at home.  Yeah.  But by the end of the hike, I'd also spotted a dragonfly, a spider, a deer (again, really?  we can see those any day at home), but the most authentic and exciting wildlife was a mama nutria and her babies.  She was actually kind of cute, in a "Rodents of Unusual Size" sort of way. 

We got back just as the gates were about to be locked at the parking lot, and headed back to the city.  It was only a little after 5, but was starting to get dark.  We stopped at a McDonalds (the only chain restaurant we've been to so far, and possibly for the whole trip) to pick up a few drinks.  However, it took like 45 minutes to get three beverages, because the person at the counter was unable to punch the proper buttons to process orders any faster than one every 3 minutes or so.  And then my sister's drink was hot instead of iced as she'd ordered, so they poured the hot drink over ice, and made her a warm diluted drink.  She was not impressed.

Anyway, we got back into the city, stopped back at the apartment to change into or grab warmer clothes, then headed back to the French Quarter after discovering that some of the other touristy areas we want to explore are sketchy after dark.

So...back to the French Quarter to brave the crowds and see the sights.  We had dinner at a lovely little restaurant next to Jackson Square, and wandered around a bit before and after, peeking into galleries and people watching, as you do.

And now we're home again.  Tomorrow, the garden district and/or Magazine Street, and who knows what else.
The dog rescue.  The photos I took on my phone didn't come out.  Hopefully the camera ones work out better.
The swamp

Bourbon Street, 10:30 p.m. or so

No comments:

Post a Comment