The Big Easy, Day Two

(I posted this into the blog as I had scribbled it down while on the trip.)

I can hardly wait to get home and start writing my manuscript again!  I’ve picked up so many ideas and scenes that I’m fairly bursting.  Tomorrow night’s Haunted Tour ought to really add fuel to the fire.

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But we still have today to go through.  It started out somewhat early, at “meh-whatever” o’clock (7am).  On our way out, we stopped at the lobby desk to ask why someone made a P.A announcement at 1am.  She knew nothing about it, so we just let it slide (visions of helicopters dancing in our heads).  Could have been outside the room;  just about an hour before we left, I heard people talking loudly in the hall, and it sounded the same to me.  Last night, though, it woke me out of a sound sleep–thought it was the radio alarm going off.   I was swatting and pushing at that radio until Paul finally called me off it.  (Paul said it was definitely the P.A. system, not someone in the hallway.)

We were no worse for wear this morning.  But with only a glucose tablet in me, the 3/4-mile brisk walk to the tour staging area left me breathing hard and walking slowly, and the shakiness was starting to overpower me.  I really hate being a slave to my dodgy hemoglobin!

First thing we did after checking in was to stop in for coffee and beignets.  We ate them in a pavilion along the river.  Well, I had one, and Paul had two.  We then found a CVS pharmacy where I bought enough protein-based items to get me through the trip.

Weather wasn’t terribly warm, but there was no doubt the heat would rise in the city, along with the moisture in the air.  However, once we got to the swamp & bayou tour (an hour or so by bus), it was much cooler.

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Right behind us were two buses filled with grade-school kids.  I feared they’d be put on our boat, but they got on two others–hallelujah!  Grade school kids are wonderful, but I had my turn a number of years ago.  Done.

The trip down the canal (dug by the oil companies to transport supplies) was a very relaxed and informative one.

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(this was built for the tourists–not a real artifact)

We did see quite a few gators,

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including the little guy that the boat driver had on board.  Got to hold me a gator!!  That was cool!

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Saw indigenous

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and invasive species both–nutria live there, as in Oregon, as a usurper to the environment (they’re a large water-dwelling rodent originally from South America).  There is also water jasmine, which seems to be Louisiana’s own kudzu problem.

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And a relatively new problem–a very large snail, also from South America, that is breeding rapidly.

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The entire trip was lovely–no bugs per se, except for a huge bee the size of my thumb that seemed to really enjoy annoying us.  The driver played zydeco music as we made our way back, which really added to the experience.

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The gator-tooth necklace I bought back at the gift shop was a great way to top off the trip.

When we got back to town, we took to exploring again.  Saw a building with onion domes and thought it might be Russian Orthodox. but it was Catholic, with a very Moorish type of architecture inside and out.

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Paid our respects, took pictures, then headed over to the casino on Canal Street to have a look-through.  (yeah, yeah, one extreme to another)

By the time we were done there, my blood sugar was caving again, so we picked me up a berry smoothie and I got all kinds of better.  This was in a shopping mall along the River Walk (I still like San Antonio’s RiverWalk best), and there was a shop there that I had to explore.  I was really hoping to find a ring/bracelet combo, which I did.  It’s a cheap little trinket, but it looks nice.

For dinner, we went to Ralph & Kacoo’s. where I finally got to try gator.  It was pretty decent–texture like a somewhat rubbery chicken, a sort of sweet after-taste, and not much else.  The breading made all the difference.

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It had been a relatively tiring day, what with the humidity we’re not used to.  With nothing really else to do, we went a little further beyond Bourbon Street, into the French Market area, then down side streets (got lots of ideas for the book!), and back to the hotel.

Paul’s asleep as I write, and it’s only 8:44pm.  I’ve read a short novelette for a review, written a review for the previous book I’d read, and entered all this journal stuff.  I think I’ll give my eyes a break and play some card games, then get some sleep.

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