USA | Louisiana | New Orleans: April 18-24, 2019

April 18, 2018

Gonna take it easy in the Big Easy! — traveling to New Orleans from Detroit Metro Airport (DTW).

April 19, 2020

French Quarter

Powdered sugar everywhere @Cafe du Monde, music calling us to the insides of the quarter, park to let the munchkin play, pirates with humour, poets we envied for their vocation and location, singers with soul, musicians making our bodies move, bars with cheap drinks, festivities of bourbon street! A good day!

April 20, 2019

Steamboat Natchez

Cool vintage paddle wheel steamboat ride along Ole Miss! The Natchez was filled with pirates, funny enough cuz they too have conventions! Why not...

April 21, 2019

Frenchmen Street

Walking around the French market, getting damn tasty grilled corn and making our to Frenchman Street, full of Jazz and live music clubs. Stopped by an art market and got some cool prints and dinner at another live venue restaurant, ending with more French quarter strolling. 

April 22, 2019

Honey Island Swamp - Indian Village

As much as everyone here advised us not to, we rented a car. And so glad we did!

Explored the old town of Slidell a couple of days ago and it’s Soda Pop Cafe before heading over to the swamp tour!! Retro.

We didn’t know what to expect from a swamp tour, and were only left pleased. The guide was a really friendly and funny fella who tried his best to point out the wildlife, where we saw a snake and turtle sunning themselves and a Blue Heron.

The best was probably the wild boar encounter! Kaelen loved knowing about the names they’ve given the local tribe, from a couple of wild boar brothers we met (Kevin and Crispy Bacon) and others we didn’t (Snoop Hogg and Notorious P.I.G). The swamp area itself was quite massive and really cool foliage (loved the hanging Spanish Moss, which is neither moss nor Spanish!) and our guide did his best to show us alligators. Finally, one relatively puny fella swam up named BJ (for broken jaw) and had his fill with the food the guide threw out, although there were other more massive ones who felt it still cold to venture out. In the summer, apparently it’s so packed with them it’s a mission to navigate around them.

But, really unique experience and Kaelen loves him his animals!

 

April 23, 2019

Oak Alley Plantation

Yesterday was a tough experience, emotionally. We checked out a former sugarcane plantation - Oak Alley, famous for its long row of massive old oak trees leading up to the main mansion where the slaveowners lived. While we did our best to explain the history to Kaelen and made him sensitive to that ugly part of history, he was somewhat neutral to it all. Too young to take it in, probably.

But we were surely impacted by the slave exhibit and seeing the tiny shacks that housed up to 10 people. Learning about how hard their lives were and the extent they worked and worked and died working that way made us shake our heads in disbelief. However it was the news clippings of slave auction and sale announcements and the actual shackles and restraints used that made us sick inside. People! Treated as animals and property! Just disgusting.

And then, in stark contrast the big house where the owners lived, lavish and actually paid for by borrowing credit with using the slaves as collateral. Of course, also built by slaves who fashioned each brick out of the clay along the river just nearby. And this was just one of the plantations across the entire south!

Although the sight of the alley of oak trees was pretty, we felt pretty muted about it considering what we just witnessed. Closed our eyes, felt the surroundings, and all that could be felt was disappointment and sadness. Really shameful.

We drove around the area to see other plantations from outside, and yep the same - pretty/big mansions with little shacks at the back for the slaves.

We then headed over to the Garden District in New Orleans, filled with massive and picturesque mansions surrounded by lush greenery, observing here and there rich, white folk hanging outside sipping their wine and wearing their pink shirts and being the snobs we’d figure they’d be. And likely descendants of those same owners who used to own the plantations and had houses in the city. Meh! Karthik liked the foliage and architecture as it reminded him of Madras in India.

Had some great Southern food (fried green tomatoes, gumbo, beans and rice, fried eggplant in crawfish sauce, fried shrimp) on Magazine street before driving one last time around the French quarter.

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