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The Battle of New Orleans

Paddlewheel on the Mississippi

sunny 11 °C
View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & Bermuda & 2004 Migrating by Mercedes on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

December 12 - second part - Riverboat Trip

I had thought that if the tour started at 9:30 (which it did not because we had to go and pay first, and our pickup wasn't the first one), that 2.5 hours would give us plenty of time to get to the Battlefield tour which was to be by paddlewheel boat starting at 2 p.m. But it was a 3 hour tour, and we did not get back to the hotel until almost 1. Boarding for the Battlefield Tour started at 1:30 and we still had to get down there. If I had had the ticket with me, we could have gotten off the city tour down at the waterfront, but I did not. I had to go back to the hotel and up to the room to get it. (Bob thought we'd been way over scheduled for the day, which we were, but it was necessary due to the coming cold snap.)

So we got off and got a couple of hamburgers at McDonalds (which is around the corner from the hotel) and then (since we just missed a streetcar) took a cab down to the waterfront.

There was no food or drink allowed on the boat, so I ate my hamburger quickly while sitting in the Plaza de Espana in the sun, and then we boarded the boat just a little after 1:30. They insisted on taking our pictures as we boarded and someone told us afterwards that was in case there was an accident so they could ID the bodies. Of course they also wanted an opportunity to sell us the pictures, but we did not buy them. I started taking photos as soon as I got on the boat. We left the dock at 2 p.m.
Plaza de Espana from the boat

Plaza de Espana from the boat


IMAX and Aquarium from Mississippi

IMAX and Aquarium from Mississippi


The paddlewheel boat was called the Creole Queen and the tour was $20 each. It is run by a diesel engine - the Natchez is run by a steam engine, but we didn't take that one.
Natchez Paddlewheeler

Natchez Paddlewheeler

Natchez at the dock

Natchez at the dock

large_525582772210481-From_the_Riv..ew_Orleans.jpgTugboat

Tugboat

2067689-St_Louis_Cathedral_New_Orleans.jpg St. Louis Cathedral

St. Louis Cathedral

Jackson Brewery from the water

Jackson Brewery from the water


Bridge

Bridge

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The captain told us about the things on the waterfront as we passed, and we could also have had lunch on board for another $7 each.
Deck of the Creole Queen

Deck of the Creole Queen

Clocktower on the other side of the levee

Clocktower on the other side of the levee

Riverside warehouse

Riverside warehouse

Tugs and Navy water tower

Tugs and Navy water tower

People on boat huddled together - skyline in back

People on boat huddled together - skyline in back

Lock area

Lock area


large_366682632128089-Mississippi_.._Chalmette.jpgTugs and smokestacks

Tugs and smokestacks


Holy Cross

Holy Cross


House along the levee

House along the levee


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Pier for Boat with Cormorants

Pier for Boat with Cormorants

We got to Chalmette which was the Battle of New Orleans site at about 2:30 - earlier than usual because we were going with the tide.
Walking along the levee from the boat

Walking along the levee from the boat

Malus-Beauregard House from the dock

Malus-Beauregard House from the dock


The Malus-Beauregard House (c.1833) was built eighteen years after the Battle of New Orleans, as a country residence. It was never associated with a plantation. It bears the name of the last private owner, Judge René Beauregard. I didn't go in because we didn't have time. There were plans to furnish the house and make more of it.
Bulletin Board at the Visitor's center

Bulletin Board at the Visitor's center


The following things are prohibited by the Park Service

  • Possession and/or use of metal detectors is strictly prohibited by Federal Law
  • The Batture is closed to all public use - no fishing / no swimming
  • Do not climb on the Cannons.
  • In order to respect the Park's Historic significance:

Ball Playing, Golfing, Kite Flying, Sunbathing, and other similar activities are prohibited. Washing or repairing vehicles or learning how to drive is not permitted on park property. Bicycle permitted on roadways only.

  • Damaging Plants And Animals Prohibited by Law

Monument from a distance

Monument from a distance


Monument

Monument


The cornerstone of this shaft honoring the American victory at New Orleans was laid in January 1840, within days after Andrew Jackson visited the field on the 25th anniversary of the battle. Not until 1855, however, did the State of Louisiana begin actual construction. The monument was completed in 1908, a year after it was ceded to the United States.
Looking up at a Live Oak

Looking up at a Live Oak


This tour is fairly cheap because the main talk is given by the park ranger and he gives it for free to anyone who happens to be there at 2:45. There's another one in the morning too. The talk was excellent. He explained that the battle was NOT unnecessary - that the Treaty of Ghent had been signed but would not go into effect until the Congress and Parliament had ratified it, so the orders to both Jackson and his opponent were to fight the battle. I supposed that if we had lost, parliament wouldn't have ratified it.

Executive Summary: The British thought (correctly) that if they captured New Orleans, they could seal off the Mississippi River, thereby destroying interior commerce. The Americans meanwhile remained almost oblivious to this threat. They sent Major General Andrew Jackson to quell the Indian disturbances. Although the PTB reassured Jackson that the British posed no threat to the south, Jackson gathered together troops and ammunition to defend New Orleans. He gathered men from the the states that stood to lose most from an invasion of the lower Mississippi. From Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee, Jackson by late November garnered 10,000 militia. But he had a problem getting arms and ammunition for all of them. He also formed an alliance with the Baratarian privateers led by the redoubtable Jean Laffite. Laffite had his headquarters at Grand Terre Island at the entrance of Barataria Bay. From there he and his followers had managed a lucrative trade in smuggling. Having spurned a British offer promising reward for his intimate knowledge of the bayou country and for the services of his men and equipment, Laffite approached a dubious Jackson and succeeded in cementing a working relationship that would end further government action against the Baratarians and legally absolve them for past wrongs. "Mr. Lafitte [sic] solicited for himself and for all the Baratarians," wrote Lacarriere Latour, "the honour of serving under our banners, that they might have an opportunity of proving that if they had infringed the revenue laws, yet none was more ready than they to defend the country and combat its enemies. " The Baratarians brought to Jackson's forces knowledgeable, trained, and seasoned fighters, many of whom were skilled artillerists. Some formed units of their own under designated Baratarian leaders; others joined existing companies for service at Petite Coquilles, Fort St. Philip, and Fort St. John. They also furnished valuable munitions and war materiel.
picture in Visitor's Center

picture in Visitor's Center


The British landed their forces with great difficulty and instead of immediately marching down the road to the city, Keane decided to let his chilled command rest, thereby, according to most opinion, missing an opportunity to boldly strike New Orleans a devastating blow. The troops assumed a leisurely bivouac some 300 yards behind a four-foot high levee on the river approximately halfway between the plantation buildings of Villeré and those of LaCoste. At dusk, December 23, the opposing forces consisted as follows:
Americans
Regular Light Artillery 62
Seventh U.S. Infantry 460
Forty-fourth U. S. Infantry 335
Detachment U. S. Marines 66
Major Jean Baptiste Plauche's Battalion Louisiana Militia 289
Major Louis Daquin's Battalion of Free colored 212
Captain Pierre Jugeat's Company of Choctaws 52
Brigadier General John Coffee's Mounted Rifles 625
Captain Thomas Hinds's Mississippi Dragoons 118
Captain Thomas Beale's New Orleans Rifles 68

Total 2287

British
Fourth Regiment of Foot 916
Eighty-fifth Regiment of Light Infantry 797
Ninety-fifth Regiment (Rifle Corps) 717
Detachment Sappers and Miners 100
Detachment Rocket Brigade 80

Total 2610

As directed by Jackson Carolina and two subordinate gunboats opened the unusual nighttime engagement. The schooner carried ninety men, many of them Baratarians, and fourteen guns. Carolina reached a position opposite the British camp when at 7:30 p. m. Patterson opened his artillery, roaring forth one broadside of grape after another into the bivouacked command. The British responded with confusion. Jackson then followed up the maritime attack on land. Jackson's surprise attack dulled the British reflexes and inclined their leaders toward caution giving the Americans the necessary time to assume and consolidate a strong defensive position. Jackson had hoped to bloody the enemy and drive him into precipitate retreat, but in this he did not succeed. The assault nonetheless deluded General Keane and his subordinates into thinking that American troops and resources were far greater than they were.
Sign about the canal

Sign about the canal


"This depression is the trace of an early mill race that divided the Chalmette and Macarty plantations. By the time of the Battle of New Orleans, it was no longer in use and its banks had fallen in. Jackson's men build their mud rampart behind the canal. Partly filled with water, it added to the strength of the American Line. This is the only man-made feature dating back to the battle of January 8, 1815."

Jackson withdrew to Rodriguez Canal he positioned his army behind it in the following manner: the artillery occupied the road, supported by the contingent of marines; to their left were arranged, in respective order, the Seventh U. S. Infantry, Plauche's Battalion of New Orleans volunteers, Lacoste's command, Daquin's Battalion of Free Men of Color, the Forty-Fourth U.S. Infantry, and Carroll's division of Tennesseans.
Folks enjoying the battlefield

Folks enjoying the battlefield


Battlefield and rifles

Battlefield and rifles


To Carroll's left and running into the swamp along the canal were Coffee's men, 600 of whom were directed to reconnoiter the British right flank on horseback and attempt to bring back the horses lost the night before.
Historic bridge

Historic bridge


The British again attempted to take over the American position at Rodriguez Canal on January 8th
Smokestack across the fields

Smokestack across the fields


The British are Coming? No that's the wrong war. But this picture was taken looking in the direction of the British lines. The flat, marshy battleground in Chalmette hampered British efforts to march in European formation. Batteries 2 and 3

Batteries 2 and 3


On January 8, 1815, the guns positioned here fired at British counter batteries located almost 1/2 mile from here. During the battle, these guns caused heavy casualties as the British advanced along the levee road. The troops attacking to the right of this position numbered about 1200 men commanded by Colonel Robert Rennie of the 93rd Regiment. To the left were 355 men of Major Jean Baptiest Plauche's Battalion of Uniformed Companies and 282 members of Major Lacoste's Battalion of Free Men of Color. Located between here and Battery I were 440 men of the 7th Infantry

A song was written about this by Jimmy Driftwood
Preamble: December of 1814, British forces led by Sir. Edward Pakenham landed at the bottom of the Mississippi River. American General Andrew Jackson set up a defense in the nearby town Chalmette. January 8th 1815. British troops attacked loosing 2,036 out of more than 10,000 men. The Americans led by Jackson lost 71.

The Battle of New Orleans sung by Johnny Horton
In 1814 we took a little trip
Along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip
We took a little bacon and we took a little beans
And we caught the bloody British near the town of New Orleans

We looked down a river
And we see'd the British come
And there must have been a hundred of'em
Beatin' on the drums
They stepped so high
And they made their bugles ring
We stood beside our cotton bales
And didn't say a thing

Old Hickory said we could take 'em by surprise
If we didn't fire our muskets
'Till we looked 'em in the eye
We held our fire
'Till we see'd their faces well
Then we opened up our squirrel guns
And really gave 'em - well we

Refrain: Fired our guns and the British kept a-comin'
There wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago
We fired once more and they begin to runnin'
On down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico

We fired our cannon 'til the barrel melted down
So we grabbed an alligator and we fired another round
We filled his head with cannon balls, and powdered his behind
And when we touched the powder off the gator lost his mind

Refrain: Yeah, they ran through the briars
And they ran through the brambles
And they ran through the bushes
Where the rabbit couldn't go
They ran so fast
That the hounds couldn't catch 'em
On down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico

Malus-Beauregard House built after the battle

Malus-Beauregard House built after the battle


The boat blew the whistle that we had to be back aboard at 3:15 (he actually started whistling at 3:14) to leave at 3:20 because we'd be battling the current. So we only had about 45 minutes to visit. This is not a lot of time to explore all this site has to offer.
Freighter moored in the river

Freighter moored in the river


We saw a tug and barge going through the bascule bridge (like the Gilmerton RR bridge) to the locks,
Bridges and locks

Bridges and locks

Natchez underway

Natchez underway


Mississippi in the Area of Chalmette

Mississippi in the Area of Chalmette


Natchez ahead of us on the Mississippi

Natchez ahead of us on the Mississippi

Trade Center

Trade Center

large_2229451-New_Orleans_from_the_River_Chalmette.jpgCruise Ship Dock and bridge

Cruise Ship Dock and bridge


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and the captain told us about the Chinese grain ship that ran into the Riverwalk shopping mall.
Riverwalk

Riverwalk

Area past Riverwalk

Area past Riverwalk


J. J. Audubon heads for the zoo

J. J. Audubon heads for the zoo


Tying up at the dock

Tying up at the dock

Lines to the boat

Lines to the boat

Boat Store

Boat Store


Paddlewheel of the Creole Queen

Paddlewheel of the Creole Queen


Plaza de Espana at dusk after we got back

Plaza de Espana at dusk after we got back


large_865361652210463-Plaza_de_Esp..ew_Orleans.jpgPlaza de Espana marker

Plaza de Espana marker


We got back a little before 4:30. Bob wanted to go see the free concert at the cathedral at 8 (they had them each night except Wednesday), and we had some time to kill. We went up to the top of the World Trade Center,
Christmas train garden in the World Trade Center

Christmas train garden in the World Trade Center


thinking we could have dinner, but they only had a bar up there and no restaurant.
Folks having a drink

Folks having a drink


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Bob standing beside the tracks

Bob standing beside the tracks

Tracks continue under a building

Tracks continue under a building


So we took the riverfront streetcar down to Jackson Square, and looked around for a place to have dinner. We went into the Cafe Matabla (or something like that - no receipt because we paid cash).
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The Muffuletta and the Roast Beef Po'Boy are the signature sandwiches in New Orleans.

This sandwich originated in 1906 at the Central Grocery. When you get one at the Central Grocery, you get in line and they make the muffuletta to take out and eat elsewhere. Mother's is also a place where muffuletta are sold. At Mother's is served Cafeteria Style and there are no reservations, so sometimes there is a line waiting to get in.

A mufaletta is on a round loaf of crusty Italian bread, split and filled with layers of sliced Provolone cheese, Genoa salami and Cappicola ham, topped with Olive Salad
The Olive Oil Salad (which includes Giardiniera - Italian pickled vegetables) is
3/4 C black brine cured olives, such as kalamatas
1/2 C green olives
1/4 C roasted red pepper sliced
1/4 C red onion sliced
3/4 C finely chopped celery, with leaves
1/3 C chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 Tsp Oregano
3 cloves garlic
1/2 C olive oil
1/2 - 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp tabasco sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Muffuletta on the Menu

Muffuletta on the Menu


I am not a fan of salami, so I got the vegetarian muffuletta at Cafe Maspero. A whole sandwich is enough to feed two people.
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At that time I discovered I don't like green olives, or capers and they topped theirs with Swiss cheese, which is my least favorite cheese.
Vegetarian Muffulatta

Vegetarian Muffulatta


After that we were too tired to wait around for the concert, so we took the streetcar back to the hotel.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 10:59 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Vacherie and Barataria - Oaks, Catfish and Alligators

The Photography Battle

semi-overcast 9 °C
View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & Bermuda & 2004 Migrating by Mercedes on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

December 13, 2004 - Plantation and Swamp Tour

I have the computer plugged in to the phone (for dial-up) and electric behind the headboard (which is too heavy for me to move), and I've been just shoving it under the bed, but the big cleaning is done on Monday, and we can't keep the housekeeping staff out of the room forever, so I have to stash it. I loop the long phone line on one of the bedposts (standing on the bed to reach).

The Swamp and Plantation tour that I've booked picks us up started at 9, so we don't have much time. This tour cost us $57 each. I wanted another tour that would do the swamp part on a different day or do a plantation that is closer to New Orleans, but this one is less expensive. I think the front desk girl may get a commission from the tour company. We have the same guy we had for the city tour on Sunday, and he takes us out to the Oak Alley plantation in Vacherie first.
Cemetery on the way to Vacherie

Cemetery on the way to Vacherie


Vacherie is located in St. James Parish within the Plantation Country Region west of New Orleans along Highway 18 on the banks of the Mississippi River. Vacherie is part of the New Orleans, Louisiana metro area. There are three major plantations here - Oak Alley, Evergreen and Laura.
Map of the River Road plantations

Map of the River Road plantations


Each of the plantations markets itself to the tourists. All of them had slaves, and the slavery aspect is pretty well played down.

Laura is a Creole Plantation on The Great River Road kind of next door to Oak Alley, and built earlier (1805).
Vacherie water tower near Laura

Vacherie water tower near Laura


Usually kitchens in the south were in separate buildings from the main house for two reasons. One was to mitigate the danger of fire from the cooking stoves, and the other was so that the main house would not be heated up by the cooking. Apparently fire is still a danger.
cane field near Laura

cane field near Laura


On August 9th, 2004 a fire damaged 60-70 percent of the house at Laura. The façade, floors, walls and basement were all that was left. So when we were there, we couldn't tour the plantation house. The people who run Laura claim that their tour is not and never was about the house - it is the stories about the people that live there that is important.

Consider what you will be seeing before you spend your money. Do you just want hear the story of a Creole plantation and see the grounds and outbuildings - then go to Laura. If the big oak trees attract you, and you don't care about the house authenticity, then go to Oak Alley. There's also Destrehan from the late 1700s which is the oldest plantation in the Mississippi valley, San Francisco which advertises itself as the only authentically restored plantation house in Louisiana (Oak Alley has been furnished with non-original antiques), Belle Alliance, Madewood and Nottoway, the South's largest plantation home. So check to see what you are getting for your money. Personally I would rather see the authentic objects and building that was there at the time, although reconstructions are interesting in their way.

There is a riverboat cruise ship at the levee in front of the house.
River Cruise Ship at the Levee

River Cruise Ship at the Levee


The sign that I saw on the ticket booth as we went through said that they didn't accept credit cards. I was worried about this as I didn't have a lot of cash with me. I also do not understand why they would want to have a lot of cash on hand if they are so worried about robbery that they don't let people take pictures. The man in the turquoise jacket is paying for the whole busload of us. I don't know how he paid
Ticket Booth

Ticket Booth


Ground level looking out through the oak alley

Ground level looking out through the oak alley


This plantation has a tremendous live oak street of trees leading to the house from both directions which were planted some years before the house was built. It is one of the most famous ones in this area and is on the Mississippi. Oak Alley is primarily of interest (in my opinion) for the great live oaks on the grounds. Oak Alley rents out the their trees for both movies and weddings. The house itself was gutted, and none of the interior furniture is original. I think you can see the trees from the road without paying for it.
Oaks at Oak Alley

Oaks at Oak Alley


There are also a lot of school children here.
Visitors on the Avenue of Oaks from the 2nd floor

Visitors on the Avenue of Oaks from the 2nd floor


The brochure for this house said that photography was allowed. I took the first picture while waiting for the tour,
Picture taken before the tour began

Picture taken before the tour began


and as the tour guide came in I took this picture.
Photo I took without flash

Photo I took without flash


I was not using flash, but she told me that photography was now forbidden because of insurance concerns.

I felt insulted and scammed because if I had known that no photos were allowed, I would not have taken the tour. I think this is a load of BS. They say it is security reasons but I do not believe it. And I did not believe that photos were not allowed. I just think she took a dislike to me and wanted to make my life difficult. It was Bait and Switch.
Charming Guide (NOT)

Charming Guide (NOT)


She also told some stories which are suspect - she says that as a mark of hospitality a pineapple was given to each guest when they arrived, and if they stayed too long, another one was given. It that were true it would be quite rude. Pineapples were quite expensive and rare at that time (they were sometimes even rented to use in a centerpiece), so I'm pretty sure that is not a true story.

Anyway the plantation is furnished with reproduction furniture - it is NOT original.

The National Register of Historic Places Inventory States:
Originally named Bon Sejour, Oak Alley was built in 1837-39 by George Swainey for Jacques Telesphore Roman. Madame Roman's father, Joseph Pilie, was an architect and is thought to have provided the design. Its most distinguishing architectural feature is a full peripteral colonnade of 28 colossal Doric columns. The steep hip roof is crowned by a simple platform and balustrade. On each side are three gabled dormers with round-headed windows and delicate Federal detail which date from the 1920s restoration. The gallery railing is a delicate wheat sheaf design in wood.
Extensive restoration by architect Richard Koch dates from 1925-26 after the property was acquired by Mr. .and Mrs. Andrew Stewart. The pale pink of the plastered columns and walls and the blue green of the louvered shutters and gallery railing were color choices of Mrs. Stewart at that time.
Square in plan, the interior has a central hall from front to Tear on both floors. At each end of both halls the doors have broad fanlights and sidelights framed with slim, fluted colon-nettes. Square rooms at the first floor rear were partitioned and adapted to modern uses at the time of restoration. The long parlor and dining room at the front are minimally altered. Notable interior ornament is. limited;:-to the carved rose in the corner block trim of door and window openings. Mantels are simple. Stairs are-straight open runs at the rear of the, central halls.
The interior is open to the public on payment of a fee but furnishings and interpretation fail to measure up to the promise of the exterior or the magnificent setting with its alley of 28 ancient live oak trees, some 31 feet in girth, connecting the house to the levee landing. No outbuildings of importance remain. There is a formal garden to the east of the house.
(My emphasis added)

As we left to go into dining room I took this one of the mirror in the waiting area which I later cropped down to show just the area with my face.
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Me in the mirror

Me in the mirror


We went into the dining room, and my back was hurting me, so I sat down on the floor
China in the Dining Room

China in the Dining Room


and while she was talking about the shoo-fly fan, I took this photo of the dining room table.
Dining room table from behind people

Dining room table from behind people

And a detail of the dining room fireplace which had some historical significance. At least the guide told some story about soldiers damaging it with their swords. I later learned that there were no soldiers here during the Civil War.
Detail of hearth

Detail of hearth


Upstairs in the nursery

Upstairs in the nursery


And then I took one upstairs in the nursery (shooting from the hip).

I feel that anything visible through windows is fair game. Modern flash can't hurt, even if I was the kind of person who took flash photos. This one I had to do some editing on to remove window reflections
Bedroom through the window

Bedroom through the window


Bedroom through the window

Bedroom through the window

Looking in the window at the office

Looking in the window at the office


The one piece that interested me was the rolling pin bed, which I had never heard of before. (The rolling pin shaped piece which is on the bed for the demonstration but normally is on the pins on the top of the headboard was used to smooth out the mattresses in the morning - she said they were stuffed with Spanish moss) . Although after the pineapple story, I was suspicious of the guide's truthfulness, but I later ran across this same kind of bed in St. Martinville.
Picture taken through the window -rolling pin bed

Picture taken through the window -rolling pin bed


I took photos from the verandah
Line of live oaks from the verannah

Line of live oaks from the verannah


Bottom of column

Bottom of column

Roof of verandah

Roof of verandah

Plantation bell in the formal garden

Plantation bell in the formal garden

Pot on the porch

Pot on the porch


Formal garden from above

Formal garden from above

Paths at the rear of Oak Alley

Paths at the rear of Oak Alley


And then I took some photos of the grounds
From the side garden

From the side garden

Cat napping under the hedge

Cat napping under the hedge

Sugar kettle with water lilies

Sugar kettle with water lilies

Resurrection Fern on the live oaks

Resurrection Fern on the live oaks

Oak Alley

Oak Alley

Farm machinery

Farm machinery

FIre extinguisher

FIre extinguisher


Sign about the slave quarters

Sign about the slave quarters

Slave list

Slave list


Houses on the grounds

Houses on the grounds


Beardless Iris

Beardless Iris

Plants for sale

Plants for sale


Plaque in blacksmith shop

Plaque in blacksmith shop


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Blacksmith shop

Blacksmith shop

"Antique Car" exhibit (model A Fords)

"Antique Car" exhibit (model A Fords)


In the place where the kitchen was, there is a building with "antique cars" which proved to be two Model A Fords. Big Whoop - How antique!! How rare!!!

We had just time to get lunch here. Another couple on our tour mis-heard the time, and the guide had to go and get them out of the restaurant before they'd eaten.
Fireplace decorated for Xmas

Fireplace decorated for Xmas


I think I had a roast beef po'boy and Bob had fried shrimp. Our lunch including tip was $20.00
Gift Shop Display

Gift Shop Display


The gift shop says that they offer: ".. a wide selection of Louisiana and Oak Alley souvenirs, such as postcards, t-shirts, novelty items, and handmade collectibles, as well as cookbooks, beautiful regional photography, unique gift items and fascinating books on the architecture, history and culture of the River Region", We got some sterling salt cellars for our daughter's 25th wedding anniversary.

Then we drove for more than an hour to Jean Lafitte which is on the edge of the Jean Lafitte Barataria Preserve section.
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Our group trying to warm up out of the wind

Our group trying to warm up out of the wind


We went out in a pontoon boat,
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Old home on a hammock

Old home on a hammock

large_100_3884.JPGlarge_100_3846.JPGGravesites on shore that we saw on the swamp tour

Gravesites on shore that we saw on the swamp tour


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Reflections

Reflections

Swamp in the Winter

Swamp in the Winter

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and while it was cold, it wasn't so cold yet that there was no wildlife. We saw nutria and several alligators, and birds.
3767948-Nutria_New_Orleans.jpgNutra in the swamp

Nutra in the swamp

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Nutria (also called coypu) is a destructive invasive species. It is a large rat which was originally imported from South America for the fur trade. But they reproduce quickly (one female can have 200 babies a year), and they eat the plants -leaves, stems, roots and all - which destroys the wetlands.
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Little blue heron

Little blue heron

2940857-Egret_New_Orleans.jpgGreat egret

Great egret


turtle

turtle


We also saw the way the folks here catch catfish - they have the bait on a line which is attached to a clorox type bottle.
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The guide pulled one out of the water and we saw the catfish on the end of it.
Tour guide

Tour guide

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The tour guide had some baby alligators to show us
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He also said you could kill alligators that were over 6 feet long and someone asked whether you measured before you killed them. He said they can leap half their body length out of the water, so you hang the bait 3 feet above the water, and if they can get it, they are big enough.
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3 medium Alligator's sunning on a log

3 medium Alligator's sunning on a log

Alligators diving off a log

Alligators diving off a log


He said on one trip they saw one of the bigger gaters (about 12-13 feet) who got into a fight with a slightly smaller one (about 9 feet), and one of the ladies on the boat cried to him to make them stop!!

We drove home
large_100_3901.JPGlarge_100_3898.JPG
Canal Street

Canal Street


We got back to the hotel about 5, and were too tired to do anything but go across the street to the Half Shell for dinner. I had a PoBoy and Bob had fish strips.
Oyster Po'Boy

Oyster Po'Boy

Posted by greatgrandmaR 07:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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