After having only seen plantations in history books and movies, we made our way to our first one on Saturday. We drove about an hour out of New Orleans across some of my favorite terrain–swamp.  Maybe it’s the wild and the mystery of the Bayou. I just love it.

Didn’t see any alligators, but I had some for lunch and dinner. That’s later in the story.

The first plantation we stopped at was the St. Joseph’s plantation. Its sister plantation, Felicity, was used in the movie THE SKELETON KEY, but was being renovated and closed to the public.

Next we were off to the plantation next door, the more well known Oak Alley. This was much more majestic and well maintained and it showed around every corner.

It was like being in a time capsule and you couldn’t help but imagine how it must have all felt during one of the darkest periods in our history.

We ate lunch at the restaurant at Oak Alley. Down home, country cooking. I tried alligator for the first time. It didn’t taste like chicken. The texture reminded me of a cross between pork and calamari and it was GOOOOOOOOD. I had a fried catfish Po-Boy and felt good that I left my diet behind for a week. Hey, we WERE walking a lot.

We came home after a long day of adventuring and rested for the next day full of parades.

On Sunday we got bleacher seats for two big parades. Man they were amazing. We walked away literally with 100 pounds of beads. It helped that baby Gingy is so cute and SHE ended up with about 12 or 15 stuffed animals that were thrown to her from the floats.

We could not believe the TRASH and FILTH that people leave behind. How hard is it to walk away with your own garbage?? To their credit, a major cleaning task force followed the parades with blowers, rakes, and dust pans and unfortunately, did everyone else’s dirty work.

We capped the day off by having a decent (the food wasn’t as good as the Cajun music and atmosphere) dinner at a famous Cajun music and dining spot. I found I DO like alligator better BLACKENED than FRIED. YUMMY!!!!

Normally it has rained HARD every night. Last night it was just FREEZING COLD. It felt ICE cold. But then again, I am a thin skinned Californian.

Today we are taking in two tours, one to St. Louis Cemetery #1 (where EASY RIDER was filmed and the Voodoo Queen is buried) and the other to the more well known haunted spots in town. The haunted/voodoo tour is tonight and I can’t wait.

Tomorrow we fly back and we realize just how fast vacations fly.

I will upload a ton of pictures when we get back that you can find on So just keep checking back.