Sunday, April 8, 2018

Spring Break Vacation ~ Road Trip of the Deep South Day 4-6

We did lots of walking around the French Quarter on days 2, 3 and 4. We even braved walking down Bourbon Street at night. I must say the noise and extreme amount of alcohol flowing out of every doorway was not at all to our taste. We quickly retreated to the calmer, more family-friendly streets of the French Quarter. However, I can honestly say that we never felt endangered in any way.

Day 4 ~ We decided to drive about 45 minutes outside of New Orleans to go on a swamp tour. Boy, am I glad we went at the beginning of the season when the alligators were still waking up! They were sluggish and mostly sleeping. However, one did come over to the boat for a marshmallow. Although they are wild, they are fed marshmallows at the beginning of the season because it is the only thing they can digest when they are coming out of hibernation; and then later in the summer, pizza or chicken once their digestive systems are warm enough to digest food. They sometimes die if they eat turtles or birds straight out of hibernation. We also saw a Cajun village that was only accessible by boat, as well as lots of turtles, birds and snakes. It was an incredible and totally new experience, which is exactly what I was hoping for.

Day 5 ~ We packed up and made one last stop before leaving New Orleans. You can't go to New Orleans without visiting a cemetery. My family knows I love cemeteries! We visited the Lafayette Cemetery #1. It was pretty beat up. We found that a large percentage of the graves were people who had died in April or May of different years. I made a quick search of coroner reports for the area in the 1800's and found that yellow fever, tetanus, malaria as well as accidents were major causes of death in the spring and summer months.

We left New Orleans and headed for Folsom, Louisiana. There is a wonderful Global Wildlife Center there that allows their animals to roam completely free over 900 acres. We were able to feed and get very close to dozens of deer, antelope, cattle, beefalo, buffalo, zebras, ostriches, and llamas. There were giraffes, but they refused to come over and see us. (Note to self...the next time we go on a safari where you can feed animals, buy more feed. I ended up crawling around on the floor of the wagon gathering up fallen food so the kids could keep feeding animals.)

We drove on into the night and made it to Montgomery, Alabama, which was a good half way point to home for us. 

Day 6 ~ We decided to spend the morning exploring Montgomery before driving the seven or so hours home. We enjoyed the Rosa Parks Museum and the Fine Arts Museum. The Rosa Parks Museum was wonderful. It had a "time machine" ride that took you through history leading up to the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Then you were led through the bus boycott, which lasted 381 days in 1955 and 1956.

We finished off our grand tour of the Deep South with a visit to the Montgomery Fine Arts Museum. We saw paintings and sculpture by Auguste Rodin, Mary Cassatt, Edward Hopper, Edward Hicks and many more. I was impressed with the quality and amount of artwork they had in a rather small art museum. The Fine Arts Museum also has a wonderful kids section for kids younger than mine who want to explore art through hands-on interaction.

It was a wonderful, well-rounded trip.

Blessings, Dawn


  1. Wow, it really does sound like a perfect trip. Bourbon Street at night is an interesting sight, for sure. We went to New Orleans in July and the cockroaches crawled everywhere, even in the sidewalks. They were seriously about three inches long! It is interesting to hear about the alligators and marshmallows. I love animal parks like that! Lovely, lovely trip!

  2. That sound wonderful! The alligators would have made me nervous but I agree that it would be a one of a kind experience. The Rosa parks museum sounds great. We just went to a Native American museum that was set up in a way to take us back through time and then forward to the present. It was really neat.

  3. Such an amazing trip! I've had a couple of my kids reading over my shoulder, exclaiming at each new picture. I think the wildlife park is eliciting the most envy. :)

    But alligators and marshmallows? Too weird!

  4. The museums sound wonderful and are more my speed than the swamp and alligators. :-) sounds like an overall lovely trip.