Thursday, April 2, 2009

New Orleans: More than the French Quarter

The sun is setting on a day I wish wouldn't end here in SE Louisiana. I down my last handful of Mulberries picked on the boardwalk at Bayou Segnette State park, where I have spent the last couple weeks. It's a beautiful evening in the park. I think I am beginning to like adventuring along the coast. Maybe its the Mulberry trees loaded with berries that remind me of sitting in a tree eating hundreds in a day when I was a kid. Maybe its just that this is a cool place. Bayou Segnette is 18 minutes driving distance from the New Orleans French Quarter yet worlds apart from it.

The city of New Orleans, particularly the French Quarter is something everyone should experience at least once. Stroll the flowered balcony lined streets. Enjoy the live music from the clubs or the street corners. Have a beignet at Cafe du Monde, try a muffuletta, etouffee and don't miss the double chocolate bread pudding at the Red Fish Grill on Bourbon Street. Cruise St. Charles avenue, tour the many famous cemeteries, ride the street car down Canal street, there is plenty to see and do in the city.



What many people don't realize that there is plenty to see outside of the city as well. Opportunities to fish abound in the local lakes, rivers and bayou's that are pretty much everywhere. We had a deluge of rain that flooded the campground ... water birds were fishing outside my door, I am guessing I could have too! West of the Mississippi, where Bayou Segnette is located, you can find several swamp tours and fish markets. I enjoyed looking around at the Westwego Fish market but couldn't bring myself to buy critters with there heads still on or in the case of the crawfish and crabs, critters that were still alive. I pulled in today to let a vender know that one of his crabs had escaped and was headed for traffic! I am not sure if boiling is any better than being squished, but I thought it was the right thing to do at the time. The near by, Perrino's, had a interesting fish market where you could get fresh fried shrimp and homemade bread pudding.

Jean Lafitte Preserve I found fascinating. I loved all the sights and sounds of the swamp. Birds, Gators, snakes, frogs, and dragon flies among the moss draped trees. Eerily cool.  There are opportunities to kayak or canoe the preserve as well.



There is much more here that I would like to see and do but I have reached this parks limit so I must move on. After experiencing this park, with its nice sized sites, wifi, free laundry, abundance of water birds, mulberries and proximity to all the the places I like to go for a reasonable price ..  it would be hard to stay anyplace else.   I am already looking forward to my next visit.

What's that Mr. Ranger? You aren't suppose to pick the berries? Oh those berry stains on my fingers are from cleaning them off my shoe. What, I have some on my mouth? Ur.. um.. Yeah I think it spurted when I stepped on it .. Yeah that's it... that's more story and I am sticking to it.

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