The Beginning of our Spring 2013 Road Trip – The American Southeast

Duke and I are on a road trip again. Friday we flew to New Orleans. Our plan is to drive to Washington, D.C. exploring along the way. We'll be back home in Reno in about a month.

We have already had two rental cars. Renting the car for the trip at New Orleans airport would have cost us about $1000 more than renting it in Baton Rouge. The tax alone would have been more than we are paying for the whole rental! So we did a one day rental Friday night when we arrived. Saturday we drove to Baton Rouge. We visited the old capital and the current capital along the Mississippi. The current capital is the tallest capital building in the country. The view from the top included the river, Baton Rouge and all the surrounding country.



We picked up our second rental car, the one we will drive to D.C.,  in Baton Rouge and drove back to New Orleans to drop off the first car. Then we headed south to Grand Isle. We drove through the swamps on causeways and saw lots of fishing boats. As I looked out the car window at water on every side I was struck by the fact that we were visibly at or below sea level.

Grand Isle is a narrow Island due south of New Orleans right on the Gulf. Their are lots of nice houses and it looked like a great relaxing vacation spot. Every building is on stilts including the church, the Post Office and the school. After looking around a bit we headed back north and spent the night in Morgan City.


For dinner Saturday night we ate at Susie's Seafood. What a great experience. it looked like a dive and the tables were covered with brown butcher paper. We soon saw a big bin of boiled seafood coming out of the kitchen. The bin was dumped in the middle of the table of the people who had ordered it and they dug in.We had a fried seafood platter with frog legs, shrimp, fish, crab balls and some other stuff. it was really good.



This morning we went to Avery Island to see the Tabasco factory. It was interesting and the gift shopping and sampling were fun. But the best part of Avery Island for me was exploring the more than 150 acres ofJungle Gardens that were created by the McIlhenny Family. We drove through the gardens and got out multiple times to explore.We saw several alligators. The weather was humid but it was overcast and in the 70s. An absolutely perfect day. Don't miss the alligator in the picture below.


The gardens include an artificial lake with platforms built above the water to allow snowy egrets to nest. It is called Bird City and is a heron sanctuary. The map for Jungle gardens says that 20,000 nests are built each spring. The sanctuary was created to help save the snowy egrets that were almost wiped out by plume hunters. The sight of all those beautiful herons in one place was stunning.


Here is a short video of the birds at Bird City.


From Avery Island we drove to Mandeville on the north side of Lake Pontchartrain where we are tonight.

If you would like me to share my trip photo stream with you drop me an email and I will add you to the list.

Author: marionvermazen

I am a traveler, hiker, avid reader, Sun alumnus, computer geek, Spanish and French language student, knitter and genealogist. I am retired after working for almost 30 years in the Computer Industry. I live in Reno, Nevada with my husband Duke.

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