Saturday, April 22, 2017

NOLA

My first trip to New Orleans!

Carl and I had talked about heading down to Louisiana for Mardi Gras this year, but then it came and went and we completely forgot about it, so we decided to plan a trip down there Easter weekend as we both had Good Friday off.

We left AL around 8AM Friday morning for the six hour drive to New Orleans.  On the way down, we stopped at a couple interesting places.  Our first actual stop was in Bessemer, Alabama, which is just outside Tuscaloosa.  In Bessemer, we stopped at the Bessemer Hall of History Museum.  Our original purpose for stopping was to see the one-millionth Pullman Standard Freight Car.  The museum was kind of cool though, it had a bunch of random old stuff from the area, but it also had a type writer that was from the Eagle's Nest.


We traveled a little further to Hog Heaven BBQ in Laurel, Mississippi for lunch.  It was this little itty bitty BBQ joint stuffed inside a restaurant but it smelled delicious- and it was!  We got a pound of pulled pork and a sausage link with fries and fried corn on the cob.  The fries and corn were mediocre at best but the meat was magnificent.

We got to NOLA around 3 in the afternoon and went straight to Carl's cousins house where we were staying.  They were having a craw fish boil that night which I was excited about (even though I DO NOT like seafood!) I know its a southern thing to do, so it was on my list.  They had coolers filled with LIVE craw fish. I reminded me of back in college when Carl and I went to an Asian market and got a live lobster for him to make for dinner.  It was crawling around the in back of the car (okay thats an exaggeration, it was in a bag) the whole way back to his apartment, then when we got there, it fell off the counter and then onto the floor! Anyway, I digress.  Lucky for me, they threw things like sausage and corn on the cob, mushrooms and potatoes, in the water after the craw fish had been boiled as well.  It was all spicy and delicious!  It took some time, but eventually I tried the craw fish.  It wasn't bad, but I still just can't get comfortable with the whole process of eating things like craw fish.

Before
After
The next morning we got up and drove into town to go to the World War II Museum. For some reason I thought it would be more holocaust centered, but it wasn't at all.  Most WWII-type museums have been, so this was a different piece of history I haven't gotten to actually SEE much of.  The museum started off with an exhibit on the propaganda of WWII, definitely a side of the war I didn't know much about.  I paid the extra 10 bucks for us to see the Beyond All Boundaries film produced by Tom Hanks, as I had read that it was worth going to.  Carl and I agreed that it definitely was.  It showed the journey through WWII in a 4D film with loud sound and fake snow!


After the museum we headed down to the French Quarter.  We didn't spend a lot of time down there, just enough so I could see what it was all about.  We walked past Cafe Du Monde but the line was far longer than I cared to wait in.







We found a place called The Spud Spot.  A whole restaurant with just potatoes!!! HEAVEN ON EARTH.  The potatoes were GIANT and you could choose from a variety of different "stuffings."  I had taco and Carl had chicken fajita, the Italian meatball one sounds good too!  I wish I had one closer to AL, I would love to try them all! From there we headed back to the house to take a nap.

Giant stuffed potato!
That night, Carl's cousin and her husband took us to Blue Oak BBQ for dinner.  (We really like BBQ!) We shared a platter with chicken and pulled pork, mac n cheese and beans.  The four of us also split a plate of wings and cracklins (essentially bacon pieces).  It began to rain as we were finishing out meal outside,  so we dash in before it started to downpour!


Prior to heading back to AL we headed south to Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve to participate in "Spring in the Swamp" which was just program to advertise walking through the park which is set in a swamp.  I was most excited about being below sea level (dorky, I know, but I don't know if I've ever technically been below sea level before).  Carl spotted two alligators in teh swamp, there were a couple snakes, a frog, and a bajillion lizards in a variety of colors.  After the swamp, stinky and sweaty, we hopped back into the car and began the drive back home from Louisiana.

Below sea level!
Can you spot the lizard?
NOLA was fun, but I'm glad we did it over the weekend instead of making a full vacation out of it. I'm not sure what our next road trip will be, but I can't wait for it!!

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