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Blog #801

St. Louis Cemetery and Airboat Adventures - 8/23/2017

Shawn and I started our day in New Orleans with a walking tour of the St. Louis Cemetery.  We met the tour guide and the others a few blocks from the cemetery.  The tour began and we walked along listening as the guide told us the history of the area and the buildings we passed.  Stories of brothels, politics, slaves and more.  We stopped near Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel and hear the history of the church and the grotto located between the church and the adjacent rectory.  She said that believers would pray to St. Jude, a patron saint of the impossible to have their most desperate prayers answers.  And for those who did have those impossible prayers answered they would leave a token of thanks in the grotto.  Once we entered the grotto I saw the walls were covered with plaques with the simple word, “Thanks”.  Dozens and dozens of them.  Maybe hundreds.  I was emotionally moved by the thought that so many people with such strong convictions believed that their impossible prayers had been granted.


The tour continued into the St. Louis Cemetery where we were shown the burial sites of several important figures in New Orleans’ history, including Ernest N. "Dutch" Morial, the first African-American mayor of New Orleans and Voodoo priestess Marie Laveau.  Also, the future burial site of actor Nicolas Cage is here.  The tour was informative and showcased the unique history of New Orleans.


St. Louis Cemetery

St. Louis Cemetery

We walked the eight blocks from the cemetery across the French Quarter to near the river where we ate a quick lunch at Cafe Beignet.  Next we boarded the bus of Grey Line Tours for our airboat excursion.


The tour bus drove us about twenty-three miles to Airboat Adventures in the small town of Lafitte, Louisiana.  We then boarded the airboat with about fifteen other passengers and met our host, Captain Danny.


Captain Danny and Me

The hour and a half journey took us through the estuary between the Mississippi River and Lake Salvador.  While on the open waters of the lake we got to experience the full power of the airboat as Captain Danny powered the boat, turned it sideways and ramped over a small point of land.



Lake Salvador.


The boat also crept through the waterways carved into the estuary to logging and oil companies.  Here we saw the trees, vegetation, birds, insects and alligators.  The captain stopped the boat and stepped onto the shore to feed marshmallows and hot dogs to the alligators.


Captian Danny

Airboat Adventures

Airboat Adventures

Airboat Adventures

Airboat Adventures

Airboat Adventures

This was a fun and exciting expedition and the weather was great.  It was sunny and just a little hot, but the high speeds of the airboat and the mist of the water felt great.  I’m really glad that Shawn came up with the idea to do this airboat tour.


Back at the hotel we took a short rest and showered before heading to Bourbon Street again for beignets and bar hopping.


Beignets

Tomorrow, the very long drive home.


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