We had the best time and made so many great memories as a family. I love that even though there were 7 of us (6 adults and Mason) and we visited two towns that we have never been to that we were able to do many fun things for Mason. I was worried about New Orleans not being too kid friendly, but we made it work. I mean, that's what vacations are all about right? Making memories that your child will remember for a lifetime.
I know I shared about our vacation on the blog and where we would be going (bucketlists), but I don't think I mentioned that we were
|Our camper and camping spot in New Orleans|
We were on the road at 6:15 am the next day destination New Orleans (about 6-6.5 hour drive). Nathan drove the second half of this trip (first time to pull this camper). We arrived to New Orleans in a torrential downpour and the road we needed to take was blocked off by a train that was completely stopped for an unknown about of time. We had to detour and finding roads big enough to fit us provided quite the challenge. Nathan was put through the ringer! We finally made it after about an hour delay. We camped at Pontchartrain Landing RV Resort which was nestled right along Lake Pontchartrain and only 12 minutes from the French Quarter. It was incredibly nice with an amazing pool and a dock/pier right behind our campsite. There were the cutest little pastel colored houseboats right behind us that you could rent. I was tempted to rent the turquoise for a night because they were so dang cute! There was also a boat repair shop across the lake so we saw all kinds of neat Yachts! We really enjoyed this resort. It was the perfect place to come home to after a long and hot day in New Orleans.
New Orleans - Day One - Swamp Tour & a Cajun Supper
Once we got settled in Michelle and I went to the office at the resort to book a swamp tour. There were so many to choose from and we wanted help from the professional/local. Sweet Ashley helped us find a good tour that fit all of us and we booked it for that evening. We didn't have to leave for a couple of hours so everyone (except for Mason and I) took a quick nap. Everyone was exhausted (both physically and mentally) from the events the night before and the early morning and long drive. Mason and I just had some quiet time. It was finally time for our Swamp Tour. We went with Louisiana Swamp Tour Co. I highly recommend them if you're ever in the New Orleans area! They also offer Plantation Tours, Airboat Tours, Ghost Tours and New Orleans/Katrina tours. The swamp tour was a complete blast and our tour guide (Captain Rocky) was awesome and very personable. We lucked out and had a fairly small group on the boat. Besides us 7 there were only 4 others. We had so much room to roam the boat and see gators on every side of the boat. I loved that for Mason. He and Rocky became bffs and Mason was always right next to him. Captain Rocky took us down swampy canals and bayous and got us up close and personal with a ton of gators! We fed them marshmallows, which we thought was kind of strange at first. But then someone asked why marshmallows and he said 1.) gators only see black and white, and well marshmallows are white, 2.) the texture is much like a fish, and 3.) they float. And let me tell you, those gators loved those things!
(I didn't take my big camera and now I regret it!)
Somewhere near the middle of the tour Captain Rocky asked if anyone would want to hold a gator. Mason ran to the gator and had it in his hands before I even had the chance to be terrified! It was a two year old gator and he was pretty calm. We learned that mama gators leave their babies when they are very young so this tour company will rescue them and keep them until they are big enough to survive on their own. While keeping them safe they are a fun attraction for the tour! Mason loved it. That boy has no fear sometimes!
I plan on making a video of all of our vacation videos combined, but I wanted to share this one that Nathan captured on the GoPro. He lowered it down near the water to get a good view of the gators!
Swamp Tour - Louisiana - Gators from Crystal Hall on Vimeo.
Nathan's dad ordered a batch of chicken livers as an appetizer (umm, yuck). We were sure he'd be the only one eating them, because um, no thanks! I can't even think about eating any kind of liver without gagging. Well, he offered one to Mason and he ate it. And he liked it. So much that he didn't even eat his meal. He only ate the chicken livers. He may have drowned them in honey, but he ate them. I couldn't even watch him because I wanted to throw-up.
After supper we went back to our resort for an evening swim before calling it a night. It was a great first day in Nola.
Next on our agenda...The French Quarter.