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Tuesday, March 21, 2017


Tuesday morning we got up early and were in the car just after sunrise. We were headed into New Orleans for a swamp tour at Cajun Pride Swamp Tours, in La Place north of New Orleans. I had looked at different swamp tours and several didn't take kids under five. That just wouldn't do for us. As I was scouring the Internet looking for appropriate swamp tours, this was the one thing I really wanted to do, I stumbled across the New Orleans Power Pass.

The Power Pass lets you pay one price for ten different activities available in and around the New Orleans area. Two different swamp tours were listed, as well as the aquarium, zoo, two plantation tours, a bus tour of the city and others. I could buy for one, two, three or five days. I decided on a two day pass. Luckily, the day I went to purchase them they were 10% off for a two day pass. They aren't inexpensive, but do save you money in the long run. We could have saved even more, but the grandkids could only take so much in one day. Plus, at some places you can go to the members' check in instead of standing in line.

Our swamp tour started at 9:30. I had misread the times and thought it started at 10:00. I had given us an extra half hour travel time for getting lost, and was hoping that would get us there in time. It did, thank goodness. I think I would have been the most upset if we had missed that.

The tour was on a large pontoon type boat. The guide was very Cajun and I had a hard time understanding everything he said. That didn't matter to me all that much. I was there to see, not so much listen.  I was worried that since it was such a chilly morning that we wouldn't see many gators. At first it looked like we would only see the tops of heads as the water was warmer than the air above. Since we were in their home, and not a zoo situation, if they didn't want to be seen, they weren't going to be seen.

As we floated slowly through the swamp other critters made their presence known. There were birds everywhere. All of different sizes and colors. The swamp itself was beautiful, even if we didn't get to see a gator in full. 

This is an Osprey, pretty cool huh?

I have no idea what was up with him,
but he held that position for several minutes

We even saw a raccoon. OK, so, we can see those in Iowa. Ours are a lot fatter, too. And the fact that they were out and about in the daytime was a bit creepy, but they knew they'd get fed marshmallows, they aren't stupid.

The air started to warm a bit in the mid morning sun, and suddenly alligators appeared, as if from nowhere, on logs throughout the swamp. (Hopefully, they didn't know where those raccoons are fed marshmallows, or lunch may have been raccoon tartare.) I was excited to see a full alligator head to tail. They blended in with the swamp so well, even when on a log, they were still hard to see. 

The grandkids were fascinated with the leathery lumpy critters of the swamp. Noah and Paxton helped each other find gator after gator. Kahlen spent almost the entire two hours hanging over the edge of the boat looking for the next surprise. Lorelei just loved being outside and not in her carseat. 

At the end of the tour, the guide came around with a baby alligator, that he had been raising, for us all to hold. I was surprised that Kahlen and Paxton had no intention of holding that baby. Noah, on the other hand, was all about it. Lorelei even got in on the action a bit. While she was sitting on Willie's lap, he held him. 

As the tour ended and the boat docked, the kids were ready to run around a bit. There was a giant turtle to look at, which somehow I missed, and a few things to climb on. And of course a gift shop to check out. It was also about time for lunch. We left the gators behind and went on our way. 
This is NOT a real gator, I promise. 

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