Tuesday, July 31, 2012

New Orleans

This past weekend we went to New Orleans, Louisiana to visit the Audubon Institute Butterfly Garden and Insectarium and the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas.  It was pretty good, but a little more crowded than we like.  More on them later in the blog.

The night before venturing out to New Orleans, we were watching Diners Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network.  They did a show on the LA Pines Cafe in Slidell, which is just up the road from New Orleans, so we decided to give it a try.  If you want to watch the episode, you can do so here.

Guy Fieri's mark at LA Pines Cafe.
I had the Smoked Prime Rib Po-boy sandwich while Misty had the Muffaletta sandwich.  Both were very good and even though we had to drive an hour and a half to get there, it was well worth the trip.  We wanted to try their Cajun Corn Pudding, but it was sold out due to the larger crowd probably drawn in after viewing the show on the previous night.

We have decided that we are going to try and hit most of the places that are on Diners Drive-Ins and Dives if they are not too far out of our way.  We love to find good places to eat and Guy has already done the work for us!  The kids were also fond of the idea so it will be something we all enjoy doing. 

Ethan, Ian, Tia, Courtney, Chloe, Misty, & Avery in front of LA Pines Cafe.
After getting our bellies full, we decided to take a buggy tour of New Orleans, which we have done before, mainly for the kids benefit.  Our tour guide was pretty good and did tell us a good bit about New Orleans and the French Quarter.

Buggy ride through New Orleans.
Of course if you are in New Orleans in the French Quarter, you have to take a picture of Bourbon Street or at least its sign.  Although, we could hardly hear our tour guide due to the deafening music coming out of the bars there.  

We also had five young lads stroll up to the mule pulling the buggy and try to kiss it; Of course, they were drunk as skunks.  They were cursing worse than sailors with an emphasis on FU .  When our tour guide told them to watch their tongues, they had a few choice words for her too which also included FU.

Luckily they staggered on their way and did not try to back up their threats of kicking our tour guides butt.  Don't worry, Misty and I were armed with strollers and ready for combat in case things turned ugly!  Thankfully, the kids did not notice the commotion due to the loud music and taking in all the other sights.

Sign for Bourbon Street.
Next we made our way to the Audubon Institute Butterfly Garden and Insectariumwhich was way better than the aquarium.  I took pictures of some of the butterflies, but did not really pay attention to what type they were.  I could look them up on the internet, but will pass for now.

Butterfly One.

Butterfly Two.

Butterfly Three.
They also had an exhibit on baby alligators which was neat. It is a shame that such a cute baby would make a meal of you once its an adult.

Baby Alligator.
Another exhibit they had were blue crawfish that were red until put  into captivity.  These are regular Red Swamp Crawfish that turned blue when they were being studied at Northwestern State University.  In nature this occurs one out of every ten-thousand, but in captivity it occurs six out of every ten.

Red Swamp Crawfish that turned blue for some unknown reason.
While making our way through the Insectarium we stumbled upon the Bug Kitchen.  All of us, except for Misty, actually ate some Cinnamon Bug Crunch which were fried waxworms rolled in cinnamon and sugar.  Actually, they were quite tasty and I could eat them as a snack, if all other snack food vanished from the earth.

Cinnamon Bug Crunch.  A fried waxworm rolled in cinnamon and sugar.
Below is Courtney enjoying her Cinnamon Bug Crunch.   All of the kids ate some, but I figured one picture of a kid eating a worm would be more than enough to get the point across.

Courtney eating her Cinnamon Bug Crunch.
There were also crickets available on the menu, but I did not try any of them.  The next picture after the three choices below will explain why I did not try the crickets.

Three choices of juicy insects and worms.
I think the face Courtney made after trying a Crispy Cajun Cricket says it all.  

Courtney trying a Crispy Cajun Cricket.

This picture is actually from the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, which was very crowded and so we did not stay there that long.  Tia was insistent that I get a picture of her on this giant frog and so, here it is.
Tia riding a giant frog.
 Another attraction at the aquarium was Parakeet Pointe which sounded really neat, but turned out not to be.  The lure is that you stroll through an enclosure full of hundreds of parakeets that will land on you to partake of the seed sticks you purchase for $1.00 each.

There were hundreds of them and we did have seed sticks, but I guess with thousands of people coming through there that day, the parakeets were not hungry.  It really took some effort on our part to get them to eat the seeds off the sticks.  Luckily we did not get pooped on like some other individuals there.

The kids trying to feed the parakeets.
The last thing we did while in New Orleans was to ride the trolly.  We did not have a lot of time left before we had to get back to the RV, due to having our dinner cooking in a slow cooker, but Avery really, really, really wanted to ride the trolly.

So that is what we did and as you can tell from the picture below, he was very happy.

Avery enjoying his trolly ride.
Well that was our weekend in New Orleans, which for the most part was pretty good.  We were ready to come back to the RV and relax afterwards though.

I would like to add that when visiting Audubon attractions with kids, it is well worth your money to purchase the Audubon Membership for $149; which allows you to visit the aquarium, insectarium and zoo unlimited times for one year.  It also allows you to purchase IMAX Theatre tickets at a discounted rate.  Considering the zoo alone would have cost us $94 for one visit, I think we got a great deal. 

Until next time, God bless!

Don, Misty, & Kids.


  1. Don and Misty,
    I think that there are quite a few people following your blog. They don't comment because they don't know how or don't think about you appreciating the feedback so you will know what sort of news items they are interested in.
    I will pass along any that I see. I know Edye, Sonya and Derek follow you for sure.

    You are uncovering some very interesting tidbits and facts. The butterfly pictures are really beautiful. Poor Courtney, you are right about her face. It definately says, "No more of that!"

    Love Avery's haircut. He does look like Ian now.

    Stay safe and keep passing the info along. We love you all.

  2. Sis,

    We are happy that we are being followed and hope everyone gets something out of our blog.

    It is nice to hear that our blog is appreciated or to know that we have an ever growing audience though.

    The main thing is that we keep all of our family and friends informed of our activities and let them know that we are all safe.

    Thanks for the comments and love.

    Don & Misty