Nolen Family Vacation 2017: Day 5

Wed. 19th


Knowing that most things would be closed, we headed to the City Park to kill some time. I wasn't expecting much, but we kept finding interesting things to view.

We started off near a little stone bridge. It wasn't really much to see, but it was cute. We kept on and found this pond.

[caption id="attachment_3653" align="aligncenter" width="200"] Pond[/caption]

Then the pavilion.

[caption id="attachment_3651" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Pavilion[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3658" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Roar[/caption]

And palms.

[caption id="attachment_3650" align="aligncenter" width="200"] Palms[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3659" align="aligncenter" width="200"] Turtles on a log.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3656" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Those trees![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3649" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Iris[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3654" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Ducks[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3648" align="aligncenter" width="300"] An even prettier bridge than the one we parked next to.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3652" align="aligncenter" width="200"] Old pigeon house.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3657" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Across the pond.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3646" align="aligncenter" width="300"] I could not get enough of these trees.[/caption]

We probably walked and took pictures for about an hour. Ben and the boys hung out, waiting for us. They'd held back not thinking there would be anything to see!

Next, we drove just 15 minutes to Longvue. It's a home and gardens that is free to us since we're members of MOBOT this year.

It was stunning!

[caption id="attachment_3663" align="aligncenter" width="300"] A view of the house from the gardens.[/caption]

I probably took 100 pictures here and it will take me time to weed through and process them all. There's a main house and a...lodge? The house is by tour only and it takes about 45 minutes. Ben and the boys vetoed that immediately, so we roved the grounds instead. You start off just behind the house. There are fountains and and citrus trees and bushes and flowers and little seating nooks galore. Everything was in bloom and beautiful.

We continued on through a series of gardens including a wild garden which was heavily wooded, and a children's garden.

Oh, my word, the children's garden was the best!!! They had compost bins, a bamboo den, and all kinds of raised garden beds with different themes. For instance, one theme was tactile so it was full of plants such as Lamb's Ear. Another bed was aromatic so it included lavender and rosemary and other spices. It was so neat to see plants grouped together like that. They have a "plant your own garden" area where the plants are all in pots and the kids can drag them around to "plan" and "plant" their own unique gardens. I could have stayed all day!

But, we had to move on.

I'd scheduled a swamp tour about 45 minutes away in Slidell, LA. We were already packed up and ready to go so even though it was early we headed down that way. Lunch was eaten at BJ's and it was really good.

We arrived at Honey Island Swamp Tours with time to spare.

[caption id="attachment_3667" align="aligncenter" width="246"] Waiting for our boat.[/caption]

It wasn't long and we were loaded onto a boat and set out. The captain of the boat was very knowledgeable and informative. It took about 20 minutes to get back to where the gators are. He taught us all bout the area, the difference between swamps and bayous, etc. Several times he put the boat into high gear and we just roared over the open water.

There was plenty to see along the way.

[caption id="attachment_3678" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Turtles![/caption]

There were homes on both sides of the bayou. They sit right on the edge of the water.

Would you want this to be your backyard?

[caption id="attachment_3673" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Millet[/caption]

Our captain took us back into the trees. We got to see this little guy. They threw marshmallows at him and he ate them right up. So cute!

[caption id="attachment_3674" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Raccoon![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3670" align="aligncenter" width="200"] Big bird.[/caption]

We headed back to open water and finally got to see some gators.

[caption id="attachment_3668" align="aligncenter" width="300"] First gator.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3669" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Warming up.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3677" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Time for a snack[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3671" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Hot dogs! Yum![/caption]

They were wary at first, but they warmed up quickly.

After watching and learning about the gators for a bit, we headed back.

It was a neat experience and wasn't too long or too short.

The rest of the day was just spent driving. It didn't take us long to get into Mississippi and we were able to get all the way to Vicksburg before nightfall.

I was already looking forward to the following day when we'd be touring Vicksburg National Cemetery. I had to sneak a little history into the trip somehow!


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