Tuesday, August 18, 2009

States Of Swamp and Alli...gators!!!

It was the first time to go on a vacation ever since I reached the states. It was also very fortunate to go on a vacation with the whole family. My brother who is studying at ISU came over to our place during his summer break. My dad planed to go on a vacation ever since we settled our life in the states. I was waiting patiently for my summer class to end as soon as possible. The vacation is just the day after my last day of my summer class. It was a Friday. My dad took nearly two weeks off for the trip. We were planning to go to two places to visit and enjoy ourselves. The first place of course is Louisiana. It was the first time for me visiting other state of US as well as a vacation out of my home country since 9 years ago, when I came back from Norway. We headed out early in the morning as it was an eight hours drive all the way there. My dad should be the one that is the most tired. It took us one more hour to each there as the GPS kept on going crazy. It took us in circles. We were lucky to be able to get back on the freeway I-10.

There are a lot of swamps at the roadside. There was two large bridge separating both the roads. We were able to see the breathtaking scenery in the car. Swamps are very famous in Louisiana. They said that we can find crawfish or alligators in the swamps. I really wanted to see a real life alligator although my family kept on saying that I am crazy. The swamps are just awesome to look at.

I really love this bridge. Normally bridges are connected together for both lanes. This bridge is awesomely different. There are water and swamps below us. To tell you the truth, it is very dangerous if any accidents were to happen. They would fall straight into the water below. One more thing I like about the bridge is that when we were going downwards, we were able to see the water part in between the bridges as shown in the photo on the right above. It came out quite blurry because of the bad camera we had. I hope we can get a pro camera soon.

Besides having lots of swamps beside, there are also a lot of big rivers flowing under the bridge. I was excited when I say some boats, ships sailing on the river. I haven been on one for a very very long time. I wonder when will I have a chance to get on one again.
This is the resort for our trip in Louisiana for the next 7 days. To be honest, it isn't really as big as the resort we had in Awana. It was very clean and cosy. We got complained after the first night as we were disturbing the baby in the ground floor. The floor was build with wood and a slight movement can cause a large sound for the level below. How sad? We had to walk softly whenever we want to move around at night. It was quite bothersome actually.

We found a swamp that had been dried up behind our resort. According to the paper inside the resort, it used to have alliagators in it. Ever since the alligators were removed from there, nobody goes there anymore. I just like the view of it. It feels special when it became dried.

It is the first time for me to see a sky with colors like that in my life. Someone seems to cut the sky in half. The color is really special. Argh~~~ The same problem again. How good will it be if I had a pro camera with me at that time. The effects of the pictures will be more beautiful.

From Covington town to New Orleans, we need to cross the Lake Pontchartrain. We pronounce it as Lac Pontchartrain as it is a French word. It is the second largest salt-water lake in the United States, after the Great Salt Lake in Utah. It covers and area of 630 square miles. To drive across the lake, we need to drive 32 miles to cross it. I was suprised to see such a large lake. It is really very big as I couldn't see the end of it from both sides. It was fun watching the sea gulls catching fishes for their meal. I haven't see one for a long time. The houses near the lake are so beautiful. I wish I had one of the houses. I would be able to go out on the lake at anytime. Hahaha~~~
We reached New Orleans in quite a short time. The river in the picture above is the Mississippi River. It was large enough for huge cruises and ships to sail on it. It was a shame we didn't have the chance to sit on a shop to go around the whole river.
New Orleans is really a big city. I get to see all the tall buildings which I missed out in The Woodlands. It feels similar to Kuala Lumpur to me. We were also able to see Ritz Carlton and Marriott hotel. I missed Ritz Carlton hotel so much. The hotel back at home are the best one I have been to so far. The reason why we went to New Orleans was to visit the French Quarters. It is the oldest and most famous neighborhood in New Orleans. The whole place are divided into different districts. Each district has their own specialities like jazz musics, dancing, pub, gallery and others. New Orleans is the place where Jazz music is borned. We can listen to different kinds of Jazz music along the streets either from live band, or from radios. You can find the purest and most original Jazz music there.

I forgot what the bulding is called. It is a historical park. We just wander outside the building. It is a very big place. We took a picture of the whole place from a high spot. We were also able to take the photos with the horses. The carts are used for the tourists to go around the whole place. There is a tour guide for each horses.
This is a cannon which is used from before. The place is called the 'Washington Artillery Park.' Nothing much to talk about as I don't know much about it. We took the picture of it because I thought it was cool.

This Hard Rock cafe is the first one in the whole world. I know that there are two Hard Rock cafes in Malaysia. One in Kuala Lumpur and one in Penang. The foods inside are so expensive. I haven't try it in Malaysia before. From what I heard from my dad, it cost about 30 over ringgit to eat just a sandwich. OMG! Who would be rich enough to go there? We went to two Hard Rock cafes in New Orleans and also in San Antonio. One thing for sure, the foods are extremely delicious.

All the buildings have the feel of French buildings as the place was conquered by French people before. All the buildings have one thing in common which is the balcony. It is used for the Mardi Gras festival which is celebrated once every year. It is also called the Fat Tuesday. It is concentrated for two whole weeks non-stop. The place will be very crowded when that times of the year comes. It will be unproper for children to attend the festival as it is very dangerous and anything might happen. They might even get lost from their parents.

I was shocked when I saw men and women wearing red clothes running around the streets. What caught my attention quickly was all the men were wearing women dress or skirts. I was stunned for a while before I could react. They have various numbers on the shirts. I first thought it was a marathon for the place. Later did I found out that it was called the Crawfish Festival that is celebrated once every year. The whole streets were fulled with red color by no time. We follow them for a while to see where they are going. We went the other way to look for other things after that.
There are a lot of live bands around the place. Musics are played non-stop. Most of the bands are black people. They are really talented in musics.

Art is also very famous in that area beside musics. There are a lot of beautiful and outstanding pictures around the park. Many artists draw live on the spot. I got a chance to see how they paint such pictures. They are just fabulous.

Nothing much. Just want to take a photo of the background and the cute horse.

There is a Frence Market in the Quarters as well. There is also a Flea Market inside there as well. We bought quite a lot of souvenirs to be kept as a memory. I saw a picture which was carved with hand. The picture is made out of clay if I am not mistaken. It is just too beautiful.

We only went to one of the Cafe De Monde in the quarters. I didn't know that there is one more inside a mall nearby. We went to the old one. The place actually represents the whole New Orleans or maybe even Louisiana. People said that if you never been to Cafe De Monde, you never been to New Orleans before. It was so crowded when we went there. We were lucky to find a sear in the air-condition room. We went to this place twice. It somewhat reminded me of our Ipoh Old Town White Coffee. Haha... How Nostalgic.

The coffee isn't really special. What I like about the shop is the Beignet. They called it the French doughnuts. It taste very special and it is very delicious. I got a frozen coffee for the first time and a hot one for the second time. We bought a Cafe De Monde cup as a souvenir for ourselves.

The foods are quite expensive as compare to other shops outside the quarter. I guess it is because it is located at a tourists place. In Louisiana, there is a special kind of sandwiches called Po-Boys. It is actually meat inside a french bread. I ate a cheese, bacon and beef Po-Boy. The red color thing is actually a crawfish as I have mentioned earlier. We ordered it hot boiled, so the shape and color remains the same. It looks like a lobster, but with a body of a shrimp. There is only a little bit of meat at the tail area. I only tried one as it kind of freak me out. My bro said the meat taste like shrimp. I know nothing about it as I don't eat shrimp. Hehehe~~~
We also went to Lafayette on another day. We went to a Frence restaurant named Prejeans. It also represents the place of Lafayette. The restaurant is very famous. Anyone that have been that would try out at the restaurant.

The soup on the left picture is actually called a 'Gumbo.' There are quite a few types of it. We ordered the Chicken & Sausage Gumbo because it won three times gold award. It taste kinda funny to me, but it was quite delicious. The meatball on the right picture is actually alligator meat. The restaurant is famous for its alligator meat. It taste just like chicken, but abit salty. My whole family didn't really enjoy it. Different taste for different people. Who cares? As long as I had tried it out, I am fine with it. We bought a Prejeans mug as a souvenir. I accidently broke it when I reached the resort. I felt so bad for it. Haiz....
We also went to the Tabasco factory in Avery Island, New Iberia. It is the one and only tabasco manufacturing factory in the whole world. I was glad to know and see it. Tabasco sauce is a brand of hot sauce made from tabasco peppers (Capsicum frutescens var. tabasco), vinegar, and salt. The riped red peppers are collected by special and experienced workers. They only plucked those that are fully riped. It has a difference between fully riped and riped. The peppers are then crushed, added with salt, and placed inside an oak barrel for it to age for three full years. Highly concentrated salt are then put on top of the barrels to prevent outside air from enetering the barrel. The salt become cement after some time. After three years, the peppers are then added with vinegar and are constantly mixed for 30 days. It has a hot, spicy flavor and is popular in many parts of the world. It is owned by the Mcllhenny Family. It has continue being produced for five generations.
Tabasco sauce are sold to over 160 countries in the world with 19 different languages. They have a variety of pepper sauce, green pepper sauce, pepper sauce chipotte and many others as well.
We can also find it in Malaysia. It is good to eat with raw oysters and also pizzas. It gives the food a special and storng flavour.

Just took some pictures around the place. We also went to the country store to buy some stuffs as a souvenirs. We also bought a tabasco mug to bring back home. Hahaha~~~

The scenery on out way back was so beautiful. The sky was blue and purple in color. I really like it when the colors of the sky are so special.
It was a very fun trip and I learnt a lot of new things as well. I hope we will be able to go for another vacation somewhere else during winter break. I hope we can either go to IOWA, where my bro is, or New York. I really want to go to New York, Las Vegas, Chicago, Callifornia, San Fransico and other places as well. Vacations are always a fun thing to do. I hope to travel around the world after I have graduated from the university. Hahaha~~~ Keep on dreaming......


Jill said...

after viewing all ur photo and explaination,I'm like going to there oso~haha~
nice post!!!

nicky said...

thank you leh...i use so much time writing the post...haiz...