New Orleans is a city that continually changes while staying the same. V. and I just got back from five days of food, photography and relaxation in The Big Easy. NOLA incorporates many of the things that I hold close to my heart: vampires, cajun/creole food, jazz and that French joie de vie. On this visit we expanded our adventure beyond the French Quarter into the Garden District and out into the bayou on a swamp tour. While I did get to enjoy a few moments of that American Gothic Voodoo vibe, this trip was more about just taking the time to recuperate from a wicked cold than chasing the wicked.
One of the truly unique experiences we had was to take a tour of the Bayou in a small airboat with Airboat Adventures. Our guide, Chip, was truly knowledgeable about the area because he hunts and fishes there to fill his freezer during the year. We liked the perspective he added to what would have otherwise still been an exciting ride, but one without a clear view of the challenges the Bayou has.
Gators were not out in the wild sunbathing this time of year, but we did get to see this funky albino gator in one of the holding tanks and we had one onboard the board to hold. Wild animals are beautiful to watch, but I do not need to dance with them at distances any closer than this to feel a connection.
The Bayou and the swamp was quite beautiful even in the wintry month of December. Both V. and I agreed that to take the quintessential photos of the area we would have need some atmospheric fog and heat. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed the ride and felt it gave me a much more clear perspective of what a swamp is like.
Immigration gave me a lot of static heading into America. I am not sure if it was random or an inevitable effect from having been to Havana, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Egypt, Jordan and some other non-friendly places. V. has been to the same places, but I do have a shaved head in my passport photo. Time to change passports, I think, which will need to be done before Peru anyway.
Over the next few days, I will add more photos from our adventure. For now I need to drink some coffee, work on tree decorations and visit my doctor to kill this damn virus with some antibiotics before Santa comes. One last thing to note was that we sat next to Jean Claude Van Damme at the Creole Carvery in the NOLA airport. Strange to see a movie star from one’s childhood sitting down to a fruit cup, but he was in town to finish shooting his next movie, Weapon. At 50 he looks in pretty great shape, but as they say in Roadhouse: I thought he’d be bigger.