Orlando, Florida to New Orleans:

 

We flew into Orlando from LAX on April 16, 2004.   We picked up our rental from

Budget at the airport (Ford Explorer, a mid-size SUV).  That afternoon we drove to

Cocoa Beach (near Cape Canaveral) as we were going to meet the next day with some

friends of my parents who they knew from their time in the States in the 60s and 70s. They

live in Mims, FL, which is in Brevard County, not that far from Cocoa Beach.

 

The next night we stopped at Tallahassee, the state capitol of Florida.  From there, we drove

through Fort Walton County Florida, home to some very nice beaches along the Gulf Coast

of Florida, in the area known as the ’Panhandle’. For some reason that was explained to us

and I forget now, these beaches have a very white sand and are considered among the nicest

beaches in the USA.

 

We stopped for the night at Mobile, Alabama - not for any particular reason but that it seemed a

good place to stop if we intended to drive to New Orleans the next day.  As it turned out,

we found an interesting thing to do the next morning, at the USS Alabama site in Mobile Bay.

They have the battleship USS Alabama tied up there, which I think is a sister ship to better

known vessels such as the USS Missouri and USS Iowa.  As well, there is a submarine

(USS Drum) and a good collection of warplanes of various types.  I’m an aviation enthusiast,

so I loved it.

 

We loved New Orleans – it was one of our favorite cities in the whole trip.  We stayed at a

place on St Charles Ave, in the Garden District. You could get the St Charles Trolley right

outside our hotel – only a few minutes ride into the French Quarter.  Very cheap, too. 

 

While in New Orleans, we explored the French Quarter, Bourbon St etc, and also did a

riverboat cruise on the Natchez.  We joined a tour of the famous cemeteries, which was really

informative and interesting.  Our guide was a nice woman with a real Southern accent who was

very knowledgeable about the early history of New Orleans.  We also visited a few churches on

this trip, as well as a Voodoo temple.

 

It’s well known that the food is great in New Orleans and we totally agree.  We tried all the local

food such as catfish, jambalaya, gumbo and lots of other dishes as well. They also had great markets

there, where we bought all sorts of hot sauces, as well as souvenirs like alligator foot key rings and

voodoo dolls!

 

After we left New Orleans, we stopped near Baton Rouge to do a swamp tour. We had intended

to do one while in New Orleans, but it didn’t work out that way.  Anyway, we’re glad we did the

one near Baton Rouge, as it was an excellent tour.  The guide on the tour was very knowledgeable

and well –informed on all the wildlife that inhabit the swamp areas.  Americans in general seem to

be crazy about Steve Irwin (‘The Crocodile Hunter’), and as soon as they realized we were

Australian, they assumed we knew all about crocs.  Actually, the guide had visited tropical

Queensland in Australia, so was well aware of the differences between crocs and alligators.

The alligators found in Nth America are nowhere near as dangerous to humans as are our crocs,

particularly the large ‘saltwater’ variety that are common in the tropical regions of Australia.

 

Most of the people on the swamp tour were kids from a high school nearby, who were most

interested in our strange accents and the fact that we came from the same place as Steve Irwin.

So we ended up having to hold baby alligators and even feed a chicken to a full-grown alligator

back at the wharf where they had an enclosed areas for them.

  

 

Kids at Beach - Fort Walton County, Florida

 

USS Alabama,  Mobile, AL

 

Dom & Zac –On board USS Alabama

 

 

At USS Alabama Site - Mobile, Alabama

 

B52, USS Alabama site, Mobile AL

 

B52, another view…

 

SR71 Blackbird - Mobile, Alabama

 

WWII Warbird - Mobile, AL

 

Yep, he’s towing that little red car behind that huge RV (Recreational Vehicle).

This is a common sight on America’s highways.  Submarine USS Drum in

background, Mobile, AL

 

 

New Orleans Parade

 

Riverboat 'Natchez', New Orleans

 

Dom & kids with statue of Andrew Jackson, New Orleans

 

New Orleans from Riverboat

 

Spanish Navy Sailing Ship, New Orleans

 

Interior View –Our Lady of Guadalupe Church  - New Orleans, built 1826

 

 

Interior View –Our Lady of Guadalupe Church  - New Orleans

 

Entrance to Cemetery, New Orleans

 

New Orleans Cemetery –Used in the movie ‘Easy Rider’

 

New Orleans Cemetery

 

 

DJK and Bourbon Street Sign

 

Caity with beads, New Orleans

 

Bourbon Street, New Orleans

 

Caity with Alligator - Swamp Tour near Baton Rouge, Louisiana

 

DJK feeding Alligator, Louisiana