We couldn’t possibly say goodbye to New Orleans without saying hello to some beignets. It was only a matter of minutes before Cafe du Monde had a couple of Wisconsinites knocking at their door.
“Trois beignets et un cafe au lait, s’il vous plait.”
We chose a seat up front, mowing down on our breakfast of champions while listening to two street performers jazz the French cafe up. This was exactly what I pictured New Orleans to be like. I can only imagine what the busy season has in store for these streets…guess I’ll have to come back and see for myself!
Finishing my cafe au lait in the car, we pulled into our first adventure stop for the day. This boardwalk was only a mile or so long, so we were able to breeze through it, but took our time to stop and smell the….swamp…along the way. Dragonflies zoomed overhead, landing on cattails and bullfrogs croaked below the boardwalk. Around the bend, piles of dirt were dug up all around the path, leaving the trace of a wild boar’s night out on the town. I closed my eyes, inhaling the sweet scent of magnolias that lined the trail. It was a wonderful morning, although I was a bit disappointed that we didn’t run into any gators.
I slammed on the brakes, narrowing my sight at the public dock to the left…Could it be? Two round eyes glared back at me from the murky water. I parked the car and crept over to get a closer look. Not one, but TWO gators were gliding through the green water toward me.
“I can catch it for ya if you want! Wrap him up and let ya take him home,” two boys hollered from their fishing boat. I thought about saying, “I’ll take two to go please,” but, upon a second glance, I had no doubt they’d follow through with that order, so I went on my way.
Stop number two of the day was Big Branch Marsh. This swamp went on for miles and was just absolutely coated with all-things-green. Dragonflies every color of the rainbow chased the sun around me. The heat was insane, but bearable when the cool breeze swept across the pond.
A spotter called to his friends, camouflaged in the lily pads, warning them of our presence, though they seemed unfazed. After minutes turned to hours, it was time to hit the road again. We turned back down the gravel path and began the journey to our destination of the night.
Getting to Long Beach, Mississippi earlier than expected, it only seemed right to spend our time stimulating the local economy. I ordered a Bushwhacker Daiquiri from the beach bar to accompany us on our stroll along the Gulf of Mexico. We came across plenty of little treasures on our way [though most of these treasures consisted of dead catfish]. Yikes.
The seagulls swooped down, claiming these beached prizes on their lunch break. The salty waves splashing upon the shore felt like bathwater, making me regret not wearing my bikini under my clothing. Snatching a book out of the backseat instead, I plopped my lawn chair on the shoreline, where I remained until sunset. As the heavenly brush strokes continued painting their masterpiece across the clouds, the warm air began to cool, telling me my time was up.
Hiking through the sand and back to my vehicle, I smiled, knowing it was only a few hours until I’d be back here again to watch the sunrise…