New Orleans 2015, Part 3.

Pre-alligator pics:

1. We went to a fantastic cafĂ© called Mister Gregory’s near the entrance of Armstrong Park. Cricket wanted to try the brie mac and cheese and I wanted to try the pain perdu which is stale bread dipped in cream and sugar and then baked so it becomes crispy on the edges. Very similar to french toast. I also had the cold brewed coffee with homemade pecan milk because when in Rome blabbity blah blah etc.

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I loved it. The food was delicious, the staff was super-nice, the interior is decorated with reclaimed trash like oil drums for seats and they played French 60s music. I could have stayed there all day. Highly recommended.

2. I could only find one store selling things made with nutria fur. They were selling nutria bras but they were very small so I didn’t get one.

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Fear not, they also sold nutria slap bracelets. I picked one made out of the left side of a nutria’s face with clearly discernible eyeball hole and a nose. I own that now. The fighting over who gets it in the will may commence now.

3. A tricycle on Bourbon Street decked in blinky lights and religious sayings. I called it the Bible-Bike because I like alliteration.


4. A sunset over the Mississippi. I don’t know if it’s because I was on vacation but I thought the sunsets in Louisiana were better than they are at home.


Okay, alligators. They live in the swamps of Louisiana and they are very similar to crocodiles in that they just sort of lay there and resemble logs. And they are spiky. And I wish to pet them. Nessa organized an outing for all of us to go see the alligators doing their best feigning of logs. We learned that alligator farmers come in and collect all the eggs they can find on the condition that of every 100 eggs that hatch 17 teenage alligators are returned to the swamp. Science has figured out that about 17 out of every 100 alligators make it to adulthood so that’s how many are returned to the wild. Good on you, sustainable farming.

First thing I saw at the farm was in the gift shop. It seems to me very rude to take the remains of one animal and wrap it in the remains of another. A little “rubbing it in the faces of the losers” kind of thing. But whatever, I wasn’t going to start a coup or anything.


There was a big display in the corner of the gift shop talking about the cats that live on the property. I wondered if that famous video I had seen ages ago of the cat scaring the alligator back into the water happened at this particular swamp and it turns out, yes it did. I asked. Here’s the video in case you’re unacquainted:

We saw a bunch of gators of varying ages and sizes both basking and swimming.


One even came up to the boat for a snack of chicken necks.


Intensely amusing was when we saw some raccoons. Everyone ran over to the side of the boat to take pictures. You would think none of these people had ever seen a raccoon. OMG, raccoons! But these are different, these are swamp raccoons! Not the fat bastards that rummage through your trash and are a general nuisance, no no! These are fancy exotic raccoons! They were very cute and kind of shy.

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The best thing is when a little bebbeh alligator was passed around for us to hold. I have rarely been so delighted. He was so soft and smooth and plastic-y. I loved him. I could have held him forever, peppered with occasional breaks for us both to bathe and eat.


In the next installation: the French Quarter.

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