Honey Island Swamp New Orleans
We started our second day in New Orleans on a party bus – as all good days should obviously start – and drove out to Honey Island Swamp for a close encounter with some alligators. And when I say “close encounter,” I mean hi that alligator is twelve inches away and slamming against our boat because he REALLY would like to eat that marshmallow and right now thanks. Fortunately, the alligators were way more interested in said marshmallows than in our fingers (which we were nevertheless warned to please keep inside the railings, as they apparently “look like hot dogs”).
Fingers behind the railings. Check.
When I found out we were doing a swamp tour with Cajun Encounters as part of our visit, I was sort of “mmm. Innnnteresting.” I knew it would be beautiful and such, but I also pictured mile-wide mosquito swarms and soul-destroying humidity and the occasional sighting way off in the distance of what might be an alligator but is probably a log.
What we experienced instead was – and I apologize for the lack of originality, but I’m going to have to keep using this word to describe our trip – completely magical. We boarded a little open-top boat and made our way down the river , watching blue egrets fly over the reeds, pointing out cypress trees and little turtle families, and then getting a seeeeriously good look at alligators ranging in size from under two feet to well over six. And then came my favorite part: a slow drift through the swamp with Spanish moss hanging over our heads and the sound of wild boars moving through the brush way off in the distance.
I felt like I was in The Notebook. Minus the romance, of course; children screaming “THERE’S ANOTHER ALLIGATOR!” while simultaneously inhaling Lunchables have a tendency to kill that part. But still:
P.S. My son’s hands-down favorite part was obviously the enormous yellow spider that we saw hanging out in a tree, looking all ready to kill us and stuff. I was obviously sliiiightly more inclined towards the blue egrets, but to each his own, right?
This post was created in collaboration with New Orleans Tourism.