I got to look at this handsome sight all day.
And if I looked in the back seat I occasionally saw something like this.
We stopped at a Shipley Donuts in Beaumont and I'm telling you these donut and kolaches were anointed by God. I've never had anything close to that good in all the years I've eaten at Shipley's. Well done, Beaumont!
The minute we crossed into Louisiana, it felt like we were in another culture. Maybe that's how people feel when they visit Texas. Suddenly there were signs with French words on them advertisements for food I'd never eaten. Boudin and cracklins, anyone? I got very insecure about not being able to read or pronounce French. The bridges were unbelievably long but the scenery of swamps and marshes was beautiful.
Our plan was to stop in New Orleans, play around, and spend the night. This is why I love smart phones: half-way there I looked up the location of Oak Alley Plantation - a place I've always wanted to visit - and it was right outside of New Orleans. So we went!
It was absolutely gorgeous, uncrowded, peaceful, and a great chance for our kids to stretch their legs. I do have to say that it was sad to see the beauty and peace of this place and yet know that slave labor made it all possible. One family lived in the lap of luxury while a few yards away other families lived in oppression. Maybe "a living hell" is a more fitting description.
Here's my little girl in front of a water feature. Did that sound fancy?
Jackson had a bad attitude about taking a picture with his sister. He was trying not to cooperate and smile but he finally cracked one. This is his attempt to cover it up.
These trees were magnificent.
Annabeth sat herself down in front of these flowers so that I would take her picture. Her rubber band had broken and her bow wouldn't stay in, and I made the mistake of trying to do something with her hair before taking the shot. Huge mistake! All the pictures I took look like this.
Except for this one, which is an absolute treasure.
Later we ate at the restaurant and I had some incredible fried shrimp on a po-boy. Unfortunately, we were seated in a little room with two other tables of adults who were eating very quietly. It was so very awkward because two-year-olds eat as obnoxiously as possible. By the end of the trip I was asking hostesses to seat us next to other families.
After our visit to Oak Alley Plantation, we headed into New Orleans. I'd never been there before and was excited to see it. We had a hotel room booked and everything. Well, when we got there it was a couple of hours until we could check in to our hotel, it was very hot and crowded, and we couldn't find a place to park to visit Cafe DuMonde for a beignet. I also started feeling weird about having my kids there. So we decided we had the grace to finish our drive to Florida and we carried on. I'm glad we got to see a bit of New Orleans though.
When we realized we weren't going to experience the beignets I've been hearing about since I was a little girl (my parents used to go there), we knew why God had made our donuts so tasty. People, He cares about the little things!
More pictures to come.