Except for the bugs

Today was the last big push to get to New Orleans. We nearly didn't make it.

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I love factory tours. I think this affection comes from my childhood watching Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. Do you remember Mr. McFeely, the postman? My memory tells me he would sometimes bring a video to show Mr. Rogers, and sometimes it would show how things are made. I also love the TV show How It's Made. So any chance I can be in a factory, in person watching the line in action, I'm there.

Today we visited the birthplace of Tabasco Brand Pepper Sauce.

Next came something very special.

This is Roy Blanchard and his wife Annie.

There is a documentary I love and have watched multiple times. I keep it on my iPad ready for future views. The documentary is called Happy. You can find it on iTunes or Amazon. I became acquainted with Roy Blanchard through this film.

He is a happy man, watch the movie and you'll see. I told myself if I ever went to Louisiana I was going to hire him for a boat tour. It worked out! He is so kind and his wife too. I didn't feel like a customer, I felt like family. They made me happy.

The boat ride was amazing. But honestly, I just wanted to meet Roy. 

 These Cypress Trees. Amazing.

These Cypress Trees. Amazing.

 Jessie could not get over the size of the lily pads.

Jessie could not get over the size of the lily pads.

 Happy.

Happy.

When we arrived for our tour we didn't leave right away because we could hear thunder in the distance. We needed the weather to improve, or at least the thunder to stop. During our ride it did rain lightly for a few minutes. It was pleasant because of the heat. The weather also created some beautiful clouds.

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Wildlife too.

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 Just before The Fish.

Just before The Fish.

We saw a few fish jump in the lake during our ride. As we were nearly the landing to finish the tour I saw a fish jump just a little ahead of our boat. I moved to turn the camera on and see if it happened again when another fish jumped right in front of the boat, sailed over the bow, past my head and slapped Sarah Michael in the face before it fell back into the lake. That fish didn't know what hit it– or what it hit.

 Back on land Sarah Michael shows off the slight redness and swelling just above her left eye.

Back on land Sarah Michael shows off the slight redness and swelling just above her left eye.

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 It was a special afternoon.

It was a special afternoon.

Here's a little video, I hope you enjoy. And if you're ever two hours west of New Orleans, call Roy and book a tour. $40 an hour for up to six people. To me it was priceless.

After our boat ride we had to hoof it to New Orleans.

The park we're staying at closes at 10pm and won't accept arriving guests after that time. So we got onto Interstate 10 and booked across the Atchafalaya Basin. It was cool to see from the freeway, Roy had told us about it. There are 160 miles of levees, and there are two sets, 28 miles apart that hold back the floods of the swamp. The interstate drives right over it along super long trestles. It is cool.

As we drove over the basin and reflected on the beauty of what we've seen Jessie said, "Except for the bugs, I really like Louisiana. It is so pretty!"

The sun set and we blew past Baton Rouge.

It was well past dark as we approached and entered New Orleans so we weren't able to see anything interesting. We will be here for three more nights, however, so interesting-things-seeing will happen. Our immediate concern tonight was getting to the RV park before 10pm. We rolled in at 9:57.

Looking forward to what New Orleans has in store.