Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Our tour of the Southeast

The girls and I took a road trip in mid-July. After spending the night in Montgomery, AL to break up the drive, our official first stop was my dad's house in Baton Rouge. We spent the night there and then packed up again the next morning to go out to dad's camp in the Atchafalaya Swamp. It was a 30 min drive from his house (the house I grew up in).

The camp is only accessible by boat, so we packed our stuff onto the boat and headed into the swamp.
Dad and I

Pure Beauty

Old oil rigs along the canals
This area is simply beautiful, and one of the best things about it is that there is no one around. There are a few other hunting camps scattered here and there, and a handful of fishing boats quietly strolling the water,  but we hardly saw anyone on this beautiful Saturday afternoon. Dad took us on a long boat ride. Then my step brothers (Daniel and Chris) and dad helped the girls fish for the first time. Here's Ellen and Arianna with their first catches. They caught a few more right off the pier.

The alligators were not afraid to show their heads right around the pier also. These guys were all over the place and would swim straight towards us while we were out. Maybe they are used to being fed or catching leftovers from fishermen?

One of the best parts of our day/night in the swamp was my experience froggin. Daniel (brother not husband) had told me about how they go out at night with spot lights and catch bullfrogs with their hands. He, his wife, daughter, and Chris took me out at about 9:30pm in his mud boat to catch some frogs. We rode to the lake where they spotted and grabbed about 15 bullfrogs. We also saw tons and tons of baby alligators. They were everywhere! Daniel grabbed one and handed it to me. Can you tell I'm in shock but having a blast? These guys were great swamp tour guides. It was unforgettable.
The next morning they drove us out to the same spot so the girls could see this part of the swamp. It's an area that my dad's boat can't get to. There is shallow water with tons of lily pads and grass that has a small trail carved out. I'm not sure how they saw this trail in the middle of the night! I couldn't see it.
My camera lens was foggy because of the temperature change from the inside of the camp (very cold) to outside (very hot) not because of fog. I didn't get many pictures because of it. Below is the area where we were frogging. Again, very shallow lake with lots of wildlife. 

We want to go back very soon. My Daniel (husband, not brother) wants to catch some frogs!

The next day we drove to Gulf Shores, AL and stayed a week at the beach with more family (mom's side this time). This resort had huge swimming pools with slides, a lazy river, and all kinds of family games. We rode to the beach on a trolly but couldn't stay out much because the jelly fish were everywhere. The cousins played sweetly the entire time. We had a wonderful time. It was so nice to be with family and especially since my grandmother had been very sick and actually passed away during our trip. She was 99 1/2 so we were prepared for it, but that doesn't make losing her any easier.
Othermommy and girls Christmas 2010

We were all sad to leave but we went our separate ways on Sunday. The girls and I made the long trip home in one day. We arrived completely exhausted but we didn't have much time to relax because we had to use up our free tickets to Six Flags over Georgia that were going to expire the next weekend! (Tickets were won by the girls for a reading program that they participated in. I, as the teacher, also got a free ticket. Daniel's was half price.)

This past Sunday we took Daniel with us this time and drove to Atlanta for the day. We spent 7 hours walking around the park and rode 17 rides. The crowds were low so we hardly had any waiting. We spent half the day drenched from the river and splash rides, we were having a blast. The girls were thrilled to see so many huge rides. Daniel and I love them too, as long as they don't spin. We let the girls do those alone.

We returned home late Sunday night, exhausted again. Summers are full and so fun. Now back to real life. We have already returned to doing school work but I only have one more week off before my full teaching starts back. We will stay put for a while and it'll be so nice to be home!

1 comment:

laura said...

Looks like so much fun! love that pic of you and that snake! sheesh! and loved the earlier pics of the girls in pointe shoes . . . they are so beautiful! hope ya'll have a good weekend! looks like you are doing well. :)