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Preservation Hall, New Orleans

After spending a few days with the Cajuns in the Louisiana Gulf  Coast, and seeing it from the sky, eating from its waters, and walking through her streets, I encourage everyone to make a visit. The people all seem to be gifted story-tellers, the seafood was delicious, and in New Orleans especially, the spirit of resilience is palpable.

As I bit into a shrimp po'boy at lunch I asked Kelly Gustafson from the Houma area visitors bureau what makes this area of the country different? "Our product is really our people," she said. "You can just stop and chat with anyone." And that welcoming connection was what I found myself enjoying the most - though being with the media might have made it slightly more challenging.

I was last in New Orleans (and the nearby wetlands) a few months prior to Katrina, so I wasn't sure what I'd see going back. The last five years in the region brought Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and Ike as well as this year's BP/Deepwater Horizon disaster. The repeated images of disaster from the news had been burned into my mind (and I imagine many others'). But to my delight, it's not like that at all.

Yes, the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans was devastated, but they are rebuilding using sustainable materials.  Yes, the wetlands are disappearing, but groups like The Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium are around to help scientists find solutions. Sure, there are fewer Gold band oysters available from Louisiana because of closed fishing areas, but they are still shipping out thousands daily. But don't take my word for it, go and taste it for yourself.

I hope you'll enjoy some pictures from my trip.

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1 If you're not running through the Atlanta airport, be sure to see the dozens of spectacular NASA photos on nearby black holes, galaxies, and stars.

2 The Lafayette building in Baton Rouge, LA (c. 1800). From when this was just a little old river town on the Mississippi.

3 Ol' Miss River

4 Old State Capitol, Baton Rouge, LA

5 'Freedom fries' in Baton Rouge?

6 Root Beer barrels

7 Frostop Root Beer float stop

8 Historic Beauregard Town garden, Baton Rouge, LA

9 Baton Rouge Old Capitol Rotunda

10 Old State Capitol Hall in Baton Rouge, LA

11 Land of Senator 'Share our Wealth' Huey Long. (notice the arms)

12 Louisiana Gulf seafood appetizers

13 Gulf Blue crab on eggplant with lemon butter sauce

14 Louisiana crawfish

15 Grillwork Louisiana style

16 Ironic Icon

17 Blessing of the Fleet trivia contest with the Shrimp & Petro Fest president

18 Shrimp & Petro Fest president hosting a trvia contest from the levy and throwing kids a few dollars for the right answer.

19 Miss Jane shrimper

20 King's shrimp boat at Morgan City, LA during Blessing of the Fleet

21 Queen's decorated shrimp boat

22 Larry - former shrimper

23 King boat at the Blessing of the Fleet

24 Queen of Shrimp & Petro fest, Lani Bergeron

25 Queen of Shrimp & Petroleum fest, Lani Bergeron

26 Queen of Shrimp & Petroleum fest, Lani Bergeron

27 Rusty DeSoto

28 Porch dentistry

29 Grits & Grillades Sunday brunch

30 Backyard garden waterfall - Solar family home

31 Reading room - Solar family home

32 Old Southern charm - Solar family home

33 Swinging in the cypress trees

34 Oceaneering underwater robot having a beer after sealing the BP oil well

35 Shrimp & Petroleum music festival

36 Cajun politicking in parade, Morgan City, LA

37 Backyard waterfall with koi

38 Victorian mansion in Morgan City, LA

39 Concert grounds beneath the tree - Morgan City, LA

40 A playground at the Shrimp & Petroleum Fest

41 St. Mary Parish - center of the BP storm

42 Shrimp & Petroleum festival sign

43 Sunset on the bayou

44 Oyster boat painting

45 Old oyster man at Motivatit

46 Boxes o' oysters

47 Motivatit Gold band oysters, Houme, LA

48 Oyster shucking at Motivatit - for eight generations

49 Pilot Charlie Hammond explaining the disappearing wetlands

50 Pilot Charlie Hammond explaining the disappearing wetlands

51 Pilot Charlie Hammond explaining the disappearing wetlands

52 Birds eye view of Terrebonne parish - 90% wetlands in the backyard

53 Pilot Erik Himmel. Flying the wetlands for 30 years, but joked, "should have listened to his folks and been a surgeon."

54 Shrimp po'boy in Houma, LA

55 Louisiana University Marine consortium research center (LUMCON)

56 Dolphin skulls at LUMCON

57 Shrimp, Oyster and Duck appetizers at Mr. B's Bistro, New Orleans.

58 Fried Lousiana Blue crab at Mr. B's Bistro (and Abita beer)

59 Preservation Hall - the birthplace of jazz in New Orleans.

60 New Orleans Jazz at Preservation Hall in the French Quarter

61 Brennan's Restaurant in New Orleans since 1946

62 Brennan's breakfast in New Orleans Shrimp Sardou and Eggs La Nouvelle Orleans

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Comments (4)

  • Thanks. Louisiana is my home and I am 100% Certified Cajun. It is really nice to have someone finally admit to having had a enjoyable trip to our unique state.

  • Exactly Dale! And don't forget y'all, there's more to the state than New Orleans. Baton Rouge (the capital city) is just an hour or so north and there's lots to do here too!

  • thanks for reading. Baton rogue is in the photos. the link is an update on the oil cleanup from Houma, LA

  • We like, bring on I came across precisely what I was looking pertaining to. You may have was over my own a number of time very long hunt! Goodness Bless you dude. Employ a good evening. Cya

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