Oak Alley Plantation with Colorado Traveling Ducks

Let’s visit a southern plantation.   Taking a bus from New Orleans to the plantation, we pass such pretty land.

Driving from New Orleans to Oak Alley Plantation

This wooded area is rather wet.   Can see water quite often among the trees   I, Zeb the Duck, think this is bayou country.   And the level of the Mississippi River is high now.  Here we are.

Here we are

This place has beautiful grounds.   And this sign has more historical information.

A great history

This tree is Crape Myrtle.

Crape Myrtle tree

Crape Myrtle was introduced in the United States in the late 1780’s, from China.   This unique tree has a trunk that exhibits exfoliating bark, exposing smooth, satin like surfaces.   The scientific name is Lagerstroemia indica.   We, the Colorado Traveling Ducks, love flowering trees.   A couple rows of small houses were slave quarters.

Slaves quarters

Each side of the building was used by a slave family.   Antoine, a slave gardener, was on this plantation.

Antoine the Gardener and pecans

He was very talented and his talent was recognized and used.   We now grow paper shell pecans and they are not only very tasty, but easy to crack open.   Thanks to Antoine.  During free time, slaves were allowed to raise some vegetables and chickens.   These were for the personal use of slaves, or could be sold for extra income.

Slaves raised chickens for extra money

The slaves did not have much space or much time, so during the day the children of slaves tended the chickens, feeding and gathering eggs.   At night the chickens were put in coops to protect them from fox and other animals.  The slave quarters were very interesting.   Each side of the building had items used by the slaves and great information on the life of the slaves.   Like most places, we could have used more time.   Walking to the front of the property, we admired this long walkway.

Formal entrance to plantation house

The live oak trees form a canopy over the sidewalk.   From the sidewalk we admire the trees.

Trees on ground form new roots

We were told new roots form where the trees touch the ground.   Such grand old trees.

Plantation house

Leading us right to the plantation.   We were called for our tour, but also told no photos allowed inside the plantation home.   The tour was nice and our guide, Shannon, was wonderful.   From the balcony we were allowed to take pictures.

Front entrance from balcony

The front walk is impressive from this view.

Side lawn from balcony

A side lawn has a picturesque bridge.   Another side offers views of flowering trees.

Side lawn with flowering trees

We love the beautiful green lawns and vegetation.   On our way out we visited the gift shop and purchased some treats with pecans.   They were delicious.  This plantation is beautiful and we are glad we came here.

Jackson Square in New Orleans with Colorado Traveling Ducks

Let’s go to historic Jackson Square.   The backdrop of Jackson Square is St. Louis Cathedral.

Jackson Square with St. Louis Cathedral

This cathedral was designated as a Minor Basilica by Pope Paul VI on December 9, 1964.   We entered the cathedral, but were very quiet.

Inside St. Louis Cathedral

Mass was held at this time.   We stayed in the back, didn’t speak, and didn’t use flash on the camera.   Isn’t this a beautiful cathedral?   We think it is magnificent.   In front of St. Louis Cathedral is a bronze statue of Major General Andrew Jackson.

Major General Andrew Jackson

During the Spanish rule, from 1762 to 1803, this plaza was Plaza de Armas.

Plaza de Armas

However, after the Battle of New Orleans, the plaza was renamed Jackson Square and the bronze statue was placed here.   This plaza became a National Historic Landmark in 1960 for its central role in the city’s history.   This is where, in 1803, Louisiana became a US territory, pursuant to the Louisiana Purchase.  We returned here on Saturday and enjoyed the art fair held near the cathedral.   Soapy’s mom purchased some art and it was shipped to them in Colorado.  Across the street we saw this sign.

New Orleans is 300 years old

NOLA means New Orleans Louisiana.   The city is 300 years old now.   Up the stairs we saw this cannon announcing we were now in Washington Artillery Park.

Cannon with Mississippi River behind

The Mississippi River is right here.   A paddle wheel river boat is here also.   Turning the other direction, we admire St. Louis Cathedral.

From Washington Artillery Park

Behind the cannon we see Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral and horse carriages on the street.   The French Quarter of New Orleans is pretty.   And we are having fun.   How about a snack now?

Cafe du Monde

Cafe du Monde is famous in New Orleans.   This sign explains why.

Cafe du Monde

So, we order a plate of beignets.

Beignets

When we told our friends we were coming to New Orleans, they all said be sure to come here for beignets.   So here we are.   There sure is a lot of powdered sugar on the beignets and all over the plate.   There were good, but mom thought they had too much powdered sugar.   Soapy’s mom thought they were great, just the way they came.    Leaving Cafe du Monde, we enjoyed the music and entertainers.

Entertainers at Cafe du Monde

We went back to Washington Artillery Park for a better photo view.   New Orleans has music everywhere.   It is really nice here.

St. Louis, Missouri with Zeb and Soapy Smith Duck

I, Zeb the Duck, and Soapy Smith Duck had part of a day in St. Louis.   What should we do?   We drove downtown and parked across from Busch Stadium.

Busch Stadium

The St. Louis Cardinals baseball team plays here.

St. Louis Cardinal at bat

The Cardinals have won many World Series of Baseball and the fans are very loyal.   Then we heard fireworks.   A man on the street said that means someone hit a home run.   Well, what are ducks and moms to do?   We bought tickets, went into the stadium, found our seats and then bought hot dogs.   For a last minute idea, we had pretty good seats.

Watching the baseball game

This was an exciting game.   The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Pittsburg Pirates 7-0.   Lots of action in this game and the crowd was happy and cheering as their favorite hometown team continued to score.   The game ended and as we left our seats, we noticed the cardinal on the end of each row of seats.

A cardinal on each row of seats

Isn’t that great?  We like this stadium.   We did need to take a quick look at the Cardinals store inside the stadium.

Store inside Busch Stadium

Here we are perched on a can by the doors.   Outside more fans were celebrating.

Cardinals Nation. Across from Busch Stadium

Across the street from Busch Stadium, Cardinals Nation was feeding and refreshing many fans. The weather was warm with the sun shining through the beautiful blue sky.   What could we do next that would not seem like a let down after that great game?   The sidewalk had the answer.

St. Louis has an arch

St. Louis has The Gateway Arch, the world’s tallest arch, located on the banks of the Mississippi River.  The Gateway Arch opened June 1967.   This, the tallest monument in the United States, is dedicated to “the American people” and a tribute to the westward expansion of the United States.   Our moms have been here before and they loved this area.

The Arch

That is a big arch!  The Gateway Arch is 630 feet tall, compared to the Washington Monument at 555 feet.   The arch has a stainless steel skin and glimmers in the sunshine.   Before we ducks joined the family our moms went inside the arch to the observation area.   There is a tram in each leg of the arch to go to the top.   With 8 cylindrical 5 seat compartments with a small window in each compartment, 40 humans ascend at a time from each side.   The cars, or compartments, swing like Ferris wheel cars, half Ferris wheel and half elevator, it takes 4 minutes to arrive at the top.   At the top observation area each side has 16 windows, 7″ x 27″ (180 mm x 690 mm).  Through these small windows, you can see up to 30 miles (48 km) into Missouri and southern Illinois.   We did not go inside the arch this time.  Near the arch, we saw Harry.

Harry the horse and his carriage

Harry pulls this carriage.   We wanted to ride in Harry’s carriage.  We are riding with the Mississippi next to us.

Mississippi River and bridge connecting Missouri and Illinois.

That bridge over the Mississippi River goes to southern Illinois.  This is graffiti wall.

Graffiti wall. We love it!

We enjoyed the pictures painted here.   We must like artful graffiti.   After a ride along the river and through part of downtown St. Louis, Harry, who likes apples, carrots and peppermint candy, took us to our car.   We were asked not to feed Harry as he is not done working for the day.   If he gets fed, even a snack, he wants to go back to the barn.   So we petted Harry, paid and tipped our driver and left our carriage.   Our car was parked across from  White Castle hamburger restaurant.   Naturally we went to White Castle for a light dinner.

White Castle hamburgers. Arch in background

Looking through the window of White Castle, we liked seeing the Gateway Arch.   We enjoyed our time in St. Louis.