The first thing on our agenda (after the included hot breakfast buffet at the hotel, of course) was to board our coach and head out of town to the swamps of Louisiana.
Included in the itinerary was a fully guided swamp cruise to see alligators and other wildlife, and it didn't disappoint.
We were warned:
The swamp was beautiful with all the different types of trees and the Spanish moss hanging from all the live oaks.
Our first run in with any wildlife was a blue heron:
...but then we travelled farther and found... more birds:
...and an airboat (also known as a fanboat):
...and natural gas:
But we traveled even farther until we came across...
And here are more photos and videos from our swamp adventure:
They were using marshmallows to entice them.
Yes, we even got to hold a baby alligator!
Here's me eyeing him up for the stewpot! (ok, just kidding!)
And here's an albino alligator they had at the store when we returned. Yes, it was alive!
Then we headed back to the city of New Orleans.
The rest of the afternoon was a free day so I went for a walk...
...until I came to the famous Café du Monde:
There I met up with Carol & Kathie from our tour group for Beignets and Café au Lait. Amazing!
I then strolled the streets and went to the fresh air market for some last minute souvenir shopping.
That evening at 5pm we had a group meeting where we drew for the grand prize of a Large Big Green Egg (complete with stand, shelves, and accessories totaling $1900) through the Official Chef Dez Scavenger Hunt. And the winner was Gay H.!
Our group was then treated to a cooking class at the New Orleans School of Cooking hosted by their Chef Ricardo and Yours Truly:
We then headed to Bourbon Street as a group so that on our last night of the tour we could treat everyone to a jazz show and some beverages! I had a hurricane and I think all drinks taste better on Bourbon Street. Check out my Facebook pages for some video from Bourbon Street and the Jazz band.
Afterwards we all headed back to the hotel to turn in for the evening. Tomorrow will be our last official day of the 2018 Chef Dez "Spoons & Tunes" Culinary Tour as we prepare to make our way back home. Goodnight...