Thursday, September 9, 2010

New Orleans Day Four, Venice

When I travel somewhere I like to explore the surrounding area and NOLA is no different – I’ll get all I want of the tourist area with just a couple of days – blasphemy I know to not spend every minute soaking in the ambiance of the French Quarter, etal. While watching the oil spill news coverage, I noticed the broadcast was often from Venice, La and when I checked the map I thought it looked like a unique place. It’s located at the lower end of the little strip of La. jutting out into the Gulf of Mexico with the Mississippi river running down the middle of it. I can’t help wondering how many thousands or millions of years this has taken and how much of my gardens topsoil is there.

And since the weather called for more rain, we decided it would be a good day to mark this off the list. It was a nice leisurely drive of about 75 miles each way over flat mostly 4 four lane road – I’m sure going to appreciate the mountains after a week of dead flat with the only hills around being the levees. We went on Sunday and were not surprised to find the marina full of shrimp boats, but we were surprised that most of them weren’t going out at all but rather sitting in harbor and collecting a check from BP – I’m sure there’s much more to the story we didn’t get.

We ate at a nice little restaurant at the marina called Crawgators and like most things around the area is new since Katrina.

This is some of the local bayou transportation - there must have been 10 airboats parked here.

This is the view from the deck as we ate - the tall booms are from the shrimp boats.

I had a shrimp po boy, Bev had a shrimp sandwich (same as the po boy only smaller) and we shared some delicious homemade onion rings. The sandwiches were good, but the most noticible thing was the taste of the shrimp - fresh and shrimpy vs the preservative flavor we get here. I could grow to love shrimp if they all tasted like this. The surprising thing at the restaurant was, in spite of the name, they served neither crawfish nor gator.

Just down from the turn off to the marina we came upon this sign and while it’s not the southern most point in La, it is the southern most road point – the end of the road so to speak.

I've always loved to see big ships and we got to see many at anchor along the river.

But the highlight was this fellow. As we drove up on the levee to take a couple of shots I noticed he wasn't at anchor but was headed up river. He seemed to be riding high which surprised me as I would have thought everything headed toward NOLA would be laden. We watched him completely pass by and I was thrilled.

While sitting there on the levee, I kept trying to decide which was higher - the land on the left or the river on the right and I swear it appears to be the river, but can't tell for sure. Since it's too close to call, I know I wouldn't live there.

For dinner that evening, we were still full from lunch so it was some to-go boxes we'd accumulated from previous meals.

Up to now, I've just read and enjoyed your comments, but I have plenty of time to respond, so beginning today, I'll try to respond to each comment - so check back in.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.



  1. Sometimes the key to a city is not the city itself but the 'burbs. Sounds like you had fun exploring the areas in and around NOLA!

  2. That's my view Joanne especially since I'm not much of a city person.

  3. I am loving these NO posts. When I was there I just couldn't believe how delicious the shrimp was! Love those big boat photos. we took a trip up the river on one of those big paddle wheel boats. It was amazing how the levy actually makes the river higher in places. I remember looking down on roofs.

  4. Larry, I've enjoyed y'alls trip to Louisiana very much. Venice is for sure off the beaten path. There is absolutely nothing as good as Gulf shrimp (but don't say I said that 'cause coastal NC has some of the best shrimp too.)

    If you enjoy watching the boats and tugs along the river, you might enjoy Vicksburg or Natchez. Or even better a cruise on the Mississippi.

    We could hear the kalopies from the boats at our house when we lived in Vicksburg. Really cool.

  5. LOVE harbors and marinas and really enjoyed all the pictures. When I lived in Texas, we did some fishing charters in the Gulf and coming upon a shrimper was always a treat -not to mention the good fishing near one of those boats. Love this post, Larry!

  6. Lea Ann and Sam - We didn't think about a paddle boat trip but wish we had of.

  7. Vickie - I always enjoy marinas as well, glad you liked the pics.

  8. Dear Larry, you reminde me of my visit to Volundamm (phonetic spelling) in The Netherlands back in August 1987. I walked along a road built on top of a dyke - on my left the sea was at one level, and on my right were houses built on land at a much lower level than the sea.

    I grew up, and still live on, hills way above sea level. The 1987 experience was incredibly weird!

    Keep writing about all the delicious seafood you came across, and had the pleasure to eat on this journey, super fresh = super deliciousness.

    Sending care and huggles to you and your dear Bev,

    Michelle and a soundly asleep (hooray!) Zebbycat

  9. Michelle - Thanks for stopping by. The scarey part is that if the earth continues to warm the sea levels are likely to get higher.

  10. Larry, Nice side trip! Venice LA is on my list too. We also plan to drive down to Grand Isle LA on the other side of Barataria Bay. Crawgators is exactly the type of joint that we look for as we cruise the backroads of America! As for ships, I'm with you on that as well. I love big ships, old planes, cool and/or old cars as well as old locomotives! Looking forward to the next entry in your travelogue... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  11. David - It may just be our generation that likes those sorts of things.

  12. It sounds like you have had a great time and really moved away from the ordinary. I loved your photos. I hope you are having a fabulous day. Blessings...Mary

  13. It looks like an overall great trip. I love large modes of transportation, too. Your concerns over the river being higher than the land resonated with me; I just am not that comfortable with so much water close to me. I'd spend my life knowing that the land has been overrun by water more than once, and nature always beats human intervention.

  14. Marjie - I'm the same way and while I live on a lake, it will likely take a Noah like flood to reach my house.

  15. I'm sure that Venice is very different now than it was in the '80's. Hope it is coming back since the oil spill. I feel so sorry for those people who depend on fishing for a living. Hope BP is good to them!

  16. And now you know why we are so endeared to our fresh Gulf seafood! :) We went through 100 pounds of shrimp bought right off of the docks in Biloxi over the Labor Day holiday. That Greek shrimp you made looks delicious!

    When I lived in New Orleans, I made friends with a gal who was from Venice and I traveled there with her to visit her mom and dad a couple times. She called it the "end of the world." It's a different world down there for sure!

    Thanks for sharing your trip!!

  17. Betsy - most things looked brand new in the area.

  18. Wow Mary, that sounds like a real shrimp-a-thon.

  19. See? I quit liking shrimp since we moved from Florida in 2000. It IS different, isn't it?

    I used to fish all of the time across from the Blount Island terminal in Jax and loved watching the freighters come in and out. Your post reminded me of those days.


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