Monday, March 20

April 11, 2023

Monday morning at 5:30 a.m. was the earliest wake up call as the group has to get through three tours for the day. As usual, breakfast was served at the hotel but with a few different options. The first tour, the Oak Alley Plantation, was not scheduled until 8:45 a.m., leaving students with extra free time at the hotel. A benefit of waking up early, was getting time to be fully awake for the day. 

At the plantation, students were split into three groups for a tour of the “Big House,” which would take about 30 minutes. During the tour, the guide explained the history of the house as well visiting the Civil War Encampment and the Blacksmith Shop Exhibits. Another interesting part of this tour was seeing all the slaves’ houses located down a small driveway from the Big House, where each house had a different meaning for what they were used for. Shortly after the tour was completed, students gathered back onto the bus and headed to the next location, the Cajun Pride Swamp Tour. 

The Cajun Pride Swamp Tour had provided students lunch with boxed Firehouse Subs for when we arrived. Students were able to visit with one another and also get to see a few alligators before the actual tour. At 1:30 p.m., two boats arrived for the swamp tour that would take around an hour and a half. Students received information on not only alligators but also snakes, crawfish, raccoons, and just about anything else as the tour guides were eager to share any extra information that we asked about. On the boat, the tour guide had a baby alligator and everyone had the opportunity to hold and take pictures with it. Usually, tours can begin to feel boring and dragged out, but the tour guide had lots of energy that kept us entertained throughout the entire tour. 

After the tour came to an end, students loaded back onto the buses and headed to New Orleans to have dinner at the Hard Rock Café. Hard Rock Café happened to be on Bourbon Street, which was the number one street students were not allowed to go on during free time in the French Quarter. However, chaperones talked up Bourbon Street to be more horrific than it actually was. Prior to the trip, students had to choose what food they would like from the six options given for the café; Original Legendary Burger, The Impossible Burger, Grilled Chicken Sandwich, Twisted Mac Chicken & Cheese, Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad, and Tupelo Chicken Tenders. Any student that went on this trip would say their favorite place was the Hard Rock Café because, outside of the restaurant, a small jazz band was playing and all the students went outside and began to dance to the music. Eventually, it was time to depart for the next tour, but all the students were begging to stay and skip the next one. 

At 7 p.m., students arrived back at Jackson Square, where they were split into three groups for the Haunted History Ghosts & Legends Tour of the French Quarter, which would be around an hour and a half. During the tour, students learned about the 300-year history of New Orleans that included stories about people and buildings. One of the stories the tour guide shared was called the Romeo Spike. A man took his family out to dinner but unfortunately, the daughter was too ill to attend. After the family left the house, the daughter invited her boyfriend over to fill in time. Arriving at the restaurant, the father realizes he left this wallet so he returns home to an unlocked door and voices in the house. The father rushes upstairs to find the daughter sitting quietly on the bed but he suspects that there is another person in the house. After searching through the daughter’s bedroom, the father retrieves a gun and walks towards the balcony where he sees the boyfriend hanging off the side. The boyfriend panics at the sight of the gun and lets go of the rail where he then slides down the pole. Unfortunately, this pole had spikes sticking out and the spikes disemboweled the boyfriend. The saying around New Orleans is if you stand under this pole for too long, people can feel a wet substance dripping on their forehead with a red tint. Many of the students began to think that the stories were fake and made fun of them along the tour, but the tour guides were very polite and cracked a few jokes.