French pirate Jean Lafitte has a national historical site named after him, and we spent some time learning about him and the history of New Orleans in the French Quarter Visitor Center.

On a different day, we trekked out to the Barataria Preserve.  In a rare moment of genius, I threw the bug spray into my purse to take along, and I ended up passing it around to an entire group of people at the park.

It was beautiful!

It was also a little bit scary.

Okay it was actually legit terrifying.  This sucker was HUGE.  The kids wanted to snap a picture of this alligator’s “good side”.  I thought it sounded like a bad idea, but I didn’t want to be a wimp.  They all walked past.  They snapped a picture.  Like any good mother I immediately freaked out and insisted that they come back.  They `rolled their eyes at me, and begrudgingly started walking back.  Two of the three made it.  As the third child (leaving out names to avoid embarrassment) was walking back, the giant alligator whipped his head around – and we all froze.  Except that third child, who instead leaped backwards, too afraid to cross.  I was running through the Three Billy Goats Gruff in my head, trying to remember what happened to the goats in the end and simultaneously cursing this dumb alligator.  Finally one brave child fetched the scared child.  I was completely ready to faint.  The kids recapped the entire encounter the whole way back, but I couldn’t really laugh about it until we were in the car.  With the doors locked.

I hate you