|Scenic Bayou St. John|
We started the morning out near the bayou's mouth at the lake, where the remnants of Fort St. Jean are slowly vanishing into nature. Hitched on my hip, Baby August was, as usual, content with being along for ride. Charles, on the other hand, marched out of the car as if he owned the place. Climbing on the crumbling brick walls, scaling the nearby levee and chasing lizards, he was merely warming up his endless reserves of energy.
|Tree swing in City Park's Couturie Forest|
The first half of the walk was fairly uneventful. August had long since dozed off, lulled to sleep by the warm breeze pushing us along. Charles was racing ahead, searching out the tree swing he knew was around the corner. As my husband pushed him high in the air, I watched a group of turtles sunbathing on a log. A duck gliding to a stop in the water drew my gaze up, and I gasped as I noticed a 5-foot alligator staring back at me from a nearby island. Aside from the child-sized tee-pee next to the swing, the alligator was certainly the highlight of Charles' trip. We had to bribe him with the promise of shrimp for lunch to tear him away and head back to the car.
|Parkway Bakery and Tavern|
With just an hour left until Charles' dreaded afternoon nap, we decided to treat him to a hot chocolate and some last-minute playtime at "the little park by the coffee shop." On a small side street branching off of Esplanade Avenue stands an eclectic grouping of shops and restaurants, including Fair Grinds coffeehouse. Considering the place his second home, my toddler walked up to the counter and ordered his drink before we made it through the door. After slurping it down, he ran outside to find the coveted tricycle the shop keeps on hand for pint-sized visitors. We patiently followed behind, sipping our coffees as he made his slow circuit around the block.
|Quality time spent in Fortier Park.|