I didn't actually visit the Saint Louis Cemetery of New Orleans because it required joining a tour. I typically prefer to wander at my own pace and discover things privately. I think better that way--the quieter way. While I sauntered up and down the rows of vaults, my imagination soared ahead of me, gobbling up creepy details pertinent to my book. In fact, my imagination flew a little further, to other books in the series. Yes, Diamonds of the Quarter will be the first in the Improper Sons series.
After the cemetery, we drove south to Jean Lafitte's swamp. No trip to the south should be complete without visiting the bayous! We took an air-boat tour, which was informational and fun! We had a crazy captain--so we saw crazy things...like him kissing an alligator that he called Tiger. (Not kidding!) We saw two yearling alligators that our captain called "Little Bit." He fed them marshmallows.
"We motored to an eerie, narrow bend in the river. Spanish moss clung to cypress trees which grew on both sides, with their limbs stretched over the water like ancient, grey heads bowing. Uncle Enzo’s eyes quickly worked the scene ahead of us, and with good reason, too. About twenty yards inside the “tunnel of trees” a damn snake dropped off a drooping limb, landing right across my shoulders! The serpent was aiming to send me to the vault with my little brother, but Uncle Enzo’s long hook flipped it back into the water before fangs could find my flesh."--Randulet Thibodeaux, Diamonds of the Quarter
It seemed like every tree in the bayou had its own ecosystem. My imagination took flight with the osprey and heron alike while my brain churned like a Maytag. Crickets, cicada's and bullfrogs serenaded the scenery. For the record, Spanish moss does grow in tangles of algae-seasoned spaghetti...whetting my appetite for future adventures.