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Sunday, January 26, 2014

THE BIG EASY

We just spent eight days in New Orleans. Maggie and Brenin took the train down from Michigan meeting us there. It was great sharing this one-of-a-kind city with them. It was equally new for all of us. An interesting place bursting with culture. We stayed in the French Quarter RV Resort. It was the most we've ever spent on camping, but so convenient and only 2 blocks from the French Quarter. The campground is located next to I-10 which was a bit noisy with the constant sound of traffic and sirens. What is really sad is seeing all the homeless people living under those expressways. Maggie and Brenin stayed with us in the motorhome for a few days and then off on their own for awhile. They had several friends here at the same time.


 French Quarter RV Resort (I-10 in background). We had a space next to this building  with showers, laundry room, jacuzzi, pool and workout room.


New Orleans (or N'awlins as pronounced by residents) is known as the birthplace of jazz. The streets of the French Quarter, the oldest neighborhood in New Orleans is bursting with lots of sounds of blues and jazz. We saw everything from street performers to party bar scenes. It was like being in a time warp. Of course we had to experience Bourbon Street at least once to see what Mardi Gras must be like.


First things first - Beignets at Cafe Du Monde .

Then an awful lotta muffuletta!


Jackson Square, named for our Seventh President and hero of the battle of New Orleans.

New Orleans is broken up into many districts. Dick and I caught a streetcar to the end of the line and back to the Garden District and walked Magazine St. all the way back to the French Qtr. I did so much walking I had blisters on my feet.

This house in the Garden District was the main house
in the Benjamin Button movie.



Although New Orleans is rich with energy and culture, it is known for its high crime rate. It has the highest homicide rates in the United States. When we first arrived we felt very uncomfortable, having been warned by many to not walk around at night. The first couple of days we drove our car everywhere which was even more dangerous with all the one way streets and arguing with the GPS (and each other). Then our 70 yr old RV neighbor said there's no problem that she walks alone all the time from the RV park to the French Quarter, returning in the dark. So we went with her to hear music at night. Safety in numbers. Or Dick said we could just outrun her. Maggie and Brenin said they would use taxi service when they were out late. We aren't sure if they always did, but I, being always the concerned parent, refrained from being the "mom".  


Kermit Ruffins was very entertaining.


















We enjoyed listening to the music of Luke Winslow-King and Esther Rose.  
A must see since Brenin and Luke went to High School together.
Armstrong Park was beautiful and only a short walk from
the RV park.


Maggie and Brenin at an Armstrong Park exhibit.











Great music everywhere you turned.
St. Louis Cemetary located right next to the RV Park.
Of course we ate lots of good food but the best of all was our last night together. We had relocated to Bayou Signette State Park about 20 minutes from town. We found a Shrimp Market right outside the entrance. Brenin fixed us a great meal - Jambalaya, jumbo shrimp and boudin. 













Didn't get enough of this music in New Orleans! 
After a wonderful week together we dropped Maggie and Brenin at the airport and, once we knew they were in the air, began heading west along the Gulf through Cajun country on the 180-mile long Creole Scenic Byway. After three ferry rides we are now at Padre Island National Seashore.  It's so nice to hear Dick whistling again. He is out of his element in big cities as you will read on his blog: DICK'S BLOG - LOOKING AT LIFE THRU ONE EYE



Pelican and dolphin watching as we rode the ferry.
Funny Face is hiding under the couch.







Sunday, January 5, 2014

TO WARMER TEMPS!


Farewell Michigan.
Boo likes this traveling lifestyle. 

I promised Dick we could leave as soon after Christmas, weather and road conditions permitting. On the 26th we started the dreaded job of loading the motorhome in the snow and cold and winterized and locked up the house. We stayed in the motorhome that night and headed south at daybreak on the 27th. The first night out we stayed at the Kokomo, IN Walmart and then the next day on to the Bowling Green, KY Camping World where we celebrated our 39th wedding anniversary with pizza and a movie in the motorhome. If we were still home we would have gone out to eat at a nice restaurant, but just being together heading for Florida was celebration enough. The highways were busy with other migrating Snowbirds heading south after the holidays. By the third night we made it to St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, our favorite state park in the Florida Panhandle. Dick has been singing Zac Brown’s song “I’ve got my toes in the water, my ass in the sand, not a care in the world, a beer in my hand. Life is good today.” The last part of the song he has right but I still haven’t seen his toes and ass anywhere near the water. It’s not THAT warm down here. It’s averaged mid-50‘s most of the time. A whole lot better than the freezing temperatures in Michigan and having to shovel snow. Today we are soaking up the sun in the 60's our last day at St. Joseph S.P. before beginning our trip west to New Orleans. Dick left for the day to hike along the beach in training for his long distance hike on the AZT. I'm enjoying some alone time. Life is good.

Walkway across from our motorhome to the beach


A great camping spot





The only time Funny Face has any peace.


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