Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

We are now in Del Rio Texas

We are now in Del Rio Texas

New Orleans

April 25 – May 1, 2016

I have had these TX plates now for a few days and it still feels weird.  Yeah, I know, I can’t actually see the plates as I drive but I feel like an imposter Texan!  And that is coming from an imposter South Dakota resident!  Actually, I feel pretty good about these Texas plates and the whole Texas residency.  I can identify with being a Texan, not so much being a South Dakotan.

Our stay on the way to New Orleans in Lake Charles Louisiana.

Our site at the Quiet Oaks RV Park. 

I had to have some Catfish!

Here we are with the big boys on our way from Lake Charles to New Orleans.

We just finished our time here in New Orleans and it was a blast!  We planned our time here pretty good with the rainy weather we had.  We got here on Thursday just after it had rained here.  Friday we had tickets to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival with the headliner, Paul Simon closing the night.  No rain insight for that.  Then on Saturday we had a walking tour of one of the Cemeteries in the French Quarter.  Again no rain but it was close.  Just as we were walking back at the end of the tour it started to rain.  Sunday we had a swamp tour but that was rained out.  So, not bad, we got 2 good days before the constant rain hit.

Our RV park for the weekend in New Orleans

Gated entrance to the park that we had just about all to ourselves!

Our site at the Mardi Gras.  It was very wet and it got much wetter while we were there.

We were here during our first year as full-timers and we stayed in this same RV Park.  This park is really a dump but doesn’t know it yet.  Actually, it was worse 3 years ago! Three years ago there were many long termers here and loads of trash.  Now there are just 2 long term sites and no trash at all.  However, unlike our first visit, none of the 50 amp electric receptacles worked.  It’s OK as we can use 30 amp without much of an issue.  Just need to use one AC unit instead of 2. The thing that was the same were the fire ants!  This place is just loaded with them.  You have to constantly watch the ground as you walk anywhere to stay out of the fire ant hills. Anyway, at $25 a night and being only a 25 minute bus ride to the Jazz fest and to the French Quarter it makes it a steal!

The Jazz fest is all New Orleans!  The festival is held during the day from the hours of 11am to 7pm.  From the food to the music and from the party feel, it is all New Orleans.  This festival is not a make-believe New Orleans staged to look like New Orleans.  No, the festival is all New Orleans.  There is something like 10 stages with music and another 6 or so with crafts and food demos.  It has the feel of being at a very large outdoor music concert.  

Just when would you wear this? Hmmmm.....

We took the city bus for $6 round trip from a stop right in front of the RV Park.  25 minutes later we are just a couple of walking blocks from the festival.  These several blocks are filled with people selling everything you can think of.   There were even several musical groups playing along the way.  
We were going to take chairs along with us but at the last minute decided not to as we would need to carry them all day.  That wasn’t a bad move on our part as we didn’t get there early enough to put our chairs in a good place for the Paul Simon even at 5:15.  But, if we were to do this again we would take chairs and get to the event around 10:30am.  We didn’t get there until around 12:30 and the chair area was already half full and too far back for us.  We just used the free bleachers in the back.

Lots of people with flags at the festival.

More flags!

Interesting site.  This was all by itself along the outside fence to the festival.

Paul Simon.  Yes, we had nose bleed seats!  We were not in mud though.

We walked around and watched several music groups, ate, and shopped.  We also did a fair amount of people watching too! We had some really different food.  We started out with Crawfish Cajun bread.  Cajun bread is a staple here, everybody has to have some.  It’s sort of the Philly Cheese Steak type food of the festival.  I would say it’s a cross between a Cuban and a Cheese Steak sandwich with Crawfish instead of steak.  We had some sweet potato fries with powdered sugar and some fry bread with honey.  We also had some cracklin’s and finished it all off with blackberry cobbler, yuuummm!

Patty with her new ear rings she got here.

Patty shopping.

Just like in the French Quarter, small musical/dance troupe came dancing through the crowd.

The main even for us was the Paul Simon concert.   Neither of us had seen Paul Simon before so that was the event we decided to see.  We could have seen Stevie Wonder on Saturday night but we didn’t want to chance the rain, good decision on our part there all right! Anyway, Paul is sort of boring for our tastes.  Paul is 74 now but still sounds great! He doesn’t seem to have lost any of his voice with age.  We heard a lot of the old favorites and that was good enough for us!  We made it through just over halfway and decided to head out ahead of the crowd. We headed out toward our bus around 6:30 and were back at our RV by 8pm with no issues at all.  A great day!

Music on our way out too.

Saturday we were booked to take a tour that we got on Living Social.  I have several of the cities we are visiting this summer in Living Social so I get stuff to do every day from these city sites.  This Witches Tour of the French Quarter Cemetery and City tour came up so I purchased it.  I actually purchased this tour before we left Texas last week. (Can’t believe we just left last Friday!!) I also have purchased a tour in Savannah later this Month too.  

The City and Cemetery tour starts in the middle of the French Quarter.  We had about 10 of us for this 2 hour tour.  The weather was also playing a hand in this spooky tour too!  As we entered the cemetery the lightning and thunder had started.  It seemed that we were not wanted there by the inhabitants!  We learned a lot about New Orleans and about how the dead are handled by the citizens.  The biggest thing that I learned was that this cemetery is still being used!  As old as these family graves are, many are still being used that have been pasted down generation to generation.  After you wait the legal requirement of 14 months pass after a body is put in the grave a new one can be placed in the same place! They are still doing this here and all above ground!  It’s hot and humid here and they don’t embalm, ah, get the picture! Yikes!

Thinking I could get a job like this in retirement.

We learned that these hooks/spikes were to keep men from sliding down after they had been with the young unwed female of the house.

Just cool pictures of the French Quarter's cemetery.

By the way, this is a new grave site for Nicolas Cage!  He spent about a 1/4 million to have this built for himself!  What an ego he has!

The oldest grave in this cemetery.  Dates to the early 1700's

A legendary voodoo princess grave.

After the tour we bought our tour guide beer at a local bar. She turned us on to a nice restaurant for dinner, the Napoleon.  Not sure I would go back to this restaurant but it was fine for us on this rainy evening.  The food was great, just didn’t have much of a varied menu.  The signature foods were Red Beans and rice, Jambalaya, and Gumbo, so we had a little of all of it.  Again, we were back at the RV by about 9pm.  We would have spent more time in the Quarter but it was now raining pretty hard.

Our tour guide.

Having a beer at the Corner Pocket after the tour.

The Corner Pocket is a gay bar.

We thought this guy looks like Patty's brother Tom.

Our dinner restaurant the Napolean

As we walked back to the RV we spotted 2 pairs of my flip flops floating on the road!  Our RV had a small lake in front of the front door.  With the wind and the lake that had formed, my flip flops just floated away.  One of the shoes was on the opposite side of the road!

Sunday we were booked for the Swamp Tour, again from Living Social.  The tour was along Lake Pontchartrain at 2 in the afternoon.  The weather just didn’t look like it was going to hold for this tour.  We went to a local Walmart to get some staples and got back just before it really cut loose.  It was so dark and humid it looked like night time at noon!  We found out that the tour does not give refunds and that they were not canceling the tour.  The boats they use have a roof, well la de da!  The tour cost us $24 dollars for the 2 of us so we just decided to stay in today.  We have been in swamps before and we really didn’t have it in us to go in another one in the rain.

Walmart in New Orleans.  Who eats this stuff?!

So now it has been raining most of the day and we are sitting on grass.  I am just a little worried about getting stuck when we try to leave in the morning.  The site is a pull through but only in name.  It really is a pull in/back out site with the same type site in front of it.  Since there isn’t anyone else here, we can just “”pull through” it.  I will most probably try and back up to stay on the little bit of gravel that is under the grass on the front of the site.

Note:  I got out fine.  I slid around a little but after getting the RV weight on the rear wheels we were fine to back up and out.

From here we are heading to visit friends and family in the Sarasota area of Florida.  We will be there on Friday to attend a party in the afternoon.  Sarasota is a little over 700 miles from here so we will do 2 bump and runs with a 2 night stay in the middle.  This will allow us to only need to travel 130 miles on Friday.

On our way East from New Orleans on State road 90 along the Gulf Coast.

We spotted a place selling fresh Gulf Shrimp
so we stopped to get a couple of pounds priced at $4/lb.

First time to Florida in 3 years!

Our first stop in Florida.  This is the same place we stopped at 3 years ago.

Our site at the Rivers Edge.  Great at just $15 a night.  We will spend 2 nights here before moving on toward Sarasota Florida.  Our next 2 RV Parks will be one nighters.

Stay tuned!

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