We left Louisiana in the morning and had a beautiful drive to Mississippi. The roads were quite bad for most of the trip so we stopped at The Hancock County Welcome Center to check out the rig. Fortunately, all was well. At the Welcome Center is a NASA Visitor Center that offers a free shuttle and tour of Stennis Space Center in Hancock, MS. We had planned on heading strait to Alabama so we could get set-up and rest for the day. Since we hadn’t been able to visit Space Center Houston because of cost, we decided to seize this opportunity.
Friday morning we got to the French Quarter as soon as possible. Our list of things to do was very long and we wanted to accomplish as much as possible.
Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve has six locations. When we were in Lafayette, LA, we visited the Acadian Cultural Center. This morning we went to the French Quarter Visitor Center which shares the history and traditions of New Orleans and the delta region.
New Orleans! Where do I begin?
We arrived in New Orleans on Wednesday, January 11 after quite an eventful trip. After we got set-up, we decided to drive through the French Quarter to check out the lay-of-the-land, so to speak. Our new resort provides a shuttle service but it is $25 round-trip and would lock us in to staying in the French Quarter for the day. We hoped to pay less than this and have a bit more freedom.
This next part is going to sound negative. Please keep reading.
This morning we left Frog City RV (http://www.lafayettervpark.com/) in Duson, LA, which is between Rayne and Lafayette. It’s another very nice, clean park (the showers are some of the best we’ve seen) that is in a great location. It’s close to Lafayette, Avery Island and Baton Rouge. There are also a lot of neat little stops around the area.
We have definitely reached an area that is in peak season for RV parks. For a few months now we have been in parks with maybe 20 campers at the very most. The last couple of parks didn’t have 20 available spots. It’s interesting to check out the other campers’ license plates. Our new park has the most diversity. On our walk tonight we saw campers from Manitoba, New Mexico, Idaho, South Dakota, Manitoba and British Columbia to name a few.
We had a beautiful day for moving. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect. Once again we drove over The Basin Bridge that goes over the Atchafalaya Swamp. It was definitely flooded from all the rain and seemed even more beautiful today. The grass was so green. We kept a look-out for alligators but still didn’t see any. The bright sunshine made the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge look like a river of diamonds. Just when I think we have driven out of fall, we find more trees that still haven’t lost their leaves. The trees bordering the Mighty Mississip had yellow leaves but they looked like they were made of gold as the sun and river reflected off of them.
While the trip was beautiful it was also very eventful. We were very thankful that we didn’t have the high winds that had been forecasted. It was one less thing to worry about. Soon after we were nearly involved in an accident, we came to a patch of very bad roads. We hit a large bump that tipped our bikes of our rack. Fortunately, a passing motorist flagged us down. Stopping as soon as we could, we found our bikes in much better shape than we expected. One bike lost a reflector and one of the handlebars on Barry’s bike was worn down a bit. While hurrying to get the bikes re-secured, Barry burned his right hand rather badly on the handlebar that was hot from being dragged on the pavement. Of course this all happened when we were very busy with business calls and on a very busy expressway.
A couple of weeks ago I was cleaning out our medicine cabinet and nearly threw away a homeopathic burn remedy that I’ve had for about 7 years. I didn’t think it would be any good but decided to keep it until I could find a replacement. It’s supposed to be applied immediately but that was impossible as we were in heavy traffic for about 30 minutes before we could stop again. I applied it anyway and it almost immediately took the pain away. I then put on a generous amount of salve and wrapped it. So far—so good! It looks like he may have a ‘brand’ from where he grabbed the bike but at least he’s not in pain. We’re very thankful for God’s protection today!
I probably won’t blog until Saturday morning because we have two days of sight-seeing scheduled. I’ll take good notes, so I don’t forget anything!
It rained hard last night—all night. There were times when I wondered if we might wake up and find ourselves floating in the Gulf of Mexico. We didn’t, of course, but the campground was flooded. I hadn’t noticed until this morning that the park has a slight incline. Fortunately for us, we are at the top of that incline. Many campers on the lower end were surrounded by water several inches deep. We think it might be a good idea to invest in some galoshes in case we ever find ourselves in a similar situation.
Barry had another very busy day. After the girls and I finished with school, he decided we all needed to take a short break. Earlier in the week the girls had seen a billboard advertising a candy store with the world’s largest gummy bear. We drove to Candyland Cottage & Ice Cream Shoppe in Rayne, Louisiana. They weren’t disappointed. We didn’t buy the the bear but they did see him and a lot of other very unique confections in this quaint and adorably decorated shop. It was hard for them to choose! Barry and I saw candy that we hadn’t seen since we were kids. The girls got a good laugh at the antique Candyland board games that were on display; especially when they saw the type that Barry and I had while growing-up.
On our drive to the store, we were surprised at the amount of flooding that had occurred in only about 16 hours of rain. It was also amazing how blue and clear the sky was compared to how it had even been this morning. I had noticed on our drive to Baton Rouge how in some areas the grass was so green and lush that it looked like pictures I have seen of Ireland. It was even more so today. It was a beautiful drive!
I failed to mention yesterday that we tried gumbo. It was very good. Barry tried to get some alligator for us to try but he was told that it’s out of season. We remembered this evening that we hadn’t tried the prickly pear jam we bought in Texas. It was a little on the sweet side but it was very good. It tasted very much like pear preserves.
Tomorrow we leave this campground for another. We are nearly packed up. When we heard the rain was coming, we had to pack as many things inside the camper or Suburban as possible. It makes for a tight fit but tomorrow will be very easy.
The weather has cooled down quite a bit and while the humidity is a little higher than what we are used to this time of year, it is more tolerable. We should sleep much better tonight. The sound of the rain hitting the camper was very pleasant last night but I’m afraid that it if should rain anymore that we would end up floating in the Gulf!
We’ve found the weather reports in the different areas we have visited to be very interesting at times. Our current forecast is : “a large shield of rain…occasionally moderate to heavy…with embedded thunderstorms.” That about sums it up. It’s been raining for hours.
The weather gave us a good excuse to stay inside and get a lot of school done. We plan sight-seeing for most of Thursday and Friday so we are trying to get a little bit ahead with our studies and instrument practice.
Barry made omelettes for supper tonight with the remaining Boudin (a sausage famous in this area). He seasoned it with ‘Slap Ya Mama’ and Tabasco sauce. Mmmmmm. They were very good but I’m glad we won’t be eating like this all the time.
We awoke to a beautiful day. The high was 78 but with 90% humidity, we welcomed the air conditioned drive to Baton Rouge. After church, we packed up and headed across the Atchafalaya River Basin; the largest river swamp in the United States. We stopped at exit 121 off of Highway 10 to go through a visitor’s center. It’s a fascinating little place with a 4 1/2 minute informative movie about the area. I think what impressed me most
Yesterday, January 7, we hit the books hard. Barry had another busy day as well. We took off at around 2:30 to find the Visitor’s Center in Lafayette, Louisiana. Barry got stuck on the phone for most of the time but the girls and I were able to get a lot of information on what to do in the southern part of the state.
While in Lafayette, we drove by the University of Louisiana. Its buildings (at least those that we saw) aren’t huge like that of most colleges but they definitely reflect the beauty and grace of the south. We would love to see the grounds in the spring.
Today we left Beach City, TX. For the last week we have been parked at Beach City RV which is on the banks of Trinity Bay. It’s a nice, clean park. The owners are very friendly and helpful. We especially enjoyed walking out on the pier at sunset to look for jellyfish. Our binoculars got a lot of use as we looked out at the oil platforms and freighters.
We still don’t have the best internet connection but we haven’t done much to blog about anyway. We move to a new destination tomorrow. Hopefully, we’ll have better internet and phone service. Barry has spent most of his work time at an area McDonalds. It’s a bit of a pain but the girls love taking turns to go with him. It kind of works well for me, too. I send one girl off with a bunch of schoolwork while I get to work with the other two.
On Monday, January 2, we drove back into Houston