The Big Easy

Monday

The alarm woke us at 0700 this morning, travel day.  We got the coach ready and hooked up the toad.  We were ready to pull out before 0900.  In the first mile we always find out what we missed.  Today for the first time it was the coffee pot and it somehow did not break.  We went only about 7 miles and pulled into the Pilot for fuel.  Then we headed South for New Orleans.

We made a couple stops on the way as we were making good time.  Before we knew it we were in Louisiana.

IMG_1078We got our first view of New Orleans as we crested a bridge crossing Lake Pontchartrain.  About thirty minutes later we pulled into Pontchartrain Landing CG we plan to be here two nights.  The CG is in an industrial area but is fenced and gated so we feel very secure here.  It is nice but crowded here.  They do take PassPort America so we get a 50% discount.

We got set up and cooled down in the coaches A/C.  Then we decided to unhook the toad and headed downtown.  We drove through the French Quarter and then parked down by the French Market.  I have been to NOLA before but it is Bonnies first visit.  It is pretty chaotic with traffic and people, the streets are narrow and they were filming a movie or a TV show on the streets.  We walked through the French Market but around 5pm they started packing up.  We did get a bowl of Gumbo and a fresh oyster PoBoy.

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The sandwich was very good but the Gumbo was different.  We did talk to one vendor near our table and he said the city has come back from Katrina better than it was before.  But progress in the 9th Ward is very slow.

Then we headed to Cafe Du Monde for dessert.  Beignets and Cafe Au Lait which were very good.

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As we headed back to the car we overlooked Jackson Square and St Louis Cathedral.

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With it getting dark so early we were back at the coach before 6pm.  We heard on the news a man was shot and killed on Canal St at 5:30.  We had been on Canal St. earlier.  No Wifi here tonight they say they are working on it, Thankful for the hotspot.  Time to relax and watch the voice.


Tuesday

Its been just over a month since we left the house behind and began to live in the coach full time.  So far so good.  We spent 19 says in Elkhart doing some repairs and upgrades.  We are very happy we upgraded the TV and the refrigerator is our best upgrade yet.  We are still looking for places to store a few things.  We should be in our winter home in Texas in just a few days.

Just after lunch today we left to visit Villalobos Rescue Center that is on TV  called Pit Bulls and Parolees.  This was the main reason Bonnie wanted to stop here in New Orleans.  We had some rain this morning and the part of the city where Villalobos is was without power for most of the morning.  With the one way streets its a bit a a  challenge to find it but we had located it yesterday on the way downtown.  The Paroles had a table set up on the sidewalk and we signed in.

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They opened the gate and showed us the way to the outside kennels that were recently added when they rounded up stray dogs in one neighborhood.

IMG_3809 Most of the dogs outside were sleeping but a few were awake.

IMG_3810 This one looked sad but I think they get tired of all the visitors.  Some would come to the front of the kennel to be petted and some would shy away.

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After we looked at the dogs outside and it started to rain again we went into the main building.  Pretty dark for taking pictures but I got a few.  They ask that you do not shoot video or take pictures of the people and family members that you see on TV.  We did see several of them and respected their wishes.  However we did spot the production crew headed upstairs with all their equipment ready to shoot some footage.

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A parole did show us around and told us about several of the dogs.  The tour was about 20 minutes and ended at the gift shop where we bought a couple T-Shirts to help support them.

On the way out is this display of ropes, wires, and chains that were taken off of dogs when they rescued them.

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Afterwards we headed back to the coach with a stop at Walmart for some groceries.  Lots of sirens almost constantly.  After last nights homicide and today two different McDonalds had shots fired into them we decided we did not need to go back downtown.  I worked on travel plans for tomorrow and planned routes.  Its still really overcast and humid but tomorrow should be a better day to travel.


Wednesday

Up at 0700 this morning and we were on the road by 0900.  It rained over night but the front must have passed because it was dry, breezy and much cooler this morning.  I was not looking forward to the New Orleans traffic, I had gone out in the CRV last night and driven the route to I-10.  Glad I did and it was a piece of cake this morning.  Actually traffic was not too bad getting out of the city.  We ran through just enough rain to make a mess of the coach.  We made good time until about 11:00 then traffic stopped.  I checked WAZE and it was a combination of an accident and construction.  This was our view.

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You can see we were on a causeway and no exits.  We lost almost an hour in this mess.  Finally a State Trooper was in the left lane and everyone merged right, then we kept moving.

About an hour later we were near Westwood and crossed a very high bridge.

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A while later Bonnie was not feeling well so we saw a Pilot sign and I pulled off I-10 to make some calls.  But its a new Pilot and not open.  So we pulled into Love’s along with a zillion trucks going every which way.  We found a CVS near (22 miles) our campground and then called the Dr in New York who orders an RX for her.  Back on the interstate.

Just before we got the Turtle Bayou near Wallisville, TX we pulled into a Flying J and fueled up.  Bonnie also got a text from CVS that her RX was ready.

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About 30 miles later we pulled into the campground.  We are only a couple hundred feet off I-10 so lots of traffic noise.  The lady told us the cats keep the mice and snakes at bay, the alligators stay in the bayou, but watch out for fire ants.  We plugged in the power but no sewer and we did not hook up the hose as we have water in our onboard tank.  Then off to CVS in Baytown.  Crazy traffic but we made it safe and sound in about an hour.  So by 5:30pm we were settled in the coach for the night.

I guess we will run a fan to cover up the traffic noise.  We hope to get a little earlier start in the morning and make it to Mission, TX before dark.  We are less than an hour from Houston so do not want to get caught up in rush hour traffic.  So it won’t be too early.

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