The Big Easy

We left San Antonio, hoping to get close to the border of Texas and ended up driving further into Louisiana, staying at Sam Houston Jones State Park in Lake Charles. Actually a nice camp spot with just a few other folks. Lots of water around from the rains, but no road flooding. Anyway, it was just a quick stop for the night after about 6 hours of driving, but we prefer state parks when we can find them.

Texas Benji at San Angelo

Texas Benji at San Angelo

Next day we were going to make New Orleans, rain and high water or not. After checking the reviews for the campgrounds closest to the French Quarter, Jackie decided we would be better staying a bit further out, so we found a nice spot in Slidell. Got to the camp late afternoon and figured we ought to go downtown to the French Quarter to see it at night, even though it threatened rain. Well, if you have been to Bourbon Street (and surroundings) at night, you know what it is like. Even though this was a weeknight, it was pretty lively. Well, mostly senior citizen tourists like us, so MODERATELY lively.

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There is a different vibe to this town, with impromptu sidewalk performances and other sorts of street performers. The Visitor’s Guide had a list of “if this is your first time in New Orleans, you have to go see …” so armed with our checklist of “must see” spots our first stop was Pat O’Brien’s for a hurricane. Great courtyard patio with flaming fountain and a refreshing drink (no, we don’t need to keep the glasses, thanks).

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Pat O Briens

Hurricanes on the patio – magic!

We walked along the streets and tried to figure where to have dinner. First try was Court of Two Sisters (also on the “list”), but we got sidelined at the bar to wait for a patio table for too long. Funny, there were several available, but we didn’t want to play the waiting game. Looked at the menu at Antoine’s (too pricey) and ended up at a nice quiet courtyard for some food.

Those Two Sisters kept us waiting.

Those Two Sisters kept us waiting.

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Crescent City Brewpub – our latest fav

Walked around people watching and window shopping, then found Crescent City Brewpub and we knew we were in the right place. Ordered a flight of beer (5) and watched a little of the World Series.

On the

On the “must see” list

Cafe du Monde

Sugar overload on the beignets.

Next full day was to be a walking tour of New Orleans – and the weather was great – sunny and warm. We circled around the Superdome, then went back to the French Quarter. Had café au lait and beignets at Café du Monde. Basic sugar fix and dark clothing is not advised. Seriously, they were delicious, but the pile of powdered sugar was more than enough (don’t breathe in while eating).

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The French Market was next on the list: what a fun farmer’s and flea market. Took a look at the river, wandered into more shops in the Quarter, stopped in Jackson Square and ate at the French Market Café. Nice day and some wild beads, hats and masks in the many shops. Most of the area was getting ready for Halloween with crazy decorations and lights.

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Ready to pary?

Ready to party?

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Cafe Amelie

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Preservation Hall

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Sadly, our great Western Adventure is coming to a close. We hope to make either Birmingham or Montgomery tomorrow and then home on Friday. Spending 6 weeks in a 10 x 30 box with a cat and a dog has been a new chapter for us and a lot of fun. We have seen some amazing places around our country and challenged ourselves to take on canyons, mountains and rivers.

The map is looking better.

Filling in the map – “Mischief Managed”

But our thoughts are turning to things back home. The return trip has been a lot more driving and less camping and exploration. Translated, that means it would be nice to have a “real” hot shower at home, some speedy internet you can count on and a chance to catch up with family. Not that the Winnebago was a problem at all for morning showers and all the travel we did – it worked out perfectly.

I don’t think my writing has been as crisp and engaging as it was at the start, so maybe I am fading just a bit, too. I hope you recognize the reference to the Marauder’s Map from Harry Potter (if I recall correctly).

Thanks for joining us on this adventure. I am amazed at how many views the blog has received. Hope you enjoyed it.

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