Mon. Nov. 6th
At 12:30p.m. we arrived Abita Springs RV Park, Louisiana from Jackson Mississippi. The weather hot and sunny 78 degrees, we set up camp, and were relaxing , when about 2:45p.m. campground manager was quickly making the rounds to all RVs in Park telling us of Tornado watch and that clubhouse open. We quickly made our way to clubhouse and gathered with everyone else and watched storm progress on TV. Nice welcome to
, but the plus was we got to meet a lot of Rver’s in a short period of time. The Tornado did not touch down in our area and we were given the all clear at 4:00p.m. Louisiana
We drove across the Lake Pontchartrain causeway toClick on link below for pictures of New Orleans
, 24 miles, right across the middle of the lake. In New Orleans we went to the Famous “French Quarter”. An absolute must see when in the area. We walked around here for a few hours enjoying the sights , sounds and smells especially New Orleans Bourbon St. We stopped for lunch at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company and shared a sampler of Cajun shrimp, chicken, and gumbo, very delightful taste combinations. Our return trip back was on I 10 around Lake Pontchartrain where we observed a small bit of the destruction from Katrina. Terrible.
to do Dr. Wagner’s Honey Island Swamp Tour. Arriving at a small shack on the edge of the swamp we were 2 hours early for tour. Relaxing and talking with people passed the time. We took off for a 2 hour tour of the swamp. We spotted many turtles, 2 Alligators (1, 4 ft and 1, 8 ft), 1 crane and 1 moccasin snake, while navigating thru the swamp which was like somewhere out of this world. The most amazing sights to be seen were the many homes, and shacks that were built right in the swamp and that people actually lived in them accessible only by boat. This another must do! Slidell
Click the link below for some pictures of our Swamp tour.http://picasaweb.google.com/gtyates/HoneyIslandSwamp Thursday. We went to Covington to check out the town, going to be an Art Festival Sat and Sunday and a Farmers market on Saturday, will check it out. Then to Abita Springs, went to UCM (Unusual Collection museum), pretty off the wall but worthwhile for 3 bucks. Then to Abita Springs Brew Pub for a lite lunch and check out local brew. we got a sampler tray of 6 of their most popular brew, including a fruit beer with raspberries! Very interesting. Got Internet back on late afternoon, enjoyed campsite with 75 degree weather,
Relax, hang out enjoy the sun 76 degree day,
Went off to Covington again check out the Market and Art show. The whole town was set up for it, a few hunderd artists and their displays, also many musicians playing large varieties of southern style and cajun music, Fun. Then tour about to a Walmart Super store, all in one shopping, fresh meat, veggies, bakery open 24 hours a day, good deals. Back to New Orleans French quarter one day next week.
Great weather hang out enjoy camp and plan more excursions.
Planned to tour but...Heavy rain most of the day, mild weather more hanging out and planning future trips.
Severe weather warnings starting 4:30 am, all on TV, very heavy rain and wind, then a Tornado watch about 7:00am. Campground manager came around blowing horn signalling all to come to secure clubhouse. Went there had coffee, socialized and watch storm on Local Tv weather channel until 8:20am when Tornadoes passed. Back at Coach met neighbour from Waterloo who has a seasonal site at Rock Glen Family Resort where we spend a lot of time. They are planning to go to same park as us in Corpus Christi Texas (small world). Raining now for most of the day, 75 degrees. We are planning on participating a "Tag-A-Long" to a Mexican Restaurant for supper. Great filling meal and cheap !!!! 14 people wen t along good time.
Real nice sunny day after storm. Back to New Orleans, We did a walking tour of the Garden District, where we saw some Huge Homes, Historic Victorian Mansions and the city of the dead. These houses were amazing, narrow streets, iron fences and gates, and beautiful porches. Very high maintenance, all painted exteriors.
In New Orleans they bury their dead in above ground tombs. The high water table and below sea level elevation prohibits below ground burial.
The "Cities of the Dead" are quite famous. Anne Rice frequently uses Lafayette Cemetery No.1 for locations in her stoies. These tombs are construcetd with a shelf near the top where recently deceased bodies are placed. The shelf does not extend all the way to the back so when its time to add another body to the family tomb the previous bones can be pushed to the rear where they fall through joining remains already present. The tombs can only be opened once a year so temporary "storage ovens" line the exterior walls of the cemetery.
From here we went back to the French quarter and explored the French Market, Jimmy Buffets Margarittaville for lunch and sampled some Gator Bits (yummy!). Then exploring more shops and some athletic entertainers by Jackson Square. Along the street, musicians all play Jazz and a quick tour of the awesome St. Louis Catherdral.
Click on link below to view some pictureshttp://picasaweb.google.com/gtyates/MoreNewOrleans
We took a drive to the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. On the way there were signs that bridges were out (from Katrina). Taking an alternate route we drove along the coastal beaches. These beaches were all closed for the many miles that we drove towards Gulfport and Biloxi.. The signs of the massive devastation were still there. Apparantly many huge mansions, casinos, restaurants , shopping centres that were very popular before the huge 20 plus foot wave hit and wiped everthing away. There were some driveways, footings from houses, stairways to nowhere. Signs where there once was service stations, MacDonalds, Walmart, etc...all along the waterfront drive. Still many crews working to clean up the destruction and some trying to rebuild. I did attempt to take some pictures but left the memory card for my camera at home. I think somebody did not want me to take any pictures.
This morning went to Mandeville farmer's market, 9:00am crafts, vegetables, sauces, even coffe, juice,beer, wine, bloody mary available for breakfast!! Tried a tamale from from Mexican woman, very interesting but don't need to try again. From there we went to the waterfront at Lake Pontchatrain. Amazing beautiful homes there, right on the water, Some people are taking very protective measures as some homes were lost. I took a few pictures of houses built in the air 12 to 14 feet and also some homes in the process of being raised, a really amazing site to see!
We stopped at the French Market Seafood and bought 4 crabs for supper (cheap! look at pictures) . Then on to Madisonville with beautiful homes and house boats on the River. Then stopping at Walmart for some huge shrimp only $6.00 lb have to have some and some catfish too. Now back to camp too enjoy a beautiful afternoon in the sun. Gets dark too early here. 5:10pm, but sunrise 6.00am no daylight savings time.
To view pictures, click on link above,
Sunday we did a tour of Abita Springs Brewery, with about 6 other couples, A couple we meet from Rock Glen Resort in
Ontario, just happen to live around the corner from mother in . We also met up with another couple from Waterloo July 31st at Rock Glen. Small world. England
Monday, on the road to
. Along the way we traveled the Atchafalaya Swamp Freeway, which was basically a causeway built above the swamp, for some 20 miles. Very unique drive. We stopped for the night at the Lafayette, Louisiana which was quite nice and in the process of being decorated for Christmas, too bad we will not be here to see it lit up. Acadian Village
Tuesday heading west to
and will stop just East of Houston for the night. Texas