Our Awesome Travels

Our Awesome Travels
Taken In Quartzsite Arizona Dec 7th 2015

Saturday, November 25, 2006


Wed, Nov.22.
Arrived Bayview RV Resort in Rockport Texas, (30 Minutes from Corpus Christie on the Gulf of Mexico) very sunny 80 F (27c) weather. We are "Winter Texans now", in Florida we would be "Snow Birds" and they have "skeeters" year round here to. (Mosquitoes)
Thurs, Nov.23, U.S. Thanksgiving.
Everything closed for Thanksgiving and was a nice day to tour, no traffic. Along Fulton Beach Rd. into Rockport. This was a beautiful drive along the coast. Nice homes, piers everywhere, great beaches and fresh seafood available from the fishing boats.
This is what they call the biggest shopping day of the year, much like our Canadian Boxing day sales. Some stores open at Midnight and people lining up at 4:00am. The reason it is called Black Friday is that ALL the stores operate in the Black today. Nobody operates in the red.
Went for drive to Port Aransas on Mustang Island. Driving a long causeway with beaches and fishing spots on both sides, people fishing everywhere. Then take free ferryboats to Island. 4 boats operating, (barges) holding about 25 cars and short trip(about 5 minutes). This a very scenic place with 18 miles of beach to drive along. A $12.00 annual permit is required to park on the beach and allow free dry camping (no hookups). What a deal we have to do it! Then back home to socialize with neighbours from Alberta and Trenton Ontario.
We drove over the causeway to Goose Island State Park to check out the “Big Tree”. This tree is over 1,000 years old and has a circumference of more than 35 feet. It was really quite a site to see. Beside the causeway is a lighted fishing pier (the original bridge) about 2 miles long with many people fishing on it. Swimming in the very warm pool and hot tub in the afternoon was a treat. And enjoying free Internet service provided by a fellow camper from Florida.
Click on Link below for some pics
Went for a tour of Fulton Mansion. Built in 1874 on the seashore with running hot and cold water, 3 inside bathrooms, central heating and gas lighting, very rare in these times. It was a beautiful French Second Empire style of house with a slate shingled mansard roof built to with stand hurricane force winds, and it did. From there to the seashore in front with a large number of Pelicans right by the shore. These are very large birds with a wingspan up to 55 inches. Then on to Goose Island State Park to check out their campsites on the beach, very windy here, each site has a cement block pavilion for shelter and electric and water hookups. The odor is not too pleasant, it is known as Stinky Beach, because of roting vegetation that the birds and turtles feed on. Don't think we will stay here. Click here for More Pictures Monday, We went to Corpus Christie to tour a WWII aircraft carrier, the USS Lexington. Wow what a huge ship!!! There is 4 self guided tours to most areas of the ship and an Imax movie , Fighter Pilot,awesome. This tour took us 4 hrs and we could have taken longer but were getting hungry. From there we went to Catfish Charlies for supper and had a sampler of seafood gumbo,catfish, shrimp, oysters, fries ,chili, coleslaw, gravy, hush puppies and chicken fried steak! (a steak deep fried in a chicken batter) that we shared, very reasonable and more than we could eat. Then return home via Padre Island and the ferryboat. To go later with our neighbors to the clubhouse for 3 hours of Karaoke, busy day. Thursday Couple of quiet relaxing days enjoying the weather until this morning, temperature at 9:00am was 75 degrees F, and quickly dropped to 45 degrees F by 10:00 am, wow what a change, very windy, good day to do more trip planning and laundry. Friday Starting the return of nice weather, sunny 62 degrees, nice drive thru Rockport to Key Allegro, an impressive community of Huge homes on small lots with a road on one side and water not 10 feet behind, canals everywhere with huge yachts. And 1 House in particular with a roof made from seashells! Click for more Pics Saturday Again nice day, craft sale at clubhouse, explore more campground and take in the nighttime Christmas Parade in downtown Rockport, very nice and not too cold. While planning more of our trip, leaving here Wed. and going to camp on Beach , Mustang Island (if nice enough) then San Antonio for a couple days. On our way to Arizona.Which is another 1,100 miles (Texas is a big State) . Tuesday, Dec. 5 The weather is much nicer off to Mustang Island (Port Aransas) to camp on the beach. The small ferryboat was a treat. We were guided on one side taking up 2 lanes and front and centre. Wow what a view. Front bumper on RV was about 1 foot from front of boat. Really felt like we were driving the RV across the channel!! Once off the boat went to the Beach and purchased a camping permit to camp overnight on the beach. Awesome scenery, hearing the waves, walking the beach and the pier, need to do more of this. In the morning was very mild and no wind just the surf in right there. Now off to San Antonio. Click here for pictures
Wed, Dec. 6
Reluctantly we left the Beach at Mustang Island and had a nice drive to San Antonio, such a beautiful sunny, warm day. We found a campsite with free wifi, then proceeded to The Alamo and Riverwalk, downtown San Antonio. Everyone here was very friendly wanting to give us maps and directions.
The Alamo was amazing being in the middle of the city, just steeped with American history and was quite impressive.
Two blocks from the Alamo was the famous Riverwalk. One level below the main streets we found this absolutely wonderful world of canals, walkways and bridges, This area was beautifully landscaped ,and decorated. Just lined with restaurants and shops of all kinds, Hotels, a Hospital, Riverwalk Centre a shopping mall and an outdoor theatre with seating for 900 people. We took a Narrated Riverboat ride, for about 1 hour to see the sites and find out more information, an absolute must.
Later we dined at the side of the river enjoying the sites, sounds, food and each others company all in one. Wonderful! Then as it got dark we were able view some of the sparkling Christmas lights and decorations as they were lit up.
Thurs. Dec 7 .
We traveled thru Texas along I-10 a great Highway, nice drive rolling hills and beautiful scenery. Such a good road the speed limit was posted 80 mph for cars, 70 mph for trucks. That night we stayed at one of the many Texas Rest areas, very nice, secure, washrooms and free wifi. Some even had waste and fill stations for RV’s.
Fri. Dec 8.
We traveled some more relaxing I-10 into the mountains and El Paso Texas into New Mexico. Enjoying the sites huge windmills on the hilltops, mountain views, dry land, sage bush, dry river beds, even some wild pigs grazing at the side of the highway, spending the night at the New Mexico welcome centre and rest area, which was an absolutely beautiful picnic area with breathtaking scenery.
click here forMore Pictures.

Friday, November 10, 2006

New Orleans

New Orleans yeah !
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 Louisiana , 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.
We drove across the Lake Pontchartrain causeway to 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 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.
Click on link below for pictures of New Orleans
Off to Slidell 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!
Click the link below for some pictures of our Swamp tour. 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.
Sunday, Monday
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 pictures
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 Waterloo. We also met up with another couple from England July 31st at Rock Glen. Small world.
Monday, on the road to Lafayette, Louisiana. 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 Acadian Village 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.
Tuesday heading west to Texas and will stop just East of Houston for the night.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway

Click on Link to view our pictures The Natchez Trace Parkway was created in the early 1800's and was the most direct route from Natchez on the Mississippi to Nashville Tennessee (500 miles). Today it is a beautiful drive, 2 lane road, maximum speed is 50 mph, (to be shared with bicycles as well). This road has limited access and many scenic lookouts and picnic areas. There is also 3 campgrounds along the way that offer free dry camping, for anyone. We entered the Parkway and enjoyed the drive to Meriwether-Lewis Campground, Nice camping 32 sites free! Then on to Tupelo, Mississippi, (Elvis Birthplace), we camped at Elvis Presley Lake and toured Tupelo, the next day to Jackson Mississippi, over night Flying J, Monday Morning off south to Abita Springs, Louisianna..