Friday, March 08, 2013

New Orleans a.k.a. NOLA a.k.a. The Big Easy. . .

Yesterday we headed into New Orleans about 9 a.m. and parked along the waterfront a couple blocks from DuMond's. We had decided to ride the streetcars and get a feel for the city. That worked and it didn't. We walked a bit, found where we could get on the one line and paid $3 for an all day ticket. We figured we would be able to see a lot of the city, but that really didn't happen. We ended up going through the Garden District, which was one thing we planned to do. There were many beautiful houses and we enjoyed the unfettered travel in the street car. We got to the end of the line, however; and because they were doing construction on the tracks, we had to get on a bus. The buses were not as easy to see out of and we got on one we thought was going back to Canal Street. It actually did, but not before going through the neighborhood where Tulane University is and it wasn't very scenic.

When we did get back to Canal Street, we walked on down to Bourbon Street and Royal Street. We stopped and had some lunch at a great little restaurant. It was good food and they weren't very busy, so we got a lot of attention from our waiter.

We continued walking and checking out various shops which was fun. We also walked into the Cathedral of St. Louis which is right at Jackson Square, probably the most famous square in the French Quarter. We had never been in the cathedral and it was breathtaking.

We had spent about six hours walking around and listening to street musicians and checking out one "mime" who positioned himself like a statue. That was pretty cool. The musicians all had buckets in which people would throw money and at one point we saw two girls counting their haul. I bet they had several hundred dollars in their bucket. Gary said he saw they had some $10 and $20 dollar bills. We also saw one dude who was apparently left over from Mardi Gras. Not sure what his game was, but he really looked stupid.

As we were leaving New Orleans, the traffic coming in was brutal and we expected to be delayed for quite some time, but Terry followed the GPS out and we actually were back at the camp in a half hour. We relaxed the rest of the evening.

Today we all got up and were on the road by 9 a.m. Actually Gary and Jo left earlier. We took the "old" bridge back across to New Orleans and actually circumvented the main part of the city. It was an easy route except for the road construction on the bridge. The lanes were extremely narrow, but it wasn't long and we were off of it. We had smooth sailing the rest of the way out of the town and continued on I-10 through Mississippi and Alabama. Once we crossed into Florida we saw warnings about smoke and I remembered reading that there are some wildfires burning again. We have seen this before on our trips into the Sunshine State, but we passed through the one area and are camped in a very nice RV park in Holt, Florida. We can see a smoky haze on the horizon. Terry has the grill going and I'm doing laundry.

Life is Good!

Till next time. . .


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