We spent 5 days at the French Quarter RV Park. It is located just on the edge of the French Quarter, in the shadow of the elevated I10. The park had been redecorated after Katrina. Each evening, we would walk down to Bourbon Street, but at night, take a pedicab or taxi back to the RV park as some of the streets we had to walk were not well lit. We would like to have stayed longer, but the rates are out of this world. We figured the tradeoff between the proximity to the French Quarter and downtown was worth the cost when compared to some of the other parks that were further out of town. Next time, we will reevaluate, but then driving in downtown New Orleans is something to be avoided.
Rather than fill this page with pictures, just go to our online gallery.
The Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve covers 6 sites in and around New Orleans. With our experiences with the NPS and Civil War sites, we know the favored plan would be to take a Ranger Tour out of the downtown office. The doors open at 9am and the tour starts promptly at 9:30am and tours are limited to the first 25. The Rangers are so knowledgeable and tell amazing tales, you really get to know the history. It is an interesting story about the political battles between the commercial tour companies and the NPS and the city of New Orleans. Over the years, the NPS tour route has become constrained to the riverfront, as the commercial operators object (I don’t know why) to knowledgable guides giving free tours. And of course, no trip to New Orleans would be complete with a trip to Cafe Du Monde. The Ranger Tour ended at the waterfront, just around the corner from the cafe, so of course, that was our next stop.
One of the planned attractions was to take a cooking class while in New Orleans. The New Orleans School of Cooking offers morning and afternoon demonstrations where you watch, learn and eat. I signed us up for the class to learn how to make Gumbo, Jambalaya, Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce and Pralines! The teacher was absolutely amazing, a teacher of cooking and history. We learnt as much about making the dishes as we did their history, the history of New Orleans and the various French, American and Spanish influences. I am being modest, but a make a mean Gumbo and Jambalaya.
We also spent an afternoon at the WWII museum. A short bus ride from the RV park and we were at the museum. It was a very moving experience and needs a return visit.
Lynn now had the chance to tick off another one of her bucket list items, a ride in a swamp boat. There were a number of tour operators in the area that would pick you up at hour hotel (or RV park) and drive you to their swamp operations. We settled on Cajun Encounters. You can see our picture gallery on Smugmug and coming soon to a cinema near you, “Lynn’s Swamp Adventures”. With it being so late in the year, all of the big crocs were already hibernating, but we did see several medium sized ones sunning themselves on logs.
Our next stop was the Frog City RV Park in Duson LA. There were two attractions nearby that we were interested in, Avery Island, the home of TABASCO and also Chef Roy’s Frog City Cafe. Unfortunately due to scheduling and weather, we weren’t able to visit either.
Our next stop was the Escapee Rainbow's End Park in Livingston TX for a week. As we pulled into our spot, we noticed the couple behind us waving and laughing. It turned out to be NHOGers we met in Florida, who winter at the Livingston park. Chauncey takes great pride in his BBQ setup so we planned to have a dinner in a couple of days.
The other aspect of the Escapee Park that we wanted to research was the Escapee CARE Center, an adult day care center for RVers. We took the tour and it was quite interesting. One of the key aspects to the success of the center was the volunteer program. RVers can come for up to a month or two to volunteer, performing various jobs, kitchen and dining room duties. We took a couple of application forms with us to think about over the winter.
After talking one afternoon with Chauncey, one of his recommendations was to make sure we bypass Houston on our way to San Antonio. Since we were not planning on doing that trip in one day, we picked Schulenburg as a stopover point, and mapped a cross country route from Livingston to Schulenburg that bypassed Houston. One of the attractions of Schulenburg were the German bakeries and butcher shops, which did not disappoint.
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To see our current travels and plans, click here.
|It’s Off to Kansas We Go|
|New Horizons RV Factory, Junction City, Kansas|
|Un-Packing the U-haul and packing the RV|
|Learning about Our New Home|
|Testing all of the RV sub-systems|
|First Trip-10 Miles|
|South Dakota and Business|
|Camp New Horizons|
|Kansas to Florida|
|NHOG Rally 2011|
|Florida to Texas|
|New Orleans - The Big Easy|