Friday, April 25, 2014

The Road to Texas

As I am writing this post it is late April and we are in Croton Point Park in NY, working our way back to Vermont.

This post begins in mid February when we left Florida for the great city of New Orleans Louisiana.  We stayed on the other side of the Mississippi river from New Orleans at Bayou Segnette State Park. The weather continued to be cold and rainy, but this didn't dampen our enthusiasm for being in this wonderful city.

Each trip to the city began with a short drive to the ferry which crossed the Mississippi every 30 minutes.  While we were there it didn't cost anything to walk on and be dropped off at the base of Canal St, on the edge of the French Quarter.

Our first visit to the French Quarter saw us walking around on a beautiful sunny afternoon soaking up the culture and enjoying the famous food.

Because the last ferry run was at 6:00 PM on week days we returned to our side of the river and our bayou campground at a reasonable hour for people our age.

The next time we went into New Orleans it was on the weekend, when the ferry runs later, which allowed us to stay until 8:00!  This time we finally found a health food store where Lucie could stock up on the healthy food she is eating on her diet.  The supermarkets on "our" side of the river were rather amazing in that they had a Koolaid aisle but nothing organic or gluten free.

We took the trolly out of the touristy part of the city, had  a great meal at a "locals" restaurant and continued on the trolly line to the famous cemeteries.  We arrived just at dusk and decided against a long walk through the graves after dark.

Then we strolled down Bourbon St. as the evening's revelry was beginning.  The street was blocked off, the drinks were flowing and the Bon Temps were Roulaiting!  We stopped in a bar and listened to a live band while watching the parade of partyers out on the street.

We returned to the banks of the Mississippi and caught the last ferry back to our side of the river.  Leaving the really serious partying to younger people.

Our campground in the bayou had lots of walking trails.  It was a large park with picnic areas and swimming pools which I imagine could get quite busy in better weather.  While we were there it was early spring but still we got plenty of good exercise during the days where we stayed at the RV and worked.

On one of our last days in New Orleans we took the car into the city to a different neighborhood.  We went out to dinner at Jaques-imo's and saw a band at the Maple Leaf Bar on Oak Street.  This is an interesting, artsy neighborhood that contrasted nicely to the super touristy French Quarter.

Our time in New Orleans was rich with music and good food.

We left New Orleans and stopped for one night at a Walmart in Lafayette LA.  This gave us the opportunity to eat more good cajun food at the Blue Dog restaurant there before continuing on to Lake Charles where Lucie had a gig presenting at a Google for Education Summit.

 We camped at Sam Houston Jones State Park.  When we weren't meeting educators from around Louisiana at the Summit we would walk the trails in the park, enjoying the exercise and the bayou landscape.

 By the time the Google for Education Summit was over February was drawing to a close and it was time to head into Texas so we could be in Austin in time for South By South West EDU.

We still had a few days before our campground reservation in Austin so we found a campground in High Island TX, 1/2 mile from the Gulf.  This area is in the middle of an oil field, on a barrier island north east of Galveston that is known locally as the Redneck Riviera.

We enjoyed good weather here, warm and for the most part sunny.  The campground had decent WiFi and we caught up on work and had a few $0 days to give the budget a break after New Orleans.

One of the days we were there we drove about 20 miles up the barrier island to a free ferry that goes across to Galveston TX. 

We spent the day walking around the "Strand" in Galveston where everyone was preparing for Mardi Gras.  We enjoyed the sunny warm day on the wharf next to the very busy bay with all of the historical buildings, shops and restaurants.

 We thought about returning for Mardi Gras but everything was pretty expensive (you had to buy tickets to even be down town during the parades) so we didn't return but stayed at our campsite until it was time to move on to Austin.

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