Sunday, December 04, 2011

Heading west and the Birthday Girl

December 2
We left home just before 10am. Filled up with gas at the Pilot station; $3.13/gallon after our 2 cent/gallon discount.  Stopped for the night about 3pm at the Suwannee River State Park near Live Oak, FL. $12.10 for a full hookup site with the Florida Senior 50% discount.  Compared to this summers travels in NY, PA, & MI, the full rate of $22/night + tax, is very reasonable. This summer we generally paid from $30 to $35/night for a state park campsite with electric only, or perhaps water.
We’ve camped here before. The Withlacoochee River joins the Suwannee River at this location.  A good number of the campers had canoes or kayaks with them. A little park history. Native Americans used this area about 12,000 years ago. In 1540 DeSoto passed through the park area. In 1818 Andrew Jackson was sent through the area with orders to kill all the Indians he could find. There are some earthworks from the Civil War that were built to protect the bridge that crossed the river.  We didn’t do any exploring today but have on past visits. Mostly Gopher and I just walked along the river trail to stretch our legs.

Saturday, December 3, 2011
We left the campground at about 9:30. It was a very long driving day. About 5:30 we arrived at the Louisiana State Welcome Center, initially to get some New Orleans information and maps.  We decided to just stay here for the night. It’s an exceptionally nice rest area. Dump station, level parking area, well lighted, 24 hour security, and free wi-fi.  Only 40 minutes from the French Quarter. The women at the Visitor Center was very knowledgeable. She even told me about two parking lots that could accommodate over-sized vehicles so if my first plan, i.e. parking on the street near the market area, doesn’t work, I’ll try the parking lots.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A major event. Today is Carol’s birthday!!   On the way to the French Quarter we stopped by WalMart to pick up a few odds and ends but mostly to buy Carol a birthday present. While packing, she forgot to put her pajamas in the camper. For $14 I bought Carol a nice fuzzy pajama set. Just what she needed. Filled the tank with $2.959 gas at WalMart. First <$3/gal gas we've seen.
We arrived at the French Quarter about 9:45 and found a perfect parking spot only about two blocks from the French Market. I had previously looked at Google Earth and identified some areas that had parking possibilities.  The two spots were metered but parking on Sunday is free. We poked around the market area for a while then I got in the very long line at Café Du Monde. When my turn finally came, I got two orders of beignets and a cup of coffee.  Later in the morning we took a drive along St. Charles Avenue past the mansions and Loyola University when Jennifer and Suzanne both attended college. As best we can recall, it’s been about twenty years since we’ve been in NOLA. We had lunch at La Madeleine Country French Café at the far end of St. Charles Ave.
About 2pm we headed out of NO. Tonight’s “campground” is the  Atchafalaya Welcome Center on I-10 just east of Henderson, LA. We’ve stayed here before. Nice level parking area, well lighted, 24 hour security.
Change of travel plans. We were going to drive to New Mexico and stay there until we headed north to Suzanne’s house but the weather is just too cold for our liking. We decided to drift along the Louisiana and Texas Gulf Coast then drive from Corpus Christi  to Longmont.  That’s why we never travel with reservations and keep the waste tanks empty and the water filled.  We like the flexibility and just don’t like being tied to a schedule.

1 comment:

Jim and Gayle said...

Happy Birthday, Carol!
When we looked at the weather we wondered if you would change your plans. Good idea, although it's supposed to get colder in TX, too, but nothing like NM.