Sunday, November 3, 2013

New Orleans to End of the Trail for Awhile

Tuesday we took a Hop On Hop Off tour of New Orleans. It was a 2 hour round trip covering all areas of the city, Garden District, French Quarter. Interesting history that NO was such a divided city based on being French or American*.   Lots of old houses, most of them not very impressive. I don't think it comes close in comparison to what I've seen in San Antonio or Galveston -- or many other places. We visited the oldest cemetery in the city which was interesting. 

Where Nicholas Cage will be buried

John and I love their Dirty Rice

Mardi Gras beads on power wires
Along parade route they are hanging from trees,
post, balconies

There is total Saints fever in this town

The Might Mississippi River

Warehouse where they make the parade floats

So many beautiful cast iron porch railings

Clubs, clubs and more clubs
Music is everywhere - street, corners & parks

St. Louis Cathedral
Rebuilt after a hurricane,a  fire, expanded
Quite a history for this most photographed site
in New Orleans

Walked down on Frenchmen Street for dinner and had Creole/ Cajun food. We had shrimp etouffee as an appetizer just to try and it was tasty. I had fried shrimp with side of macaroni and cheese (good) and John had jambalaya. We both had greens and they were pretty darn spicy, along with corn bread. I find it so odd that people in the South eat macaroni and cheese as a side dish even a required dish at Thanksgiving. Mac and cheese, to me, is a separate meal. Just a regional thing I guess. Walked back along the clubs and there was lots of music all over. We were too full and tired to even think about having a drink.

The Praline Connection

Wednesday we drove out of NO to see the Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie, LA. The home was built from 1837- 1839. The most amazing feature of this property were the oak trees in front of the plantation for a quarter mile - the trees were 300 years old. 

Sugarcane - something we'd never seen

Close up of sugarcane

Jacques Roman
Built the home for his wife so she
would leave New Orleans and come
out to the country

Originally named "Bon Sejour" (good living)

National Register of Historic Places

Mrs. Roman loved to entertain
She was lonely in the country

Mansion air conditioning
Slave would pull cord to move this
fan over table holding a block of ice
Dinners would last for hours

Ornate baby crib

Back of the house
Huge sugar pots for boiling cane juice
Many were melted down during WWII

We had a nice day strolling, having a Southern lunch and after the house tour, we had a refreshing Mint Julep on the veranda.  Can't get much more Southern than that.  Sublime.

Refreshing mint

On the way home John took me for my must have beignets and cafe au lait at Cafe Du Monde, a requirement when in New Orleans.

Happy Halloween and we are heading out of the Big Easy to the calm shores of Pensacola as we journey south to our Clearwater destination.  On our drive to Perry, Florida, we had rain that came down in sheets. We had to pull off the freeway twice to try to let the storm die down a little.  It can rain so hard that you just can't see when you drive.  I was caught in that type of rain last year going to Tallahassee and it is scary. Besides rain the first day, nothing exciting along the way, drive, eat, sleep.  

Third day we got to Tarpon Springs where we had to stop to have our favorite turkey sandwich -- we discovered it last year.  This is the place where they carve 28-30 lbs. of fresh turkey a day.

Bread and Butter Deli
Never tasted better

Reached our destination and we're in Clearwater for a week where we rented a huge room which is more mother-in-law quarters.  We are waiting for Robert who left Boise on the afternoon of November 1st and is making great progress.  He stopped to get some stuff he left in Knob Noster, Missouri and visit with his Air Force friends.  Once there, he was ready to get out and back on the road.  Sort of an armpit of the world sort of town.  John and I are looking for a nice furnished apartment for the three of us.  Robert's orientation for technical school is November 11th, with classes starting November 12th.  With the federal mess up of shutting down the government, his funds are up in the air, but we feel confident they will come through and all will be well.

So, since there will be no traveling for awhile -- nothing to report and no pictures, I'll stop the blog and maybe pick up when we go to Guadalajara, Mexico in January.

This ending here is so much better than last year's rush to Boise with John so very sick.  We count our blessings daily.  John is doing great.  That pacemaker he got in August has helped him more than we ever would have imagined.  We are so thankful.

Thanks for hanging in, hope you have enjoyed some of what we had to share as we've been traveling and "going to see it all."

*When Louisiana was sold to Spain, the French were furious and there were a number of bloody uprisings. Although the new Spanish settlers were every bit as proud and snobbish as the French, the two cultures would eventually learn to co-exist peacefully. However, once the territory became a part of the United States, the Creoles were united in the common belief that the raw Americans must be kept separate from their far more cultured company. Canal Street became a kind of dividing line or "commons area" where the Creoles conducted trade, but did not socialize, with the "Americans."