Archive for the ‘Louisiana’ Category

Shreveport/Bossier City, LA

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Click for Bossier City, Louisiana Forecast

After spending the last couple of weeks at temperatures above 100 degrees, we decided to go somewhere that we could guarantee cooler temperatures.  That must mean the casinos at Bossier City, Louisiana.  Bossier City is located in the northwestern portion of Louisiana near Shreveport.

We looked up RV spots and found the Isle of Capri Hotel and Casino was supposed to have a park.  Oops, not any more, the Isle is now Diamond Jacks.  They have about 30 roomy sites just outside of the casino. We pulled in at about 5:30 PM.  What a treat to have real 50 AMP electrical service. We are currently running both TV’s, both AC units, hot water heater, refrigerator, ice maker, and Tinka’s hair dryer without a hitch.

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The RV park is right on the Red River.  It turns out that a railroad bridge crosses the river next door.  The trains came rumbling through on a regular basis.  Thank goodness that they don’t seem to run at night.

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Train bridges are everywhere along the river.

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Shreveport is on the western banks of the Red River and Bossier City is on the east side.  The casinos are all on the Bossier City side.  There is a rule that the casino must be on the water, therefore, each one has a boat like this dock beside the hotel.

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A Wreck in the French Quarter

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

As usual we are behind in our journal so we are trying to catch up. 

While we were in New Orleans we HAD to go to the French Quarter.  The buildings are very old but they have had 2 fires there years ago so a lot of the buildings were replaced in the 1800’s.

In historic districts we have visited this year each has had a distinctive flavor and characteristic about it.  The main characteristic about the French Quarter is shutters.  Every door and window has shutters on it.  When all the shutters are closed, the only way to tell the difference between the windows and doors is the few steps leading to the door.

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The reason all the buildings were built with shutters was to keep the tax man from knowing their possessions.  Behind the old shutters could be a mansion and a beautiful courtyard.  No Goggle Earth back then!!!

The first thing we did when arriving at the French Quarters was to eat Beignets.  This is a must!  We stopped at the Café Du Monde and they served us our Beignets.  This is a cross between a French pastry and a doughnut.  There must be a trick we don’t know about to eating them.   We had powdered sugar all over the table, floor and us when we were finished.  We looked around and some people had no tale, tale signs of being messy.

How did they do that??????

Half the order gone —

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Only sugar and mess left —

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Jackson Square Park was right across the street.  The buildings on each side of the picture are apartments with a 7 year waiting list.  (CLICK ON PICTURE FOR LARGER VIEW)

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To keep from walking all day we decided to take a carriage ride around the French Quarter to see where and what we wanted to visit later. 

This was our driver.

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They use mules instead of horses because they can take the heat better and go without water better than horses.  But they aren’t as well trained as horses.  So off we go for about an hour’s drive.  The carriage makes wide right hand turns just like an 18 wheeler or a 5th wheel.  Well, just like in real life there is always a little car that wants to creep up on the right side of you.  We look over to our right and see a little blue car and the tire cover to our carriage about to collide.  We hollered to our driver to stop but remember a mule is pulling our carriage and did not mind.  Crrruuunch!!!!  Our driver pulls the mule straight to the next street.  The little blue car follows.  We all stop and the 2 guys with drinks in their hands get out to see the damage.  Not much, a broken headlight and the car’s blue paint is now maroon like our carriage.  Our driver tells them she had the right of way because she is driving a MULE and they were not to pull up along side of her when she is trying to turn right.  She, also, said they could call the cops.  With drinks in their hands they said they would take care of their own damage and got back in their car.  We continued our carriage ride around the French Quarter.

 

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The foliage was beautiful.

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Different shutters on houses.

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This shop is a blacksmith shop.  Not!!!  It was a front for Jean Lafitte, a pirate.  There was no blacksmithing going on at all.

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This is a mansion that a man built for his bride from the Midwest.

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She got homesick and missed the cornfields so he planted some.  The only difference is the corn is on a wrought iron fence.

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We ate at the Gumbo Soup.  This tree was outside the restaurant.

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We ran into Rick’s girlfriend. (One he can keep up with and doesn’t talk back.)

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Streets in the French Quarter.

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Voodoo Shop

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Almost all the shops are filled with different businesses.  There are very few vacancies.  People rent the 2nd and 3rd floors to live in and they are full.  There were a lot for sale though.  We were there on a September weekday and there were lots of tourists around.  So the people are returning to New Orleans to visit.

 

Life’s a journey and we are on one!!!

The Ninth Ward

Monday, September 24th, 2007

After being shocked and saddened driving through the Gulfport-Biloxi area we headed to New Orleans.  How very sad that town looks. It is very hard to capture it on camera.  Large nice apartment complexes or large buildings were empty and fenced off since the storm.  We first came across middle income neighborhoods and looking down the street there was some kind of trailer in everyone’s yard.  Some 5th wheels were parked in the driveway, some were parked along the street and some were parked across the front yard.  Just like in MS, the people are living in their trailers working on their houses.

 

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As we drove farther into town it wasn’t just middle income neighborhoods but all neighborhoods that had lots of trailers. Older strip malls and buildings will never be rebuilt.  It would probably be best to just bulldoze those buildings but that cost money also.  As long as these buildings are allowed to stand it will always be a constant reminder of Katrina to the people of New Orleans. 

We stayed in a new RV park near a ship canal.  Across the road was one of the levees.  It looks more like a fence to me.

 

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The roofs you see are the roofs of 2 story houses. This levee held but water flowed around it at the end and the water was up to the fence inside which meant the water came up to their roofs.

 

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We were fairly close to the ninth ward so we took a drive through it.  One of the things that we didn’t notice on TV was how close all the houses are to each other.  Instead of all the front doors facing the street, some of the front doors are on the side yard and the house is lengthwise..  After seeing how close the houses were to each other, we noticed the same thing in other areas but not as crowded.  We figured the reason was that land is scarce as New Orleans is surrounded by water.  We had heard no one was moving back to the Ninth Ward but we saw a lot of cleaning up and rebuilding or remodeling.  When we say remodeling we noticed some people had replaced the windows and doors with new ones but using the old wood to remodel the rest of the house.  As close as all the houses are let’s hope a fire never breaks out in that area.

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For fun we drove across Lake Pontchartrain. That is a huge lake that is to the north of New Orleans.

 

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When we got on the bridge the lake looked like an ocean as you could hardly see the other side.  No wonder.  The bridge is 23 miles long!!!!!!  There were actually 2 bridges.  2 lanes going in one direction and another bridge returning.  Every 2 or 3 miles they had a crossover so you could get on the other bridge.  This must have been in case there was an accident on one bridge then they can move the traffic to the other bridge and avoid traffic congestions.  There were also wreckers sitting in 2 different crossovers waiting for an accident to happen.

 

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On our return trip we passed a car that was going very slow.  It was a nice new car with a flat tire.  Someone will probably by very quickly to help them change the tire and get them on their way to avoid a traffic backup on the bridge.  The bridge is a toll bridge.  After being in Delaware and New Jersey and paying such high tolls we could not imagine how much this would cost.  So Tinka gets a $20 bill out hoping that would be enough.  She had it sitting in her lap.  As we entered the toll bridge we noticed there weren’t any toll booths.  Had they turned it into a free bridge?  Pretty unlikely!!!!!  As we came to the end of the first trip across Lake Pontchartrain we spotted the toll booths.  They only charged GOING into New Orleans.  We drove around the town on the other side a few minutes and started heading back across the bridge.  We still did not see a sign saying what the toll would be to cross.  Well, 23 miles of bridge and driving around town takes up at least 45 minutes.  That meant 45 minutes the $20 bill sat on Tinka’s lap.  As we got close to the toll booth—no $20 bill.  It was lost.  Tinka could not find it anywhere.  So we get another one out of our wallet.  The toll amount was $3.00.  Unbelievably cheap for a 52 mile trip.  In Delaware or New Jersey that toll would have cost as much as a house!!!!!!!!!  When we returned to the RV park we found the $20 bill.  It had slipped between the seat and the console.

 The next post will be about the French Quarter. 

Life’s a journey and we are on one!!!!!

Lafayette to Washington D.C. July 7, 2007

Monday, July 9th, 2007

We hooked up in the drizzling rain near Houston and headed to Lafayette, LA.  We drove off and on in the rain all day.
Our RV Park was out in the country and very pretty.  Even though we have a washer/dryer combination we were behind on the wash.  Four loads in their commercial machines and we are now caught up.  See even traveling around the country we still have to do the same chores as we did in the stick and brick house.
Here is a picture of the row of RVs’ in our row.

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Here is a row of RV’s that look all alike.

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Doesn’t quite look like our row of Montanas’ at the Montana Rally.  This is a row of FEMA trailers.  We saw a few RV parks with just all FEMA trailers.
We ate at Rick’s favorite restaurant in Lafayette, Prejeans (prey jzons), with Cajun entertainment.  Rick had a baked lump crab in a cream sauce with cheddar cheese bubbling on top.  Tinka had a combination platter of Crawfish etouffee and fried Crawfish. So much for the diet!!!!!
We wanted to get up early and get on the road.  Not to be.  We wanted to make it to near Montgomery, AL for the day.  It wasn’t to be in the stars as it poured on us most of the day and we fell a few miles short.  As we left Lafayette and headed to Baton Rouge, we drove over a bridge that is about 40 miles long.  It was a bridge crossing the swamps, bayous and lakes.  The bridge was about 30 feet high.  That must have been fun building with the mosquitoes, alligators and all the critters that live there.

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 That is not land but green algae on the water.

Another one of the swamp.

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We stayed in a city park near Montgomery, AL (that was 5 miles out in the country).  It was very different from all the RV parks we have stayed in everywhere.  Instead of RVs’ parked all in a row, there were one or two sites by themselves scattered throughout the park. 

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Most were pull-throughs running parallel with the roads.  Easy in and easy out. We didn’t even unhook for the night.

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Our next drive was from Montgomery, AL and spending the night near Atlanta, GA.  One of our favorite songs to dance to is Chattahoochee River by Alan Jackson.  We passed over the Chattahoochee River 2 or 3 times on our drive into GA.  It reminded us of the Guadalupe River near Austin that everyone tubes and floats down.  There were people canoeing and tubing both times we crossed the river.  We couldn’t tell if Alan Jackson was in the crowd!!!!.

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Then we drove from GA to Greensboro, NC and stayed in another city park with lots of space.

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Last night we arrived in VA to meet up with Rick’s 2 brothers and families.  We are getting ready to go visit them now.  We’ll put a hold on our traveling for a few weeks and do touristy things in the Washington DC area.

To all the people in the DFW area have a dry day!