We are on our way!

We finally left Florida and unless absolutely necessary, we will NOT be coming back until November.   We headed to Sorrento, Florida for the Heartland Florida Chapter rally.  This was our second Florida rally and it was great to again reconnect with friends.  We then headed to Augusta, Georgia to visit with John’s cousin, Vivian and her husband, Skip. We had the opportunity of again seeing Vivian’s daughter, Karen, whom we had not seen in over 20 years, and her husband, Stacey.  Vivian and Skip drove  us around Augusta and we saw how the town was preparing for the Masters Tournament, which is quite an undertaking.  Just about everyone rents their homes out for the week, reaping a nice tax-free profit, then leave for the week.  Vivian and Skip also rent out their home and they set it up just like the Ritz and I am not exaggerating either.

Home of Vivian and Skip Grkovic and (Savannah – of course) in North Augusta (ready for the Masters Tournament)

As we were breaking camp to leave, I noticed our neighbor had Canadian tags on this truck and Big Horn, also a Heartland product.  As I greeted him I thought he looked familiar, but then again it was early and I hadn’t had my coffee yet so I wasn’t positive.  

However, after chatting with him for a little bit, wouldn’t you know, they too had wintered at Torrey Oaks.  As soon as I saw his wife, I immediately recognized who they were and it was really cool to reconnect again in Augusta of all places.  Amazing how small this world really is.

Before leaving the southeast coast in earnest, and heading to New Orleans, we just had to go to see Randy, Carolyn and Camden one more time.  Cam is now 8 months old and almost walking on his own and just began daycare.  Randy and Carolyn just recently closed on their new home and will be moving in soon. It was wonderful spending time with them.  We just couldn’t get enough smoochies and hugs.


Camden

Randy, Camden and Carolyn

John and Camden

We arrived at the French Quarter RV Resort, which is actually on the outskirts of the French Quarter.  We again reconnected with Doug and Kelly Williams, who live in James Island, and whom me met during Fantasy Fest in Key West last October.  Talk about trouble!

The first order of business after setting up, was to go to Acme Oyster House and get our fill of charbroiled oysters.


Of course we went to Pat O’Brien’s

We took Doug’s sister’s advice and went to the Louisiana Bistro, a new one for us.  We chose what they refer to as “Feed Me”, which is really a potluck from the chef.  Chef David was amazing.  He surfaced from the kitchen and talked to us prior to beginning his preparation of the surprise specialties.  He asked about allergies or special situations.

After that, it was just that.  A total surprise.  Not even the waiters knew what would be coming, which was interesting since there was no way to choose wine pairings.  We chose the four course meal   and Chef would come to the table to explain his surprise meals, once served.  Chef David prepared as choice 1) basil charred gulf shrimp on top of a fried green tomato with jumbo lump crabmeat over salad; 2) bourdin stuffed pork roulade with garlic mashed potatoes, charred asparagus with cane syrup glaze; 3) grilled lamb chop topped with crispy shallots, bacon braised green beans with whiskey butter sauce (yummy); and 4) smoked duck breast poached in bacon fat, bourbon mashed potatoes, micro cumin and black mission figs.    Hungry anyone?


On Wednesday we went to Tujagues for lunch, walked around the Quarter and saw many entertainers on the streets of Jackson Square


On Thursday we drove an hour west to Thibodaux where two members of the New Orleans Plumbers and Pipefitter’s Local Union, James and EJ, gave us a very interesting and personal swamp/bayou tour.  EJ who owned the boat that Doug and Kelly were on, was filmed in an episode of Swamp People.  The boats we went on were appropriately named “mud boats”.  John and I on one and Doug and Kelly on the other.  These little boats can as easily cut through the sludge as they can go on water.  


James Templet – white striped shirt and EJ Sevin – solid black


James Templet, our guide



James, our guide caught baby alligators and gave them to us to hold.  Actually, they are kind of cute when young, until we realized that momma had to be close by. 

The sludge was so thick that insects literally can crawl on top



Mud splatter on the lens.  Oops.  


There are some houseboats on the banks of the bayou (which are actually little sheds or shacks) and September is alligator hunting season.  We just might be back some September for that adventure.

Afterwards, James and his wife, Ramona and EJ took us to B&C Seafood Market and Cajun Market, a local eatery in Vacherie, another nearby small town.  They have the absolute best fried catfish, white beans and rice, and delicious crawfish.  It was even fun going to the ladies’ room.

Me, James, Ramona and my favorite Gator Boy, EJ

Crawfish pasta

Ladies’ room bathroom stalls


On Friday, Doug and Kelly’s last day, we took the street car to our most favorite eatery for brunch, The Camellia Grill, at the end of the St. Charles line.



We also took the harbor cruise on the Natchez Steamboat


New Orleans’ skyline view from the Mississippi River

St. Louis’ Cathedral in Jackson Square – view from the Mississippi.

We went to Pascal Manale’s for Bar-B-Que Shrimp.  Oh my!!


Our friends, Doug and Kelly left NOLA as they had to return to Charleston, and barely made it, just in time for Easter dinner.  We will catch up with them again in Sturgis.

We even took an afternoon to drive Jackson through Bourbon Street.  He too was amazed at what he saw.

We had a fun Easter with our friends Bunny and Theresa Jaeger, whom we have known for over 30 years, live in Covington (just across the river from Nawlins).  They took us for a spin on their boat, which reminded us of our boating days. 


Bald Cypress knees:

We got caught in a rainstorm on our way back to Theresa and Bunny’s home, and of course got soaked.


Theresa and Bunny took time to drive us around their beautiful city of New Orleans, not just the French Quarter.

Theresa and Bunny Jaeger

Just a few of the French Quarter Balconies:


They also took us to Lake Lawn Metairie Cemetery so we could see the beautiful architecture of the mausoleums:


Some of those shotgun houses are just too cute:



Single shotguns:

Double shotgun:

There was so much to see and do.  We simply ran out of time, so we will return.  We’ve had way too much fun.  This was the first time that we had the opportunity to see another side to this beautiful city and for that we infinitely thank the Jaegers.

Laissez les bons temps rouler!  Let the good times roll!
    
On to Memphis we go……














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