The night before we left Abbeville, Louisiana I had the pleasure of visiting with my camping neighbor. Her name was Dawan and she was from somewhere close by. We had a nice chat by her campfire and I enjoyed her company, and her accent. The Louisiana accent is fascinating to me. The fact that Paul and I worked out while camping and don't often eat fried food prompted her to say " Ya'awwll a cuppulla healf nuts, aren't ya? I told her since we drink so much beer, we have to make up for it somewhere!
We headed east to New Orleans from there. The road was so bumpy we had to drive really slow. I think it was the worst stretch of road we've been on so far, and we've driven about three thousand miles since we left San Diego.
It was a beautiful sunny day in New Orleans. The RV park we stayed in was right next to the French Quarter. Paul had read reviews and knew to ask for the sites farther away from the noisy Interstate 10. Those happened to be privately owned and were more expensive, but we found that it was worth it. The rate per night was $115.00, the most we've paid so far. You can buy a site and have the company maintain and rent it out for you for a mere $450,000. The park is right next to the Louis Armstrong Cemetery #1. You could see some of the crypts from our windows. We walked through the cemetery and saw some very old family crypts, some with people added to them in the last 5 years.
We walked to the French Quarter, stopped into a few bars on Bourbon Street. When Jane and I were here last year, Paul's cousin took us to a place called Drago's for chargrilled oysters. They were so great she and I went back the next night for more! So that's where we went for dinner. It did not disappoint. Paul full on jambalaya and me on oysters, made it an early night. No room in our bellies for beer!
The next day we roamed Decatur Street and the French Market area, enjoying the history of the town. We ended up in a dive bar next to a fire station that Jane and I went to when we were here. There were patches stuck to the wall behind the bar from a bunch of the police and firefighters that came to help during the aftermath of the Katrina hurricane. There were also dollar bills stuck to the ceiling and walls, some obviously had been there since the bar opened 25 years ago; dust bunnies dripping from them. The bartender entertained us with stories of the area. He was quite the font of historical information, despite the fact he was also born in California.
We found a place that looked good for lunch, Acme Oyster Co., I was on a mission to try crawfish. It was a little early in the season, so I settled for a crawfish tail poboy. Paul tried a soft shell crab poboy. Both were delicious, and fried! Not the normal meal for a health nut!
The next night we met three of Paul's cousins and their families for dinner. They hadn't seen each other in 30 years. We had a nice visit and as we were driving away, I realized I didn't get any photos. With eleven people at a table, one gets distracted!
We planned on leaving the next morning, but there was a thunderstorm that rolled through that night, and we didn't want to have the stress of driving in the rain and wind. So we hunkered down until the next day. We got up early and got on the road, headed for Biloxi, Mississippi. It was sunny and the drive down the coast was so beautiful! The road ran right along the Gulf with white sand beaches. We stayed at the Hardrock Hotel and Casino. The overnight parking was right on the water and free! We went into the casino and played roulette and craps. Paul won enough to pay for dinner and drinks, otherwise it might not have really been free.
From there we went into Alabama. As we passed through Bayou La Batre, I couldn't think of why the small town's name sounded so familiar. A quick Google search informed me that it was the hometown of Forrest Gump's best good friend, Bubba.
We came to Dauphin Island, AL. This is where historic Fort Gaines is located. It's famous for the Battle Of Mobile Bay in the Civil War. "Damn the torpedos, full steam ahead" were words spoken in that battle. We are staying just steps from the fort. Which makes me wonder how many ghosts have we camped next to so far on this trip?
We plan on going on a tour of the fort tomorrow, so there will be photos to come.