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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

A Familiar Face

~Tuesday, November 9, 2021~

Day 513 (Travel Day)

It was so nice to be back at Topsail Hill Preserve Campground so much that we weren’t ready to leave, especially with this amazing weather. But, we have to keep up our pace and move forward with the reservations we’ve made so we can arrive in California by early December. On the other hand, we’re so excited for our next visit to the “Crescent City” of New Orleans. It was about a year ago that we were in Louisiana, only seeing New Orleans from an exit sign. So we are ready this time around, to be fully immersed in this unique city. Making it even better will be sharing it with my sister and bro-in-law as they join us this Friday, albeit a short visit of 2 days.

Taking the main route of Highway 10, we saw about 5 spot fires, about a mile in length, right next to the highway with the fire crews working diligently to put them out. Maybe they were caused by sparks flying off something dragging along the asphalt? In a matter of 6 hours we’d managed to drive through 4 states…...Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, then finally crossing Lake Pontchartrain into Louisiana. Did you know that Lake Pontchartrain takes the prize for the longest continuous bridge over water at 24 miles? Getting off the freeway was a bit nerve racking, as we ended up returning to a big city. It’s an adjustment with all of the small towns we’ve been in, as of late. Just seeing tall buildings and billboards again is strange.

After a doable U-turn, less than a minute from our exit, we turned into our new campground for the next 5 days….the French Quarter RV Park, only a few blocks from the French Quarter. Nice to be within walking distance of all the action and know we are in a safe haven. Even though the RV Park looks a bit austere with its concrete bunker appearance and razor-sharp spikes on the perimeter walls, we feel like it will be the perfect place to experience New Orleans with no worries of driving or having to park anywhere. There is a laundry facility, pool, hot tub, and a 24-hour surveillance/guard at the front gate. We opted for a premium site (only $10/night more) to ensure we would ‘t have the freeway hanging over our heads and that we’d have a little bit of grass for Sadie. We even have a bonus screened in gazebo complete with a bistro table, seating for 4 and Edison lights. It was a bit filthy and appeared to have not been used in a while, but nothing that a little cleaning couldn’t fix. Even at this time of year, there are mosquitos, so the screened in room will be nice. It’s nearly a full house with about 55 RV’s occupying the sites.

Our goal is to give Hank a much deserved rest while we bike or walk everywhere (except for the day we pick Tracy and Tim up from the airport). They’re staying at a Courtyard by Marriott, only a mile from our place. Can’t wait to see them!

Nearly everyone has a furry traveling companion, so Sadie was in good company. We’ve already met 3 other yellow labs! Our neighbors to our left, from Texas, are frequent visitors to the area, so they were full of helpful info. Our other neighbor, a retired Air Force vet, originally from Florida, sold their home a year or so ago, bought their huge Class A (their third), hit the road, and never looked back. They absolutely love traveling, though it sounds like they could have skipped New Orleans. It appears he’s not a fan of the “Big Easy”. Yes, there’s trash, graffiti, and crowds, but there’s also a lot of culture, history, great cuisine, music, and Beignets! We’ll likely be paying a visit to Cafe Du Monde every morning! Anyway, if you go into a more positive mindset of what makes a place unique and desirable, your experience will be that much better. Even though Jeff and I are not big city people, it will be an experience unlike anywhere else, so will just embrace it for what it is……..a melting pot of distinct and authentic stuff! I imagine it to be like its own country. It’s also a bit strange to be in a city where Mother Nature has not been so kind, repeatedly. So we’re thankful that it will be good to us while we visit (at least for now).

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