Yesterday was a busy day, not only did I have to absorb all that history from the bridges we crossed, but then hubby added in another bridge, grocery shopping, and laundry (okay laundry was my idea).
After we did some grocery shopping we watched a movie at the RV Park on the devastation Hurricane Katrina has done to neighborhoods and wetlands around New Orleans … I really feel for what people here have gone through. In 2003 we lived through a firestorm in our city but the damage, while significant, doesn’t come near to what Hurricane Katrina did to this area! You can still see evidence of the damage as you drive through the city:-(
After the move we decided to go over the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway and have dinner at the north end of the bridge in Mandeville. As I mentioned yesterday this causeway is the longest continuous bridge in the world! When you take the causeway north you don’t pay a toll, you only pay the toll when you come south, so the round trip cost us $3.00 (without Maxx) which isn’t bad when you consider what fuel would cost if you drove around the lake. Lake Pontchartrain covers 630 square miles and has an average depth of 12 to 14 feet and the causeway is just shy of 24 miles long!
It was interesting driving around the side streets of Mandeville. There are some beautiful southern homes along Lakeshore Drive and a few had really nice Christmas lights (more about them in a minute). We had dinner at Rips on the Lake and the seafood food, and service, was excellent. The restaurant was decorated for Christmas and they were playing Christmas music, which was great since I have been starving for some acknowledgement of Christmas for the past few weeks. So back to my comment about Christmas lights … I have noticed as we travel through different cities that very few cities, and houses within the cities, decorate for Christmas in the US and I wondered why. In Canada most cities and neighbourhoods are decorated in Christmas lights by now. At dinner tonight I asked our waitress about this and she thought it was probably because most people are working two jobs and either don’t have the time or the finances to do outdoor Christmas decorations:-(
After dinner we headed back over the causeway to our RV Park and spent the rest of the evening doing the laundry that we had been putting off since San Antonio, TX.
Visiting New Orleans has always been on my bucket list so I was excited to visit the French Quarter today and I wasn’t disappointed. We took the shuttle from our RV Park and arrived in the French Quarter at 1030 hours. It was pretty quite when we arrived so we had a chance to walk around and get a good look. After an hour of walking we followed Bourbon Street down to Canal Street where we bought a day pass for the trolleys.
Riding the trolley’s was a good way to see the city but we decided we needed to hear some of the history of the areas we were travelling through so we bought tickets for the “Hop on, Hop off” tour bus. The tour took us down to the French Market, up Canal Street, past the Superdome, down Market & St. Charles Street, and through the Garden District. Once we had our history lesson we decided to hop on a trolley and head down to the French Market for lunch. We ended up back on Bourbon Street for a late lunch, and then we were off walking through the streets again. We made a stop at Café du Monde for coffee and beignets (square piece of dough, fried and covered with powdered sugar) and then headed over to the Cathedral-Basilica of St. Louis, a beautiful Catholic church built in 1850. Around 1800 hours the streets started to fill up with people and music and by the time we headed home at 2000 hours the French Quarter was very busy and very entertaining!
Until next time …