Wednesday, April 20, 2016



On March 6, 2016 we were filled with excitement as we headed to Louisiana and our chance to explore New Orleans. The five hour drive to Livingston took its toll but didn't damper our enthusiasm. 
Cal ka shoe is how the Parish is pronounced
Crossing  Lake Bigeaux 

After being in such dry places for the last few months is was quite the contrast to cross over into Louisiana with water every where. It was nice to be back on the East side of the Mississippi River again.
Mississippi River

We arrived at the Lakeside RV Park just as they were closing the office, they re-opened to get us registered, and lead us to our site. The park has about a 100 sites all wrapped around the lake. Really pretty park. 

Sites are all cement so very level, fairly wide so not right on top of your neighbor and really long with plenty of room for the tow-dolly and parking the car. There is a cement walkway all around the lake which made walking the dog very enjoyable. The rocking chairs, placed lakeside made for a great place to sit and watch the fishermen.
A morning visitor 

New Orleans is about an hour south, taking the back-roads took us a little longer. Driving through some of the little towns we got to see some really interesting houses, most up on blocks as the water level is so high. Once we got into the city we parked the car at Jax Parking Lot by the river and started our adventure. We left puppy home for the day so we could go into all the shops. 

After getting a bag of Beignets, we enjoyed them in Jackson Square where we heard our first jazz band of the day. 

We walked up and down just about every street in the French Quarter. In and out of all the shops filled with everything a tourist could want or need. 

It was hard to choose between people watching and architecture watching. 

There were so many interesting buildings, and the colors were fabulous.

We enjoyed some great conversations with people on the sidewalks, especially the two guys outside the Hustler Club, what a hoot. 

Louis Armstrong Park, also known as Congo Square, was really cool, art sculptures, lots of grassy areas, and a large pond.

You enter through a large arch and are greeted by a marching jazz band. 

R: Allison "Big Chief Tootie" Montana Dec. 1922 - June 2005
Left top: Slaves gathering to dance and sing

Charles "Buddy" Bolden 

There are a number of foot bridges that allow you to cross back and forth over the river. Each one is just a little bit different and all are beautiful

Additional sculptures and water fountains.
Lunch and good beer at the Crescent City Brewery, on the recommendation of our daughter Katrina, gave our tired feet a rest. While listening to some more music in Jackson Square, Nancy enjoyed a lovely conversation with a lady from Mississippi and watched a guy dance to the music. We finished off the day with more Beignets 
at Cafe De Monde and shared a table with two guys on shore leave from an oil freighter. Jeff, noticed Les's UNH (University of New Hampshire) T-shirt and invited us to sit with him and Brad, as they are from that area. 
Mississippi River and the Natchez Steamboat

On our way back to the car we walked along the river. 

Day one in New Orleans ended with us taking the causeway across Lake Ponchatrain. The current 23.83 mile bridge opened in May 1969, replacing the one that had been built in 1956. It is a parallel two-lane bridge, with a toll going southbound.The bridges are supported by 9,500 concrete pilings, and there is a drawbridge in the center of both. 
R: Hercules the Archer-1909
Left top: Sitting Figures -1979
 Left Bottom: Waves 1988
Second day in New Orleans we had breakfast at the Ruby Slipper and explored City Park, which is a magical 1,300 acre oasis. Development started in 1854, making it one of the nations oldest urban parks. You can spend a whole day here, which is what we did. There is a Botanical Gardens, biking and hiking trails, 26 tennis courts and an 18 hole golf course. Family activities that include large playscapes, a train garden, putt-putt golf, Storyland, and a one-of-a-kind antique wooden carousel, that unfortunately wasn't operating the day we were there. It is also home to the worlds largest mature live oaks. 
Future Generations
Tortoise 1916
The New Orleans Art Museum is located in the park. As well as the Besthoff Sculpture Garden with 50 sculptures lining the walking paths. It is open everyday except holidays, admission is free and it is all handicap accessible. In the 1930's work on the park was part of the Works Program and in 2005, 95% of the park was flooded after Hurricane Katrina, the public responded with overwhelming support to help cover the $43 million in damages.
L: Large Seated Cardinal 1983 -- C: Ruth & Naomi 1979 -- R: The Drummer 1985
L top: La Poetesse 1953 L bottom: Monumental Head of Jean d"Aire 1884
R: The Labors of Alexander 1967
L: Window with Ladder-Too Late for Help 2006
R: Pablo Casals's Obelisk 1983
Three Figures and Four Benches - 1979

Some of sculptures are old, some whimsical and others make a political statement.

The collage top to bottom: Perfect Vehicles, 1988; LOVE, Red Blue, 1966; Civitas, 1988; Spider, 1996; Restrained, 1999
L: Source Figure 1991 -- C: Sacrifice III 1949
R: Venus Victorius 1914
Heroic Man 1930
Mother and Child  1988

Lots of naked men and women. A number of animals or what might be considered animals. 

Monkeys 1998
We Stand Together 2005
L:Corridor Pin, Blue 1999 R-top: Riace Warriors I, II, III, IV 1983
R-bottom: Reclining Mother and Child 1975

Karma 2011

One of our favorites was the stainless steel box that reflected everything around it. We had so much fun posing in front of it. Even the Captains enjoyed it.

There are flowers through out the park as well as a pond and a foot bridge. We truly felt like we were in the South when we came upon the trees covered in Spanish Moss. The fountain is just outside of the gates.

The Louisiana Peter Toth Indian is south of downtown New Orleans, unfortunately we didn't look that up until after we had been to New Orleans twice, so third time was a charm. The statue has been moved from its original location so we had to stop and ask directions only to discover we had drove right past it at the entrance to the park! This was the 12th statue on the Trail of the Whispering Giants, it was carved in 1975 out of oak and stands 12 feet tall. No name is listed. 
It rained all night before we headed back to get the pictures of the Indian, and rained off and on all day. You can see why they build their houses on stilts. The water was much higher than it had been the day before. 

A drive through Baton Rouge rounded out the day. It was pouring rain when we got there so all the pictures were taken from the car! We found a Roadside Oddity, a large mug of Root Beer and did a drive by of the Louisiana Old State Capitol building, that looks like a castle. It is now a museum. Next time through we will go inside. 

We had great fun trying to pronounce the names of some of the streets. Nancy's"adopted" niece, Amy Rico, helped us with that. 
Left: Dal Rimple                            Right: Chup a two lis

Alabama here we come.

Till we meet again...

Happy Trails to You!

Tips and things we have learned along the way
~ Portable jumper cables. 
We have had our share of battery issues. During our stay in Washington we had to replace our house batteries. Then a couple of months later while in California the engine battery started acting up. We had roadside assistance come out to jump us and he had a handy hand held jumper cable box. We did some research and found the Power All Deluxe on line, the cheapest price was through Amazon. It has come in very handy as we have used it a couple of times now to start the RV. It also has a flashlight on it, and a USB port so you can charge/run your computer, tablet, phone or camera. A very handy device for under $100, when you can find yourself in the middle of now where. This is perfect not only for RVer's, but campers of all sorts, hikers and at home as well. It is very light weight and comes packed in a handy carry case for storage. 


  1. Can I use your photo of the miner statue in Houghton, Michigan? (I'm putting together a project for my acting class at Michigan Tech) and would like to include it in a film for local audiences.

    1. Thank you for asking - yes you can - good luck with your project