2/4/10 Hello from state park Bayou Segnette just across the Mississippi River from New Orleans. Yes, we arrived here early because it was so cold as we were traveling across Alabama and Mississippi, especially when we stopped in Biloxi, that we hot-footed it here where we knew we would have electrical hookups for the little heater. Last night and today a big rain storm is keeping us hunkered down inside our rig, but in previous days we have been enjoying good walks on the trails and roads here. Louisiana honors the Golden Age pass, so it is also inexpensive to stay here ($9/night). As we walk around the park, we are enjoying seeing the many cardinals, egrets, ibis, and even armadillos, which especially enjoy munching on the grass around the RV sites.
Our good friends Laura and Gordon Bornkamp arrived yesterday and we are hoping for some nicer days through the weekend so we can attend some of the Mardi Gras parades. Tonight they came over for a spaghetti dinner and it was a nice evening as we all were trapped inside all day by the heavy rain. Sunday is the Superbowl and of course, there is much excitement around here because the Saints will be playing in it for the first time. Elaine is pushing for us to go to a brewpub or some other venue to watch it with a crowd.
Thanks to all of you who remembered Elaine on her birthday (63) on January 28. We were staying at the SKP park in Summerdale, AL with Gordon and Laura, so they helped us celebrate. It was a cool day but we were able to wander around Gulf Shores near the beach for a short while, and drive around the area to see what it was like. Then we went to Foley to have lunch at a place recommended by other RV friends, called Lambert’s Café.
This place is famous for serving huge portions of food, lots of side dishes, and throwing large hot rolls at you almost as soon as you are seated. There are murals on the outside of the building showing some of the events and people through the years, and bragging about throwing rolls.
Here is a picture of the young man who threw our rolls at us.
Then they come around and slop a bunch of either apple butter or sorghum syrup on it. And here is a picture of the 4 of us with our food in front of us.
It was definitely a unique birthday lunch! But not a good place to eat for anyone concerned about healthy eating and keeping the pounds off...
Summerdale is not very far from Fairhope, which is across the bay from Mobile, where my cousin Gloria used to have a winter home. Turns out that just as we were getting ready to leave the SKP park, Gloria arrived from Montana because she was renting a home for 2 months in Fairhope. We parked at the WalMart and Gloria came over to have lunch with us. Then we drove over to look at her rental house, and also did a brief exploration of Fairhope. She is 80 now and still so active and vibrant; it was great to see her.
Biloxi, MS was our next stop but by the time we got there, the weather had turned very cold and rainy. Laura & Gordon were there ahead of us and we all parked in a casino parking lot overnight. The next day we drove around and it was disheartening to see that most of the big old mansions that used to line the waterfront had been wiped out by Hurricane Katrina. Lots of the big old trees that had their limbs broken partway off now have beautiful carvings in the wood that was left. Wish I could have gotten a few pictures but the weather was so ugly that we were unable to walk around to where we might have been able to take some. There are at least 5 nice casinos that have been rebuilt since the hurricane so we went to those to get some walking done inside, and also took advantage of some of their offers of free play on the slots. We won enough money to stop at the fresh fish store to purchase some of the local specialties: shrimp and crawdads.
Then we went back to the rigs and prepared an appetizer feast instead of dinner.
The crawdads (or maybe they call them crayfish) were highly seasoned and we all tried them but only Gordon enjoyed them.
The last picture is of a Mardi Gras King cake, which has all the official Mardi Gras colors on it. Usually there is a small, plastic baby hidden somewhere in the cake. The cake is called “King” cake because of the Biblical 3 Kings and the plastic baby represents the baby Jesus. The traditional Mardi Gras colors are purple, for justice, gold for power, and green for faith.
Our next report will be about New Orleans sights and experiences and the Mardi Gras parade experience.