Tuesday, March 20, 2012

New Orleans here we come!

It was time to say goodbye to Austin...but it was too soon! We seem to be leaving each place wishing we could stay longer...this was not the way this year was supposed to go! We were going to take our time, no agenda, ha ha! Guess we just have to keep trying...we are on a mission to get to Tampa where we can park and be stationary during tax season so we have to keep moving. Bebe needed a "tune & lube" so we headed down to New Braunfels where friends Angie and Kevin were parked so we could have lunch and see the town they had been calling home for awhile. Kev started the "NuRVers" website which I luckily found before we started out on this wild ride and we will be forever thankful to him for providing a unique spot where we have found kindred souls and created a sense of community on the road. Kev has also provided us with an amazing amount of tips and tricks, like getting the recall on our fridge done before we had a horrendous fire like he did :(

Another tip (from the Technomads) and we were headed to Avery Island, Louisiana to see the world famous Tabasco factory. ALL of the tabasco sold in the world in processed here - it was a cool little tour and someplace to go to break up the trek to New Orleans (NOLA).

And finally we made it to NOLA!! Had rezzies at a state park campground, a free ferry ride away from the French Quarter, and had found out online that the New Orleans hash was having a hashy hour to celebrate a new brew from the NOLA brewery at Avenue Pub...so unhook the Subie, hook up Bebe, grab some warm clothes because it was FREEZING and off we went to find the ferry and navigate our way around a new city. New Orleans is a super easy city to walk which is what we did all week long. We found our way to the bar and I thought I located the hashers, unfortunately we had not worn our tags (necklaces with hash names) - but I did notice a hash shirt worn by one of the girls so with that confirmation we knew our evening had taken a turn for the better!
We found out, from the locals, about an iPhone ap for the parades - you pick what parade & it will show where it's at on the route compared to where you are, so you can follow it while in a nice warm bar and when it gets close run out to see - with freezing temps, this was fabulous and we used it all week long. My birthday was just two days away and I had made a rezzie at a great restaurant (I thought) I had found on yelp, but luckily our new hash friends directed us to Ralph's on the Park  - a wonderful spot a bit uptown from the french quarter tourists. They greeted us with Mardi Gras colored balloons and a feast to die for. It had been a day of feasting as we started out my b-day at Cafe du Monde with Beignets & chicory Cafe au lait - YUMMMMMM! Then made our way to all the cute little bars in the French Quarter or as my dad would say, Rue de Paris! He made sure we went to all the places he went to when he was stationed their with the Navy during WWII. I got a free b-day drink at one of his favorites, Pat O'Brien's and they gave me a free glass, which I sent to him. 
Birthday Bloody!

Birthday Beignets @ Cafe DuMonde

Birthday Balloons

Birthday Booze!

sporting some fine Mardi Gras hair

We hit the Central Grocery where they invented the mufeletta, which Chrissy (Bill's sister-in-law) introduced us to in Smithville/Austin. She hit it almost dead-on, yummy olive tapenade, meats & cheeses. We made it to Frenchman's street to listen to the jazz & found a cute little spot where they were playing ragtime & dressed for the part as well. Being a pianist, I LOVE me some ragtime!!  

Everyday we'd get a little work done in the morning and then set out on an adventure...the weather wasn't the best but we were here for a week and going to not let that stop us. After the first day getting gouged $20 to park by the free ferry (making it not quite so FREE!) we figured out when and where to park & never had to pay again! We were so lucky that the krewes (parades) were going on most days/nights but without the gargatuan crowds so we definitely got the feel of mardi gras sans crush...

Bill taking his conference call on the ferry ride over.

We didn't make it down to the bayou or out to party with our friends doing the "locals" thing, which I knew I'd regret, but it was cold and rainy and time to move on to see Bill's friends in the panhandle...au revoir Louisiana! 

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