Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Change of plans

We got to Ashburn, GA. yesterday afternoon, planning to stay four nights and get in a little golf.    We'd stayed at Wanee Lakes Golf and RV previously with Pam and John, it was a wonderful place and we had a ball walking right out of Beluga onto the first tee every day.

This year, under new ownership, the experience wasn't quite as pleasant.  I won't go into details but we stayed only one night and left this morning.    The main reason was that the electric service at our site was very bad and kept tripping our spike bar, shutting Beluga's electrical system down.    Dinner preparation was a study in frustration.

We were really bummed because we enjoy the area, it's green, quiet and the golf course is just hard enough to be fun and empty most of the time.   So many birds in the area, it was wonderful listening to them.    This little Wren sat on the half dead tree next to us and sang to Dave the entire time he was outside closing up and getting ready to pull out.

Tonight we're in a lovely wooded site at the Anderson/Lake Hartwell KOA (Anderson, SC.)  until we leave for our Freightliner appointment in Gaffney, SC.

Monday, April 24, 2017

This and That

Here are a couple pictures from our last day in Bay St. Louis.   We drove scenic rt. 90 along the water through Waveland, Pass Christian, Long Beach, Gulfport and Biloxi.    We stopped along the way for one last fresh seafood lunch and then came back to get things in order for our departure on Monday morning.

the red plaque high above Dave's head marks Katrina's water level
as measured in Long Beach, MS.

sweet little Least Terns

As happens when one lives life, one needs to spend time in grocery stores.   That activity moves from a relatively boring necessity to a fun activity when one lives on the road and travels to different parts of the country.

Different chain stores such as Von's, Piggly Wiggly, Rouses, Stater Bros., AJ's Fine Foods, Walts Groceries, Kroger, Fred Meyer, Albertsons, Safeway, Publix, Market of Choice, etc., etc. all have basically the same products.   The fun, for us, comes in when we run across regional specialties in these stores.

Finding a huge display of colorful Mexican pastries in the Bakery area, bags of dried peppers I never knew existed and hard, brown cones of sugar in the spice section, pinatas hanging from the ceiling and swaying in the breeze from the airconditioner tell us where we are.

I think about this every time we make a grocery run.   Yesterday, before we left the Gulf coast I snapped a few pictures of some of the unusual and place specific items on the selves of Claiborne Hill Supermarket in Bay St. Lois.


What I didn't photograph were the shelves upon shelves of different types of crab and shrimp boil,  corn meal and grits (who knew there were so many varieties!), and two huge coolers filled with ice and water and fresh shrimp sitting in front of the meat case.     Yep, I definitely knew where we were!

Today we drove about 265 miles and stopped for the night in tiny Cottondale, Florida.   It turns out that this rv park, Hitchin Post Corral and Campground, is just the ticket.    It's still quite raw (only been open for less than a year), right next to I-10 but the owner's are just about the most pleasant people we've ever come across.   There is no office yet,  we were met as we drove in, given the Passport America rate without asking and led to our large pull through site.    She told us all about their park, what they've done, what they want to do, told us about the white bunnies hopping around, showed us a nice walking trail around the perimeter and along the fishing pond and promised to bring back some fresh eggs from her chickens!

Tomorrow we're off to Asburn, Georgia and a few days of golf.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Busy day (not!)

Another day in paradise.    We divided the day between beach and exploring pretty little Bay St. Louis.    Shrimp Po boys for lunch across from the marina, followed by a drive along the water.

Oh Dave.......

can you imagine climbing those stairs with arms full
of groceries?

As we drove along we saw the results of Katrina's catastrophic storm surges in the driveways going nowhere, in the stairs that once lead to beautiful estates going nowhere, and  new houses built on stilts at least 17 feet high, some much higher.    We saw stilts that evidently were too low sitting alone, without their houses.

these stilts were too low to keep their house safe

We visited the small Visitor's Center in the Historic Train Depot.    It's a odd sort of visitor's center, not a lot of information save some displays of the normal brochures and a very prominent collection of Mardi Gras costumes.

 We were getting ready to leave when a little woman popped out of an office and asked if she could do anything for us.    We told her we were really looking for some photographs of Katrina's affect on the area and she pointed out a small album.   As we paged through the photos her story began pouring out.....she and her husband had a house nearby, an elevated house.    It was 15 feet off the ground.     Katrina had been downgraded to a catagory 2 storm and she felt they could ride it out easily.  To make a long story short, her husband watched the radar and insisted they leave right away.     Luckily they left because Katrina filled their home with water and mud - up to the attic!    She tells us that now the code for waterfront houses is 17 feet high,  I wonder if that is enough....

After dinner we took Lewis for a long walk on the beach.   As usual, he had a ball!    He's such a good boy, a very good boy.

He was quite a bit in front of us,  running along the surf line when he stopped abruptly and turned back.    He's a good boy because he listens very well and responds quickly.    He listened to me yell "NO" "LEAVE IT" just as he was beginning to perform the dreaded shoulder drop on a very stinky fish carcass.   He didn't drop and roll, he came back to me......can you imagine what his long, beautiful ears would have smelled like if he wasn't such a good boy????

Thursday, April 20, 2017

A short hop

We left New Orleans this morning and made a short hop along the coast to Bay St. Louis and our site for the weekend.  

we hear the river is unusually high for this time of year...

We didn't have time to visit the WW11 Museum
this time, but it's still high on our "list"

over shallow Lake Ponchatrain

Tonight we're settled into our site at the Silver Slipper Casino RV Park, directly on the Gulf of Mexico.    Not much of a park but full hookups and what a view....

What Beluga sees

 bad picture of our beautiful welcome committee -
a pair of bald eagles behind Beluga

Lewis couldn't wait to get on the beach -
hurry up Dave!

The French Quarter

Yesterday we drove over the River and into the Vieux Carre, the French Quarter, and parked along the levee near the Natchez river boat.    Our plan for the day was simply to eat some good food, including a couple Beignets and New Orleans chicory coffee, and stroll the streets until we were tired.

As we were walking away from the car we heard ridiculous music, "You are my Sunshine, My Only Sunshine" playing forcefully and slightly off key, sometimes loud, sometimes quiet,  then petering out to a squawky, breathy end.    What?

See the little yellow spot on top of the Natchez, near the stern in the picture above?   That was the source of the shaky music....

She was having a ball playing the calliope, going from one tune to another with great enthusiasm, made me smile!

We entered the wall of old buildings on St. Louis Street and after a few blocks turned onto Bourbon Street.    We were heading for one of the newer Brennan family restaurants, Red Fish Grill.     I'd forgotten about Bourbon Street.....even in the daylight it is an eye opening place.   Perhaps more so in the daylight.  At night the sharp edges are softened by neon, your step is lightened by the fantastic Xydeco music pouring out of the open doors, the liquids on the sidewalk are unnoticed and the people are just quirky, are just having a good time, have had a few too many Hurricanes or Sazaracs.   There are too many people on the sidewalk to stop and actually read the sayings in the tee shirt store windows.

Red Fish Grill was wonderful.   It wasn't crowded and the food was beyond fantastic.    We both had wood grilled Redfish topped with Louisiana crawfish tails and shared their signature Three Chocolate Bread Pudding.....burp.

To work off all those yummy calories we walked and walked.   Through the beautiful neighborhoods and along the top of the levee.

Dave matches!

sweet sleeping kitty

glittering antiques along Royal Street

the quintessential picture of St. Louis Cathedral

I noticed these two watching me and when I trained the camera on them
they threw back their little heads and told me to keep walking!

  It rained very hard while we were eating lunch but stopped shortly after we left the restaurant.   The sun came out but that made the wet city really really steamy and hot.   There was a lovely breeze on the top of the levee so we found a bench and sat awhile, watching the traffic on the river.

Cooled and refreshed we went back in for our much anticipated postprandial snack - Beignets!

we split one order, honest!

After that we were pretty much done.....we waddled back to the jeep and headed back to Beluga waiting in pretty Bayou Segnette.

Today we break camp and drive about an hour east to our next stop on the Gulf!