Thursday, March 22, 2018

NOLA and Meeting up with Friends…

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New Orleans Louisiana is one of our favorite cities. Nearly every time we make the switch to the East or West coast we schedule a stay at Bayou Segnette State Park. This state park offers spacious sites, clean restrooms and free laundry! How rare is that??? Because our park is across the river from the city and along a swamp, it really has an out in the country feel. We love it.

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Anyway, we were afraid the fiasco with our windshield would prevent a trip to the city but thankfully the insurance adjuster finally came through with a visit to assess our damage and begin the process of issuing us a check. Finally! 

With the insurance adjuster visit behind us we had one full day left to see the city We made the short drive over to Algiers Point Ferry, paid $5 for parking and the $2 per person ferry fee. We went straight out to the outer deck where we could see the beautiful panorama of the city as we made our way across.


We had a city tour picked out to see some historic sites from the 1700's in the French Quarter. We only made it through four stops on this little tour before the energy of the city pulled us off task. At Jackson Square there was an Art Walk and a wonderful New Orleans brass band which drew us in. After a while we wandered further into the quarter where we were treated to several impromptu musicians playing for large crowds. The city was full of people arriving early to participate in St Patrick's Day festivities. One musical group was very interesting. They were playing what sounded like 1930's to 40's music with a guitar, a fiddle and what looked to be like a butter churning stick on an old washboard. It was lively and entertaining as the female singer had a happy booming voice. Fun!


Years ago we stayed in a quaint and cozy hotel in the city called the Marie Antoinette. We wanted to see it but sadly it has been taken over, completely remodeled and renamed so we didn't venture inside preferring instead to remember it as it was. We moved on to wander all throughout the quarter hearing various forms of live music wafting outside of the many crowded bars on this beautiful sunny afternoon. A cold front had come through the night before so we were treated to cool temperatures and little or no humidity which was perfect for our walk.

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As our bodies became tired we wandered over to the French Market to sit awhile for people watching, rest and some water. Again there were big crowds at the market but the energy was so upbeat and happy that though we were tired, we felt really happy to be there. While perusing our social media on our phone we realized some friends from back home in College Station Texas were in town. We messaged them and they were on their way to one of our favorite bars, the Chart Room, so we hurried over to meet them. What a treat it was to hang out with Larry and Elaine.

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We talked, laughed and took several selfies before moving on to the Finnegan’s Easy, another of Larry's favorite bars. To our amazement two other friends, Beth and Eduardo joined us there. After more drinks and lively conversation, the afternoon whisked away. We tore ourselves away to take our tired happy selves back to the ferry and our home. Back at home I could not believe my Fitbit that said we walked 8.5 miles that day! No wonder we were tired. Tired but joyful....what a great day. Thank you NOLA...we WILL be back!

NOTE: We left Bayou Segnette State Park for a 15 night stay at Betty’s RV Park in Abbeville LA where we are now…

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Hiking in the Batavaria Preserve, Louisiana


Leaving Mississippi we headed to Bayou Segnette State Park which we have visited several times in the past. It is by far our favorite park to stay at to visit New Orleans. While we were hoping to explore the city we were still in limbo as we have to wait for our insurance adjuster to meet us to look over our RV for our claim. Since we have some cracking in what appears to me only involving the clear coat we were told they wouldn’t approve a windshield replacement until it was determined that there wasn’t any fiberglass damage near the windshield.

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We finally got a call from the adjuster and he would be able to meet us on our last day in New Orleans. Fortunately he wanted to meet us in the morning so that left the afternoon to play. Having the appointment also meant we would be free the day before so we drove over to the Batavaria Preserve after lunch.

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The Batavaria Preserve is part of the larger Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve. This section of Jean Lafitte comprises over 23,000 acres of Louisiana's wild and scenic wetlands. The trails we chose to hike would give us a glimpse of its bayous, swamps, marshes, and forests. Trails  in this area are a mix of boardwalks and dirt trails that snake their way through the preserve. Of course these wetlands, like many in Louisiana, were created by deposits from the Mississippi River.


There are some nice boardwalks there that had us floating above the swamps giving us a rare glimpse into the wetlands preserve. While we didn't see many critters we did some some interesting things. Most notable was seeing  North America's largest moth, the Cecropia moth. These giant silk moths have wingspans of up to six inches!


Their larvae mostly feed on Maple trees and are nocturnal so it was a real treat to see our first ever Cecropia moth. An interesting fact about them is that the nocturnal adult cecropia moths lack functional mouthparts or digestive system and like mayflies emerge only to reproduce As a result they only survive a maximum of about two weeks By the way my go to book for identifying butterflies is the Kaufman Field Guide To Insects of North America.

Our last day we will be so happy to finally have the adjuster to come by and look over our rig. After that we will go to the French Quarter to explore the city…

NOTE: We left Bayou Segnette State Park for a 15 night stay at Betty’s RV Park in Abbeville LA where we are now…