New Orleans and Mardi Gras

A while ago I posted a blog about listening to that inner voice, you know the one that is telling you when something isn’t right. Sometimes that inner voice just isn’t doing its job. Maybe it is and I just wasn’t hearing it. It was a long driving day, and one of the 2 GPSes we used was giving us the wrong directions to the state park we were heading to. So I stopped on the side of the road twice to check the directions on the map. The first time, we ended up at the back entrance to the park, which we obviously couldn’t get in. The second time, I finally figured out where we needed to be. There was a street that went straight to the road we needed to be on. So great, I’ll scoot down there. Just as I’m making the turn, I see the No Trucks sign, as does Trish. Being from Toronto, where a No Truck sign usually means they don’t want commercial trucks going through residential streets and not that commercial sized vehicles don’t fit, I figured this was the same.

I couldn’t have been more wrong as it turns out. We are driving down this side street and it’s narrow, but the going is good. About 1/2 way down the street Trish asked if the vent caps could possibly have blown off. I told her that it wasn’t likely since we were going slow. If they hadn’t blown off on I10 they wouldn’t have blown off on this side street. I didn’t give it much though at that point. We made it to Bauyou Segnette State Park and got all setup. After we were all setup, I went to have the TV scan the local OTA TV channels. I turned on the signal meter built into our Jacks TV antenna and turned it to get the best signal, only when I turned the handle it spun freely.

You know that sinking feeling you get when you know something is wrong, but you don’t want to admit it? Yea, that’s the one that was settling over me. So I climbed up on the roof and saw that, no we didn’t lose any vent caps, we lost the entire Jacks TV antenna. We head back to where Trish thought she saw the “vent cap” fly off and sure enough, there was our antenna sitting on the side of the road. Apparently the No Truck sign was for low wires and not just to keep commercial trucks out of residential neighbourhoods. So we pick it up and go back to the camper. Lesson learned. Do NOT ignore No Truck signs when you are hauling a 35′ 5th wheel that is 12’6″ tall. Sigh. The other thing I learned later was that you NEED to follow the directions listed on the Bayou Segnette State Park’s website because the GPS takes you to the back gate of the park as we found out the hard way 😦 Despite this setback, we were in New Orleans to enjoy Carnival season and Mardi Gras and we did enjoy it.

IMG_20160130_133137-sOur first visit into New Orleans proper found us driving through the French Quarter with a full-size pick-up truck. Oops. Those roads are tight and people are walking all up and down them and not just on the sidewalks but down the middle of the street. We had the opportunity to drive down Bourbon Street, but we decided against it. We did end up walking up and down Bourbon Street later that day. Wow, is all that I can say. It is an experience to be on Bourbon Street, particularly during Mardi Gras. The road is packed and everyone is walking around with a drink. The drinks range from your typical plastic beer cup to hand grenade shaped glasses to fish bowls to a large plastic beer bottle shaped container that holds a lot of beer and is called, are you ready, a “Huge Ass Beer”. No, seriously that’s what it’s called. It really is quite the site and experience.

Then there were the parades. We ended up seeing about 6 or 7 during the 2 weeks we were there. We saw a several of the big ones like Zulu, Rex, Orpheus, Endymoin and a few of the smaller ones like ‘tit Rex and Chewbacchus. They all had their own themes and specialty throws. Most of which were pretty amazing. We even got to see Harry Connick, Jr. on one of the Orpheus floats. The whole Mardi Gras Parade experience is something to behold.

IMG_20160203_102055-sIMG_20160203_103503-sWhat trip to New Orleans is complete without food? We had all the local favourites including red beans and rice, etouffee, gumbo, Central Grocery’s muffaletta, homemade jambalya and of course a stop at Café Du Monde for beignets and cafe au lait. If you like good food with flavour on top of flavour, you can’t go wrong with a trip to New Orleans.

One day we just went for a drive and ended up at the Venice Marina, which is out in the Gulf of Mexico. Just have a look at this map to give you an idea of how far out it is. It was a nice drive, but there really wasn’t anything to see, so we just turned around and went home.

2 weeks just isn’t enough to enjoy all that New Orleans has to offer. Maybe next time we will avoid Mardi Gras madness, but then again, that’s half the fun. 😀

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