Saturday, March 14, 2009

Trip to the New Orleans Area

Since it has been a while I thought I woul pop in and let you know how my vacation is going. I can't believe that right now I am sitting in a tent (with the rain bubbling on the roof - I love that sound!), on line, and writing about a vacation I am currently on. This blows my mind! Don and I are in Louisiana for three days before heading over to Florida to spend time with mom and dad.
Don and I left on Wednesday and traveled all night to arrive in Louisiana on Thursday around lunch time. We are currently staying at Fountainbleau State Park in Mandeville, across the causeway from New Orleans. It is not a great site since the ground is very unlevel but it works for us in the three days we are here. It was suppose to be a shaded sight but it is not. Apparently during the Ike and Katrina many of the trees were downed. It is still a pretty park but not what I am use to from my camping experiences in northern Ontario (no recycling, people use insecticides to kill the ants and you are welcome to pick up dead wood in the bush to use for firewood - all things that you can be fined for in Ontario (it's that conservation thing we have). I also have never seen so many big rigs in a state/provincially run camground before. There are only a few of us who are tenters. I explored the beach area and the ruins of a sugar mill.
Aw, tenting... I love being in the outdoors. I love sleeping in a tent and hearing the wildlife sounds during the night (as long as it isn't a bear) and eating food cooked over an open fire. I ate the best hamburger ever the other night - slowly cooked and smoked. We have an electrical sight which means we can watch a movie on the laptop - too cool. This has come in handy with the threat of rain. I feel spoiled. I must damit, though, that my tenting days are probably numbered. While the tent is easy to set up and we have an air mattress and I sleep well, I am starting to lean toward having something that makes the night time more comfortable and possibly easier for when I want to camp alone.
Anyway, on to New Orleans. Don and I went into New Orleans yesterday and did a walk-about. I love the french quarter with its architecture and interesting lifestyle. I wanted to tour one of the old homes but it was closed, so we went to the aquarium and just walked the streets since Don is not into museums. At the aquarium we pet a stingray, saw loys of fish, sharks, penguins, and otters. We also watched an IMAX movie titled "Wild Ocean" in 3-D about the sardine run on the east coast of Africa. It was cool. We saw a few sidewalk musicians and performers. I liked the man who had marionettes that sang, danced, and played the guitar to music. I have posted a few pictures for you. Unfortunately, the poverty is still evident and you can tell which areas suffered the most during Katrina.
Today I am hoping to do a tour of some of the plantation homes. Hopefully the rain will either stay as showers or stop altogether. Stay tuned...