We drove Louisiana backroads yesterday, taking whatever squiggle led towards the coast. We eventually hit the brown water, then turned right to run west.

As we were driving along we would see old abandoned houses and I would tease Ouest by saying how nice they looked, and asking if she’d like to live there.

“No way, that’s too old,” she replied.

“Our bus is old!” I told her.

“No it’s not. It’s so pretty!” was her very diplomatic response. She knows just what to say sometimes.

At one point we were stopped for construction. The flag guy walked over and we started talking. He lit a cigarette, and I remember thinking, “When was the last time I saw anybody smoking on the job? Any job?” Things are so different in that respect down here.

Anyway, we were talking for a couple of minutes when he asked me, “Do you smoke?”

And being the total rube that I am I replied simply, “No, sorry.”

“Hmm, you look like you smoke,” he said with a sly smile.

“Nope. Seems like nobody smokes up north any more,” I said, adding in my observation.

“Really? Weird. Wonder why that is? You know, down here you can be caught carrying like an ounce and you don’t get in no trouble.”

And that’s when it hit me that the two of us were talking about two totally different things. Then my internal observation switched to, “Isn’t this totally weird that a State employee is standing here asking me if I smoke dope, seemingly under the context of selling me some while we wait here for the pilot car?” When I commented to Ali how strange I found that conversation she just shrugged. Like I said, I’m a total rube.

We found an RV park (8 spaces, tucked into somebody’s front yard, between them and the ocean) and called it a day.

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Despite the sunshine down here, it’s still freezing cold in the mornings. The wind has been howling for days. During this particular stop the kids and I jumped out while Ali stayed behind saying she was going to brush her teeth. Seconds later she was standing there with her toothbrush in her mouth undressing the kids back inside the bus. They had run outside, almost immediately began crying about how cold they were—despite sweatshirts and even winter hats—and turned right around.

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This morning we didn’t have far to drive before we ran out of road and were directed onto a ferry. A boat ride from inside the bus felt strangely familiar.

A few minutes out Ali was watching an approaching ship and said, “I hope we’re not going in front of him, we won’t make it.” Seconds later the engines of the ferry went into neutral and we drifted to a stop to let the ship pass right in front of us. You can take the sailor girl off the water, but you can’t, something, something.

And then we were in Galveston, Texas.

Shortly after pulling off the ferry we drove past a nice looking campground right on the beach. We drove further on, checking out the town, then circled back to see about getting a spot for the night.

I walked up and a scruffy looking guy asked if he could help me. I told him we were looking for a spot for a couple of nights. He looked over my shoulder, then said, “We’re booked solid for the Easter weekend. ‘Sides, they wouldn’t let me give you a spot anyway. Only ten years or newer rigs here.”

In other words, no Gilligans at the Sandpiper RV Resort, only Thurston Howells.

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There are still nooks and crannies on this bus that haven’t been explored. I opened this one up for the first time today. This is an air scoop—one sits on both the driver and passenger sides near the floors as a sort of poor man’s air conditioning.


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