Blog Post

APR
12
2014

New Orleans

After a busy day downtown the day before, it was time for some rest around the campground.

Because of the bus I’ve had many, many conversations with other RVers. Which down here in Louisiana is more fun for me than most other times simply because of the accents. Especially the folks from the country. I talked to one guy who used the word hollow (sounded like holler) to describe his home. “My boy had a friend in the Navy from Minnesota who came and stayed at our holler.” I got the impression he didn’t think much of that friend.

I had another chat with a young guy walking down the road with his fishing pole slung over his shoulder. It had to be the most low-key, drawn out, relaxed conversation I’ve ever had—about catfish, bass, and whether the warden would come ’round and hassle him. I couldn’t picture this kid ever getting past a mailroom job in Chicago, but down here in the bayou I doubt he would ever give a Kardashian shit about that. I liked that kid.

When we first bumped into each other he said, “I like that rig of yours there. What you call that? A mobile home, motor coach?”

I told him I just called it a bus.

He nodded slowly, chewed on it for a minute, and said, “That right there is about all a man needs.” The sentence hung there, but it sounded as if the “aint it?” was silent.

“That’s about all,” I answered.

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The kids eat about ten dollars worth of fruit each day. Black, blue, and raspberries are particular favorites. As are melons and apples. Of course they can’t be huge fans of something nice and cheap like a banana.

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We are so happy with the way these two have been playing together. I think the RV life is going to really make them close. We can see it already. Of course at least once a day we hear Ouest yelling, “I’m never going to play with Lowe again. Never! Never!” Ten minutes later we hear, “Come on Lowe. Come on, look at this.”

The biggest blessing of this lifestyle so far though has to be Lowe’s sleeping habits. He’s asleep within minutes of finishing up story time, and usually with only one or two minor wakings during the night, he sleeps until an hour, which only a month ago would have seemed unbelievable to us. He even sleeps later than Ouest sometimes, and that girl can sleep. It’s nice to have a little sanity returning to our mornings.

Apr11 9

Today we made another run into New Orleans. This time we parked in Algiers and took the ferry across the river. That worked out much better than the city bus system. We were there early enough that we could still walk comfortably down the middle of Bourbon Street. There a guy stood out on his balcony and threw stuffed animals down to passing children (which sounds vaguely molester-ish, but wasn’t, really). Nice enough gesture, but what he failed to understand was that all the parents of those children would then spend the entire day carting around those stuffed animals.

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We did a bit of everything the next few hours. We had snowballs again, shopped for souveniers, took a bike taxi, had elaborate balloon toys made, listened to music, rode the trolleys, ate po’boys at Mother’s, hot dogs on the curb, and I forget what else. But we were beat. It feels like we busted our butts to see a bit of New Orleans and still didn’t even scratch the surface. We didn’t even dent the French Quarter, and that’s just one neighborhood.

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And here, for no particular reason, are some pictures of the kids’ room. That’s Lowe’s bed up top, Ouest on the bottom. We have dark window coverings that we snap on at night and leave off during the day. So far Lowe spends more time back there playing than Ouest does—she tends to spend most of her time at the table—but really, unless it is early morning or we are on the road, they are outside. And yes, it irks me that there is still trim work to be done, but unless we bunk up somewhere like Grammy’s house for a couple of weeks, I can’t imagine us getting those sorts of projects done.

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COMMENT : 12
  1. avatar
    Roland Reply

    Pat,
    Here is the link to the free streetcar and bus Tracker for New Orleans: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/transitapp-new-orleans-streetcar/id687959127?mt=8. The only problem is that it needs an expensive Ipad (or an iPhone or an iSomething Else) to run on :-(

  2. avatar
    Chris Reply

    In the vernacular if Facebook – LOVE!

  3. avatar
    Chris Reply

    That’s in the vernacular OF Facebook!

  4. avatar
    Cidnie Reply

    So glad you are enjoying my beloved Louisiana! My dad is now well into his 70s but he tells the story of riding the ferry in Algiers from his grandparents house to NOLA and back again, all day long as if it were yesterday. He was about 7 or 8 and would ride it all by himself. Many trips to visit NOLA for family and work have forever ingrained it as my favorite city in the US. Be sure to take some time wandering the Faubourg Marigny as that is really where its at.

  5. avatar
    Walden Creek RV steve Reply

    unlike lots of folks -I would think you have no problem finding your bus in crowded parking lot- Walden Creek rv steve

  6. avatar
    Paul Thomas Reply

    Pat, enjoy your adventures. Sounds like you have the bus running well, that is a good thing.

    “Mileage”, oh my, our camper, weighing about 8,500 lbs, with the aerodynamics of a large brick, used to get 8.0 MPG. We tried a special trick “RV” cam, remapped the advance, re-jetted the carb, had a special exhaust system built, added water injection, on & on. It got 8.0MPG, 6 with the boat behind it:

    http://s641.photobucket.com/user/ptnt11085/media/Skipjack/Skipjack1_zpsfd3d8d17.jpg.html?sort=3&o=0

    “Mail boy”? brought back some memories. 3 days out of high school I went to work as a mail boy for AT&T. 31 years later I was a manager, having 20 management people reporting to me, it worked out alright.

    Paul Thomas

  7. avatar
    Cheryl Geeting Reply

    Glad you seemed to enjoy the place I was born and raised, and still call home! There is indeed a lot to do, but glad you spend your time strolling the French Quarter instead of in a museum for tourists. Maybe because I’ve never lived anywhere else but … I love New Orleans! It’s cool to hear your opinion, especially when you’ve seen so many places.

    Our daughter got married this past weekend, so we weren’t around. If you’re ever in the area again, let us know. We did squeeze in a crawfish boil competition yesterday … 8 teams and our’s won! Ken boils them better than anyone I know, and we’d love to cook some up for ya.

    LOVE the picture of the bus with the Creole Queen in the background!

  8. avatar
    Gina Reply

    Hi Pat and Ali – Where are you headed next? Just curious since we are riding our bikes across America from San Diego to St. Augustine, FL. It’s our last night in Texas (Kountze, TX) and we cycle into Louisiana tomorrow. We’ll be in New Orleans on Saturday (4/19) but before then we’ll be biking the backroads through Merryville, Oberlin, Chicot State Park, Morganza, LA. It would be a hoot to cross paths! Pat you went to highschool with my friend Kelli Anderson. http://www.burritowagon.com Gina

  9. avatar
    brydanger Reply

    Sorry we didn’t get to connect before we took off for costa…but i hope you guys enjoyed the French Quarter Fest as much as we did!!
    I just couldn’t put the camera down for 4 days!
    bryan

  10. avatar
    Rick Reply

    Like Harry Shearer says – “New Orleans is the antidote for America”
    BTW what does an off grid guy know about Kardashian?
    I’m hungry.

  11. avatar
    Chris Reply

    Can you show a pic of your bed… I’m guessing you fold out the table? Just curious.

  12. avatar
    rattus Reply

    Beware the child fruit monster… I have 2 girls in University now, but as all-state athletes and summer returnees our food expenses quadruple. 2 kg of grapes – gone in 1 afternoon. Crate of clementines – 2 days. Pound of blueberries – 1/2 hour. These are daily trips.

    I figure it’s better than junk food – just a hell of a lot more expensive.

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