Leaving Austin, Texas we had one night stay at a private campground. From there it is was a straight shot into New Orleans, well not exactly! I was relying on my GPS to make all the exits, lane changes and everything else that goes with New Orleans traffic! Finally, we were in Belle Chase, just on the west bank of the Mississippi. In order to get there, one has to cross the “Old Muddy” twice. In Belle Chase, I had no time to check the tunnel height before entering the tunnel. All was good as I made the clearance, but the double lane was tense as cars whizzed by.
Naval Air Station Joint Base New Orleans
This “Station/Base” is comprised of Coast Guard, Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine. It is small Reserve Station. The MWR (Morale Welfare Recreation) RV campground is set up in two areas. The long-term guests and the short term staying guests. Good WiFi, clean restrooms, and laundry room. The facilities served our purpose.
New Orleans ~ The ferry
One of the tips that Scott gave us on FB was to use the Ferry to cross the Mississippi River. Regular fare is $2.00, seniors $1.00! The campground office gave us directions, both written and by GPS coordinates to the ferry terminal. The problem was that the written directions took a different direction than the GPS. I mean totally getting there in nearly different directions! We tried the written way on the first night. Can you imagine the directions said to take a left and the GPS said to take a right? I gave up, tired and went back to the campground. The next morning the GPS took us right to the ferry terminal! We could either park on the street or in an open parking lot. We chose the $10 lot. The Cajun (African American) attendant asked if we came from Canada, “No,” I said, “Mais, Je parle français.” He answered me in French! “Wez in Cajun country!” I felt that the truck camper would be safe.
We got on the ferry the last two before they closed the gate! Wouldn’t you know I only had a one dollar bill! No change given! The attendant looked the other way! We were off to a good adventure in New Orleans!
The French Quarter
The ferry ride is just five minutes to the docks next to Harrahs Casino. We’ve been to the French Quarter a couple of times before and knew our way around fairly easily.
If I was to point out what is special about the French Quarter, it has to be the music! Man, you can’t listen to the street players without getting into the beat! The last time we were here, maybe five to seven years ago, there was a brass band playing jazz in front of the Cathedral~Basilica of St. Louis King of France. Well, guess what? Most of the original players were still playing the same great jazz/blues music!
We walked the streets and stopped at favorites. The “Café Du Monde” or “Café Beignet” are some of our favorites. Unfortunately, the Café Du Monde had a line 50 feet long! So, we moved on to looking at street architecture and people.
The Creole Townhouses with their Pontalba Apartments balconies and wrought iron railings! The Double Gallery House, Greek Revival House and not to forget the Shotgun House who sits on narrow, but deep lots, hence called a “shotgun house”. As I mentioned above, the people watching experience is also great in the French Quarter! I couldn’t stop watching these kids, some as young as seven or eight, playing their joint compound drum cans! It’s in their blood and soul! One kid playing hard and then stopping as he listens to another kid playing a different beat, just trying to better his competition! It’s a great town and people!
We did manage to get the Beignets before heading towards the ferry terminal.
St Patricks Day
Did I forget to mention that it was March 17, 2018…St Patricks Day? Of course the people we were watching also included all those green-clad Leprechauns! Of particular interest was back on the Algiers side of the “Big Muddy,” close to the ferry dock. “The Crown & Anchor Pub” noted for “Savor the whiskeys and scotches!”
Twelve miles later we were back at the campground, happy but exhausted!
That is what we saw and did!