Are We There Yet?

New Orleans

lush, green Louisiana

Son and I wake early and rested.  We slept great and are ready to get to our destination.  New Orleans here we come!  We grab some coffee and bananas ‘to go’ from the breakfast bar; included with our room.  We’re anxious to hit the road.

We’re heading south from Shreveport, Louisiana, on Interstate 49.  Son is intrigued with the lush, green landscape, and the flatness.  There’s little to no traffic and we enjoy the drive taking in the environment.  After about an hour into the drive, we stop at McDonald’s for more coffee and a couple of McMuffins……one of my travel vices.

The McDonald’s is busy.  Folks are jovial, engaged in conversations, and extremely polite.  Once again, son and I question what country we’re in.  We focus really hard to understand this interesting form of English and even then we’re not sure what was said, but everyone is helpful and happy.  A smile, nod, and a thank you on our part seems to work, even though we’re not sure what we’re responding to.  Did I already mention how polite everyone is?

Causeway

I-10 between Baton Rouge and New Orleans

We continue south on I-49 to the city of Lafayette at which point, we head east on Interstate 10.  It was after Baton Rouge where the drive got interesting.  We experienced driving via a Causeway over swamp land…..water, water and more water.  No drought around here, that’s for sure.  This Causeway, a long series of bridges, and the swamp water all around was definitely unique.  I drive so son can look around.  He’s excited and in awe as he takes in the environment.

New Orleans

getting closer to New Orleans

New OrleansWe agree, we wouldn’t want to break down around here.  The vegetation is thick.  The bugs are big (as evidenced by the yuck on the windshield).  There’s water everywhere….some clear, some green, some scummy.  The land is flat and the air is thick.  Louisiana and Colorado couldn’t be more different.

As we approach New Orleans, we witness more water.  We pass Lake Pontchartrain and then the famous Super Dome.  We’re here, we’re finally here.  I’m driving and I’m not sure what exit we should take to get to the hotel.

Our plan was to switch drivers before New Orleans, but there just never seamed to be a good place to do this.  Also son was so fascinated with the surroundings, I wanted him to have the opportunity to look around without having to focus on traffic.

French QuarterI’m old school and don’t use a GPS.  I use paper maps.  However this will be changing with the addition of my new smart phone.  Back to the maps….I have son grab the atlas and all my print outs from google maps for him to navigate.  We pass our exit and get off at the next one.  I’m pretty good with directions (I don’t get lost, just turned around) and between the two of us we find our hotel.  Fortunately for us, during our “turned around” drive circling some blocks, we saw parts of the French Quarter and drove by the famous St. Louis Cathedral – on my must see list.  This gave us a great prospective as to walking distances for our explorations.

We check into our Hotel, valet the car, and head out on foot for a yummy Cajun meal….

French Quarter

somewhere in Louisiana

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14 thoughts on “Are We There Yet?

  1. 2 drives I am very familiar with! I went to college in NOLA while my mom lived in Dallas– I always loved driving over the Atchafalaya swamp but could never really look around enough b/c I was driving. Then I was in school in Dallas and made many road trips to CO. The contrast in scenery is fascinating.

    • So the swamp has a name! You are so right about the diversity of scenery. The Dallas traffic made Denver’s seem mild. Now I’m off to San Diego…..crazy life these days. 😉

  2. My one and only visit through the Gulf area was shortly after Hurricane Camille in August 1969. It was pretty horrific. Never had much of a yen for that section of the country, though I’ve had to endure far too many visits to Florida…. I’ll take my neck of the woods any day.

    • Totally agree. I look forward to another “visit” to explore more, but a week will do! It’s soooo different than anywhere else….. on many levels.

    • Louisiana seems to have a lot of RV Parks. So I look forward to a return visit when we can stay longer and really take in the enviornment. Unique!

  3. LOL…thank you for all the advice. I’ll be sure to keep my top on! As a regular traveler and northerner, I know better than to venture where I don’t belong. I do look forward to a return visit and taking in more of the sites. The food was amazing 😉 Thanks for the comment.

  4. When I opened the post, my first sight was on the ’causeway’ on Rt 10. Boy did that look familier! I’m not sure if I have enough fingers and toes to count my trips over that watery landscape I’ve made. I love and abhor La !
    The deeper you go into the interior the more you realize that maybe you were better off staying on the main roads if you have no real reason being there (and even when you do!). Folks are pleasant but like most ‘interiors’ I’ve spent time in, they are a very closed society and prefer to be left alone by outsiders. One could not find a more similar but antagonistic to each other than La’s ‘Cajun’s’ and Southern States ‘hillbilly’s’. Most northerners couldn’t tell the difference anyway but it would be open warfare between those of say living in the great Dismal Swamp of N. Carolina and the Cajun swampers of La! Some cultures, no matter how similar are never meant to be mixed together. I’m glad you had fun going through to New Orleans but if ever you have the desire to go to Mardi Gras, go to Houma La instead…Less tourism, great friendly open armed people and tons of fun…just don’t go about topless, they’re a bit more family oriented there. JW

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