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