Sunday, October 30, 2011

New Orleans Road Trip - Day 07

We checked out and left the Shreveport La Quinta about 8:35 a.m. after having breakfast in the Bright Side Breakfast room. John had 1/2 of a bagel with cream cheese, yogurt, 1/2 glass of orange juice and a small glass of milk. Linda had orange juice, carrot juice, her raw bits twang twang and red raspberry yogurt (added to her raw bits twang twang).

Stopped in Natchitoches (pronounce Nak' i tish …. and that's a short i) around 9:30 a.m. to get gas and relieve ourselves.

We had lunch in Opelousas around 11:30 a.m. We both got Tender Grill Chicken Garden Salads with Light Italian dressing at Burger King. Not too shabby for a fast food salad. It was too warm (about 68 degrees)  to leave Fannie Mae cooped up in the car, so we sat in the car in the shade of a tree and rolled all the windows down. It was very nice.

The Atchafalaya Basin, or Atchafalaya Swamp, is the largest swamp in the United States. Located in south central Louisiana, it is a combination of wetlands and river delta area where the Atchafalaya River and the Gulf of Mexico converge. We spent a lot of time driving over the swamp and took a few photos of it which are in today's photo gallery.

We also crossed Lake Ponchartrain. It is the second largest body of saltwater in the United States, after the Great Salt Lake in Utah. Even though it is the largest lake in Louisiana, it actually isn't a lake. It is a saltwater estuary. It covers an area of 630 square miles and averages 12-14 feet in depth.

Finally made it into Metairie at about 2:22 p.m. and got all settled in to our nice room at La Quinta. We always try to get an ADA room. They have bigger bathrooms. It is very roomy and will be a nice place to spend several days while we explore the New Orleans area. 

As soon as we got unloaded and settled in, the two old buzzards took off for a nearby Cafe du Monde for some beignets and chicory coffee (cafe au lait).  Linda ordered a beignet and John ordered a beignet, thinking we would get one delicious, yummy treat. But a beignet to the folks at Cafe du Monde means "one order of beignets". So what we got was 2 plates each with 3 hot yummy square French doughnuts covered, no smothered, with powdered sugar.  We ate what we could and asked for a bag to go for the rest.  They were just as good as we remembered from over 20 years since the last time we were in New Orleans.  And they are perfect for dunking into the chicory coffee. We're sure to make a stop at the original Cafe du Monde in the French Market down in the Quarter.

We explored the transit system and are going to take a trial run tomorrow.  We will be able to drive about four miles down the street our lodging is on, park in a Winn Dixie (grocery store) parking lot and take public transit to the French Quarter. For seniors, it's $0.40 each and transfers are free. We'll be taking the Canal Street streetcar and transfering to the Riverfront streetcar.

Fannie and Linda went on a nice walk and then we all relaxed for a while.

Dinner was at Don's Seafood Hut, which is just down the street from La Quinta.  John had crawfish etouffee and shrimp remoulade. Linda had seafood gumbo and steamed broccoli. Everything was quite delicious.  Linda asked the waitperson why the gumbo did not have okra in it and she said “Everbody makes it difrunt. My momma useta put okra in it”.  Linda loves okra but the gumbo was still very good, even without okra.  It has a rich brown sauce and was full of shrimp and crab and rice.

Meanwhile, back at the La Quinta Ranch, Fannie Mae was glad to have the two old buzzards return and seems to be adjusting faster and faster to our constantly changing abodes. 

For dessert, Linda had a square of homemade granola goodies that her breaux (that's cajun for “bro”) Wes made and John had one of the leftover beignets.

The funniest sign today was from an ad in a New Orleans publication. The company is Blue Frog Chocolates on Magazine Street in the French Quarter.  Their ad says “Chocolate – Nature's way of making up for okra”.  So, OK, some people are not okra fans, but Linda is on a quest for some seafood gumbo with okra in it. The runner up was an ad we saw in Natchitoches at the gas station.  It said “Geaux Demons!”.  It must have been put up there by Budreaux.

There are only 19 photos in today's photo gallery. You can view them by clicking here.

Happy dreams of pecan pralines!

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