Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Birthday Trips....Trip #2

Warning: Short Rant ::As you know I left Ft. Myers, Florida on Wednesday, Oct 8, and flew into Roanoke, VA.  Let me just say, it has been a long time since I flew, and it will be an even longer time before I fly again!! The seats were so tight, my normal sized carry on wouldn't even fit between my seat front and under the seat in front of me, had to beat it in with my feet and fly with my feet on it. Then of course there is always a delay in Atlanta....2 extra hours extra for me. {{Sigh}} Flying is no longer a convenience or even fun!! :Rant over!

Jess picked me up at the airport in Roanoke, and we proceeded to go shopping for road snacks for our Trip #2.  A road trip in one day, to Mandeville, Louisiana (just across lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans starting Thursday Morning). 

Friends of Jess' college roommate Amanda (Nicknamed 'Pie') were having a baby shower for her in Mandeville, just up the road from her family's home in Mandeville. Pie's baby is due December 30, just 2 months before Jess.  Hubby and I had gotten close with her and her family and tailgated with them a few times for Hokie games when the girls were in Undergrad.  We all kind of lost touch with each other when the girls went to Grad and Vet school... Jess and I decided we were gonna get reacquainted with these wonderful people again during this trip of.... 800 miles, 13 hours and 6 way.

 We started out in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia just before sun-up...

 ...then Tennessee....
...Chattanooga, Tennessee, on the Tennessee River...
Then through the corner of Georgia.....

 ...then Alabama... (didn't quite get this pic!)

...then finally Louisiana!! (Missed this pic because the sign is about 3 miles inside the border, and I wasn't ready!!! )  

The evening thunderstorms over the lake (or the gulf) were catching the beautiful colors of the sunset when we arrived in Mandeville...
 At the recommendation of the desk clerk at the hotel, we headed down the road a little over a mile to Camellia's Cafe, as we turned in, Jess realized she had been to the cafe on her last (and only) trip over 8 years ago!! We had the best grilled shrimp ever, it was awesome!

 This awesome flag was out front of Camellia's..

After a much needed restful nights sleep, we decided to get up first thing and see the sights in New Orleans before we were to meet with Pie and her family Friday evening. Again the desk clerk at the hotel was our 'guide' with a suggestion to go to the French Quarter.  We did just that, and I took A LOT of pics, so I will just post a 'few'...

The first adventure was to cross Lake Pontchartrain, a 23 mile causeway/draw bridge.  When you first get onto it, you cannot see any land on the other side, you keep watching and it slowly comes into view.  What a city it is, it looks like New York City. I had no idea!

They opened the draw for a sailboat as we went across.

New Orleans! Notice the Super Dome (White building on the right side)
 Like New York there is a lot going on, lots of traffic shared with street cars.  We parked close to the French Quarter and decided that parking and walking would be a good plan...we parked in front of the famous Harrah's Casino, the price was incredible to park!
 First thing we saw when we arrived at the French Quarter was Landry's Seafood Restaurant, and I am all about food....gotta try the 'hometown' foods wherever I go!  We both had a cup of Gumbo, Jess had Shrimp and Andouille, I had the seafood and we shared the Crawfish Bread!! AWESOME food!!! It really was wonderful! I recommend this on restaurant on your next trip to 'Nawlins'!
 This is the famous Jackson Square...
We had many choices of pralines, and decided on Aunt Sally's, I had never had pralines, and these creamy ones were awesome, and very popular, we both left there with shopping bags full to take home.

 We spent most of the day at the French Market, they had crafters, flea and farmer's markets throughout, it was very interesting. It would take the entire day to see it all.
 It was amazing to me to see the 'old time city' against the sky scrapers of New Orleans.
 I just loved the buildings....
 One of these three once belonged to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, not sure which...

 This is Jax Brewery, such an amazing building....Notice the Palm trees growing on the roof!

The rest of the day was spent at the aquarium....More next post!




  1. What an awesome trip - so much to see and do. This place is on my wish list.

    1. It was a great trip!! A LOT of driving though!!

  2. wowee!!! sounds like so much fun!