April 16 – 22, 2016: After entering Louisiana, you’d think we’d head straight for New Orleans but not just yet…
We had actually pre-planned part of the 2016 Road Trip and that plan included arriving in New Orleans prior to April 19th because Michael had a flight booked out of the New Orleans airport to go back home for a few days to take care of some things (read: Underworld was playing NYC). We had also already planned to explore New Orleans after he returned on April 22nd. SPOILER ALERT: we have tickets for the New Orleans Jazz Festival on Saturday, April 23, 2016.
So, entering Louisiana on April 16th, we had a few days to relax, catch-up on laundry and work, and spend time ensuring Camper Dan was in tip-top shape for his date with me. In the days before Michael departed we visited:
- Tin Roof Brewing Company in Baton Rouge,
- our first Bass Pro Shops (pro tip: avoid at all costs),
- our first Camping World (pro tip: slightly less creepy but better than spending dollars at the evil Wal-Mart, one of the few establishments with RV supplies),
- Target (phew),
- Abita Brewing Company in Abita Springs,
- The Barley Oak in Mandeville (yes, we ate the alligator sausage), and
- The Chimes in Covington for lunch and a walk on their property to see the goats. Here’s proof:
We also wandered around Fontainebleau State Park, where we had a campsite. Fontainebleau State Park is on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain and has beautiful trees with Spanish moss and a beach area (although it was flooded whilst we were there).
Most importantly, Michael was able to fix our transmission fluid leak. This was AMAZING not only because that leak was a bad, bad thing but also because transmission fluid smells HORRIBLE. Seriously, I’m not sure what they put in that stuff but it made me want to vomit anytime we needed to add it to Camper Dan. I’m not joking.
When we left Fontainebleau State Park for Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, we drove over the world’s longest causeway, 24 miles in length over Lake Pontchartrain.
After dropping off Michael, it was just me and Camper Dan. Clearly, we headed to the beach. We went to Grand Isle, Louisiana on the Gulf of Mexico. Grand Isle is the only inhabited barrier island in Louisiana and has about 1,300 year-round residents.
I lounged around listening to podcasts, laid on the beach, went for long walks to explore the park, and did some work. Also, I basically had my own private beach. This is because the island is actually a world class fishing and birding destination; not a beach destination. The other campsites were occupied almost exclusively by men who must have left at some early hour on fishing expeditions and arrived back sometime in the afternoon. Suited me just fine. Try to enjoy the photos; good photography will resume now that Michael has returned.