When I said moving on, I meant it

Since I last posted we have been on the go!  As I’ve told you – we are heading west and have lots of miles to cover!  You might want to get comfy!

Our first stop after Clearwater was Cedar Key FL.  It was an easy ride up Rt19, except there were traffic light stops.  The road itself was fine and after awhile, the lights became less frequent.  We could have taken Rt 589 a.k.a. The Suncoast Parkway, but it was more miles (not too bad – under 20) but it is also a toll road and we try to avoid tolls if we can b/c as most of you know  – tolls for a dually truck pulling a 40′ 5th Wheel are usually pretty ridiculous!  Bill actually checked and it would have been almost $20 for the fairly short ride.

We had heard really great things about Cedar Key RV Park, and I’ve been wanting to check it out.   When we found out our friends, Ed and Lynn, along with several other RV Dreamers, were spending the winter there – we booked 2 nights!  The park did not disappoint!  Very nice! Sites are large and well laid out, and include concrete pads for your rig and the picnic table. The grounds are beautifully landscaped and well maintained.  There is a good size pool and great common building, complete with bar and lounge areas.

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We arrived mid-afternoon and could see Ed and Lynn’s rig from our site, they were sitting outside with Bill and Linda.  After hello hugs all around, and an invite to join them for dinner, Bill and I finished setting up.

Dinner was yummy at a local place right up the road.  The company was even better!   Bill and Linda learned we are heading to AK this summer and graciously offered to share their experiences with us, as they’ve been a few times.  Afterward we sat outside with Ed and Lynn, catching up more with them.  We met Ed and Lynn at the Boondock Rally we attended last February.  You may remember, they were the ones who needed assistance from the “amateur swift water rescue team” after getting their kayak caught sideways trying to pass under a train trestle bridge and ending up in the water.   Also – Ed made the BEST blueberry pancakes!  Gin & Syl came around on their golf cart, clearly somewhat over-served, and having a great time!  We had no idea they would be there either!

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Around the table, L to R – Ed, Lynn, friend (sorry I don’t remember their names!), Linda, Bill, me, Bill

We were up early (for us) the next morning and found our way to the little town of Cedar Key to take a look around.  Gin and Syl (RV Dreamers) had told us that the town reminded them of Ocracoke Island, and they were 100% right on!  I just wish it hadn’t been so foggy!  The views of the water must be really great when it is clear!  Cedar Key is basically a small fishing village, no large stores, no Walmart, Home Depot or anything like that.  Seemed like the kind of place where everyone knew everyone else!  Bill and I both felt like it was the kind of place we could spend more time!

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This is the local grocery store, LOVE the mural!  We stopped in for a few items – VERY expensive!  The next closest shopping is 30 miles away!  Very reminiscent of OBX!
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mussel beds

We arrived at Bill & Linda’s at the agreed upon time and they had a bunch of info to share with us!  Linda’s Bill reminds me a bit of my Bill, in that they both take very detailed notes on things, which worked out great for us!  They passed along some great tips and things to do, etc.  We are very grateful to them!  Thanks guys!

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We joined the whole park for Happy Hour at the community room on our second and last evening at Cedar Key.  We brought along Buffalo Chicken Dip and chips to share, as well as Rum and Coke to drink.  We got to catch up a bit more with Gin & Syl, Tricia & Dan, as well as Ed & Lynn and Bill & Linda.  A great time was had by all!

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Wish I could remember what was so funny!
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Gin and I, looks like I’m photobombing my own selfie!

 

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Syl and Ed
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Trisha and Dan – I hate the flash on my phone camera sometimes!
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Trisha, Lynn (yes – she is holding both bottles! – don’t know why!) and Syl

We were up and out early the next morning, as we had a longer drive day in front of us.  We were heading to Gulf Shores to see Guy & Sue!  They were staying at Gulf Shores State Park, and since they least expensive rate for one night was $52 – we opted instead to spend the night at the Cracker Barrel, which was about 8 miles up the road!  As we were driving up, we learned that Gene & Eileen were also making their way to the same place!  We eventually caught up with each other at a rest area on I 10 and they followed us the rest of the way.  We pulled into the parking lot about 4pm.  Eileen and I went in to speak to the manager, who was more than happy to have us out back for the night!  We then texted Guy and he left right away to pick us up!

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following Gene & Eileen
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beautiful view along the way!
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strange stuff along the way
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very strange indeed
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this looks a bit dangerous

Sue put out this HUGE spread of food for us!  Homemade Guacamole, Chili Relleno, salad and for dessert, an Apple Spice Dump cake thing.  She made it like Eileen had made the Chocolate Lava cake, only used spice cake and apple pie filling instead.  We talked well into the night and then Guy drove us back to Cracker Barrel, after goodbyes and hugs and even a tear or two.  We were stuffed to the gills, all the food was delicious, and the company left our hearts feeling full also!  Thanks for a great evening!

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Bill sitting down front, L to R – Sue, me, Guy, Eileen, and Gene

We arrived at Bayou Segnette State Park, just south west of New Orleans, by early afternoon and set up quickly.  Gene & Eileen were at a CG on the north east side of New Orleans, so we agreed to meet up near the French Quarter to have dinner and walk on the famous Bourbon Street.  Bill and I decided not to drive the truck, instead acting on a tip from Jo & Ben (who are in CA) and take the ferry.  Probably the best advice to take in that area!  When we got off the ferry and saw all the people in the streets, we knew we would not have had an easy time driving that HUGE truck in the area.  Gene & Eileen opted to leave their car home, and grabbed a cab, which got them as close to Bourbon Street as he could.  They were glad to not have their car, and they have a little car!

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HUGE site!

We had some dinner on Bourbon Street, at a place called  LeBayou Restaurant.  Gene decided to order Gator Bites as an appetizer and Bill ordered Shrimp YaYa, which our waiter recommended.  I had stuffed fish and Bill had Shrimp Jambalaya.  Gene & Eileen shared a combo platter, which included samples (not really – the portions were large!) of 4 different Cajun dishes.  The food was good, but the company was the BEST!

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Eating a gator bite for the first time!  Believe me or not, it does taste very much like chicken!

After dinner, we just walked on Bourbon Street, taking in all the sights, and believe me, there were a lot of sights!  I’ll let the pics do the talking!

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taken from the balcony of the restaurant
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other direction
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bead throwers!

 

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this guy stood there like this all night and didn’t move
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no – this is not photoshopped – I believe he is supposed to be the King Cake baby. There is a cake called King Cake and it is sort of like a cinamon roll with different kinds of filling. Whoever makes it bakes it, adds a tiny plastic baby into it somewhere and whoever finds it has to bring the King Cake next time.

 

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view New Orleans from the ferry

After a few hours, we said our “see you later”‘s and went home, agreeing to talk the next day about what we wanted to do.  I had mentioned about going on an Airboat Swamp Tour, so more research was needed for that!

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on the way back to the CG, we passed this on the expressway – the parade floats going back to where they are stored at night

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After a quiet, lazy morning, we decided Gene & Eileen would come over to our place and we would do the 4pm Airboat Swamp tour.  The tour left from right up the street from the State Park, so it was convenient to leave from there.

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getting our safety instructions
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Mitch was a great tour guide!

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these are floating cabins that are being built by Bayou Segnette State Park – they will be rented out when they are done

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no he didn’t actually get to drive
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Gene taking his turn pretending to drive
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Eileen, Gene, me, Bill – out on the bayou
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This is the best pic I could get of the one alligator we saw! Mitch, our tour guide, explained we didn’t see more b/c it was too cold for them to be out, they get into their winter holes when its cold.

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heading back in through the flood gates
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Thank you to our guide, Mitch and Ultimate Swamp Adventures for an awesome time! We learned a lot about the bayou and alligators and this will be day we will always remember! Another bucket list item checked!

When we got home, we had dinner, which was sort of pot-luck style we each contributed to.  It worked out well and we enjoyed the evening at the rig.

The following day, we had been invited to dinner at yet another RV Dreamer friend’s house, about an hour away from where we were.  Bridget sure did cook us up some great Cajun dishes!  Trout meuniere, gumbo, shrimp and crab cakes, roasted red potatoes and asparagus, with King Cake for dessert!  OMG – so much food!  We loved catching up with Bridget and seeing her beautiful southern home!  She even sent us home with some of the King Cake and a bunch of oranges freshly picked (she picked them while we were there) in her small (maybe 10 trees) orchard.  Sadly, we missed seeing her hubby Pat, but he was on a long-planned for trip with his son.  Thank you Bridget for a great evening!

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Bridget – doing her thing in the kitchen!
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Bridget has a cookie making business, and she made these for us! The one in the middle with the words means “Let the Good Times Roll!”
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This is the King Cake I mentioned earlier – with the baby! Bridget told us years ago, it would be baked into the cake so you couldn’t see it, but they don’t do it that way anymore, sometimes people would choke on the baby!

Before we pulled out in the morning, Bill went to pick us up some shrimp at a local place just up the road, basically a few seafood sellers with their fresh catches.

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Bill getting ready to knock him back into the crate
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You never see shrimp with the heads on up north!  I wouldn’t take them off – it became Bill’s job!

Our time in New Orleans was short, and more time there is definitely needed, but we have to keep moving for now!

Our next stop was in Lake Charles, LA.  Remember I told you, we literally ran into James & Cindy at the Tampa RV Show?  Well, they invited us to spend a couple nights with them, and we happily accepted.  We got there just as Cindy got home from work and she helped Bill get parked in their side yard, which just happens to have full hook-ups!

I had made a lasagna the day before to take with and share, as no one was going to feel like cooking, not me on move day and not Cindy, after working all day.  James arrived as we were finishing up our short stay set-up.  When we are only staying a night or two, we don’t unroll all the small area rugs, just the big one, and we don’t put away all the straps that hold the chairs down, etc.  We caught up with each other over dinner and finally I said to Bill that we needed to let them get to sleep, as they both had to work early the next morning.  Cindy handed me keys to the back door and said I was more than welcome to do laundry, which I was very grateful for!

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Bill got it backed in first try!
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We just parked right in front of their rig!

Bill and I puttered around in the morning, I got laundry started and we looked at some of the brochures Cindy and James had picked up for us.  (wasn’t that so considerate of them?) We decided to go see the Mardi Gras Museum, which was only about 10 minutes away.  We also needed to stop at Sam’s Club for a couple items, and Bill wanted to fill up on fuel there.

We didn’t know quite what to expect at the museum, but we were very pleasantly surprised!  It was a HUGE collection of costumes worn by the Mardi Gras Kings and Queens over the years.  They were all very elaborate and HUGE and colorful and just amazing!  What was nice is we were seeing them up close, so you could see all the detail that they have!

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these type masks are my favorite!

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this is the names of all the Krewe’s – which are organizations sort of like Elk or Moose, they do civil things, but their main thing is Mardi Gras parade and costume every year, hoping theirs gets to be named King and Queen

That night, James & Cindy very generously took us out to dinner to one of their favorite places.  The food was really good, we had gator bites, fried crab claws, stuffed mushrooms, and fried catfish bites as an appetizer, and then for dinner I got grilled shrimp, which were cooked perfectly!  They were lightly seasoned with cajun spices, just enough that I could taste it but it didn’t hide the flavor of the shrimp, which were very fresh!  Bill had shrimp etouffee, which he loved, had just the right amount of heat!  I got to take home my baked potato – which I loaded up with cheese and bacon!  None of us had room for dessert!

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Afterward, James drove around and gave us a short tour of the waterfront area.  We parked and got out to walk, but didn’t stay out too long, it was cold!  Both James & Cindy were raised in Lake Charles, and they raised their daughter there, and I could feel their pride in their hometown as they told us about it.   I recognized it b/c I felt that way when we took Jo & Craig to the Jersey Shore last summer and showed them around!

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This is part of the Lake Charles 9/11 Memorial, this is an actual piece of steel from one of the towers

Before I close I need to say a HUGE thanks to Guy & Sue, Bridget (& Pat), and Cindy & James for your generous hospitality!  You have made this portion of our trip very special and we appreciate it very much!

Whew!  Thanks for hanging in there with me!  This has become a LONG post!  Hope you don’t mind!  We are currently in TX, but you will have to wait until next time to hear about that!  I will leave you for today with a pic of this sticker Bill saw on the back of a tuck while taking out the garbage one day.

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0 thoughts on “When I said moving on, I meant it

  1. I remembered the Debbie and Steve liked Bayou Segnette, both for the free laundry and for the convenience of getting to NOLA by ferry. Any more tips on that park, Kelly?

    1. All the sites are pretty much the same – you may want to ask for one NOT near the bath house b/c the playground is right there. We were right across. Also – if you check the map – where we took the airboat ride goes right on the bayou next to the park so you can hear airboats come/go every so often. It doesn’t last long but they are loud! The laundry was nice but I didn’t get to use it – was a wait the whole time we were there and I wasn’t about to sit around waiting! The park will give you info about the ferry – which we probably wouldn’t have looked at if Jo & Ben hadn’t mentioned it. The place we got shrimp was right up the road to the right when you leave the park – if you don’t like the look of the first vendor – move on to the next – prices were great! When you get closer – shoot me a PM!

  2. That was an amazing post! I loved every moment! Neil and I are so glad you are having such a wonderful time! Stay safe…keep on having the time of your life! Miss you!

  3. We know Gin/Syl, Bill/Linda, Dan/Tricia very well too! You look like you’re having way too much fun 🙂 Looking forward to hearing about more adventures!

  4. Great blog post!! you’re getting closer to us mile by mile! Can’t wait to hang with you guys up in Seattle!!

  5. Kelly. Great post. I was so excited to see a new one pop up. Love all the pictures. Looks like you and Bill are having a blast. I love the sign that Bill took a picture of. I can’t wait to continue to hear about your travels. Safe travels.

    1. Thanks Chris! We are enjoying life – that’s for sure! Your day to be out here with us will come and then we can exchange stories over a campfire!

      1. I can’t wait. We are counting down. We have a board up with our countdown in months. We get so excited to change that number every month. LOL. have a great week Kelly.

    1. I’m coming! I’m coming!

      Oh! I forgot to mention in the post! The Mardi Gras museum in Lake Charles is perfect for your $10 page! It was $5 per person!

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