Sunday, January 20, 2013

Fontainebleau State Park, Mandeville, LA Jan. 2nd-5th 2013

It’s Wednesday morning and we are still at Sheppard State Park in MS, but will be heading out for LA shortly. We must do some work today. We are blessed to be able to work remotely so we can take these trips! We hung out in the RV today while working. Well, Dave didn’t have to work all day so he headed out for a bit to find a Mississippi pin for our hat before we leave the state.

Late afternoon we packed up and headed on to Fontainebleau State Park near Mandeville, LA (on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain). I continued to work while Dave drove and we arrived at the Park just at quitting time. We were able to drive through the park and pick the site we wanted since it wasn’t crowded. It’s a great park. Again, some sites nearer the water had suffered some damage from different hurricanes, but where we stayed was fine. Site 85. It was cold and spitting light rain….I’m sure with the summer weather its even more lovely here! We don’t mind being here when its cold but you cannot enjoy the beach right now.

We quickly set up camp and headed out to explore. On our way through the park we saw lots of deer. We explored Mandeville which had a cute, mostly historic residential section with a few quaint shops and cafes mixed in. Not far away was a busy, vibrant town with tons of unique restaurants as well as all the big chain restaurants and stores such as Carrabas and Barnes and Noble and anything else you could think of! We chose a little Italian restaurant that had pretty good lasagna (not near as good as my sister in law Gina Cameron’s though!!) We stopped for gas and also grabbed some (not so good for us) snacks for later.

The rest of the evening we chilled by the fireplace and read. Cozy!!

Thursday, Jan. 3rd is a work day again. Dave didn’t have to work so he explored the park a bit, fixed a few little things in the RV and waited for me to finish working, lol. I scrambled to get myself ready as quick as I could after finishing work at 5:00. We hopped in the car and headed over the 24 mile Lake Pontchartrain bridge and on into the Garden District of New Orleans. I did not know what to expect having never been before. I oooh’d and ahhh’d over all the wonderful architecture! It was so cool that Christmas lights were still up!!

We found our Brother-in-Law Lee on a bagel shop sign!

We parked and walked around a bit and stopped to eat at a funky looking restaurant called The Rum House. It was hoppin’ and was definitely a ‘locals’ favorite. Dave says it was the best meal on the whole trip…and we had a lot of good food!! We both got the same thing and it was amazing!! Jerk chicken with mango ginger glaze served with black beans, rice and plantains. We got an appetizer of homemade sweet potato chips which were still warm and absolutely addicting!! Dave somehow found room for key lime pie…he likes to try it almost everywhere we go!

We then headed over to the French Quarter, parked and walked around. I was blown away by how much is there! The architecture is amazing!! What a cool ‘vibe’ in this town! Every nook and cranny has a quaint little courtyard or unique café! With the exception of a few tacky businesses on Bourbon St, it really is a town you must visit!! We cannot wait to go back!

We don't know why they did it, but the cops were opening the fire hydrants.

Well, we finally headed back to the park. We were amazed at how much exploring we packed in considering we didn’t leave until after work!

We got a good night’s sleep so we could get up early and see more of New Orleans.

Jan. 4th at 9:30 am and we are in the Garden District again. Dave downloaded a walking tour on his phone of some of the historic homes here. About 25 homes, a cemetery and a restaurant in total. It started off cold and windy!! So many sweaters and jackets I own have a hood on them and I’ve often thought, ‘this jacket/sweater would be perfect if it just didn’t have this hood on it!’ They bug me because my long hair gets all bunched up in it! Today, however, the hood became my best friend!! Now I realize they CAN be useful! I did not care if I looked like a dork….I wore that hood and loved it! It’s amazing how much warmer you are overall when your ears are not freezing, lol!!

Anyways, back to the tour…..we saw some beautiful homes and learned some local history. We saw the house where Jefferson Davis died, and noteable in quite a different way, we saw a home Sandra Bullock owns and also the one John Goodman lives in. It was so funny….we were listening to our tour and it said, ‘this is the home of actor John Goodman….if you keep your eyes open, you are likely to see him walking his dogs on this street.’ Well, right then, we saw the shadow of a larger man lumbering to the door with two dogs (it was a cut glass door). We both felt silly just standing there waiting for him to open the door so we stepped over a bit. The door opened and he let the dogs out but did not come out. We feel confident it was him though from what we could see through the front door!

John Goodman's Home
After the tour we checked out a few antique shops…what breathtaking crystal chandeliers they have!! We grabbed panini sandwiches and soup at a café then headed over to the French Quarter. We checked out Jackson Square and got some coffee and beignets which were incredible! We explored a ton of the quaint shops and heard several different amazingly talented musicians who were performing on the streets. 

We struck up a conversation with a guy who was working in one of the little shops. He was very helpful and gave us some great suggestions. First he told us about a luxury RV resort right in the French Quarter (right off I-10) and then he told us about a cool area to check out for live music. He said that Frenchman’s Street (a few blocks past the French Market) is a local’s place that is how New Orleans used to be. He said there are no fancy signs, but good music and clubs. We were pooped and even went back to the car for a few minutes. We decided to check it out though and we’re so glad we did! We went to the Spotted Cat and the Blue Nile and they were both amazing!! Now I grew up never having gone to any clubs or bars and I did not know what to expect… was awesome though! Two very different clubs but both with amazingly talented musicians! I’m going to post some video of both so you can hear how good they were!

Jayna Morgan's Band performing at The Spotted Cat

Kermit Ruffins and The BBQ Swingers

We must leave early in the morning (5th) to head back home. We will be stopping in Destin for one night on the way back.

Misi and Dave


  1. I loved New Orleans when I visited. You brought me back with your pics. I can't wait to take Charlie there sometime

    1. Cool! Make sure you take him to Frenchmen Street as that is where the best authentic NOLA music is and where the locals go.

  2. Your pictures are wonderful and we were very happy to have given you those tips about places "not to miss". Your giving us some tips also, like the Irish Pub. So happy for you both to have these adventures together. Happy RV'ing!!
    Don and Sandy