Wednesday, February 29, 2012

CC And Winne Arrive At Coushatta

It was an uneventful but long travel day.  Even though it was only four and half hours, it seemed much, much longer.  We arrived at Coushatta Casino RV Resort around quarter ‘til two.  The campground is new with full hookup concrete pull through sites, however, where they located the hook ups required us to unhitch CC (Cedar Creek) from the truck and park the truck behind the coach.  Oh well, it is what it is. 

The four of us decided that we didn’t want to travel again today so we’re staying here for two nights.  That means that so far on this trip we are pretty much following our 4-4-2 rule – drive four hours, be off the road by four o’clock, and stay for at least two nights.

The Casino has six different restaurants so we (that is, the girls) went online, looked at the menus, and choose the Terrace Café.  Peggy had a nice soup and salad while the rest of us had “huge” sandwiches with a side.  It was good food, reasonably priced, and more than enough to satisfy our hunger pangs.

After dinner we took a stroll around the Lodge, the Pond, and the RV Park.  The temperatures were comfortable even though it was still a little humid.  Showers are in the forecast for the next few days; right out through Friday.  Here are some pictures around the Casino Resort and RV Park.


We get an extra day this year and today is it – February 29th.  Yep, it’s leap year.  So, how will we spend this extra day?  Wow!!!  That’s a good question and we have no idea.  Later this morning we’ll pow-wow and make some decisions.  I’m sure a nice walk will be included as long as the rain will hold off – no guarantees there as we have a 60% chance of rain.  Maybe we’ll have to go to the casino and see if we can earn some traveling money.  You’ll have to check in again tomorrow to find out.

Be Careful, Have Some Fun, and May God Bless  - - - - - - - - - -

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

M & P And D & J’s Big Adventure

The cool damp dreary rainy weather continued so, after a morning meeting of the minds, it was decided that we would stay put and eat left over fish chowdah for lunch.  After lunch we took a short walk around the campground between the rain drops, partook in Tea Time, had some computer time, took a short nap in our recliners, and went out to dinner at El Mesquite Grill, the highlight of the day.

New Orleans will have to be put back on the Bucket List for a future visit during milder weather conditions.  We had discussed doing the World War II Museum but, being that we will be visiting the Pacific War Museum in Fredericksburg, we decided against it.

The El Mesquite Grill proofed to be more than an adequate Mexican restaurant.  The restaurant certainly didn’t have much appeal from the outside, but the dinners were very good.  All of us were happy with our meals – does that mean they were “Happy Meals”?  I don’t think so, Tim!!

So there you have it, our big adventure.  Here’s a picture of CC and Winne sitting in the rain at Bayou Segnette State Park.  As you can see, they have large sites; also, we have great wooden decks but, unfortunately, due to the weather, we didn’t get to enjoy sitting out on them for Tea Time.


Today we make tracks to Kinder, Louisiana and, then, onto to Livingston, Texas to visit our home state.  We live on Rainbow Drive and haven’t been home since October of 2006.  While we are there we’ll need to have the truck inspected, apply for our absentee ballots, and look into a health insurance supplement for when I turn Medicare this summer.  We’ve been told to be sure and dine at Florida’s restaurant, so a trip there is in the offering.

Take Care For Now and May God Bless  - - - - - - - - -

Monday, February 27, 2012

Cruising “The Big Easy”

We pulled out of our site at a little before eight and made it up the hill to Mike and Peggy’s.  Mike was putting the finishing touches on their “pack up” and they were just about ready to pull out to hook up the Vue to Winne.  Katie, Alex, Judy, and I led the way for the first half of the trip which was to the Flying-J in Gulfport, Mississippi.  Then Mike and Peggy took the lead to Bayou Segnette State Park in Westwego, Louisiana.  Their Lola (GPS) has more up to date software than our Maggie (GPS).


It didn’t take long for us to “set up camp”, have lunch, and roll out toward the Big Easy.  We drove to the ferry at Algiers where it costs $10 to park for the day while the ferry ride is free. 


They have a statue of Louie Armstrong in front of the terminal


and you can see the New Orleans skyline across the river from the terminal at Algiers.


Here’s a picture of the Paddleboat Natchez taken from the ferry Sen. Alvin T. Stumpf on our ride across the Mississippi to the Big Easy.


The ferry dropped us off at the foot of Canal Street which is a short hoof to the French Quarter.


We walked up Canal Street to Bourbon Street where, as Mike says, “you may have never been to Sodom and Gomorrah, but this is next to it!”


and, then, over to St. Peter Street where the French Quarter style architecture continues.  


That led us to Jackson Square with the St. Louis Cathedral on one side (St. Charles Street) and Café Du Monde on the other (Decatur Street).  There were Sunday services going on at the Cathedral so we didn’t get to tour the building.




We didn’t stand in line for a begnette because it was beginning to rain so we walked down Decatur Street to find Central Grocery, home of the muffuletta sandwich.


Central Grocery is closed on Sundays, but two doors down was Frank’s and they have excellent muffulettas as well – one sandwich fed the four of us. 



From there we made our way back down Decatur Street heading back toward Canal Street.  Here’s some more of that unique French Quarter styled architecture.


This is a view looking up St. Peter’s Street from Decatur.


You can see that it continued to rain and it was damp, cold, and windy as well, so we made our way back to the ferry terminal for another boat ride across the Mighty Mississippi.  Once returning to our rigs, we checked the weather forecast while partaking in Tea Time.

The forecast for today is more rain so we’ve not decided what exactly we’re going to do, but you can be assured that eating will be involved.

Take Care For Now and May God Bless  - - - - - - - - - - -

Sunday, February 26, 2012

It’s A Dinner Party At The Patterson’s

We kicked off the day preparing a nice George Patterson “Signature” Fish Chowdah for yesterday evening’s dinner party.  Then it was off to the clubhouse for breakfast of Eggs Larry’s Style which means that you can order whatever you like, but when you get them they maybe something other than what you ordered.  It all depends on what happens on the grill, but mine were exactly as I requested.  There were fried ‘taters, an apple dish, bacon or sausage, and a biscuit with orange juice and coffee.  Not bad for three dollars and fifty cents.

After breakfast it was home to spend the day doing all the things that we should have been doing all along in preparation for this morning’s departure.  More and more little items kept crawling onto the “Ol’ Ta Do List”, but we were able to whip it back into shape.  Finally, we scraped the bottom of the barrel and got to sit down for a few minutes.

Our dinner guests were scheduled to arrive around five o’clock.  We had wanted Gary and Millie to join us in Topsham last summer for a nice fish chowdah, but they didn’t get to Maine until after we had relocated to Belfast so it never happened; therefore, we brought some “frozen at sea” haddock back with us so we could have a nice New England Fish Chowdah right here in L. A..  So Gary and Millie, Norm and Linda, and Don and Gloria, and Mike and Peggy joined with Judy and I for an evening of beverage, fun, food, and fellowship. 

Judy baked some nice home made French bread and Gloria brought a nice fresh salad dish with a couple of different dressings to have with the chowdah.  Norm stayed up half the night before preparing four different flavors of cheese cakes for dessert.  Peggy and Linda supplied the wine which, along with the conversation, flowed freely as a good time was being had by all.  It was a great evening with great friends and we look forward to many, many more down life’s road.

We’ve been told that our katts are spoiled rotten, but if you ask them they’ll tell you it is not so.  Slightly pampered, maybe, but never spoiled.  Here they are on the sofa, with their cuddle blankies, watching Animal Planet’s Katts 101, one of their favorite television shows.  “Got any more katt nip?”


Now we’re already to head out and where’s Alex?  Here he is trying to hide under the rug so we can’t find him and put him in the truck.  Silly katt, you’re too big to hide under that rug!  “And away we go!!”


We’re off, see all y’all from New Orleans tomorrow.  In the meantime, May God Bless  - - - - - - - - - -

Saturday, February 25, 2012

We Just Had To Do It Again

Mike, Peggy, Judy, and I just had to do it one more time; that is, we had to go back to Panini Pete’s for another muffuletta sandwich. 


That got me to thinking about the origins of that great sandwich.  Per Wikipedia, the muffuletta sandwich had its origins at Central Grocery in the French Quarter of New Orleans.  Here is the story according to Marie Lupo Tusa who is the daughter of Central Grocery’s founder: (photo by: Steven Mark Needham)

“One of the most interesting aspects of my father's grocery is his unique creation, the muffuletta sandwich. The muffuletta was created in the early 1900s when the Farmers' Market was in the same area as the grocery. Most of the farmers who sold their produce there were Sicilian. Every day they used to come of my father's grocery for lunch. They would order some salami, some ham, a piece of cheese, a little olive salad, and either long braided Italian bread or round muffuletta bread. In typical Sicilian fashion they ate everything separately. The farmers used to sit on crates or barrels and try to eat while precariously balancing their small trays covered with food on their knees. My father suggested that it would be easier for the farmers if he cut the bread and put everything on it like a sandwich; even if it was not typical Sicilian fashion. He experimented and found that the thicker, braided Italian bread was too hard to bite but the softer round muffuletta was ideal for his sandwich. In very little time, the farmers came to merely ask for a "muffuletta" for their lunch.”

Muffuletta Sandwich

Needless to say, the sandwiches that we got at Panini Pete’s is definitely a variation of the original, but it was darned good none the less. (Photo by Peggy Evringham)

But, it wasn’t enough for just the four of us to partake in a Panini Pete’s lunch; we had to corrupt Jerry and Carol as well.  If you remember from yesterday, we had stated that we were going to go to breakfast with them, but the schedule was starting to close in on us with Judy’s hair appointment as well as getting a couple more items crossed off the “Ol’ Ta Do List” so we decided to introduce them to Panini Pete’s.


It was nice to have met them and have had some time to visit with them.  Jerry and I have been emailing over the past couple of years, generally about Cedar Creek issues since they have a 2008 Cedar Creek.  They, also, have a golden retriever, a white standard poodle, and a calico katt traveling with them.  On top of all of that, Carol is a dedicated quilter so that gave her and Judy something in common.  They’re leaving the Plantation this morning so we wish them safe travels.  Did I ever tell you that one of the greatest things about this lifestyle is the people you get to meet and the friends you make?   Maybe once or twice, huh?

Judy finished Alex’s cuddle blankie, so he is one happy kitty.  Now he has something to stretch out and lounge around on just like his sister.  Anything to keep the katts content.  Here Alex is just hanging out on his new blankie during the afternoon.


It never ends here at Rainbow Plantation.  Last night we had another concert with Denny Yeary.  If you remember, he was here in early January.  Denny sang bass with the Blackwood Brothers for twenty-two years and now performs in Branson.  He travels during Branson’s off season and will be back to the Plantation again next January.  His wife will be traveling with him at that time.  It was a great concert and we look forward to seeing him again next year.


Today will be another special day with friends, but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to read about it.  So . . . . .

Take Care and May God Bless  - - - - - - - - -

Friday, February 24, 2012

More Friends, More Good Times

Another item off the old “Ta Do” List.  Yesterday morning Mike and I visited Charlie the barber to get our pilus shortened.  After that, we made a pit stop at Camping World just to check things out.  It’s nice when you walk through Camping World and don’t find anything you need.  I did check out the Hickory Springs external steps.  That’s the next thing that we need to upgrade.  Forest River installed “cheap ass” steps on the coach and they are totally worn out (it seems like Forest River looked for the cheapest equipment they could find to put on our rig).

While I was off gallivanting, Miss Judy was taking in a two hour quilting video with her quilting group at the clubhouse.  She said it was very good and that she learned a thing or two – see, you CAN teach a young lady a new trick or two.  Peggy “stood” to home and did stuff, I’m not sure what exactly she did, but she kept busy.

At one o’clock, we (Mike, Peggy, Judy, and I) met up with Paul and Mary (A.K.A. Boris and Natasha) at the Original Oyster House in Gulf Shores.  It was a fun gathering with some more great seafood.  While we were there, Johnny and Sheila, from our 242 Group, came in for lunch so we were able to visit with them for a couple minutes.  Anyway, it was nice to spend some time with Paul and Mary again, hopefully they’ll be able to join up with us again today.  In any event, we’ll see them again somewhere down the road.  They have two katts that travel with them as well, so you just know that they have to be great people.


Speaking of friends, we have two more friends, that we’ve never met, who arrived at Rainbow Plantation yesterday afternoon – Jerry and Carol.  We’re planning to go to breakfast with them this morning to get to know them better.

Because it was soooooo good and this is a much better view, we are reposting the link to Little Things (you’ll need to scroll down a little to see the video).  That has to be the best skit that we’ve ever seen over the past several years of celebrating Mardi Gras here at the Plantation.  If you watched it before, watch it again from this view – much, much better.  Who says that we “Keenagers” don’t know how to “get down” and have some fun.

Hope You Have A Great Day and May God Bless  - - - - - - - - - -

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Getting Ready To Roll

So yesterday was a fairly laid back day even though we were working on the “Ta Do List”.  The two biggies left on the list are to change the oil in the truck and put 303 on the slideout gaskets.  You’ve seen the 303 item many times before; maybe, just maybe, someone you know might be procrastinating on that one.  It’s not one of my favorite jobs, to say the least.

We need to trim the katt’s klaws as well.  We like to have their claws cut back before traveling because if something startles them while we’re carrying them from the rig to the truck, you can quickly acquire some additional air holes in your arms.

Both Judy and I need to get a hair cut, me today and Judy on Friday.  And then there’s the packing up.  When you’re in one place for a few weeks, things have a way of making their way out of hiding – now we need to “put them in their place”.

It’s nice to have a flexible schedule.  Due to the weather forecast, we are leaving a day early so that we won’t have to drive in the rain and won’t have to walk the streets of New Orleans during thunderstorms that are predicted for Tuesday.  So, we’ll be outta here on Sunday morning.

Yesterday afternoon Judy and I joined Mike and Peggy for “Tea Time”.  Then last night we attended our 242 Group for dinner, Bible study, and prayer.  We’ll miss these people while we are away, which we will be a lot this year.  Our group is watching “The Truth Project” videos; good stuff, if you ever get the chance to watch these videos – do it.  Once we came home, we watched a little TV and then went to bed.  The conclusion of another day in the life.

Take Care, Have Fun, and May God Bless  - - - - - - - - - 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Now It’s Time To Slow Down

It’s the first day of Lent – Ash Wednesday.  What did we give up for Lent?  I guess we gave up all the merriment and mayhem of Mardi Gras.  Last night was a wrap and even though it’s a lot of fun, it was nice to be done with it all.  Now it’s time to to slow down just a bit, too much stimulation for us SKiPs.

Gary hosted the 4:00 social that ramped up to dinner and the grand finale.


After dinner there were several skits, none came close to “Little Things” skit on Monday, and then the King and Queen were deposed with and the theme of next year’s Mardi Gras being announced – The Roaring Twenties.  The Kingdom Storyteller took the stage as a filler while the participants for the Costume Competition got ready to “strut their stuff”.


It’s hard to see all the different costumes, but there were plenty with four categories being chosen – Most Representative of the theme which was Rednecks And Southern Charm, Most Creative, Most Elegant, and Funniest.


The evening wrapped up with music from the Rainbow Pickers, a group that gathers together each week at the clubhouse to “jam”.  With that, Mardi Gras 2012 came to an end – “Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot”.

Now it’s onto readying ourselves for travel.  Right now we’re planning to leave on Monday, but that maybe changed due to weather.  We just might leave a day early or a day later depending on the rain.  We were planning to spend Monday and Tuesday in the New Orleans area, but if it is going to rain we may change our plans – we don’t want to melt. 

In any event, our “Ta Do List” has continued to grow and it will take a couple of days to clear it.  Thank goodness it’s just a lot of little things that need to be accomplished before we roll.

Take Care and May God Bless  - - - - - - - - -

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

“The Parade, The Parade”

Today is Fat Tuesday and this evening it all comes crashing down after we dispose of the King and Queen, but before that happens there will be more merriment and mayhem throughout the kingdom.

Yesterday we enjoyed the parade, a luncheon with skits, and a caned chair auction.  Lots of pictures today, therefore, few words – put your cursor over the picture for the commentary.

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Following the Parade, everyone made their way to the clubhouse for a great pulled pork sandwich and more revelry.  The Teddy Bears greeted us and several skits entertained us.  Patsy Cline was the hit of the day, here’s a link to that skit – Little Things.

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Once the laughter settled down, the Chair Auction took place where four thousand dollars was raised for C.A.R.E. – Click Here to learn more about C.A.R.E..

More pictures tomorrow so in the meantime, May God Bless  - - - - - - - - - -