You can plan just about everything you need for a road trip, except the weather. We arrived at Fairview Riverside RV in Madisonville, Louisiana just as a cold front came through bringing 40 degree temperatures and driving rain. The park is beautiful, on a river, a perfect spot for some fishing, but too cold and rainy to enjoy. Even our Golden Retriever is not interested in staying out too long. What a change from the beach weather we had the day before in Florida’s panhandle.
The morning isn’t much different, cold and raining. We head for the “Big Easy” anyway, unsure our plans for walking the Garden District and enjoying all that New Orleans has to offer will pan out. We drove across the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, a 25-mile long road across the Lake, into New Orleans and parked in the French Quarter. We drove through the ninth ward on our way in and saw some of the destruction that is still left from Katrina. Most of this area has been cleaned up and people have moved back, but there is still a lot of work to do. A cottage industry has sprung up offering guided Katrina tours.
We avoid the rain as much as we can by ducking from awning to awning and exploring the many shops along Bourbon Street. We discover there are an incredible variety of hot sauces and Cajun spices in this world, also way too many Mardi Gras masks and beads. We spy the famous Cafe Du Monde and warm up with some cafe au lait and hot, delicious, beignets. The place was empty. Really, we were the only people there, except for the staff. Needless to say the service was great. Afterwards we snapped some photos of the Mississippi and Jackson Park and wander in the cold drizzle for a while. This was not fun. There were no street vendors out, no hustle and bustle of tourists. We returned to the car figuring we would drive around the Garden district and call it a day.
The car was parked right in front of Central Grocery. Hubby remembers seeing a TV show on famous regional sandwiches and this place was named as the home of the infamous Muffuletta, a round loaf stuffed with ham, salami, cheese and a marinated green olive salad. Our rainy day plan: when in doubt, eat. The Muffuletta was exceptional and we bought an extra half to go. The rain and cold won, we decided it wasn’t worth staying around and we headed back to the RV feeling we hadn’t quite given New Orleans its due. When you travel like this you are at the whim of the weather. Unusual for us, we were on a schedule to get to Chula Vista, California to join a trip down the Baja. New Orleans would have to wait.