Thursday, April 1, 2010

We've done Louisiana

Neither of us can recall ever driving through Louisiana before and now we have.  We just left New Orleans and are spending the night in Slidell.  Some first impressions of Louisiana were that we've never seen so many highway patrolmen ever on a stretch of road.  We must have seen over 100 along interstate 10 all the way through the state!  It is all two lane and the speed limit is 60 most of the way.  It was a pretty drive through woods and swamps and over many bridges.  About halfway through the state we saw lots of rice being raised.  I'd never seen that before and thought it was really neat.  We actually stopped for lunch in a small town at a place call the Rice Palace.  They had good food and everything was spicey!  We even had a bowl of real gumbo.  Then we headed eastward and into Baton Rouge.  It is a beautiful city.  It is gorgeous and just about took my breath away when we crossed over the Mississippi River on a high bridge and into the city.  From there we took highway 12 over to where the 24 mile toll bridge crosses Lake Ponchatrain down to New Orleans.  That is the longest bridge that is totally over water in the world and it was pretty amazing.  It had 7 crossovers where one could turn around and go in the opposite direction if the need arose.  Here are a couple of pictures but they are through a dirty windshield.

Then we hit New Orleans French Quarter, Bourbon Street, and the regular tourist spots.  The place is certainly old and very dirty.  We didn't see where the storm came in or any damage from it, but were just generally impressed at how unkempt everything appeared to be even in the busiest tourist venues.  We did have shrimp dinners there and did a lot of walking and looking around before leaving.  Here are a few pictures.

Overall, we are glad we went to New Orleans but have no desire to go back.  We just don't see what the big draw is, but then we weren't there for the night life or for Mardi Gras and I'm sure it is different then.

Tomorrow we head for Florida and the beaches along the panhandle.  The traveling is so much fun and we love it but we are about ready for a couple of days of doing nothing but resting.  That will happen very soon.

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