January 31, 2013

New Orleans, Louisiana

We are staying at the Jude Travel Park of New Orleans which is about 5 miles from downtown New Orleans. There is another RV park that is right down town, but it is charging $199 a night, or $799 for 5 days, just so one could be closer to the activities.

So much going on here in New Orleans this week. First, there is the Mardi Gras celebration that goes on throughout lent. Then, there are all the Superbowl activities taking place before Sunday's game. (Mardi Gras is temporarily put on hold for Superbowl week.) With so much happening, the police are out in force. They are everywhere.

Since we arrived here last Tuesday, we've had a chance to see some of the Mardi Gras partying.

 Lots of these guys around.

King Cake is a tradition. (They don't put the baby Jesus
inside of the cake anymore for liability reasons.)

Lots of Mardi Gras items sold in countless
small stores throughout downtown New Orleans.

The French Quarters

Lots of Jazz musicians playing their music 
in the narrow streets of the French Quarters.

Young party people on the balconies.

When the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) learned that we, as members, were attending the activities this week, it arranged for the local ABC affiliate television station representative to come out to the RV park to interview Jerry for a piece that will show on television later this week. 

Jerry and Blaire after the interview for WGNO-TV in New Orleans.

Jerry also is volunteering for two days at the NFL Experience which takes place each day from Wednesday through Saturday. As a result, he was given two free tickets to the NFL Experience. We took advantage of this and attended the NFL Experience yesterday at the Convention Center.

These are life size statutes of all the teams 
on a display at the NFL Experience.

We saw various Superbowl Rings in a locked display.

We also saw the Heisman Trophy on display and other memorabilia of interest to football fans. I wanted to get at least one autograph from a football player -- and I did. 

Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints 
signing autographs.

While others were handing Drew Brees footballs,
jerseys, and helmets to sign, we handed him
a page out of the notebook that Jerry 
carries with him at all times. (We think
that he signed DB 9, his number.)

Took this picture of the Superdome (where the game will be played 
on Sunday) from an upper level of a parking
structure while waiting for Jerry to pick up
his volunteer jacket, t-shirt and cap. He had to go
through Homeland Security procedures in order
to become a volunteer.

The Superdome taken as we were driving past it.

We also took some time to visit the local cemetery.

The Lafayette Cemetery No. 1.

Just look at these huge above ground graves
in this old cemetery.

Flowers on the graves.

Other graves are stacked on top of each other.

One other site we visited yesterday was The River Walk along the Mississippi. 

Barges and boats on the Mississippi River.

Inside The River Walk

We are staying here in New Orleans until next Wednesday and plan to update this blog one more time  before we leave here. 

Have a great weekend, everyone.
GO 49ers!!!

January 22, 2013

Lillian and Foley, Alabama

Stayed at the Pensacola KOA in Alabama for a couple of nights. Actually, it was really nice as it is right on a bay. We love water! The host made it a point to tell Jerry that they really have good fishing right off of the pier. Jerry said: "Do I need a license?" The host said: "Let's put it this way. We haven't seen the Fish and Game Warden around here in 25 years." For the record, Jerry didn't go fishing.

Jerry and Chanti on a bench on the pier
at the Pensacola KOA in Alabama.

Sand designs on the beach.

Looking back towards the campground.

The bay at the Pensacola KOA.

Taken the following night as the sun set.


On Sunday, we checked out the beach area around here. There are some spectacular condo buildings along the coast here in Alabama.

Take this one, for example.

Same set of buildings showing the beach and water.

We know that we are in the south when the Starbucks employees refer to us as "Miss Mary" and "Mr. Jerry." Starbucks has a new program. If you bring back your old cup for your new drink, they will give you ten cents off the drink. Se when Jerry turned in our old cups, the employee threw them in the trash, gave him new cups, and still gave him the discount. Go figure!

Sign in front of the Blue Angel Baptist Church.
Just thought it was funny.

We are currently at the Bella Terra RV Resort not far from Mobile, Alabama. This is a first class resort. Jerry has been following its growth since it opened a few years ago. The promo video on the web shows the guy standing in front of the Gulf and telling people to come on down and check them out. Only problem is -- it is located over 6 miles from the beach. Very clean and quiet, though.

Parked at Bella Terra RV Resort.
That palm tree just toppled over!

The pool area at Bella Terra.

Another view of the pool area.

So today we took a ride to the beach area. Again, there were many condos along the coast. And, because of the hurricanes that blow through this area, the houses are built on stilts.

The bay is at the end of this row of houses.

It has been cold here for the four days that we've been in Alabama, getting down to 43 at night and 65 during the day. Had to pull out my boots.

We head on over to New Orleans tomorrow (about 150 miles from here) and will be there for two weeks. Keep doing what you enjoy most.

January 17, 2013

Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida

We are moving up the western side of Florida along the Gulf side, traveling from Naples to St. Petersburg last Friday, January 11. Until today, the weather this week has been in the high 70s, and even up to 88 degrees yesterday. No rain until today -- and 63 degrees.

Taken out of the motorhome window as we traveled 
over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge 15 miles south of
St. Petersburg, Florida on I-275.

Coming into St. Petersburg, Florida

We spent the week at the Robert's Mobile Home & RV Resort with close to 650 sites. The one thing we can definitely say about this park is that the 50 amp electricity is excellent.  Just to take a walk around the place takes 30 minutes, and we covered nearly 1 1/2 miles doing so a few times. Walking (and for Jerry, running) now has to be our primary exercise method as we gave away our bikes to neighbors in Naples. Why? Because we have been hauling them around and haven't been riding them for quite sometime.

Here are some pictures we took around St. Petersburg.


Boats racing in the background

Blue Heron with the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in the background

Still can't believe the white fine powder
on these Florida beaches.

On Sunday, we took in the traveling Titanic Artifact Exhibition at the Mahaffey Theater in Tampa. Hard to believe that the Titanic was the length of nearly three football fields.

 Picture of the Titanic outside of the Exhibition.
We were not allowed to take pictures of the
actual items recovered from the sunken ship.

When we "boarded," we were each given a Boarding Pass of an actual person who boarded the Titanic on April 10, 1912. I was Mrs. Benjamin Hart. I could use my husband's name because he was traveling with me. If I were alone, I would have had to use my maiden name (Esther Bloomfield). Notice the fact that she was troubled by a fear that some kind of catastrophe would hit the ship -- something I know a little bit about and with which I can identify.

As we exited the Exhibit, we could check the list of survivors and deaths. Esther survived, but her husband and child did not. Jerry's person (Colonel John Weir) also did not survive.

Our Boarding Passes at the Titanic Exhibition

We were reminded of facts which compounded the problem -- such as the fact that the nearest ship saw the flares sent up by the Titanic crew but, since they were white flares, thought that they were fireworks from a celebration on the ship (now flares must be colored) and that there were only 20 life boats because additional life boats would clutter the first class passengers decks.

While we were at the Mahaffey Theater area, there was an Elvis impersonator show going on and classic cars. 

At the Mahaffey Theater

The Dali Museum

We took a picture of this unique building while we were in the area but didn't know what we were photographing until we left the area. Had we known, we would have visited the Museum and are sorry we missed it. Will have to visit it the next time we are in the area.

We also attended a Prevost RV Show and the Tampa RV Show this week just to look at more RVs.

At the Tampa Bay RV Show yesterday.

The next two days will be long driving days as we make our way out of Florida and into Alabama. 

Have a great holiday weekend, everyone!

January 10, 2013

Naples, Florida

At this point, we've seen a fair amount of Florida. Here is our take thus far on this state. The Florida Keys is pure beauty. Both Palm Beach and Naples rank high on our on list of beautiful clean cities. So, it was great being able to spend a week here in Naples. But, even at this time of the year, the weather was more than we would want to deal with on a daily basis. Too hot! In the 80s the whole time, with high humidity and dew point. And, it is only January!

We are staying at the Lake San Marino RV Resort. It is a combination mobile home and RV parking center for "active 55 year olds." And when we say "active," we mean it -- people all over the place biking, walking and on the go with various activities scheduled (dances, line-dancing, BBQs and breakfasts, swimming) at the Resort for the residents. We have been wondering since we arrived in Florida "where are all the old people?" (Not us -- I mean really old people!) To be frank, we haven't seen very many of them. If it weren't for the drugstores on each corner (Walgreens a block apart from each other with CVS Pharmacies across the street), we wouldn't know that we are in a state known for its old people. These drugstores are also open all night or at least until midnight.

Stopping at the Visitor's Center on
our way to Naples, Florida.

Our trip here took us along "alligator alley" -- water, alligators and birds along the side of the road the whole way.

Taken at the Visitor's Center where you can
see the road we traveled on from Florida City to
Naples in the upper right hand corner of the picture.

More alligators seen along the road.

Taken from the motorhome while traveling
to Naples.

The Everglades along the road.

We really enjoyed our time spent with Steve, Jerry's first cousin, and his wife, Vivian. We had dinner at their lovely house one night and then they joined us on our coach for dinner on Tuesday night.

Steve, Vivian and Tammy

Pool at Steve and Vivian's beautiful home.

On Sunday, we drove up to Fort Myers and out on to the
peninsula to check out that area. 

The beach sand is nearly white and a very fine powder.

Boats everywhere!

We never saw so many boat dealerships as we've seen in Florida. Jerry couldn't resist taking a picture of a couple of them that had four 350 HP motors each on 28-foot boats. They must fly through the water!

Today, we took a trip to a city called Ave Maria that our RV neighbors told us about. It was created by the owner of Dominoes Pizza starting in 2007. Dorothy, this one's for you -- you'd love it here. It is a Catholic city built around the Catholic Church. There is an Ave Bean shop (coffee), an Ave financial center, police and fire departments, a golfing area, its own University, and various shopping stores, including a large Publix (food chain in the south). Here are the pictures we took of Ave Maria.

Sign on driveway into the town.

Part of the city circulating the Church.

The Ave Maria Church

Inside the Church.

Nativity scene still up. You can see the buildings in
the town circulating around the back of the Church.

Tomorrow we are heading up the Gulf side of Florida to spend some time in St. Petersburg and Tampa. 

Have a great weekend, everyone!