Thursday, May 31, 2007
- Peter and Paul
Sunday, May 27, 2007
We hadn't had the best of luck finding an outstanding meal, so I pulled out the big guns. Back in the eighties, a chef named Paul Prudhomme popularized cajun cuisine and the process of "blackening" food. So when I wanted to make sure that Paul and I had a truly remarkable Cajun experience, we went to Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen.
We were walk-ins, on a holiday weekend, in one of the most popular restaurants in the French Quarter. Fortunately the food Gods were smiling upon us, because despite being told it would be ninty minutes, we got to a table in less then ten!
Paul Prudhomme didn't disappoint. God, I love Gumbo!
We spent a good part of our time just wandering the streets, popping our head into any place that looked remotely interesting...
This time we met a couple of nice women who were here for the "Municipal Clerks Convention". Starla and Robin were very nice, and were suitably impressed by our three month expedition. There was another municipal clerk from Massachusetts (whose name elluded me), who was a bit put off by Paul and I. Probably because we kept him from scoring with either of the ladies. When they invited us to come with them to find all the best musical haunts, he was quick to chase us off.
There are some amazing haunts in New Orleans, and it really is like Disneyland for adults. Right down to the lines that form for all the popular restaurants.
This time, the grasshopper managed to stay with us the full eighty miles from New Orleans back to Baton Rouge! Aren't grasshoppers good luck in Chinese culture? If so, we have lots of good karma for the rest of our adventure.
Of course, no trip to the big city is complete if you haven't seen a Hard Rock Cafe. Nothing much to write home about, but I've always loved the "No drugs or nuclear weapons are allowed inside" sign.
Alas, our tour of New Orleans ends. Today we drove through Mississippi and Alabama, with literally nothing worth photographing. Oh well, we're in Panama City, FL now, and tomorrow we head towards Tampa, our next stop along the way to Key West. We'll keep you up to date right here!
Thursday, May 24, 2007
So let's get started with today!
Paul and I packed up in Lake Charles and got ready to hit the road. Little did we realize that we had picked up a hitch hiker!
Our little green friend was happy to ride along on my top bag. Then on the way to breakfast he decided to hitch a ride on Paul's helmet! I'm sorry to say that he decided to leave us by the time we got on the freeway, but we will remember him fondly.
After surprisingly tasty lunch at the "Vegas Magic" Casino, we were on the road through the bayous of Louisiana.
There would have been more pictures of the bayou, but it started raining once we got on the road. Rain... don't do it!
It did remind me of a great road trip I once made with Eric. We drove from Orlando, FL to North Carolina to visit his dad. Even though the road was perfectly straight, and didn't have an on-ramp for fifty miles, every bridge had the same sign, "Bridge Ices before road". After seeing the same sign several dozen times, once gets the impression that the bridge does ice before the road does! Still, it was one of the best road trips I've ever been on, and today reminded me of it fondly.
Today, we did make it to Baton Rouge in time to send our motorcycles in for a spa day. Okay, it wasn't really a spa day as much as my 6,000 and Paul's 24,000 mile service. Then we rented a car and headed down to New Orleans.
Our hotel, the AmeriHost, is definitely at ground zero of Hurricane Katrina. Not only is the hotel recently renovated, but it's interesting to see all the businesses in the area that are rebuilding. It worked out well for us, since our room is really nice and a bit cheaper than a lot of other places we've been to in the last week.
Now that we're checked in, its time to walk over to the French Quarter!
Not to sound completely lame, but I kept looking for the entrance to "The Pirates of the Carribean" ride! I had this bizarre feeling of deja vu as we walked through these ancient streets, listening to the sound of music, and smelling jambalaya in the air.
It really is a cool place, with an amazing balance between history, tourist trap, and adult wonderland.
And all those places that can't claim they invented the hurricane, can create their own alcoholic concoctions. Here is a sign promoting the "Hand grenade", purporting it to be the strongest drink in New Orleans. Having tried the Hurricane at Pat O'Briens, I find this claim hard to believe!
Of course, no trip to Bourbon Street would be complete without an impromptu parade, and today was no exception.
Yest, that is a ten foot tall "Leaf man".
But after an afternoon of wandering through NOLA's French Quarter, it was time to try New Orleans famous cuisine. And from wandering around Bourbon street, we inadvertently found our way to Pat O'Brien's, where they created NOLA's signature drink, the Hurricane!
Pat O'Brien's does not disappoint. The Hurricane was almost, but not quite, as strong at Margaret Hoogerbeets version, and (dare I say?) even tastier! One drink and I was glad I wasn't driving!
But not only was the Hurricane pretty amazing, but the Jambalaya was pretty incredible too! Paul loved he "Crawfish Cakes", and we both loved the desserts. We may have to go back for mint julips before we leave town.
So there you have it, day one in New Orleans! Since we're taking two rest days here, I'm looking forward to more interesting adventures.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Fortunately, the solution to this presented itself in the form of homemade donuts!
And as you might suspect, the day improved markedly! Not only did we see more interesting terrain...
But Paul came to question his religious views. You see, us Catholics have the whole "Body of Christ", Eucharist thing going for us. Well being Lutheran, Paul doesn't have this experience. So needless to say, he was quite enamored of the idea of a church that provided chocolate squares as part of their Sunday ritual!
We finally made it down to the highlight of today's ride, a ferry trip between Galveston and Goat Island. When we arrived, the local animal life had the place completely staked out.
And after a short wait, we were on our way...
Galveston is known for its huge Pelican population, so I was delighted when they decided to pay our ferry a visit as we crossed the passage.
All and all, a good day of riding that took us to Lake Charles, LA. Tomorrow we drop our bikes off for service in Baton Rouge, then two days in New Orleans! Whoo hoo!
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
This is what it looked like on our ride this morning.
And this afternoon...
And later this afternoon.
There just isn't a lot going on in Central Texas. Well, that's not entirely true.
Mmmm... Ice Cream... And now, back to the road.
There was one interesting occurance today. We arrived in San Diego!
San Diego, Texas, is a bit different from San Diego, CA. First of all, its population is only about 4,000 people. Secondly, there is only one main street. And now our final eighty miles...
Today was just a travel day. Hopefully tomorrow we'll see some more of the gulf coast on our way to New Orleans!
See you tomorrow... - Peter
Monday, May 21, 2007
We got an early start and headed into Big Bend National Park. As you can see, lots of other motorcycle riders had a similar idea.
When Paul and I did Route 66 three years ago, we found out the that national park service offered annual passes that gave you unlimited access to all the natioal parks. So this morning, seeing that this would be the first of several national parks we'd be visiting on this road trip, we got new passes. Then off into Big Bend!