Wednesday, October 9, 2019

If you plan it they will come... day thirteen

Wednesday October 9th

One of the things we were concerned about for our visit to New Orleans was parking. We had decided to purchase tickets for the City Sightseeing Hop-on Hop-off tour bus and discovered that there was a parking lot right next to the Basin Street Station on the edge of the French Quarter. We took advantage of the discounted tickets available at the campground, plugged the address into our Garmins and headed into the city.
Our spot at the New Orleans KOA
The twenty five minute drive in took us past the Mercedes Benz Superdome, home of the NFL's New Orleans Saints. Once parked, we checked the payment booth and discovered there were three rates posted: cars, 12 hours, $5.00; cars 24 hours, $10.00; and RVs 24 hours $35. Seeing as we were parking less than twelve hours we picked the $5.00 option for both the car and the RV.
Once we had made our payments we made our way to the bus ticket office to exchange the vouchers we'd been given at the campground for our actual tickets and waited to board the double-decker bus to begin the tour. We chose seats on the upper, open deck to enjoy the weather and the improved view.

Phyllis and Andrew taking in the view from the upper deck of the Hop-on Hop--off tour bus.

Architecture old.....
...and architecture new!

From the Basin Street Station the route goes through the Central Business District, Garden District and French Quarter. The entire loop takes about two hours and has nineteen stops. The tour guide on our bus was very informative sharing history and some personal anecdotes along the way. Part of the route takes us down St. Charles Avenue which is also the route for the annual Mardi Gras parade held each February. Evidence of the parade's festivities can be seen hanging from the trees that line both sides of the avenue. Our tour guide told us that the beads are left hanging as it would take way too much time and resources to take them all down.

Mardi Gras beads hanging from the trees along St. Charles Avenue.

The beauty of these Hop-on Hop-off tours is that you can hop on and off at any of the stops along the route. Basin Street Station is stop number five and we rode the route until stop number one which is right across from Jackson Square. We decided to upgrade our tickets so that we could take a guided walking tour of the French Quarter, primarily around Jackson Square.

Jackson Square from Washington Artillery Park
On that tour we learned a bit about one of the city's first developers Micaela Almonester, Baroness de Pontalba. She was responsible for the design and construction of the famous Pontalba Buildings around the square. Her life was worthy of an operatic plot, and eventually became one: Pontalba: a Louisiana Legacy, composed by Thea Musgrave. A play by Diana E.H. Shortes entitled The Baroness Undressed, and several novels, are also based on her dramatic life. 

Sharon and Phyllis admiring the mighty Mississippi River.

We had been told by several friends that a visit to New Orleans is not complete without a stop at Café du Monde for cafe-au-lait and beignets. So we did... and it was definitely worth it! We took a walk to the French Market, had a look at the statue of Joan of Arc, then headed over to Bourbon Street for a look see.

Cafe-au-lait and beignets at Café du Monde.

Sharon and me on Bourbon Street

Joan of Arc
We decided to walk back to the vehicles as we had just missed one of the buses. We were in for a bit a surprise when we got there... the RV had boots on both front wheels!!! Apparently we had misunderstood the payment schedule and an RV was quite a bit more than the $5.00 we paid in the morning.

Once we got that sorted out, paid the fines and had the boots removed we headed west towards Port Arthur TX and our next overnight stop.

Texas welcome center westbound I-10

It was still quite warm when we at the Port Arthur RV Resort so we decided to have a quick dip in their Texas shaped pool. The mosquitoes discovered us so we didn't stay very long. The park was very quiet... we hardly saw another person. We learned that most of those staying there were refinery workers using it their RVs as their home away from home.

Port Arthur RV Resort

So ends another day... it's on to San Antonio TX tomorrow. 

Be sure to leave any questions or comments for us in the space below. Thanks for following along!

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