With New Orleans as our next stop, we made our way across Mississippi along the Natchez Trace Scenic Parkway. Tree-lined and filled with lovely parks and picnic stops, we took our time crossing the state stopping for lunch and to pick up the cutest ever hitch-hiker. This little guy was wandering up the middle of the road and was far to skittish and malnourished to be someone’s pet. With a bit of coaxing and some snacks we managed to scoop him up, load him into the van with our crew and start the process of finding a shelter that would be willing to take him…late on a Sunday evening before a holiday Monday…Thankfully, the lovely ladies at the Mississippi Animal Rescue League offered to stay late for us to drop him off. After 90 minutes of backtracking to Jackson, we left our little traveler and found a Walmart for the night, hoping to finish the trail off the next day and continue our way to Louisiana.
New Orleans is another city that is fantastic for RV’ers. With a very secure, well-equipped RV park right in the heart of the French Quarter, it made is insanely simple to explore this crazy busy city. We always find the best way to explore cities is to just grab our cameras and a map and simply go. For two days we wandered, taking in the city and enjoying stumbling across cool shops, great pubs and gorgeous galleries. Wintery weather, made the city mornings quiet, except around Café du Monde, which no matter what time of day is always boasts and impressive lineup. We enjoyed live music, Hurricanes at Pat O’Briens and explored Louis Armstrong Park, surrounded by beautiful buildings decorated for Mardi Gras and scent of pralines and beignets from numerous cafes.
Enjoying being back near the coast, we made our way to Avery Island, with a quick stop just outside NOLA to a great little vegan-friendly bakery, called Bread on Oak. With breakfast in tow we made our way to the Tobasco Plant…because who doesn’t want to learn about hot sauce? The Avery Island Tobasco Plant tour is really well designed for a self-guided tour. It takes you from green houses to storage to processing, easily guiding you from building to building. The property itself is lovely as well, with picnic areas and wild bamboo growing along it borders. For the small admission fee of $5 per person, you each get the tour, 3 mini bottles of Tobasco and a free product if you stop at all the key sites on the tour. We left with two bottles of their spicy pickled green beans which will be put to good use in our kitchen!
Texas was the last stop of our trip because of an unexpected death in our family. After a wonderful visit with friends outside of Houston, we made our way to Magnolia Beach for a little free ocean-side camping. We woke up with the waves and had made it to Del Rio, only a few miles from the Mexico border when we got the call and turned towards home. We made the long trip north to be with family and have decided to stay for a while to figure out what’s next, for all of us. What we do know, is this adventure isn’t over yet – for us, it’s just a temporary detour. We still hear the mountains calling…