We anxiously left New Orleans early in the morning on December 10th and drove as fast as we could to Florida (that’s not very fast in an RV). Because we had reservations and family visiting, we had to skip over Alabama and Mississippi but will try to head back at some point so as not to miss anything. We stayed at a lovely park in Freeport with easy access to the coastal towns along the Emerald Coast from Destin to Panama City Beach. Our absolute favorite part was the drive along the Scenic 30A. Each seaside town on the 30A is cuter than the next, our favorites being Rosemary Beach and Alys Beach. These are pristine, charming, adorable towns that were specifically designed to offer small homes gathered together all within walking distance of the village. A bike path runs alongside 30A and connects all of the seaside towns. Although still a bit windy and not exactly warm, we enjoyed our time here so much; a visit back to Rosemary Beach is definitely in our future.
In early December, we arrived in New Orleans. That’s where the beginning of a little bad luck struck. Up until now, we have had four months of ideal weather and perfectly functioning equipment. And then Louisiana happened. I’ll begin with a sincere apology to everyone who lives in or loves New Orleans, because our experience was colored by terrible weather and a generally unpleasant stay. We hate you New Orleans, even though we know it’s not your fault. A quick list of what transpired in New Orleans: I backed Bonnie into a tree, our bedroom slide motor broke, our inverter shorted out, and the sidewall of our front tire tore. And the weather was horrible for days on end.
Looking out the window from inside Clyde, we watched pouring rain and strong winds from the dark because our inverter isn’t charging our batteries and turning their energy into whatever is needed to turn the lights on. (I don’t know how it works, I just know that because the inverter is broken, I can’t turn the lights on.) It’s also freezing cold inside because a working inverter is needed to turn the heater and fireplace on. And guess what else an inverter is needed for – the stove. So the dinner we cooked – inside, in the dark, on top of the propane-fueled “outdoor grill”, while wearing winter coats – was kind of an all time low. Johan finally ran an extension cord out a side window to shore power so we could use a space heater temporarily, which meant I could now use the outdoor grill inside while only wearing two sweaters.
We decided to treat cabin fever, er, RV fever with a trip to (Johan’s idea if you can believe it): the mall. This meant trading our cold dark cave for a ride in crumpled up Bonnie with a crushed mountain bike mounted on the back. I’ll explain how this accident – the first since I was 16 years old – occurred. The nicest man EVER in the front office of the RV Park told me to “watch out for the tree”, which I was diligently watching out for while backing Bonnie out of her space. It was early in the morning, still dark, pouring rain, and the bike on the back of Bonnie causes the back up camera to think something is behind you, so now we (I) just ignore the constant beeping while in reverse. So while backing up, I had my eye on the tree, which I was going to clear with no problem. Then BANG. Wouldn’t you know, there was another tree. So we leave broken Clyde and get in broken Bonnie and head to the mall. Hating New Orleans.
On the last day, it finally stopped raining and though it wasn’t exactly warm or sunny, it was our only opportunity to go out and explore what NOLA is all about. I now understand why it would be fun to spend a weekend on Bourbon Street while in your mid-late 20’s, but in general we thought it was dirty, run down, depressing, and overall disappointing. (Also our 20’s are way, way, way in the past.) Perhaps we ate at the wrong places, but we thought the food would be better too. No pics of the two of us, who spent almost our entire time there looking moderately angry. Bye-bye New Orleans!