Saturday 21 March 2009

Day In, Dinner Out

Low-52F (11C)
High-81F (27C)

Today was a relaxing day. We've been on the road quite a bit since we've been here and we were both tired.

It was a bit cooler this morning and I enjoyed my walk around the park. After breakfast I did some vacuuming. When you're traipsing around ponds and things you drag in all kinds of dirt. I leave the broom outside to sweep off our shoes but it doesn't always happen, it seems. I also chatted with Dee on Yahoo Messenger for a while.

After my shower I sat outside by the fishing pond to let my hair dry a bit until it started to get too warm and I came inside to air conditioned comfort. Ah, the life of a fulltimer RVer!

Mid afternoon I decided it would be a good night to go out for dinner. I wanted to have Crawfish Etouffe again and when we were in St. Martinville the other day, the lady at the Tourist Information had recommended Possum's. So away we went on a 30 mile or so drive for dinner. My Etouffe was very good although more expensive than I thought it should have been. Anyway, my craving is now satisfied.

Here's Possum's (and yes, they did have possum on the menu)!

Friday 20 March 2009

Lake Fausse Pointe State Park, St. Martinville and the Rookery

Low-56F (13C)
High-79F (26C)

Glorious sunshine, no wind, what more could you ask for? I had a lovely walk first around the RV loop and then around the largest fishing pond. I didn't take my camera again but saw lots of cardinals, killdeer, miscellaneous brown birds and a big hawk although I don't know if it was a red-tail or a red shoulder.

Our plan for today was to go to the Lake Fausse Pointe State Park and check it out. Louisiana State Parks honor the America the Beautiful which is a National pass so we didn't have to pay anything to go in. We weren't overly impressed with the park. The camping area had a lot of standing water around and they were all back in sites with lots of trees so little chance of satellite view. First we stopped at the rookery.

Great egret in flight at the rookery

Lake Martin swamp

Swamp with night heron


Swamp in the park

We were going to have a picnic at the picnic shelter by the lake but walking toward it you could hear a steady hum of bees so we changed our mind. There are quite a few really nice cottages for rent in the park. At least they looked nice from the outside.

Lots of thistles on our drive today

We drove around the St. Martinville area and stopped at the Tourist Information Center, then Gordon went and walked around the town and took photos - too hot for me!

Bayou Teche

There are a couple of things I like about Louisiana - all the beautiful flowering bushes and most houses have a verandah or a front porch of some kind usually with rocking chairs. However, the heat would do me in. It's very 'close' as my grandmother would have said.

And on our way back we stopped at the rookery again.


Turtles in the swamp

Beautiful old tree-very symmetrical

Here are some front porches from today's trip.

Thursday 19 March 2009

Groceries and Stuff

Low-54F (12C)
High-78F (26C)

Yesterday when coming home from our outing I saw some wild poppies in the ditch on the road just outside the park so that's where my walk took me this morning. I'm sure they have other names but I call them poppies. It's another beautiful sunny, clear day here in the deep south.

White poppy

Pink poppy

Road in to the RV park

Turtle on a log in the pond along the road coming into the RV park

Path along the fishing pond

Egret waiting for a handout

Our RV on the right. You can see the pond in front and the pond behind our 5er.

I'm quoting Al here from The Bayfield Bunch "Sometimes there are website links from people in emails, comments, or guest book pages. Some of those websites have music on them when opened. Our Verizon program allows us 5GB a month for bandwidth. Because I upload a lot of photos we just barely squeak under our quota each month & there is a heavy financial penalty if you go over. In order to wiggle under the line we don't listen to or download any music, podcasts, videos, animated jokes & cards, etc. When I hear music on somebody's website I have to turn the site off because I'm worried about using up bandwidth. This is really unfortunate because there are fellow RV'ers & bloggers out there with great sites that we're missing."

The only difference between us is we have 250 MB per day with our internet satellite instead of 5 GB per month and our penalty for going over the limit isn't financial it's terminal slowness (less than dial up speed) for 24 hours. It's too bad that the music players don't have an option to turn them off before they start loading. There are some things you gotta give up in this lifestyle!

Today was grocery shopping day. I stopped at Winn Dixie to get the popcorn Gordon likes and you can't buy it anywhere else and also at Walmart, then home. There's not a lot in Breaux Bridge!

I spent some of the day today looking at where we might go when we leave here next week. So far, no decisions have been made. Maybe a Louisiana State Park, maybe the Houma area. I've read so much about Houma in the V.C. Andrews books, I'd like to see the area. My guess is it's much different than it was.

Gordon got the TV satellite set up on the tripod today. I think we've now learned that if the RV is not completely level, there's no point trying to set up the dish on the roof of the RV.

I had a nice Yahoo Messenger chat with one of my former co-workers this afternoon. I'm looking forward to meeting her at the office for lunch when we get back. It's always nice to see all the folks!

Wednesday 18 March 2009

Touring the Area

I don't know what the temperature was this morning as Gordon hadn't hooked up the thermometer when we got here yesterday but I started out with a sweater and a sleeveless T-shirt and ended up taking off the sweater. It was also bright and sunny with no wind. I decided not to take my camera with me this morning. I only saw a couple of egrets, one of which had just caught a fish and was proceeding to swallow it as I went past. I heard lots of small birds and did see one cardinal.

After breakfast, we finally got the dishes done then went outside to wash the windows. They look much better now. Gordon came out and used the squeegee when I was done washing them.

After we both had naps and lunch we set out to tour Louisiana small towns and Lake Martin. Here are some photos.

Egret at Lake Martin swamp

Cypress swamp

Small alligator on a log in the swamp

Little blue heron in the swamp

Night heron

Beautiful canopied trees over the road

This is the bridge that gave Breaux Bridge its name

This photo is for Jenny

First we went to Lake Martin. We saw a few egrets and a couple of roseates in a rookery but not as many as we saw at High Island the other day. Then we stopped at Cat Fish Heaven, the RV park where we had planned to stay but I wasn't all that impressed with it. Then on to St. Martinville and New Iberia. New Iberia is the location of a book I read recently so I wanted to have a look at it. We also went to Avery Island where they make tabasco sauce but it was too late for today so we started home arriving at 6 p.m.
We did see a beautiful sunny high of 81F (27F) today.

Tuesday 17 March 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Low - 53F (12C)
High - 81F (27C)

I'm not very Irish so therefore not much of a St. Patrick's Day person but Happy St. Patrick's Day to all those who are and those who aren't but like to celebrate anyway!

We weren't in a hurry this morning as we only had about 148 miles to travel to our next destination, that being, Poche's Fish N Camp at Breaux Bridge, LA. After over four months in Texas we're now in Louisiana again. We tried to get a spot at a different park at St. Martinville which is closer to Lake Martin but they were full up so we called Poche's and they were pretty full too so lucky we called.

We left Beaumont, TX at about 9:40 a.m. and arrived here at about 12:45 p.m. The first part of the trip was under cloudy skies however just before we got to Lafayette the sun came out and made for a beautiful afternoon.

Our stop at the Louisiana Welcome Center

Beautiful azaleas


Swamp iris

Reflections along the shore

We had some trouble getting the TV satellite so I'm not sure when we'll have TV again. Gordon's going to take it off the roof and put it on the tripod so hopefully that will help. We've had problems with it lately. Takes forever to see the satellite. So for now we're on the aerial!

The sites here are very soft with all the rain we've had so thank goodness for four wheel drive. For those of you that weren't planning on getting it, you don't need it often but when you do, it could be critical!

Our site

Gordon decided to go to Lake Martin for sunset so I took that time to vacuum, have a shower and do a manicure and pedicure on myself. Sure is nice to be warm again!

Monday 16 March 2009

Sightseeing Around the Beaumont Area

This morning started out cloudy but at least it wasn't raining so away I went on my much needed walk. It was about 54F (12C).

After breakfast, I noticed that there was no water so Gordon went to the office and apparently there was a break in a water main so we went up to the campground showers. By then the sun had come out and we wound up at 77F (25C).

I packed a lunch and just before noon we set out to do some sightseeing. It had turned into a beautiful day. First we had to get some fuel so we filled up at Winnie, TX for 2.09.9 then headed for High Island. There is still a lot of damage from Ike on High Island as well as the whole area here.

We went to the Smith Oaks Bird Sanctuary and walked the trails ending up at a roseate spoonbill rookery. I have never seen so many spoonbills in one place! It was amazing! While we were taking photos of them I looked down on the bank and there were several alligators and further on many huge turtles.

Monarch on lantana

The path along the rookery

Part of the rookery

The gators

This little green lizard was crawling around the tree


The Beach at High Island

We watched the spoonbills and the ibis flopping around in the water like they were taking baths.

Then we set Miss Pinky for Sabine Pass. Miss Pinky has not been working properly so last night I found a download communicator program when I tried to register her online. I got that put on Miss Pinky and Gordon also did a soft reset and she was doing much better today.

We stopped along the road so I could take a photo of the Indian paintbrush wildflowers

Not much to look at at Sabine Pass except this oil rig which is either being built or is under repair from Hurricane Ike.

From there we tried to find downtown Port Arthur which is the main town/city in that area but we didn't succeed there so set Miss Pinky for downtown Beaumont and headed there. There isn't a lot to downtown Beaumont either.

As we were driving back to the RV park on I-10 I saw a sign for Cracker Barrel. It's been ages since we've been there. First we went home as Gordon wanted to do his photo of the day. I also wanted to find out if the water was back on and thankfully it was.

So we decided to go to Cracker Barrel. It's only a couple of miles away and it's been along time since we've been there. So away we went and we both had breakfast for dinner! It was a sort of treat to ourselves since we don't go out to eat very much.

Sunday 15 March 2009

From Kerrville to Beaumont, Texas

I was up just after 6 a.m. today. We wanted to get an early start so I didn't go on my walk, just had my breakfast and got packed up. We pulled out of By the River RV Park at 8:40 a.m., 43F (6C), cloudy and some rain.

We had rain off and on throughout the trip but I have to say it was mostly 'on'. We even had some sun around San Antonio but mostly it was either cloudy or rainy and it rained very hard coming through Houston. Thank goodness it was a Sunday! We had a couple of minor backups but nothing that brought us to a standstill.

Rain in the Texas Hill Country

Some rare blue sky

The landscape is really greening up with the rain

We saw lots of bluebonnets along the road today

Houston skyline in the rain

Getting through Houston

More wildflowers

We arrived at Gulf Coast RV Resort around 3 p.m. and since they have wifi and cable didn't set up any dishes so we were all set up by about 3:30 p.m. even though it was raining. They have free TV and wifi and the wifi is pretty good! Then I had to vacuum as our rug at the door got really dirty going in and out when we were packing up. There is something to be said for concrete pads! We have them here although they are almost immersed in water. It seems that the last time we stayed here it rained very hard as well. By the time we were set up we were both wet to the skin!

We managed to see a high of 57F (14C) today. That's the warmest it's been since about Tuesday.

Our site

We're here, we're safe, we're tired and we're happy to be here!