New Orleans 3 – French Quarter at Night

The French Quarter of New Orleans is like no place else on earth. The architecture is spellbinding. The history, the food, the music, the smells, the sights. This glorious stew draws the most colorful humans to its embrace. There is a mood here of tolerance and freedom, all the way to delightful craziness. Natives and tourists share this space 24 hours a day. It’s a great place to ride your bicycle on a quiet Monday morning, taking in the sounds of deliveries and the heavenly smells of lunch cooking behind open doors. It’s also a great place to wander on a Saturday night, spinning inside the kaleidoscope of raucous dazzle on Bourbon Street and all its side streets. Here’s a taste of The Quarter after dark. .

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RiverWalk shopping is a few blocks south of French Quarter.


New Orleans 1 – Cafe Du Monde, Antoines, B&C Seafood

According to USA today travel, New Orleans had 809 restaurants pre-Katrina and 1,366 restaurants post-Katrina. You could dine at a different place every night for the rest of your life and never scratch the surface. With a population of 370,000, NOLA is the most restaurant-dense city in the US, a gastronomic explosion of all cuisines, but their signature styles are Creole and Cajun, and heavy on the seafood. Creole: free black citizens. Cajun: French Canadians exiled from Nova Scotia. Here are a few restaurant pics. I will add more later.

B&C Riverside Seafood Restaurant Vacherie LA


The boy waiter.

B&C is a quaint country restaurant facing the levee on the way to the Oak Alley Plantation.

Girl alligator in ladies room at B&C Riverside Seafood Restaurant, Vacherie, LA

The girl waiter-gater


Greetings, tourist. You are on my lunch menu.


Antoines Restaurant, New Orleans

 Circa 1840 Grand Dame & birthplace of oysters Rockefeller.

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Ageless Cafe du Monde – home of Beignets and chicory coffee.

IMG_0326 a Grab an outdoor table at Cafe du Monde. You’re on Jackson Square facing St. Louis Cathedral across the street, a front row seat on horse drawn carriages, flocks of artists pinning their paintings to the black wrought iron, freeze models with cups, tourists, musicians, and general delightful cacophony.

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IMG_0343 aInside the Cafe, its a good idea to stay in your seat or you might be trampled by whirling white coated waitstaff balancing trays with eight cups of hot coffee and piles of hot powdered beignets.


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Step aside tourist, she moves FAST!

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Waitstaff lining up for Beignets, NOLA’s answer to Krispy Kreme.


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IMG_0356 a Next door you can watch your candy being made, and take home a box of fresh, chewy Aunt Sally’s Original Creole Pecan Pralines.IMG_0360 IMG_0364

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New Orleans 2 – Jackson Square

The French Quarter of New Orleans is like no place else on earth. The architecture is spellbinding. The history, the food, the music, the smells, the sights. This glorious stew draws the most colorful humans to its embrace. There is a mood here of tolerance and freedom, all the way to delightful craziness. Natives and tourists share this space 24 hours a day. It’s a great place to ride your bicycle on a quiet Monday morning, taking in the sounds of deliveries and the heavenly smells of lunch cooking behind open doors. It’s also a great place to wander on a Saturday night, spinning inside the kaleidoscope of raucous dazzle on Bourbon Street and all its side streets.

When you are strolling Jackson Square, you might as well be in Paris. I’ve run out of gas for today so I will finish the commentary another day. But here are some photos. . .


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Notice the big blue lights and silver reflectors – they are shooting a movie on Jackson Square across from Cafe du Monde.

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Journey to Capture BessyBus 2 (our slightly newer, 2′ longer RV Bus) – Chapter 1

Chapter One!

Steve and I have been out of touch in the last two months. 20140702_203936 @50 We have had the adventure of a lifetime buying a slightly newer RV home. 20141109_134831 ret @20We now live in a 2007, 42 foot Tiffin Allegro bus (on right). We have for sale our beloved first bus – a 2005, 40 foot Tiffin Allegro. Here’s how it went down, from August to November,  2014:

Wed, Aug 6 – 326 mi

Norman, Ok to Marshfield, Mo During the spring months, Steve and I have been visiting our son and family in Norman. We park at Cleveland County Fairgrounds on Robinson.FB_IMG_ @100 I had total knee replacement with Dr. Steven Schultz on June 17 at Norman Regional HealthPlex.  Amazingly, I am in walking distance to the clinic for knee therapy three times a week. Today is my last visit and I take them a big box of cookies from Dara Marie’s. I just love my PT, Dwight and all the other cheerful PT’s there. Steve has our bus ready to head out as soon as I return. We are going to Milwaukee to help celebrate my sister Sharon’s 30th wedding anniversary to hubby Gordy Hinrichs. This party is a big surprise and they don’t know we’re coming.  By dusk on day one, we make it to Marshfield, Mo, RV Express 66, where we have a swimming pool all to ourselves.

Thu Aug 7

Marshfield, Mo to Chatham Il After driving all day we arrive at Double J Campground. It has poured all day here and the big Illinois State Fair in Chatham is rained out on opening night.

Fri Aug 8

Chatham, Il to Jackson, Wi We gas up in Beloit, IL. About noon we park on the street in front of our nephew,  Brian Powell’s house. All our nieces and nephews gather us up for the great Wisconsin fish fry Friday night at MJ Stephens Pub, Hartford, WI.  They have a killer breaded Atlantic Cod but some of us got it covered with hollandaise, crab meat and asparagus!!

Sat Aug 9

Jackson, Wi It’s 6 pm, the guests are assembled, the food and drink flowing, the oompah band poised, the lights turned out. And here comes the anniversary couple down the hall. They both almost fainted.IMG_6959 collage @150 What a great surprise it was!! A fantabulous party, thanks to the planning and hard work of nieces Beth, Melanie and Becky. Everyone got their picture made with the anniversary couple. IMG_7051 best crop @200The Hinrichs, Powell families to honor Gordy & Sharon’s 30th wedding anniv., 08-11-14 .

Sun Aug 10

Mequon, Wi Now that the surprise is over, we can move our bus from Brian’s house to the front yard of Sharon and Gordy’s, on Arrowwood Drive in Mequon. 20140816_192434 ret @100 It is a beautiful house and we have parked here twice before but the bus doesn’t want to fit this time. We sweat bullets trying to make the turn into the driveway without dropping the back wheel in a deep ditch. We finally make it onto the pretty green grass, where we are guaranteed to sink the wheels a bit and tear a few ugly divots. But they always insist. They are so sweet.

Fri Aug 22

Mequon, Wi to Davenport-East Moline, Il – 220 mi After a lovely 12 day visit, we leave our sissy and bro in Milwaukee and head out for the wild west. We park overlooking the Mississippi River at a Corps of Engineers Campground, “Fisherman’s Corner” for $8 !!! We notice when writing a blog that all the sentences start with “We.”  Darn it – wish I could change that. Now WE are riding our bikes to the locks to watch the big barges locking through, and to take pictures of two wild swans gliding through the weeds. IMG_7315 IMG_7348

Sat Aug 23

East Moline Il to Des Moines, Ia, to Kansas City, Mo – 368 mi We fuel up at Osceola, Iowa and head west on I-80 for Denver, Co., when I decide we have to make a major change. My tooth is killing me.  We must turn south and go a thousand miles out of our way, back to Shawnee OK to visit my dentist. We turn south at Des Moines on I-35 and spend the night north of Kansas City at Wallace State Park for $19.

Sun Aug 24

Kansas City, Mo to Shawnee Ok – 385 mi We arrive at day’s end Sunday and park at Shawnee Fairgrounds. I’m at my dentist’s doorstep at the crack of dawn Monday morning. I had a brand new crown put in but it has been catching food like crazy. My dentist saws it off and gives me a lovely temporary cap. Steve and I now drive the old crown straight to the dental lab in Oklahoma City so I can get a replacement in 3 days instead of 3 weeks.

Wed Aug 27

Shawnee Ok Back to the dentist to have the second new permanent crown put in. For some reason, the temporaries work like a dream, but the permanent crown wants to catch food, I mean seriously.

end chapter 1

To find Chapter 2, go to top of this page, then click on “Home.”
From Home, scroll down until you come to Chapter 2.

Journey to Capture BessyBus 2 – Chapter 3

Mon Sep 22

Berthoud Co to Rock Springs Wy -292 mi

Time to travel! But where should we go? Don’t laugh – we have another set of Escapee friends who are spending the summer work camping in Daniel, Wyoming. This is the only destination we had actually preplanned to see friends. So we head north out of Fort Collins through Laramie, WY, where our niece Jessie R. got her PhD in Astronomy and taught undergrad. Then on west to Rock Springs WY, a barren looking oil rig town, to overnight at a KOA, the only show in town.

Tue Sep 23
Rock Springs Wy to Daniel, Wy – 114 mi

We are headed north for three days with Tom and Diane, the camp hosts at a petite BLM park, Warren Bridge Campground.

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Warren Bridge on Hwy 189/191 crosses the Green River north of Daniel, Wy.

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BessyBus parked in Wyoming’s big sky country at Warren Bridge BLM Campground with our camp host friends Tom and Dianne.

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Steve and I get a daily bike ride around the campground on crisp October days

IMG_8756Near us is the tiny, adorable western town of Daniel, Wyoming. I wanted to shoot every cute little storefront but a downpour hit and drove me back into the bus after only a few shots. Rats!

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Daniel Gas Station


Small residence. Daniel, Wy, has a dozen very small buildings actually used by mountain men.

Near Daniel is Pinedale, Wy., the mountain man capital of America and the site of historic mountain man gatherings. They have a fantastic museum to preserve it all.



I love the Pinedale motto . . . “All the civilization you need.” There is no Wal-Mart within 100 miles of here. (Must go south to Rock Springs.)


Green River winding through the rolling hills around Pinedale, Wy. This was the favorite spot in the whole US for mountain man gatherings in the 1800’s.


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Herd of antelope with nary a hunter in sight!

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Modern day grouse hunting camps along the Green River

Thu Sep 25
Daniel, Wy to Jackson Hole, Wy – 40 mi

We take a side trip in our car to Jackson, Wy. It’s just 40 miles north of us, but what a spectacular drive!


We haven’t even made it to the Grand Tetons park yet. This is just the view on Hwy 26 driving north toward Jackson, Wy!

We cruise all over downtown Jackson, nestled in the valley called Jackson Hole, and notice that we are the only non-millionaires in town. We eat breakfast at the national historic, wood-floored Cafe Genevieve. Their homemade hash is so divine, we take an extra order and eat it for lunch. We stop next door to buy true French bread at Persephone Bakery, then spend the day touring Grand Teton National Park.


We luck out and hitting the aspens at their peak at Jackson Hole, Wy.

Here are the Grand Tetons from the highway:

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The pioneers found the best view of the Tetons in the park and built a log chapel there in 1925 with a big picture window up front framing that breathtaking view.

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Picturesque Chapel of the Transfiguration inside the park. Great spot for a wedding!

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View of mountains with Chapel on the left.

Also in the park there once was a busy ferry crossing the Snake River, built in 1892 by Bill and brother Holiday Menor. Their home and general store are preserved and still selling dry goods today to tourists. Of the two Menor brothers, one was menor than the other.

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Dry Goods for sale, Menor Ferry General Store

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On our way home, we stop for 30 minutes to visit our friends Nancy and Dave, “Shadowtracks.” They are summer employees at Jackson Hole Tourist Center, and what a madhouse that place was!!!

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Big Steve with Escapee friends Dave (“Shadowtracks”) and Nancy, on 4pm lunch break from their job at Jackson Hole Tourist Center.

At night we invite a 20-something couple to come over from their pup tent and sit with the four of us at our campfire. They are both engineers from Prague, Czech Republic, speaking perfect English. They share with us their homemade drink, Slivovitz, and we, luckily, have a loaf of true French bread to give them.

On Saturday morning we bid adieu to dear friends Tom and Dianne, who are also leaving the park. It’s the end of their summer job as camp hosts. Old Man Winter is driving the Polar Express into Daniel, Wyoming.

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Sat Sep 27
Daniel, Wy to Provo, Ut

Now I have a problem. My lip has a small sore that hasn’t healed in three months. Dianne gives us a great tip about a lovely Elks Club in Provo Utah where we can live cheap but comfy, and the town is just the right size to visit a dermatologist. My other choice would be Jackson, Wy, where prices would be more Hollywood-style. I call Provo and get a Monday morning appointment at Central Utah Clinic, which has several dermatologists. We drive to Provo and park at the Elks on University Ave with Brigham Young University all around us.

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The beautiful Elks Lodge, downtown Provo. They made chicken soup for me on the day of my surgery, and passed the hat in the bar. What fantastic people, our Elks friends!

Provo is a fascinating town with a gorgeous bank of Wasatch mountains that runs for miles right alongside Main Street, so close you can reach out and almost touch them.

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The beautiful Wasatch Mountains run right alongside the main street in Provo.


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The gorgeous Wasatch Mountains at sunset. You can see this view from anywhere in town, including from our bus parked at the Provo Elks.



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Hilarious game of bubble football on the campus of Brigham Young University.

The much-loved jewel of downtown Provo was this spectacular Mormon Temple built in 1883 in Gothic Revivial style. Tragically, it burned in 2010 but is actually being rebuilt. It wouldn’t be Provo without her.


The queen of downtown Provo is this magnificent Provo Temple built in 1886 and burned in 2010. It is being retuilt on the same spot with subtle improvements such as vast underground parking.


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Impressive construction underway for the new temple, renamed Provo City Center Temple. For a fascinating video of this architectural feat, see………………


Tue Sep 30
Sundance Lodge

We drive up the mountains on Provo Canyon Rd. to Hwy 92, the Alpine Scenic Highway. Halfway around the loop you arrive at Sundance Mountain Resort, the movie festival and ski resort owned by Robert Redford.

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We have an elite lunch there with movie directors, socialites and Robert Redford wannabes. This place is indescribably beautiful but what we most enjoy is the fascinating history — land surveyers (Scott and John Stewart) came in the 1890’s and picked this mountain valley as the most beautiful of everything they had seen out west. They bought it for their own homestead. In 1944, their sons opened a ski resort with a T-bar rope tow. Redford bought it in 1969. There are tons of wonderful photos online.

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Sundance Ski Lift

While we are here at Elks we take advantage of our fixed address to order Tupelo honey from the tupelo flower that grows in Tates Hell Swamp near Apalachicola, Fl.  There is nothing in the world like it.  I got four one pound jars for $10 each from Smiley Honey. Tupelo honey will never crystallize on your shelf.


end chapter 3

To find Chapter 4, go to top of this page, then click on “Home.”

From Home, scroll down until you come to Chapter 4.