Sunday, March 25, 2007
Departed Lake Charles, Louisiana for Hammond which is east of Baton Rouge and on the North shore of Lake Ponchatrain putting me in easy reach of New Orleans. I didn't want to get too close to New Orleans, even though New Orleans is my main reason for being in Louisiana, because of the news reports of all the problems they were still having in the aftermath of the Katrina Hurricane.
I enjoyed my stay in Lake Charles. It is not too large a city so getting around was not a nightmare like other big cities such as Houston. However, I did get the big project from the new client I discussed previously and was pretty busy, so didn't do a lot of touring. My hope is I will be able to do more than one excursion to New Orleans.
I stayed at the "Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp-Resort" which was quiet and pleasant other than it got a little muggy in the evening. Finally last night I had to close up all the windows and turn on the air conditioning, not for the heat it was only about 80, but for the humidity. The park spaces are fairly good size, my only complaint is the water and sewer hookups are all the way to the back of the space. My RV hookups are in the middle so for the first time I had to hook up all my sewer lines (30 feet) just to barely reach the park hookups.
As I was leaving I chatted with the owner or manager, I'm not quite sure, and he told me a little about his plans. He is trying to make the "Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp-Resort" more than a weekend camp ground. He showed me where he was going to build a Water Park. The idea was to provide recreation for people during the week as well as the weekends.
It has been about 25 years since the last time I was in New Orleans. It was in 1982 when my family and I were transferring from San Diego, California, where I had been stationed on the USS McKee AS-41, to Charleston, South Carolina, where I was to report to the USS Holland AS-32. We had stopped to visit some old friends of ours, the Dennis's in Slidell who we knew from our tour of duty on the USS Los Alamos AFDB-7 in Holy Loch, Scotland. The Dennis's took us down to New Orleans for a very nice day trip where we visited the French Quarter and Bourbon Street, where we saw the "Street Car Named Desire" and had Shrimp Gumbo. I also got to visit the Navy Reserve Center there and took a tour of the "Dixie Cup" wet Damage Control Trainer. Chief Dennis (sorry Chief I just can't remember your first name after all these years) was stationed there and that is why they were living in Slidell.
I arrived in Hammond in the early afternoon. Once I got all hooked up and situated I drove around the area. I was pleased with what I saw. One of my pleasures in life is coffee in the morning at a good coffee shop. Since leaving Arizona those have been few and far between. Hammond does not have a Barnes and Noble, Borders or Hastings book store but they do have a Books-A-Million book store with a Joe Muggs Coffee shop. I went in and looked around and they have a good magazine section and a fair little lounge/coffee area. All I need to enjoy some of my mornings.
My plans are to stay here in Hammond for a couple of weeks before starting North toward Branson. I plan to make at least a couple of day trips to New Orleans while here. How many times depends on how I enjoy the French Quarter and Bourbon Street. I look forward to having my first bowl of Shrimp Gumbo since the last time I was here.
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