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Travel Diary Category: Stay Reports
Travel Diary Title:
"Stay Report for My Stay in Lake Charles and Hammond Louisiana"

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I completed my 3 week stay in Louisiana on 8 April. While in Louisiana I stayed one week in Lake Charles and two weeks in Hammond.

While in Lake Charles I stayed at the "Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp-Resort."  Like I found out during my entire stay in Louisiana there are not many true RV Park/Resorts. All the ones I saw were more campground than anything else. Though they do have full hookups the Park facilities cater more to campers than RVer's.  Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp-Resort was no different.

I did not do a lot of touring of the Lake Charles area but did drive around the east end of Lake Charles. It is not a huge city so if you are like me and don't like the hustle and bustle and traffic of a big city then you will like Lake Charles. The area is very green as was all of Louisiana that I saw.

Next I went to Hammond, Louisiana where I stayed two weeks. From Hammond I made two day trips into New Orleans with specific intent of visiting the French Quarter. For you see, my ultimate purpose for being in Louisiana was to revisit New Orleans. My last visit was about 25 years ago when my family and I were changing duty stations from San Diego, California to Charleston, South Carolina. We had some friends living in Slidell so we stopped and spent a couple of days there. Our friends took us into New Orleans for a day trip. I enjoyed the visit.

One of the things I remember visiting in 1984 was the monument of "A Streetcar Named Desire" which was a streetcar that got it's name from the original play by Tennessee Williams. When I visited the French Quarter of New Orleans this time I found that it was gone. I asked several local vendors about it including a Tour Service and they new nothing about it.

After some internet research I found out that in New Orleans they name their streetcars after streets. Car No. 952 was named "Desire" and after retirement in 1964 it was placed near the Old US Mint for display. Then in 1998 Car No. 952 (Desire) was purchased by San Francisco and has been operating there since 1998.  So, If I want to see "A Streetcar Named Desire" I guess I will have to visit San Francisco.

I enjoyed both of my day trips into New Orleans. Walking through the streets and seeing those marvelous old buildings still in pretty good shape after all these years, and especially post Hurricane Katrina, was quite exciting. The French Quarter has a bit of a circus atmosphere with street vendors, performers, the occasional pimp etc. Speaking of pimps. I saw that there were several (3 for sure) different clubs named after Larry Flint's Hustler. To be honest I have little interest in that sort of thing but only illustrate it here how it ads to the circus atmosphere.

Bourbon Street is very colorful with every building painted a different color and most of the buildings being Bars and or Night Clubs.

Between Bourbon Street and French Market Street are several other streets with all kinds of businesses and restaurants. All the streets of the French Quarter have a bunch of Gift Shops and Restaurants. Some even had Voodoo Shops with God only knows what inside. I did not bother exploring these.

Each day I ate a late lunch. The first day I ate Seafood Gumbo at the French Market Restaurant and Bar. On the second visit I ate at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Cafe where I had some Filé Gumbo. Actually, I am taking quite a liking to Gumbo. Other than my visit in 1984 I don't remember ever eating it before.

Overall, I enjoyed my visit to Louisiana. I noted that there is a lot of greenery and water in the state. The water is in the form of lakes, ponds, rivers and swamps. And I mean a lot of them! I crossed 3 different causeways that were greater than 10 miles long, one of which, the Lake Ponchartrain causeway (US190) which leads from the north side of Lake Ponchartrain to the south side into New Orleans and is about 23 miles long.

Even though I was in Louisiana in early spring I had to use the air conditioning most every day.  Not so much for the heat but for the humidity. I can only imagine what it is going to be like in July and August.

One of my clients called me and asked if I had met any Cajun Queen's. Sorry Jack, no Cajun Queen's, whatever they are.

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013,466 miles are the actual travel miles with the trailer since 1 November 2003 when I left Emmett, Idaho until today (Nov 01, 2014) where I am located in Meridian, Idaho.

They do not include daily trip miles for morning coffee or trips to scenic/tourist locations etc.