Wandering to New Orleans, and back.

This post was going to take in the whole trip, but it started getting way too long, and it was delayed by the efforts around my first show, so here’s the trip to and through New Orleans…

When my Father called up and said “Let’s meet in New Orleans,” we said “okay.” It was halfway between our wedding anniversaries and halfway between our houses (or thereabouts) so we went down to celebrate! My wife and I were married by the river in New Orleans, so it was special to us.

But first…it was a chance for me to drive the small roads between Dallas and New Orleans! One of my favorite things to do is wander through the small towns in Texas and neighboring states

So, we got away from Dallas and jumped off the interstate as quickly as possible. Driving down the small roads, our first stop was in Crockett, Texas. Crockett is the seat of Houston County (not to be confused with the city of Houston which is, of course, in Harris County…).

But the town’s namesake, Davy Crockett, was not the main reason I wanted to stop there. Camp Street, specifically the Camp Street Café in Crockett has a bit of Blues history. In its honor they have a lovely statue of the great Lightnin’ Hopkins. That’s right across the street from the café. Alas, the café was not open early on a Tuesday afternoon.

Just a little way up the street they also have a nice mural on the side of a building. That’s Lightnin’ Hopkins in the middle, along with Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, “Blind” Lemon Jefferson, “Big Mama” Thornton, and others.

After paying homage to the Blues greats, we strolled down the block to the site of the Tennessean’s camp as Crockett led his men to San Antonio to fight for Texas’ independence. Naturally, to honor Crockett the city installed a…drinking fountain. That doesn’t work any more. Okay, it is (as you see in the picture) “The Davy Crockett Spring” so I guess it really does make sense. 🙂

There wasn’t much else going on in Crockett that afternoon. We looked around a bit and saw a fair number of empty storefronts on the main streets, as you do in a lot of small towns these days. We headed out and drove the little roads down to Lake Charles, Louisiana, and took the big road to Lafayette for the night.

The next morning we drove down the interstate to pick up my folks at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. We were a bit late, because All-Knowing Google didn’t mention the traffic delay through Baton Rouge. Fortunately, they waited for us!

I won’t include a whole lot about New Orleans, because pictures of the city abound. We did a fair amount of tourist-type stuff, starting with Lunch at Willie’s Chicken Shack, where the chicken was good, but not that good…

We took a bus tour that hit the high spots, including the obligatory cemetery and Jackson Square. The driver was great, knew a great deal and had some rather harrowing stories about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

We also took a cruise on the paddlewheeler Creole Queen, up river to the site of the famed “Battle of New Orleans” and back. The battlefield is mainly a large empty field, not the most stimulating I’ve visited, but the park ranger’s narration of the battle was quite good!

An impromptu shot of my folks here shows why I’m not a portrait photographer, but we had a good time!

Among other sights we passed the Domino sugar refinery, one of the largest, over 100 years old. And of course, the U.S. 90 bridge over the Mississippi River:

All of us at the Court of Two Sisters.  Your Humble Narrator on the right...

The night before we left we had dinner at the Court of the Two Sisters, the same restaurant where we ate the night we got married!

The next morning, Leigh and I dropped the folks at the airport and went back to town to wander for a while, mostly strolling through the French Quarter. Even in the daytime, Bourbon Street has the entertainment!

And so we bid a fond adieu to the Big Easy…

Sorry, I’ve been watching old travelogues, they’re most amusing. I will regale you with the trip back to Dallas next time out. And speaking of getting ready for shows, I’ll be at the ArtMart in Dallas next month, at the Bathhouse Cultural Center by White Rock Lake!

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