I've updated our map. The red lines are where we have been, and the green lines are where we are going over the next 2 weeks. The black dots are our stopover points.
If you haven't noticed Annabelle's post, it is just below this one.
As you can see on the map, Texas alone is almost the size of the states we have already travelled put together. We could easily spend a whole month there but just don't have that much time. Dan has put together the Texas route as I pretty much planned everything we've done so far. We will be stopping at various places including Big Bend (this is a stunning place - look it up on google images), San Antonio, the Rio Grande River, Guadalupe Peek, and wherever else takes our fancy.
So, as Annabelle posted earlier, we are now in the state of Louisiana. We got here two days earlier than planned. We had planned another two nights in Mississippi, but when we left our RV park and started driving (with no RV park booked for the night) we found that the rest of the gulf coast was just a desolate wasteland, totally destroyed by hurricane Katrina. The beautiful sea side areas that were there are now gone, and so we ended up driving until we hit Louisiana. So we looked through out RV book and found a site that had spaces for 2 nights, up in Covington, Louisiana. We have already booked 2 nights in the French Quarter RV park, right in the heart of the French Quarter of New Orleans for tomorrow and Tuesday, so we had to find somewhere to stay till then.
This RV park here in Covington is one of the oddest so far. Its like RV city. There are 270 lots here, and half of them are permanent residents while the other half are travelers like us. It is a nice place, don't get me wrong. It's in a lovely wooded area, with ponds, a kids park, a games room, a shop selling more than any other RV park shop I've been in. During the summer there is a swimming pool and water slide. Theres a little beach with a creek. But the people here just make me laugh. The RV behind ours must be a permanent resident and his RV lot looks like the local pub, with beer signs, tables n chairs, and American line dancing music blaring out! But the thing that made me chuckle was the gang of hard core golf carters. It was the most bewildering thing I've ever seen. A young dude, about 23 years old, looking 'well 'ard' drives around in his modified cooler than anyone elses golf cart, with his ghetto blaster chugging out American country tunes at full volume... wait for it... followed by a posse of fellow golf carters who are the strangest looking bunch I have ever seen. They ranged from age 2 to about 70. One carting couple looked well into their retirement years, whilst the guy in the next cart was about 18. In another cart was a 35 year old man with his 2 or 3 year old kid, then in the next a married couple, and in another a woman of about 50 or so. There must have been about 9 carts in total. They just drove in their carts, round and round the park, in a gang, blasting out music. Even my kids stopped to take a second glance, then came in to ask me what they were doing. I was totally puzzled by it.
Anyway, today we did absolutely nothing. For the first day in a month. Yes, we've been here a full month now! Considering we are all living in each others pockets in a 12ft space with no rooms except the tiniest toilet, I think we are all getting on pretty well. When I say we did nothing, I mean we went no where. Dan spent a few hours planning the route through Texas that we will take in 3 days time, and I took the kids to the park and games room where Barney learnt to play snooker in his own special way. He plays it a bit like crazy golf, bless.
Tomorrow we are doing a part of the trip that I've been really looking forward to. We are heading down to New Orleans where we have booked two nights in an expensive (by comparison) RV park right in the heart of the French Quarter. We are going to leave pretty early in the morning and head to the Mississippi River, following the river road past the sugar plantation mansions. We plan to stop at one of the mansions for a tour, and spend some time along the river, before driving to the French Quarter. On Tuesday we are going to spend the day wandering around the French Quarter shops, cafes, restaurants etc. It should be great. Then we have one night at a quick stop over RV park on the edge of Louisiana before heading into Texas for the 2nd quarter of our trip (see the map above).
After one month of traveling none of us are ready to go home yet, but there are things we all miss. All of us, without exception, miss our beds. Barney misses his toys. I really really miss marmite on toast (they don't have marmite here and we don't have a toaster). We all miss nice bread, British chocolate bars, and proper chips. Dan and I really miss having a bath, and I'm fed up of wearing the same two sets of clothes day in day out. I'm sure in another 3 months time the list of things we miss will have lengthened considerably. I do not miss the weather, working in the shop, or cleaning the house. And none of us miss the TV.
Edit - I forgot to mention that last night we all cuddled up on the bed in the living room area of the RV (ahem - if you can call it that) with pop corn and watched Forrest Gump on the laptop. Dan fast forwarded the dodgy bits so the kids couldn't see that, but we all really enjoyed it - especially since we have now been through Alabama, seen the bayous, and learnt a bit about shrimp boating. It made the film so much more exciting to watch.