Wednesday, June 17, 2015

BREAUX BRIDGE & NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA: Escape the Stresses, Enjoy a Simpler RVing Life

Louisiana: Continuing Along the Gulf of Mexico

Relaxing at the Breaux Bridge City Park

More Time to Relax While RVing Relieves Stress

       When we were still working, it didn’t feel like we had enough time to relax. A lifestyle of work, work, and more work to stay ahead of the bills did not allow enough time to relax, definitely contributing to stress. Retirement allows us all the time we want to relax. Full-time RVing gives us to the ability to relax wherever we want. RVing allows us to escape the stresses of our old life. We find that spending time in small towns and city, state, or national parks are good places for us to unwind and leave the stress behind.
Entering Town -- Sign on the Breaux Bridge

Relaxing in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana

     Breaux Bridge, Louisiana is a small town of about 8000 people with a long history dating back to the late 1700's. We discovered the town when we were searching for a place to spend the night in our motorhome for free and found that the pretty Breaux Bridge City Park allows free overnight bus and RV parking (boondocking). We had a view from the park of the majestic St. Bernard Catholic Church and the old Breaux Bridge, the focal points in this quaint town. The city park turned out to be a peaceful place to sit by the river in the evening. When we arrived, we set our chairs next to the river that runs through the park and had a glass of wine while we watched the water flow lazily by. That’s relaxing!
Peaceful Boondocking in the City Park 

Money Saving by Boondocking in an RV

     Boondocking, also called dry camping, is free overnight parking. Finding a good place to boondock saves us an average of about $35 U.S. dollars per night, depending on the area. The nightly rates in parks we stay in range from $17 to $100 USD, even using our Passport America or Good Sam discounts. So when we are able to boondock, we save enough money that we celebrate by going out to a restaurant for dinner. The added advantage of boondocking in a town is that there are usually restaurants within walking distance. We get a little exercise while we explore the area, walking to and from dinner.
     Boondocking in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana was a good example of dry camping where there were restaurants nearby, with plenty of choices within a mile radius of the park, so we set out to choose one. As we walked to dinner that evening we could see that the downtown was small, but there seemed to be plenty of action. We had a tasty pizza and listened to live country music at Buck and Johnny's Pizzeria, the popular evening spot in town.  It was a short, pleasant evening stroll back to our free camping site at the city park. We noticed that the police cruised through a few times and some teenagers were parking nearby, but no one bothered us and the young people were polite and quiet. Free lodging and I didn’t have to cook or wash dishes that night—that simplifies life!
St. Bernard Catholic Church  Next to the City Park
Breaux Bridge Has Plenty of Cute Restaurants
And Events at Quaint Old Buildings

Beat Daily Monotony With Full-time RVing

     Before retirement, many mornings I opened my eyes and thought, "I don't know if I can get out of bed and face another day of the monotony of filling prescriptions. I wondered if I could bear the stress of listening to people's problems at the pharmacy counselling window even one more hour. Now that we live in our motorhome full-time, my biggest task that is pure drudgery is cleaning our 21" X 39" shower every week or two. But we can get up in the morning and say "let's skip the housework and go see New Orleans!"

Historic Buildings & People Watching in New Orleans

     Three days in New Orleans was a "vacation" for us. We splurged by staying at the French Quarter RV Park right in town so we could walk to everything in the area. We went out to dinner every night to experience the traditional New Orleans foods, Jambalaya, fried okra and fried pickles, and Crawfish Etouffee. We walked for miles admiring the old French and Spanish colonial buildings, watching people ride by in horse-drawn carriages, musicians playing on the sidewalks and in pubs, and, of course, watching people party on Bourbon Street.
Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides through the French Quarter
Love the Old Street Signs on Buildings
Good People Watching on Bourbon Street
Pretty Balconies, Wrought-Iron Railings & Plants

St. Louis Cathedral, Opened in 1794, Oldest in North America
Parades Continue even in the Rain in New Orleans
     We enjoyed several evening meals in historic restaurants in the French Quarter and the Frenchman Street area. The Praline Connection was our first fun exposure to cajun and creole food and, of course, pralines. Located on Frenchman Street, it is a good ways from the French Quater and worth the walk. Our favorite cajun restaurant in the French Quarter was the Original Pierre Maspero's, housed in one of the oldest buildings in New Orleans. In 1788, when it was built, it is said to have been the old slave exchange. Inside it felt somewhat like being in an old British pub to me, lit with gas lamps, dark and cozy. The tourists and locals were elbow to elbow, the waiters bustling around to serve drinks and regional comfort food, and everyone was content and happy to be out of the rain. Being a tourist for a few days now and then is one of the things that makes retirement fun!
Bar Area of the Original Pierre Maspero's Restaurant
     Below is the map of our route through Louisiana beginning in Galveston, Texas (see blog article by clicking: "Touring the Texas Gulf Coast" . Now, onto Florida, and then the Florida Country Superfest with Keith Urban and the Zac Brown Band in Jacksonville--that should be some real southern fun!
Our Route from Galveston, TX to Breaux Bridge & New Orleans, Louisiana


1 comment:

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