Thursday, July 05, 2012

Vacation 2012: The saga begins...

Day 1: On the road to New Orleans

Miles driven: 557

Finally, the vacation of our dreams had arrived. For months, I had nightmares that my mom's dementia would keep us from this trip. Mom's frequent hospitalizations throughout June had done nothing to ease my anxiety. But here we were on July 5th. Mom was back at the nursing home, and now she had a sitter to keep her calm during her dialysis treatments. Sweet friends and family had volunteered to check on her while we were away. Brett's parents were ably manning the home front, checking the mail and feeding the pets.

But oh, the pets. Well, ONE pet, anyway! Early that Thursday morning, as we did our last-minute packing and started loading the car, Brett discovered that our backyard was missing a certain black dog.

Brett hit the streets, I hit the streets, even after the car was loaded, we gave the neighborhood another long, slow check. No Frisco. Heartbroken, we left a note for our neighbors across the street and began the long drive east.

We decided we should post a pic to Facebook just in case someone saw her, but oh, we were sad! Brett was wearing his brave face, determined this wouldn't ruin our trip, but I dreaded coming home to that empty backyard! Thankfully, just a moment after Brett called his parents to tell them the bad news, our neighbor called. Frisco was on his front porch! WHEW! It actually worked out for the best since Frisco got to hang out with his doggy pal Johnny for the weekend. It was wonderful to get that good news before we had even crossed the state line.

With that crisis averted, we finally felt the relief that comes with getting out of Dodge. 

Of course, we're not ones to just drive straight to one destination. We made our first real stop in Shreveport, home of Southern Maid Donuts.

 Ryan is a donut connoisseur, so this stop was a must. Besides, it reminded my of my daddy's business trips to Shreveport. We always seemed to end up at Southern Maid around 4 p.m. on those visits! Alas, this stop was before noon, but the donuts were still good.

Love the old-style box!

Our next two stops were to the Thrifty Peanut, used bookstores in the Shreveport/Bossier City area. We started at their second location. It was tiny, so we navigated to their main store. 

It's always fun to explore new (to us) used bookstores, and traipsing across Shreveport to get there was educational. You can only see so much from the interstate!

From that point, we drove down I-49, that unbearably long stretch of interstate that extends from Shreveport down to I-10 and Baton Rouge.

When we finally saw civilization, it was picture-worthy!

NOLa! At last!

My poor navigating gave us this "upclose
and personal" view of the Superdome.

Once we settled in at our hotel, we were toast. We swam, ate a picnic in our room, and hit the hay. Yes, the city never sleeps, but WE do!

The courtyard outside our room
We stayed at the Maison St. Charles, a Quality Inn (CHEAP!!!) right on St. Charles Avenue. The rooms had a real New Orleans feel (lots of purple, green and gold), and we were fairly close to the French Quarter. At the same time, we were just far enough from the action to enjoy some peace and quiet.

Just one day into our trip, and we were already footloose and fancy free!

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