Jump to content




Help Support AmtrakTrains.com by donating using the link above or becoming a Supporting Member.

Photo

'18 Travels through America


  • Please log in to reply
131 replies to this topic

#121 v v

v v

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 789 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK / France

Posted 15 April 2018 - 08:05 PM

Friday 23 March Day 31  ~  Austin, TX  ~  continued - part II
Updated in the Allier, France  ~  Sunday 15 April

 

 

No brunch at the Capitol but we do have a hot drink, Jim has plans for us to visit a BBQ food trailer for lunch which he thinks is the best in Austin. We both really enjoyed the food, Jim was right yet again. Rosie had a pork waffle tower! and I tried about 6 different things. Rosie enjoyed her meal and drank the beer (she rarely drinks alcohol). The very best for me was the rib, the second a 'broth' that the young chef had invented. It's a bit like Gumbo but a bit thicker, really tasty. The owner said they were known for their ribs, I'd drive 50 miles out of my way for them.

If you're in Austin and want to visit this place Jim will surely point it out for you...

 

 

Here's the trailer and the Friday Free Beer which is each and every Friday.

 

Attached File  s63648a.jpg   732.3KB   3 downloads

 

Attached File  n11122a.jpg   599.92KB   3 downloads

 

 

After we have all eaten we head back to our hotel, it's near enough to check-in time for us to be able to shower, change our clothes and take a break. Jim has things to do which doesn't change just because we are in town.

 

Early evening and we are off to eat again, this is becoming a food fest. This time a great outdoor BBQ joint. Fabulous place to eat, lots of atmosphere, friendly staff and friendly customers too. A really memorable and happy way to enjoy a meal, we were there for a surprisingly long time. Again if you want to try this place it's called Shady Grove which is/was? the name of an RV camp ground that used to be there in what is now the edge of downtown, hope they don't lose this place to developers too.

 

Shady Grove

 

Attached File  s63649a.jpg   494.49KB   3 downloads

 

 

Jim has one more trick up his sleeve, we're getting the best of Old Austin in a one day whirl-wind tour, Jim thanks for being such a great host. We're off to a small Honky Tonk or Beer House, called Donn's Depot. It started with a railway car plus a building built on, has been there about 30 or 40 years and Donn still plays in the band (suppose he would as it's his band). What is interesting is it's only half full when we arrive about 8:30pm, the clientele are there to meet friends and mostly dance to the live music. Many are older than us but as the night goes on the average age of the clientele gets younger, some older ones go and more younger arrive. Before we leave there are teens dancing with and alongside 80 year olds, how good is that. I have a very large extended family and know what a large family gathering is like, and this was exactly like a good family party.

 

We had a fabulous night, and still talk about it Jim, but maybe not as fabulous as it was for Shelley. Shelley is 83 years old, comes to Donn's to dance 6 nights a week and on the 7th goes somewhere else for a change of scenery. The lady sitting in front of us told us he's the best dancer in the joint, we had asked how did he get to dance with so many different women, she said he can take his pick.

He's not a tall man, possibly only 5 foot tall, certainly shorter than Rosie. Every woman he danced with was a fair bit taller than Shelley, when he stared straight ahead his view was obstructed. What makes him stand out is his T-shirt, across the back it shouts  ' CHICK MAGNET ', can't argue with that!

 

 

Shelley on the right of the picture dancing with one of his Harem. Photo quality is poor as wouldn't use flash

 

Attached File  s63651a.jpg   504.21KB   3 downloads

 

The place starting to fill up

 

Attached File  s63660a.jpg   639.32KB   3 downloads

 

 

A great day and night in Austin, but now we're exhausted both having not slept much last night. Jim you're a wonder and a privilege to call you our friend.

 

We leave tomorrow (Saturday evening) on a long Greyhound ride to Memphis, it is for both of us one of the main highlights of this journey. But we still have all day and much of the evening tomorrow, Jim will come around lunch time.


Edited by v v, 15 April 2018 - 08:33 PM.

  • oregon pioneer likes this

#122 v v

v v

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 789 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK / France

Posted 16 April 2018 - 05:10 PM

Saturday 24 March Day 32  ~  Austin, TX  -  whole day cancelled

Updated in the Allier, France  ~  Monday 16 April

 

 

In the early hours Rosie is vomiting, she has a migraine. She has two triggers for this to happen, lack of sleep or drinking alcohol, yesterday both of these things happened. It's turning out to be a very bad one as she can't keep pills or water down, just has to lay in the dark and suffer. Obviously we are not getting on a bus tonight, best re-book the room as she can't get up to move rooms.

Ouch! it's Saturday night and it's Austin's busy night, lots of money for the extra night but who cares, I wasn't going to allow Rosie to move.

 

Get in touch with Jim and cancel the Saturday, we'll talk later to see what the situation is. As the day wears on there is no improvement, this is not good. Spend most of the day on a slow computer checking out what alternative arrangements can be made to our Greyhound ride, hotel in Memphis and Amtrak City of New Orleans train bookings, pretty difficult to guess the next day or so as never seen Rosie as bad as this before or how long will it last.

 

Jim is very concerned and wants to take Rosie to an emergency clinic, but Rosie wants to wait as she knows the pattern and how almost nothing works at all, it just has to pass.

 

By evening Rosie has managed some powerful pills and can sleep, Jim picks me up and he and I go just down the road a little to eat. One of the best Vietnamese meals I've had, would have enjoyed it better with Rosie there though. Less than an hour later we're back at the hotel, Jim takes his mum out for a meal on Sunday lunchtimes (what a good boy he is) and I have to make a few decisions and fresh bookings, so we agree on 3pm Sunday afternoon to see how Rosie is.

 

By late evening there is a plan. Cancelled the whole visit to Memphis, no refund on the Greyhound ticket, partial refund on the hotel and a full refund on the Amtrak ticket, that's a start. Book a 3rd night at the hotel, even if Rosie is better by morning I know she will be quite delicate and weak. Now we're leaving on Monday morning.

Book a rental car one-way to New Orleans, hefty one-way fee but it has to be done. Renting a car will allow us to take it easy and Rosie to not to have to change transport, she can ride and sleep in comfort. We rent a full size car as it's only 6 US $ dearer than a compact for 2 days, crazy.

I plan a route to stay off of the interstate and instead ride the local roads. The 550 miles is a journey that we would usually drive in one day as regular as clockwork, but keeping away from the faster roads and driving through our favourite US state of Louisiana isn't something to hurry. Decide to stay in Kinder, LA, small southern US town that's for sure. When seen on a google map the only thing that stands out is the 'Kinder Rice Drier', and neither of us knowing what a rice drier is and why Kinder has one has made it our top attraction of this road trip!

Have to mention we stopped at Kinder almost exactly a year ago and just loved the small town feel of the place and friendly people, so some good is coming from these bad couple of days.

 

At the end of the evening Rosie is an amount better, but still no food and only a little water. I have cancelled 4 days of travel and booked what we need to get to New Orleans to catch up with our schedule, can't do any more.


Edited by v v, 16 April 2018 - 05:16 PM.

  • caravanman and oregon pioneer like this

#123 oregon pioneer

oregon pioneer

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,866 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:near Seneca, Oregon
  • Interests:Cross-country skiing, forestry, botany, solar power, gardening and food!

Posted 16 April 2018 - 05:25 PM

I know it's all in the past now, and Rosie survived -- but I hope it got better for her FAST after this.


Jennifer

 

I'm a "little Old Lady in Tennis Shoes" (LOLITS) from Eastern Oregon. I love to travel by train, though I live way out in the toolies, far from the nearest Amtrak station (Chemult). My station would have been Baker City, but they cancelled the Oregon Pioneer just before I took my first long-distance train trip as an adult. I've taken most trains in the West, but I'm still exploring new routes in the east.


#124 v v

v v

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 789 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK / France

Posted 16 April 2018 - 06:51 PM

Thanks Jennifer, this is how it worked out.

 

Sunday 25 March Day 33  ~  Austin, TX

Updated in the Allier, France  ~  Monday 16 April

 

 

Rosie awake and feeling better, hasn't eaten for 36 hours and feels like breakfast, all good. Rosie is still weak but never says a word about being ill, how do women do that? She relaxes while I put finishing touches to a GPS route from here to NO, we'll cross lake Pontchartrain on the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, the 24 mile bridge across what looks like an inland sea.

 

At 3pm sharp Jim appears, lots of concern for Rosie but she is definitely feeling better. Rosie is a born traveller and wont hear of not going off to explore Austin further, we just have to look out for her this afternoon and make sure she doesn't push herself too much.

We drive to the highest point in Austin, a short walk uphill from the parking has Rosie as the least breathless of us 3! Think this is a dammed river which looks a bit like a Texas Fjord, it is a long lake now. The great and the good (or should that be just plain wealthy?) live on the slopes of the lake, and very nice it is too. Later Jim drives through the housing on the far side of the lake, good to see it's not gated.

 

 

From Austin's highest point, the lake and a beautiful place to live

 

Attached File  s63680a.jpg   889.39KB   3 downloads

 

 

There were quite a few power boats racing up and down the lake, some water skiing and boards too. This little scene caught my eye as it was one of the faster boats

 

Attached File  s63703a.jpg   581.46KB   3 downloads

 

 

In this close-up you can clearly see that while travelling at speed he's drinking a beer, what a cool dude

 

Attached File  s63703.1a.jpg   785.03KB   3 downloads

 

 

After driving through the neighbourhood shown in the photo above we arrive at a park (sorry Jim we've both forgotten the name). We're met by this magnificent Peacock, full size and confident too.

 

Attached File  s63728a.jpg   677.19KB   3 downloads

 

Attached File  s63712a.jpg   851.26KB   3 downloads

 

Attached File  s63727a.jpg   645.05KB   3 downloads

 

 

Further into the park is this woodland garden, Rosie and I were completely captivated by the beautiful plants, each one perfect.

 

Attached File  s63734a.jpg   399.34KB   3 downloads

 

Attached File  s63737a.jpg   837.98KB   3 downloads

 

Attached File  s63742a.jpg   523.49KB   3 downloads

 

Attached File  s63745a.jpg   515.72KB   3 downloads

 

 

We came across this at a junction, made us laugh but maybe only Ed will get it.

 

Attached File  s63748a.jpg   531.94KB   3 downloads

 

 

Time for an evening meal and an early night. Rosie was looking tired but still had an appetite so we decided on Denys across the freeway from the hotel. It was all you would expect from a Denys, but the staff were scarce for a large restaurant.

The manager? was looking very tired, harassed and said short of staff, she had decided to stay way beyond her shift. She was just starting her 14th hour straight!

Our server was obviously new as he wasn't sure of himself, but he tried hard and had a smile, can't ask for more. When we were at the till asked if he was new? "no not new, I'm one of the chef's", he had volunteered to help out the waiting staff. Why would Denys in a city with so many students find it hard to get staff?

 

Last stop for the day was to get supplies for our road journey the next morning, we were going to visit one of Jim's beloved H-E-B supermarkets so we're all excited. Have to write it was a nice store except for the bird poo.

 

Early night, Rosie gets some rest and I re-pack the bags, we're all set for collecting the car tomorrow from a very local (thanks again Jim) Enterprise depot.


Edited by v v, 16 April 2018 - 07:27 PM.

  • caravanman and oregon pioneer like this

#125 Mystic River Dragon

Mystic River Dragon

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,520 posts
  • Gender:Female

Posted 17 April 2018 - 11:20 AM

I'm so glad Rosie is feeling better! :)  Both of you have been going and going practically nonstop, plus the humidity/temperature/foliage/different elevations were probably changing the whole time, so that may have contributed a bit as well as the alcohol and limited rest.

 

I could say it was the excitement of you both finally getting to meet Jim in person, but I don't want him to feel any worse about it than he already does! :P


Edited by Mystic River Dragon, 17 April 2018 - 11:20 AM.

  • oregon pioneer likes this

#126 v v

v v

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 789 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK / France

Posted 18 April 2018 - 03:25 PM

I'm so glad Rosie is feeling better! :)  Both of you have been going and going practically nonstop, plus the humidity/temperature/foliage/different elevations were probably changing the whole time, so that may have contributed a bit as well as the alcohol and limited rest.

 

I could say it was the excitement of you both finally getting to meet Jim in person, but I don't want him to feel any worse about it than he already does! :P

 

It may have been excitement, thought Rosie had a 'touch of the vapours' when Jim appeared



#127 v v

v v

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 789 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK / France

Posted 18 April 2018 - 03:29 PM

Monday 26 March Day 34  ~  Austin, TX to Kinder, LA
Updated in the Allier, France  ~  Wednesday 18 April

 

 

8:45am and Jim arrives, load his car and he drives us across to the rental company less than a mile away. Another young man what wasn't completely sure of what to do but was pleasant, had to check with his manager a couple of times.

 

We get no paperwork, it's all done online so we're told? A very black Chevrolet Malibu is brought round, I hate blacked out windows, prefer to see out through the sides and back. Worse, the clerk mentions the interior mirror self darkens at sunset, a couple of miles down the road I realise it doesn't matter if it darkens as can't see anything through the back window anyway. Just to help the vision thing the door mirrors are tinted, this is going to be a fun ride.

 

Jim says he will drive us out of town a couple of miles, it's time to say our goodbyes. Jim Hudson has been heroic, looking out for a couple who couldn't have been much fun for him. Mr Hudson is a person we will remember for a long while, thanks from both of us Jim.

 

The roads are pretty quiet and are interesting to us, it's a nice car to drive and there's a non tinted front window to look out of too. Lots and lots of wildflowers along the road, it makes the journey come alive. In east Texas Rosie spots a couple of road-side signs that make us laugh, ' We sell dirt! ' and further along ' Cheapest dirt in town! '. Once again 2 countries separated by a common language maybe.

 

We stop for a break for an hour or so and get to Kinder just before 7:00pm, nice drive and makes a change to be on the road and not in a bus. Same hotel as last year and as Rosie books us in the girl in reception says she remembers Rosie, we're taken aback at this. We'd planned to eat at a Cajun restaurant we hadn't tried last year, but they were only a carry out and we wanted to eat in a restaurant. Secretly we were pleased as it meant we could go back to Fausto's, the place we ate last year.

 

Enjoyed the company, the staff make you feel at home and wanted. The clientele is very varied by type and colour, what a great place to eat. Rosie has become a red bean and rice aficionado recently and would only order that. Standing in the queue waiting to order the man in front ordered Gumbo, I asked if he would explain what it was and how good was it. Well he didn't have to try hard but convinced me to try it, what he didn't mention is it can be hot, that's very hot and spicy.

 

Rosie is in heaven with her red bean, I'm starting to sweat eating what is obviously delicious, face turning to beetroot, eyes streaming and nose is running. But it so nice all I can do is keep drinking water so I can have the next few mouthfuls. On other tables the 2 local police are smiling, on another 3 Canadian cattle ranchers are laughing and asking questions knowing I can't speak. Rosie looks slightly concerned but is intent on enjoying her red bean. Now love Gumbo but need to find a mild version as obviously it can kill.

 

This restaurant employs a lot of students and they all know their jobs well. Probably grew up coming to eat at this family restaurant and knew what to do before they started. If you are ever in Kinder it's certainly worth a look if you're hungry.

 

We cross the road to the Market Basket supermarket, we need to buy genuine small white beans from  Louisiana to take home with us. This is a good small supermarket, again as anywhere in Kinder it appears with exceptionally friendly and helpful staff. Find the make we need (Camellia) and load up with supplies, also buy a few things for tomorrow including bread pudding as we are not moving on, the idea is to give Rosie a break after travelling all day.

 

Lay-in tomorrow and a catch up with some business work and personal emails. The room is very comfortable and we can take a walk in the afternoon if we want, but not forgetting the highlight of the road trip to visit the Kinder Rice Drier . We also have to get some sleep as Wednesday we leave at 4:00 am and it will be our longest day on this entire journey.


Edited by v v, 18 April 2018 - 04:31 PM.


#128 v v

v v

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 789 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK / France

Posted 18 April 2018 - 04:39 PM

Tuesday 27 March Day 35  ~  Kinder, LA
Updated in the Allier, France  ~  Wednesday 18 April

 

 

Relaxed day but we get some stuff done, it's afternoon and Drier Day. Had no idea what a rice drier was but it surprised us with it's size, what amount of rice do/did they grow round here? It's easy to locate on the edge of downtown, but with a population of 2460, downtown could easily be missed if you blinked.

 

 

It really exists, not sure if it is still working though?

 

Attached File  s63752a.jpg   623.53KB   4 downloads

 

 

...  and here it is in all it's glory

 

Attached File  s63749a.jpg   494.6KB   3 downloads

 

 

After visiting so many major US cities on this trip, Kinder downtown at rush-hour is heaven

 

Attached File  s63755a.jpg   389.67KB   3 downloads

 

 

We're really into dried beans (is this caused by tiredness?) and return to Market Basket buy a few more packets including the Louisiana version of red kidney beans. After that it's fill up with gas and we're all done. Rosie pops into the office to pay, a couple of sweet 16 year old girls are working there. She was complemented on her accent and then one girl asked this " Where are you from? "  R 'London'  " Don't you have a lot of cameras there? "  Rosie agreed that we did, in fact the UK has/had more cameras than all the other countries in Europe put together, we must be a wicked lot or 1984 has arrived.

We were so surprised that a couple of young girls in a tiny and sleepy small town in the American south should have any idea about this, what a rep to have.

 

All set for the very early off in the morning, driving into New Orleans airport in rush hour without rear view and limited side view should be fun, but it can never be worse than Palermo!


Edited by v v, 18 April 2018 - 05:15 PM.


#129 Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 16,823 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Austin Texas
  • Interests:Passenger Trains/Travel/Sports/Gov't/ Politics/History/Reading/
    Movies/Music/Space-Ancient Aliens

Posted 18 April 2018 - 06:01 PM

Nice pics Jaime, yall did miss the Huge Indian owned Coushatta Casino and Resort outside of Kinder.

Louisiana and the area around Houston used to be the Rice Capital of North America but most of the businesses that were associated are long gone as are the Rice farms.

Cajun food is an acquired taste that can range from tourist mild to blow torch hot!
I can just picture a Cajun joint in England, y'all would probably come from France just to eat there! LOL

As for the visit, it was fantastic meeting yall, so sorry Rosie became ill!I marveled at your positive spirits,in spite of being tired and Rosie ill, we never get to old to stop and smell the Roses along the way.

Next time I visit "Dons Depot" I'll let the Chick Magnet know y'all are making him famous Internationally.

Look forward to the rest of your trip, hope y'alls Spring and Summer is great over there, and that y'all get to visit South America on your next trip!

Hope to see y'all "again sometime on the avenue.." as the Real Bob Dylan says!

Edited by Bob Dylan, 18 April 2018 - 06:02 PM.

"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 "..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#130 caravanman

caravanman

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,135 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Nottingham, England.
  • Interests:Open minded travel, in which the journey is often as interesting as the destination...

Posted Yesterday, 12:56 PM

I liked the adjacent two sentences: ...red kidney beans. After that it's fill up with gas...  :D  Just my juvenile sense of humour!

 

 

Ed.


Edited by caravanman, Yesterday, 12:57 PM.

  • AmtrakBlue likes this

#131 v v

v v

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 789 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK / France

Posted Yesterday, 03:34 PM

Nice pics Jaime, yall did miss the Huge Indian owned Coushatta Casino and Resort outside of Kinder.

Louisiana and the area around Houston used to be the Rice Capital of North America but most of the businesses that were associated are long gone as are the Rice farms.

Cajun food is an acquired taste that can range from tourist mild to blow torch hot!
I can just picture a Cajun joint in England, y'all would probably come from France just to eat there! LOL

As for the visit, it was fantastic meeting yall, so sorry Rosie became ill!I marveled at your positive spirits,in spite of being tired and Rosie ill, we never get to old to stop and smell the Roses along the way.

Next time I visit "Dons Depot" I'll let the Chick Magnet know y'all are making him famous Internationally.

Look forward to the rest of your trip, hope y'alls Spring and Summer is great over there, and that y'all get to visit South America on your next trip!

Hope to see y'all "again sometime on the avenue.." as the Real Bob Dylan says!

 

Our hotel was about 500 yards from the casino, but we've done our casino people watching years ago in Las Vegas and don't gamble so it didn't have any pull for us.

You couldn't miss the hotels and casino though, at night they at a shining beacon in rural Louisiana.

 

It had to be something like that re the rice drier, must have been big business at the time. Did the farmers change to another crop? as if not rice production moving away must have hit the town hard. 

 

Yep, we think Cajun food is drugged, we don't even particularly like spicy food but we seek it out now. Tomorrow I'm cooking red bean and rice Cajun style, got to remember to put the beans in soak tonight.

 

If Donn's starts to get very busy, maybe you could manage Shelley's fan club. Just occurred, can see this in Rolling Stone, ' Bob Dylan manages the Chick Magnet ', it's got a certain ring to it.

 

There's a bit more to come on the blog, 'The Longest Day' next, then a surprise. Will Rosie ever get to a beach with a warm sea so she can dip her toes, what suspense! Weather is superb all over Europe at the moment, as you know we have a list of jobs as long as...  so having good weather helps.

 

Jim, you are the real Bob Dylan to us, wouldn't it be good to meet again on the avenue...

 

 

 

I liked the adjacent two sentences: ...red kidney beans. After that it's fill up with gas...  :D  Just my juvenile sense of humour!

 

 

Ed.

 

Delicately put


Edited by v v, Yesterday, 03:38 PM.


#132 v v

v v

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 789 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK / France

Posted Yesterday, 05:32 PM

Wednesday 28 March Day 36  ~  Kinder, LA to New Orleans, LA  - The Longest Day
Updated in the Allier, France  ~  Thursday 19 April

 

 

Up at 3:00am off by 4:00. It's all very dark on these state roads, car windows not helping. Arrive at Baton Rouge in time to take the longer route across the causeway, being out of sight of land is a drive to remember. To have to drive this 24 mile bridge backwards and forwards if it's your route to work 5 days a week would make you yearn for driverless cars, but very pleased to have driven it once though.

 

 

This is what it looks like on a GPS

 

Attached File  n11146a.jpg   339.96KB   2 downloads

 

And in real life with 15 miles to go

 

Attached File  n11143a.jpg   349.28KB   2 downloads

 

 

Our car rental ended at 9:00am at NOL airport, arrived by 8:00am and quite relaxed. Fully automated hand back system, this time I asked for a piece of paper as some form of evidence of what I had just signed off on.

 

We were early for our bus so check with airport information if there is an earlier alternative, the lady at the desk had all that information at her finger tips, excellent service. 10 Minutes later we were on our way from the airport to the Union Passenger Terminal where Amtrak trains, Greyhound, Megabus, local buses and the red trolley bus all start from. $2 each for the 45 minute bus ride through the lesser seen parts of New Orleans.

Driver was superb, handled all the various people (including us) with some panache and seemed to know most of them, we were a varied group to say the least. Half-way to the Amtrak station a man gets up to get off at the next stop and as the bus stops he leans over to the driver, gives her a big hug and a few kisses and just walks off the bus with a wave, she didn't blink.

 

Back to the Union Terminal, we'd arrived a year earlier and understood the layout. First Amtrak, next is Megabus, on the far side Greyhound. The local buses are out front, the trolley outside round the side on the Greyhound side.

 

 

Two iconic signs

 

Attached File  n11163a.jpg   421.78KB   2 downloads

 

Attached File  n11165a.jpg   451.66KB   2 downloads

 

 

First a cup of tea from Subway inside the station, it was surprisingly good so we had two. It's now about 10:00am and we are a little weary, but first we need to store our bags. Our Greyhound isn't due out until around 9:30pm this evening, nearly 12 hours. We choose Amtrak to store our bags but they want to see a ticket so I show him the next one from Jacksonville to Miami, FL, no good. Then I remember that we still have the ticket from Memphis to NOL arriving that afternoon, he said it's good enough but why aren't we on it? He accepts the answer, $9 saved over the cost of Greyhound storage.

 

Now we're free for the whole day and decide on two different places. First we want to return to the Garden District where we stayed last year, there's a small garden center down by the river we must visit as it's possibly the last chance we have to locate a form of Aloe Vera cactus/succulent that we have a spot for on a newly built rockery back home, we've been looking for a suitably small one that we can pack in a bag and wont be noticed at customs.

Second go back down to the river in the French quarter and just walk.

 

Again use the brilliant free wifi that Greyhound provide in many of their bus stations and on all their buses, Amtrak you are missing a trick here! Find the bus No. and the stops, it's 500 yards beyond the big Wal-Mart.

 

Find the place no problem, ask where the cactus are kept and told they have just had a fresh delivery of cacti, about 4 boxes full, a really good selection. Our type isn't there, certainly never seen one in these tiny pots. The smallest we saw was at a Home Depot in LA, about 2 foot tall and very sharp spines, never going to get that through Heathrow without customs seeing it. Rosie double checks, then I treble check, no it's not going to be.

Higher up on a rack is a tray of succulents, no not there. That's it, we gave it our best shot. Did I look at the rear row of the succulents? best go back and check. It was like a searchlight shining on this one pot, there it was complete with baby spikes and the correct blue-green tint to the leaves, the  only one after a 2500 mile search. Didn't look at the price just clutched it tight, biggest grin of the trip so Rosie said.

 

 

It looks like this except a bit smaller

 

Attached File  s63150a.jpg   870.97KB   3 downloads

 

 

OK, we have to walk it around much of New Orleans day and evening, then work out have to transport it on bus, train and plane but we will. Have a nice chat with the owner of the place, he's very enthusiastic about his small business and rightly so, it's very busy too.

 

 

 

To be continued...


Edited by v v, Yesterday, 07:05 PM.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users