Thursday, October 29, 2015

Road Trip Finale! New Orleans, Atlanta and, Finally Home!

Here we are! Finally on our way home and, I swear, after 4,000+
miles... Once I get out of this car, I'm never sitting down again!
We pushed ourselves way beyond our limits of patience and the need for sleep to get
to New Orleans in the evening so that we might have the whole next day to explore...
So by the time we made it, it was well after two o'clock in the morning!
And once again... We made the same mistake we made a lot during this
trip - We arrived into a new city in the dark and without a hotel reservation!
So I did the only thing I could do... I Googled, Luxury Hotel in New Orleans and
picked the first one with the words, "sumptuous bedding" in the description...
Sadly, Google is waaaaay outdated with regard to the Maison Dupuy!
I mean, after actually seeing New Orleans, I can sort of understand why
the room was filthy and un-sumptuous; but still... I wasn't happy at all!
After giving the manager a tour of all the hair we found on the sheets, in the
bathroom and the over-flowing garbage can that was missed in the room, we
accepted his offer of breakfast and a refund of $100 against the $214 we paid...
Yes! He should have comped the room! But, we were finally in New Orleans
and refused to allow the poor accommodations we fell into ruin the day!
Next time, we will just remember to sleep here... Outside by the pool!
Hotel disappointment aside, we couldn't wait to explore New Orleans!
Once again, as it had been throughout our entire Road-trip adventure...
The weather was perfect! Hot as hell... But at least it wasn't raining!
Everything we have ever seen or heard about this city was here!
Plus, aggressive beggars and the strong scent of
urine on every street and corner of the French Quarter!
Thankfully, we made it out of the urine soaked, narrow streets
and into the plaza, where we found the most beautiful church!
Where we couldn't wait to duck in!
I have never been so grateful for fresh, clean and air conditioned air!
Thank you, sweet Jesus!
The church was so quiet, peaceful and stunning!
We sat in this spot for a long, long time...
Saying prayers of thanks for our entire trip...
So very much to be thankful for...
Making it to Dallas, having my parents make it safely too...
To see Ranger doing well... Praying for safe returns.
Just a lot of emotions and grateful thoughts...
After I lit candles for all of us, it was sadly time
to screw up our courage to venture back outside...
I really didn't want to but the only way home was to finish this tour!
We started this trip with a tour of Mr. Jackson's Hermitage...
And, look! There he is again!
Is he following us or are we following him?
We are certainly not following selfie-boy, that is for sure!
The buildings around New Orleans are gorgeous!
Now, here is a spot that was on my must-see list!
No urine smell here! It's all sweet smelling coffee...
And, world-famous beignets!
Sadly, neither of us had much of an appetite to stand in a line that was
wrapped around the building in 90+ degree heat... So we skipped them!
And, off to the gift shops we went!
Waving at Joan as we passed!
Poor Joan...
I bought lots of t-shirts for William right here!
But mainly because they were the right kind of T-shirts!
I picked up a few other goodies too...
No cookie cutters though!
After hitting a few of the gift shops, we decided to
hop onto the street car and head out of town...
Because... They say that before you die, you must picnic in Lafayette Cemetery!
There's no driving in the French Quarter so the street car was the way to go!
It takes you everywhere you want to go!
And, here we are!
Hopefully this qualifies as a picnic; because in this heat, frozen lemonade,
ice cold water and a raspberry Linzer cookie was all we could manage!
The cemetery really is worth the effort to see!
It's hard to believe all of this was under water ten years ago...
Thankfully, everything seems to have survived and come back!
I have always enjoyed strolling through a good cemetery!
And, this one is probably about as good as they come!
So sad...
Cannot even imagine...
A good reminder that it is never over until it is really over!
We saw a lot of these creepy grave stones that
seemed to be being pushed on from the inside!
After our walk through the cemetery, we took the street car back into
the French Quarter and hustled our way back to the hotel for our car!
Our last stop in New Orleans was the new National WWII Museum!
It's a really cool, interactive museum! 
Your ticket gives you the chance to follow one soldier through his military journey...
I was following Frank Denius who was an artillery man... Just like my dad!
What are the chances of that?
Very cool!
Like the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning, this one is very well done!
Take a look at what we saw and I will catch up with you further down...

I've long said that Chocolate is the
answer to everything... Including war!
This museum is possible because of Stephen Ambrose!

New Orleans is officially checked off our list!
After we found a post office to drop all the postcards I wrote...
It was time to set the GPS for Home Sweet Home!
Good-bye to you, New Orleans and Hello to Home by Sunset!
I never thought I would be so happy to see Atlanta! After all, when Ranger
left the Army, I said I would be happy never to see Atlanta ever again... 
But here we were...
Right back in Atlanta!
So with one more chance to eat at the Varsity, we finally took it!
We made 18 trips to Ft. Banning in the five years and seventeen weeks Ranger
was in the Army and, every time we said we would have lunch at the Varsity!
But we either got there too early, too late or arrived not hungry... So it never worked! 
Until this time! 
When it worked out just perfectly! 
God help me... I ate it all! 
And, even finished it off with ice cream! 
Oh, stop... You knew it was coming!
No trip home through Atlanta ever happens without a stop at
the Pottery Barn in Gaffney, South Carolina! And, just like many
of these stops, I found another amazing duvet I had to take home... 
This one was even monogrammed, J-H-T, which stands
for, Janet, Terry and Holy-Heck, this $200 duvet is only $20! 
Here is another classic example of why stopping is a must! 
This is going to look amazing out by our pool! 
You know you're back in North Carolina when you see this in October!
And, you know you have been away for nearly two weeks...
When your mail is stacked two-feet high! 
Ha! There's the post card I sent the man that
refused to get out of the car with me at Graceland
And, look at this...  My sweet mom sent me home with
some goodies she brought to Dallas, all the way from Monterey! 
The German cowbell that hung in our kitchen in Germany when I
was a little girl, my favorite German pickles and mustard and more! 
And, remember the candle lantern I picked up at the GHWBush library? 
It is perfectly at home with me now! 
As much as I miss my mom and dad and our Ranger... 
I was very happy to be back home! 
After so much road and restaurant food, I
couldn't wait to cook a meal in my own kitchen! 
And, bake! 
I baked a carrot cake with my own cream cheese icing! 
Of course, there is one more reason to be happy to be home too! 
Snuggling with our sweet Leo!

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