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Camping

March 5, 2005

Monday Day #1:
We get a pretty early start out of Indy, stopping briefly in Louisville for breakfast before heading south. Anna and I split the day fairly evenly driving wise, being two out of the three drivers available in the group. We finally arrived at Fountainbleu state park just as the sun as setting, which is perfect because there is nothing more fun than setting up a tent you haven’t seen before in the dark. Thanks to Samuka’s determination and the long lasting batteries in the van we are successful with the tent. We all pretty much crashed, the boys in the smaller two person, Anna and I in the big ole orange pub tent and Ebony and Miriam in the van. As the night wore on, we all discovered the fact that just because we are in Louisiana and just because we are on spring break and just because the days are fairly warm, does not mean that the nights are not incredibly cold.

Tuesday Day #2:
After the sun is given an appropriate amount of time to warm our tents and sleeping bags we all crawl out and realize that although cold and somewhat suspiciously damp the camping site is really gorgeous. Then Anna, David, Samuka and I all attempt the task of getting the camp stove to work. Once again Samuka fixes the thing and I am able to produce some slightly undercooked but much appreciated pancakes. Then we head off to explore the beach at the campground. Situated on the north shore of Lake Pontichain, we could see the skyline of New Orleans in the distance and we all waded around enjoying the warm 60’s weather.
But this beach was not enough for us, we wanted the real thing, so we packed up and drove east to Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico beach for the afternoon, after some failed attempts at tanning by Anna, a somewhat successful sand building by Samuka and much reading, wading and walking by all we had a good time. However we did manage to lock ourselves out of the van, requiring a call to the locksmith and a fee of $30 out of our already limited budget for the week. After the beach we stopped by a Lil’ Rays to try some real southern food and seafood. I had the smoked sausage po’boy which was quite good, although not revolutionary.

Wednesday Day #3:
This morning we finally reached our true destination and explored New Orleans. Well mainly the French Quarter, but it was a good time. We gawked at sexually explicit necklaces, ate French Beignets at Cafe D’Monde, had a muffelatta sandwich from Central Grocery and bought a great scarf and hat combo at a small shop. All in all a good day. After returning to our campsite we started a fire and had a blowout cook-out, roasting our brats, making mountain pies and of course smores. Around 10pm we crawled into our sleeping bags to get some much needed rest. Around an hour or two later it started raining and continued to do so throughout the night.

Thursday Day #4:
I awoke to discover that I was a wee bit damp or maybe soaked would be a better term. The blanket underneath my sleeping bag was soaking, half my sleeping bag was wet and the corresponding half of my body was wet as well. This also happened to be that my growing sniffles during the previous day decided to bloom into a full blown cold. However I was not the only miserable person, Anna, David and Samuka were all equally soaked. Ebony and Miriam however were nice and dry from their night spent in the van. This was the point where I decided enough was enough and I was ready to go home. After a phone call to my dad I got the telephone number of my cousins who live north of Birmingham, Alabama not far from our intended route. I called and asked for the use of their floor, to which they willingly agreed. After one last day in New Orleans and a somewhat disappointing meal in a higher priced restaurant, we headed north taking our wet tents and bags with us. We arrived at Bob and Lisa’s house about half-past midnight and crashed.

Friday Day #5:
I awoke slightly disoriented but quickly recovered and enjoyed a catch-up conversation with Bob and Lisa after which they decided to make us all pancakes. Showing marvelous hospitality they cooked for us, gave us the leftovers, some food for the road, and directions back to the interstate. This is just one more reason why I love family and especially my own family 🙂 The rest of friday was spent without incident with me spending most of the time in the middle seat reading and using up over half the tissue box. However it should be noted that Anna drove the entire 7 hours herself, for which I was very grateful. We arrived home and proceeded to clean out the van and hang up the many wet items, before finally crashing and enjoying the fresh shrimp dinner that Samuka cooked for us.

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One comment

  1. Sounds like a great time. I took a very similiar trip with six friends to Missipi and New Orleans when I was a sophomore in college during spring break. Funny that…–>



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