Bucket List: Cruising Down the Highway at 30 mph!

Mr. and I took a much needed vacation last week. He had worked for 26 days with only two days off somewhere in the middle of that madness! We had talked about going on another cruise but I really wanted to go on a road trip. I love road trips! So we hit the road and knocked off two states off my bucket list! You can read about my bucket list here.

Cruisin’ in our shades!

road trip

Our first night we stayed at Delta Downs Racetrack & Casino. Not much went on there…lost 17 dollars and bought t-shirts for our daughter and her roommate (they were cat-sitting Hank). But over at Lake Charles, LA, that’s where we got excited! And it was all about the food! We ate at a restaurant I found on tripadvisor.com. Steamboat Bill’s was listed as #3 out of 176! We figured it had to be good and we were not disappointed. Mr. had the gumbo and I had fried shrimp. However, the highlight of the meal were the boudin balls. I had never had boudin before and I am hooked! So much that we stopped for lunch here on our way back home at the end of the week!

Louisiana

The next morning we hit the road again making our way to New Orleans. We stopped for lunch in Scott, LA just outside of Lafayette. I saw a billboard advertising boudin and cracklins (I told you I am hooked). Once again, Mr. had had cracklins before but I hadn’t. Apparently I have led a very sheltered life when it comes to food! It turned out to be a convenience store with a walkup counter to order hot boudin balls, boudin rollups, and cracklins ready to eat; and of course, we had to try all of it! These locals are some lucky eaters and they know it; the parking lot was packed and there were about 15-20 people in line when we walked in.

Louisiana

Lunch in a greasy sack! Pure yumminess!!

Louisiana      Louisiana

After eating lunch in the jeep, we were on the road again. We were met with three different traffic jams on I-10. At times we never got over 30 mph and twice the interstate was a parking lot! It took us over two hours to go 52 miles and altogether six hours to get from Lake Charles to New Orleans!

We had been sitting about 20 minutes at this point and I had to pee! I told Mr. that I was about ready to knock on the door of the motor home if we didn’t move pretty soon! Thankfully we did, and I wasn’t that crazy woman knocking on their door in the middle of the highway!

Louisiana

30 minutes later another parking lot!

Louisiana

Finally, New Orleans. We drove around the block several times in the French Quarter due to construction and the fact that our GPS kept telling us we had arrived at our destination, when obviously we had not! Nevertheless, we finally found our hotel which was only one block from Bourbon Street. Now…our hotel was really nice and close to all the action, but I can honestly say…been there, done that! Neither Mr. or I care if we ever go back! Although everyone should experience Bourbon Street at least once in their lifetime! But again the food was wonderful! Alligator tail, catfish, and shrimp made it onto our plates for supper at Olde N’awlins Cookery. But breakfast the next morning at Café Beignet was to die for…beignets!

New Orleans

After breakfast, we headed to our last destination for the week, Orange Beach, Alabama. We have decided this will be a yearly trip!  We didn’t even know this place existed, until my friend Jan suggested we go. (I of course, text her pictures of Mr. and I with the message “wish y’all were here”) For three days, we were in paradise!

Orange Beach, LA     Orange Beach, LA

Orange Beach, LA     Orange Beach, LA

Orange Beach, LA     Orange Beach, LA

I was the lucky one and was stung four times by jellyfish! Apparently, I didn’t learn my lesson and kept going back into the water, but I just couldn’t resist. We went snorkeling and saw lots of fish, jellyfish (of course), and Mr. saw two stingrays.

And you know I have to talk about the food! We ate at The Gulf the first night. (another suggestion by Jan.) Mr. had a grilled amberjack sandwich and I had a crawfish salad sandwich. (I had my first crawfish earlier this year. Tasty but a lot of work.) We also ate at The Oyster House which has great fish tacos!

Crawfish Salad

Orange Beach, LA

The Gulf restaurant is an outside-only dining restaurant located on the east end of the beach.

Orange Beach, LA     Orange Beach, LA

I couldn’t resist from taking a picture of this couple that looked to be in their 80’s; walking along the beach holding hands! I told Mr. that would be us in about 30 years. I just hope we look half that good in our swimsuits at that age!

Orange Beach, LA

I hope y’all got to go somewhere fun this summer or maybe had a fun staycation! Would love to hear where y’all went, as I’m always looking for ideas for our next road trip.

Y’all have a great weekend!

~

“San Francisco, Baby!”

That is what Mr. said to me all last week before we left! 🙂

We arrived in San Francisco Saturday night and are having a great time. Getting here on the other hand was quite the experience. When we got to the airport on Saturday, it was rainy but nothing major. By the time we were loading, a storm had moved in and it was raining pretty good. We also were having a really pretty lightening show. Once we were loaded, the pilot announced that there would be a short delay taking off. As we were sitting there, a passenger across from us asked the flight attendant if it was normal practice for the crew to leave all the luggage sitting in the rain. His response was that due to the lightening, they had closed the ramps to the plane and the crew had taken shelter back inside the airport. Therefore, everyone’s luggage was getting soaked!! (all the photos in this post are from my phone, so let me apologize that they are not great quality. But I only brought my Ipad and can’t upload from my camera)

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What you can’t see very well in the above picture is the luggage trailers sitting in the rain, loaded with luggage, getting wet.

Now, that wasn’t the only issue with this trip. Oh no. Mr. and I sat there, in the plane, on the runway, in the rain, for over two hours. Here we are at about 1 hour 45 minutes into the wait….

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The children on the plane were beginning to get a little restless! As well as the real children under the age of five! 🙂  Two hours and 10 minutes after our original takeoff time, we took off!!

We arrived in San Francisco, got into our rental car and we were off! But wait….we didn’t go straight to the hotel. Oh no. I forgot to enter Center at the end of the street address of our hotel into the GPS and we ended up on a street with the same name in Oakland!! When we pulled up to the address, Mr. looked at me and politely said, “I don’t think this is our hotel.” No, it wasn’t. It was an abandoned, industrial area. And not a good area to be in at all. After dark…alone…and lost.  I quickly punched the address in the GPS and off we go. Again. We got to see the Bay Bridge (or whatever the name of it is) twice though. Very pretty all lit up! (I tried to take pictures while we were going across it, but they are all blurry)

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Once in our hotel room, we began to unpack our rain-soaked luggage. Everything (except my shoes, which I packed in plastic shoe tubs) was wet. We had to hang up and lay everything out to dry. It looked like our suitcases had exploded! 

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We had clothes on the bed, jeans over the backs of chairs, and my unmentionables (you could actually wring water from them) hung over the dresser drawers and TV! I will spare you from the picture of that! 🙂 It looked sort of like a Victoria’s Secret store.

We spent Sunday at Pier 39 with our good friend, Leanna, who lives about 1 1/2 hours from SF. We shopped, ate a hot dog from a street vendor, seafood at Bubba Gump’s, watched the sea lions, and walked to Ghirardelli Square. I have never seen so much chocolate in one spot and the smell was heavenly! One word…Awesome!

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Poor Mr. is allergic to chocolate and can’t enjoy it. But that didn’t stop Leanna and I from buying some!

On Monday, I was on my own as Mr. is stuck in a conference until noon on Thursday. I walked the 1.8 miles back to the Pier and did some more shopping. I am one happy camper if I can do some shopping along the water! I sat on a bench by the water and ate another hot dog! (for some reason, these plain meat and bread hot dogs taste really good) 🙂

Mr. and I had plans to go out with some others from the conference last night for dinner, but he ended up taking me to an Urgent Care Clinic. (if ever in SF, the Golden Gate Urgent Care is the place to go) I kept thinking I was just tired from the trip, but ended up having an infection and needed some antibiotics. I’m much better today and taking it easy.

I had a wonderful sandwich and chocolate chip cookie for lunch today at The Posh Bagel and a walk through a courtyard full of flowers and shops close to the hotel.

I still have a list of things to do before we leave on Friday. So I gave myself a little time to rest today and hopefully will be back on the street tomorrow!

Hope y’all are having a great week too!

“Before I Die Bucket List”

My daughter has been telling me for a while now that I should have a bucket list of things I want to do before I die. She has a “Before 30” bucket list. She only has three years to complete it! I’m going to call mine “Before I Die Bucket List”! That way I won’t be disappointed if I don’t complete the list, because I won’t care….I’ll be dead! (that sounds a little morbid, doesn’t it?)

As of right now, I only have one thing on my list:

  1. Visit every state in the United States with Mr. *see where we’ve been at bottom

I know, not super exciting and a tad bit geeky. In fact, when I told my daughter she was like, “meh”. But I love road trips and I think it would be a blast for us to do together! He has been to states I haven’t been to and vice-versa. Mr. was thinking the next state we should go to is Hawaii!! 🙂  Gotta love that man!

And on that geeky side, I want to get a map of the United States and map pins and mark off everywhere we go! Maybe even frame it and hang it in Mr.’s office. I’m kind of dorky like that!

So, I’m officially starting my bucket list today, even if it only has one item on the list! And our first stop is San Francisco. (sadly it’s not Hawaii, but that’s okay) 🙂

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Mr. has a conference…I’m tagging along…and I’m super excited! If y’all have any suggestions on what we should absolutely see and do, please share.

Do y’all have a bucket list? And if so, what exciting or geeky things are on it?

 

Here is where we’ve been together so far! 

  • Alabama     
  • Alaska       
  • Arkansas
  • Belize*
  • California
  • Canada*
  • Cayman Islands
  • Georgia
  • Illinois              
  • Indiana
  • Jamaica*
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Massachusetts
  • Mexico*
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nevada  
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Roatan, Honduras*
  • Texas                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              *outside of the U.S.                                                                                                                               

The Beach is Always Calling My Name!

Once again, I went MIA from my writing. I get a little sidetracked, a little off kilter, or maybe just distracted!

My first reason for getting sidetracked was a trip to Galveston, TX. I love Galveston and I love the beach! Anything and everything about it. And we live less than one hour away from Galveston! It was rainy the first day, but who cares? I would have sat on the balcony in the rain the entire time, if I had to.

Galveston

Thankfully, the sun came out and it was great weather the next two days! Mr. was attending a conference, so I hit the streets and did a little shopping. We ate at a quirky little hamburger place called Blue Water Grill; a bit eccentric and odd. Something you might see on “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives”. This one would definitely qualify as a dive, but they have the best burgers!

blue water grill

Number two was just me not writing. That’s it, nothing else.

But the biggest distraction was a wonderful distraction. Mr. took me on a cruise for my 50th birthday! We love cruises. This was only our second one, but we were hooked after our first one. Me and Mr……we could live on a boat! It was a quick, five-day cruise, with two stops in Mexico to do a little shopping to get my favorite color-changing nail polish at Del Sol and a little beach bar relaxation at Fat Tuesday’s.

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And yes, if you look close, you can see  (or maybe you can’t see it) we sailed on the Carnival Triumph. Yes, the same one that broke down and left all those people with only Spam to eat! My daughter couldn’t believe that we were brave enough (or maybe she thought we were just down right stupid) to sail with Carnival, much less on the same ship! But we weren’t the least bit worried. (Okay, maybe just a little…in the back of my mind) Therefore, I did hoard some banana bread every morning after breakfast in our room…just in case! This is probably one of the reasons that Mr. and I both gained several pounds this cruise!

After we got back from our cruise, Mr. took me to Corpus Christi for lunch. We had eaten at Fajitaville in Corpus last spring and they had the best fried stuffed avocados. We were sooo disappointed when we found out they were under new management and were no longer on the menu! No worries, we had some good fajitas, a drive along the water, stops at the tourists shops, and a ferry ride at Port Aransas, complete with pelicans.

pelicans

So you see, distractions are always good! Especially if it involves the beach!