Saturday, June 21, 2008
We arrived in New Orleans last night about 9:00 pm and have been busy settling into our FEMA penthouse suite for the next week. We've usually slept in teh church on bunk beds but since this week we are functioning as "staff" we get teh deluxe accomodations. :) We're happy with it. It will afford us privacy and a quiet place to retreat to at the end of the day.
We just returned from the WalMart where we purchased our necessities for the week. They feed us while we are here however, one shouldn't be expected to do with out certain necessities, like ice cream and diet Dr. Pepper, now should they???
We drove down through through central Indiana and saw the remnants of some awful flooding they had a few weeks ago. The force that water must have come through with is unfathomable to me. Trees were broken off, crop ground is still cluttered with debris and railroad tracks were washed out. It's been a strange spring for the midwest this year with an excessive amount of storms and heavy rains.
We picked up my motorcycle in Tennessee Wednesday night, stayed overnight at Columbia, TN and arrived Foley, AL to pick up our toy hauler camper trailer Thursday night. Larry & Kathy, who we purchased our trailer from were extremely gracious. Kathy insisted on feeding us supper and that we spend the night sleeping in the trailer in their driveway! It was getting late and would have been a 30 minute trip to the nearest campground. Plus we would have been setting up the trailer for the first time in the dark, so we readily agreed.
We had breakfast the next morning at the Foley Coffee shop, which has to be one of the friendliest places we've ever eaten. We took some time after breakfast and wandered through a beautiful city park across the street. The landscaping was gorgeous with a fountain, an old locomotive and many plants we don't typically see up north.
We stopped at a Coleman outlet store on the way by to the Gulf. I have found my new favorite store! The clerk told us there are only 16 Coleman outlets in the US so that would stand to reason why we'd never seen one before. We purchased a couple of new chairs for the trailer and a new propane camp stove which also converts to a grill. How cool is that? One less item we need to haul along with us. Lisa, you would have loved this store! I thought about you many times while we wandered through it.
We spent a few minutes in Gulf Shores at the beach. And I do mean minutes. To say the beach isn't Dan's thing would be a very accurate statement. But hey, I can still say I was there and had my feet in the Gulf of Mexico.
Then we took the 45 minute Fort Morgan/Dauphin Island ferry ride across Mobile Bay. I will admit it was a little daunting pulling a truck and trailer on and off a ferry boat but what a relaxing ride. It sure beat going all the way around through Mobile and fighting traffic on the interstate. We got our lawn chairs out, let someone else do the driving, sat on the upper deck and enjoyed the ride.
We meandered our way to New Orleans on Hwy. 90 which runs along the gulf through Pass Christian and Bay St. Louis, Mississippi where Hurricane Katrina came ashore. The old homes in Pass Christian are so beautiful and soooo close to the water. What a nice view for those residents but I can't even begin to imagine what is was like there during Katrina.
One of the teams for the week, (a mixed team of adults and young people of 17 from California) are coming in tonight at 6:00, so our tasks will begin then. The other two teams; 3 men from Vermont and 85 high school students and chaperones from Virginia will be here sometime tomorrow. Then the real work begins - no more "vacationing" for us!