Today everyone went exploring around New Orleans. Some of the places visited by some of the people were Armstrong Park, Cafe Dumond (for beignets), Jackson Park, Mardi Gras Museuem, various spots for lunch, the French Market, Bourbon Street, bike to City Park and environs, horizontal contemplation, chatting in the interior courtyard near our rooms, shopping, etc. etc. For dinner we all gathered at The Italian Barrel for a very nice dinner and treated Dick and JoAnn for all their help in making this trip a success.
Afterwards we relived some of Clark’s memories of when he was here as a young man and went music hopping to 2 different venues and 3 different bands on Franklin street. Tomorrow we have the last meal (breakfast at Stanley’s) in New Orleans and then head to Covington, LA.
Today we had a very nice breakfast near the Hotel at T-Coons restaurant. Afterwards we loaded up the cars and headed to Vacherie where we had a wonderful lunch at DJ’s Grille. Afterwards we dropped by the Goodwill Plantation where JoAnn grew up. Some of us enjoyed the shade on the porch and some walked to the levee by the Mississippi River. Then we headed to New Orleans to the St. Pierre Hotel near Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. We have an enclosed courtyard adjacent to some of the rooms which is very nice for visiting and happy hour. We walked to the Bon Ton restaurant for dinner – again excellent. After dinner some of us wanted to see the end of the March Madness final game so some of us went to a nearby sports bar and others went to the Royal Orleans Hotel for a drink and to watch the end of the game. Big V won over UNC with a last second jump shot!
Check back for pictures later.
Because Eunice is further away from Lafayette – we boarded the shuttle bus at 7:30am. It took about an hour to get there. We got underway a little before 9:00am. We had a mix of roads today – some were very good and some were very bad. We could make good time on the good roads but not on the bad. Also on the “substandard” roads (there was actually a sign that said that) we couldn’t ride without complete focus on finding the smoothest path and avoiding potholes and so it was impossible to enjoy the scenery we were riding by. We saw lots of fields planted with sugar cane, rice paddies, and sometimes crayfish ponds combined with rice paddies. The ride today was very flat with the exception of a bridge over Interstate 10 near Scott. The rest stops today were placed well – about every 10 miles or so. At the end of the ride was the Boudin Festival – which is a very good local sausage. Some people had sausage and others had jambalaya. The end of the ride was about 4 miles from the hotel – so we worked out a way to get ourselves and our bikes back to the hotel.
After showering we headed north to Opelousas to have dinner with JoAnn’s sister and her husband, and one of JoAnn’s brothers who lives in Metairie LA (near New Orleans). They used the occasion to celebrate JoAnn’s birthday which is coming up later in April. Happy Birthday JoAnn!
Tomorrow we head to Vacherie, LA for lunch and then on to New Orleans for two days.
Waiting in a cold lobby for the 7:30am shuttle to Eunice
Scott Welcome Ladies
Festival Music venue
In front of the bike corral
Enjoying catching up with JoAnn’s relatives
Ready for a wonderful dinner at JoAnn’s sisters house
Birthday girl and siblings
JoAnn’s Birthday cake
Where we ended yesterday’s ride in Opelousas was next to a racetrack/casino and they had a great party and music there we heard, but we didn’t want to ride the shuttle all the way up there and then back again. So we had our own party. Today we had a small breakfast in our hotel because we heard that a place called Fred’s in Mamou was a sort of breakfast place with music and that it was only 20 miles from the start. Unfortunately both were wrong. Fred’s was 27 miles from the start, there was some wind in our face, and the “omelet” was a bloody mary. We did make it, we found some other food and we also tried the “omelets.” The final 11 miles into Eunice were a breeze – with a tailwind Rick H and I were able to go 22mph for a period when catching up with the group. It took a while to get a shuttle to bring us back to the hotel – but we persevered. Some of the group were able to ride back in our personal sag vehicle that Patti navigated and Clark drove to the destinations of both Mamou and Eunice.
Since this was the final 4 night in March Madness – we started watching the game at the Wyndham and then continued at the Liberty Street Pub, where we had some more delicious food. Tomorrow we have our final day’s ride from Eunice to Scott, LA, where there is a Boudin Festival. How we get the bikes back from Scott to the Wyndham is still up in the air.
Driver and Navigator
In front of Fred’s in Mamou
Group Photo in Mamou
Waiting for Fire Ants
Waiting for shuttle back to the Wyndham
Lunch Pavilion near Fred’s
Several of our group decided not to ride today because of a very rainy weather forecast. But 6 of us decided to try and had a marvelous morning riding – some wind, but no rain and some sun. We stopped for lunch in Arnaudville at the Little Big Cup and had an excellent meal.
Riding group at lunch
Bayou behind the restaurant
Another view of the outdoor area at the back of the restaurant
Just as we were finishing lunch, the clouds rolled in with lightning and thunder so JoAnn, Janelle, Dick and I decided to sag. Rick H, and Gary decided to continue riding and they finished in the wind and rain. We all shuttled back to Lafayette took showers and got ready for dinner at the Social restaurant. Again – excellent food!
Lots of discussion about logistics of getting our bikes where they need to be for the ride tomorrow when the weather is supposed to be sunny but cooler. We have never before stayed at one location and started and stopped riding at a different location. Doing it this way we are missing some of the activities that we would have participated in.