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.
Today is the first day of the Cycle Zydeco 4 day ride and John Jensen’s significant Birthday!
After a quick breakfast we gathered for a mass start because several of the roads at the start of the race are very busy – and that shortened the time the sheriff needed to block off the intersections.
At the mass start
One of the Point of Interests along the route
There were a number of interesting things along the route today. A brewery (samples), a sustainable farm, a goat farm (goat cheese), and a number of others.
We stopped for lunch in St. Martinville and had great food – but it took a long time to get to our table. After lunch the weather looked threatening – but held off for a while and then started raining. Not bad but enough to wet things down. We were almost to the end of the ride when the Birthday Boy lost pressure in his back tire.
Calling for help
After a quick tube change we all arrived in Breaux Bridge. Some of us sampled the food at the end of the ride (crayfish, corn on the cob, and roasted potatoes) and others chose to refrain. We left our bikes in the corral – and took the shuttle back to the Windham Hotel in Lafayette. After a quick shower we jumped in the hotel’s van and headed to dinner at Dark Roux where we celebrated the Birthday Boy Big Time – we had help from afar – Herb and Ruth sent champagne, and Erik and Megan sent a tequila shot for John and some wonderful deserts for everyone.
Toasting with the tequila shot
One of the delicious deserts – liquid nitrogen cooled milk with fresh baked cookies from the oven!
Stay tuned for what happens tomorrow. It may be weather dependent.
We had breakfast at the Wyndham Garden Inn and then headed out for the Swamp Tour on a local
wilderness preserve. The guide was very informative and showed us lots of alligators and birds
and all aspects of the swamp/bayou/lake we visited. After a great lunch at Pats Fisherman’s
Wharf in Henderson we headed back to Lafayette and checked into the bike ride that starts
tomorrow. We had a Cajun/Creole catered dinner at a local theater in Lafayette, Zydeco dance
lessons, and a local Zydeco band – then back to the hotel. Tomorrow we are all doing a 42
mile ride with a mass start at 9:30am with Lunch in St. Martinville, and the finish in Breaux
Bridge. Normally we would have dinner near the finish – but it is someones “special”
birthday tomorrow – so we have reservations back in Lafayette for the BIG celebration!
Picture from yesterday – Dinner at the Blue Dog Cafe
On the Swamp Tour Boat!
After Starbucks stop.
Lunch in Paris!
After a quick breakfast at our hotel we left Perry, OK shortly after 8am and headed to Stillwater, OK for the nearest Starbucks. We caravanned to Paris, TX where we had a wonderful BBQ lunch at Scholl Brothers. As we continued further south and east towards Lafayette, LA the temp got warmer, and the grass and trees got greener and greener. Finally at about 7:45pm we made it to our destination. We connected with most of the rest of our group who had flown into New Orleans and driven to Lafayette, or Dick and JoAnn who had driven from Louisville, KY. After catching up we all piled in the Hotel Van and went to dinner at the Blue Dog restaurant nearby. Yummm!
Tomorrow we do a swamp tour in the morning and get ready to ride on Thursday.
Paused at a rest stop in Arriba, CO
We left shortly after 7:00 am – headed to the bagel place and then onward to Perry. We chose the I70 to Salina and I135 south to OK route for the first day. Lunch was in Colby, and dinner was in Perry, OK. Staying in a Holiday Inn express in Perry. Tomorrow we do it all again ending up in Lafayette, LA. Just 4 couples driving in 3 cars. Hinks, Switzers, Jensens and Guilfords. Everyone else is flying or have already driven. Susan had to go be with her Mom, but Rick is still riding. WordPress is having issues with IOS 9.3 so may have fewer pix for a while