Yesterday we bundled up LeuC and headed down the road. We had a 3.5 hour drive to arrive at the Hollywood Casino in Baton Rouge. We had read that they had a huge parking lot with 24-hour security watching over the lot. They welcome R/V’s such as us and they also had a great buffet. It sounded great so we decided to spend the night to allow the Mardi Gras revelers to clear out before we arrived. In New Orleans.
The drive was a bit of a challenging due to lots of freeway construction with miles and miles of concrete K-rails yielding very narrow lanes and lots of crazy traffic. To add insult to injury, right as we turned onto the entrance lane to the casino, a train had just stopped on the tracks in front of the casino and the guard bars were just coming down. We were the only vehicle stopped by this long, long train. We thought our wait would be just a few minutes, but, the train stopped and, after an hour of waiting, we were having second thoughts. After what seemed an eternity, a security SUV drove up to us to tell us this train would most likely be there until 10 o’clock tonight and possibly even until the next morning. Ugh!
However, we discovered that all was not lost because the security officer shared with us a second entrance into the casino that would take us under the railroad tracks. Soon, we had disconnected our little Fiat, backed LeuC up across the two-lane main road and then turned to find this second entrance. In no time we were under the tracks and up and into the huge parking lot.
After setting up LeuC, we grabbed our lucky $100 bill and headed over to the casino. We arrived just before the lunch buffet closed so we filled up plate after plate of goodies and sat down to stuff our faces. The mains and sides were pretty good but Mary Margaret oh’d and ah’d over the pecan pie and triple chocolate brownie.
With bellies bursting, I retired to LeuC for a nap while Mary Margaret went into the casino, armed with her lucky $100 bill. The magic worked as when she came back to LeuC an hour later, she now had $131.50. Whoo Hoo!
This morning we bundled up LeuC and head off to New Orleans. It was just 2 hours away. The scenery was very different as we drove over long causeways that crossed over swamps, bayous, rivers and lakes.
We were very impressed by Lake Pontchartrain because we could not see its far shore. All we could see were miles and miles of open water. Amazing! Lake Pontchartrain and New Orleans is situated on the lower end of the massive Mississippi River Delta and its elevation is between 6 feet below sea level to just a few feet above. The city is protected from flooding by massive levees. It was the failure of these levees that caused the massive flooding during hurricane Katrina.
We crossed the might Mississippi River and dropped down into our campground at Bayou Segnette State Park. It is located just south of the Mississippi River from New Orleans in the middle of Bayou Sengette and abuts the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. It is a beautiful state park and, with its location so close to downtown New Orleans, we think it will be ideal for us. We are planning to stay here for the next two weeks, so we should have plenty of time to explore New Orleans and its environs.