Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Driving Across America: Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama

5/17 I called and made a reservation for dinner at John Besh’s La Provence! He spoke at my 2008 graduation from the Culinary Institute of America. Claire and I spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out on the south side of Lake Pontchartrain. Getting some ideas of where we want to be around this area on the boat! We plan to sail the bayou area and hopefully live and work here for a season. We loved the dock houses. Visited SYC, the Southern Yacht Club, gorgeous facilities. Took the extremely long bridge across the lake to Mandeville where La Provence is located in a farm setting. Had an amazing dinner. When I called to make the reservation Kerry (the maître d') and I got to talking. When she asked what time I wanted the reservation for I replied, “well when does the kitchen close?” I must have shocked her and she asked what I did for a living [to be so courteous]. I gave her the short story about John Besh at my graduation, my culinary background, plus Claire and mine’s travels; we would be passing through and wanted to stop by. The entire staff was thrilled to have us! We were spoiled rotten. Claire did a marvelous job keeping up with my eating abilities. We had over 8 courses, plus a delicious Rhone wine. After dinner we got on the road, heading to a campground about 2 hours away in Pensacola Florida. Claire instantly fell into a food coma. 
We had quite the ordeal trying to find the campground. We got pretty close to it, but La Sancha was not equipped for the sandy roads. We stopped to look at the map, windows down because the dark tint is hard to see through at night, and Piña jumps out!! Most likely chasing a moth, her favorite past time. We jump out frantically, chasing her with our Dorcy spot light. I find her meat loafing behind a bush, and toss her back in the car. On the road again, we pull into a closed gas station to continue studying our possibilities on the map. A semi-intoxicated driver pulls into the parking lot. It’s about 3:00AM. He tells us “I saw the volvo and said to myself, lost hippies!” He gives us directions to Navarre where we popped the tent on the beach around 4:30AM

Lake Pontchartrain

we miss our boat

this is how we want to live!

SYC (southern yacht club)

charts of louisiana

driving the long long bridge across lake Pontchartrain

foie mousse

beet salad

quail gumbo. it was stuffed with rice, veggies, and all the fixin's! crack that crunchy skin open.

oysters oh lala

wild boar raviolis

our delicious rhone

seared gulf ahi

house made rolls

mmm rabbit

Driving Across America: Dallas to New Orleans

5/15 Back on the road to Dallas. Planning to stop and see Cameron, my college room-mate who I haven’t seen in over 5 years! Stopped at the Dallas Public Library to work on the website and pass some time. This place is 8 stories tall!
Grabbed a case of Modelos and got to Cameron’s place. His friend Cody was there and let us in while we waited for Cameron to get home from work. The four of us had a great night, while Cameron and I told reminiscing stories of our CIA days. Cameron made us chicken makhani, which was superb! That night there was a huge rain and wind storm. Crazy weather now that we are back in America, it’s been heavy. We spent the rest of the night watching a TV show about New Orleans, while Cody and Cameron gave of thousands of recommendations. Cameron is currently the Food and Beverage Director of the Dallas/Plano Marriott.
5/16 In the morning we said our fairwells and were on the road to New Orleans! Super excited, both of us had never been. Cameron was nice enough to hook us up at the New Orleans Marriott! We pulled into the city around 1:00AM, got Piña and La Sancha tucked away in the parking garage, and headed onto Bourbon Street. We started out with the famous hurricane daiquiris and got back to the hotel just before sun up.
5/17 Slept until check out time. Got back to Piña and La Sancha to make sure everything was going ok in the garage. They were both angry. We were told by the manager that we could move to the upper floors of the garage and stay until 16:00. On the move up I busted the fin off of “the fox” my classic 50’s surfboard. Very upsetting, at least the manager refunded our parking. After moving the car, Claire and I went out for a stroll around the French Quarter. We had a shrimp Po’boy with red beans and rice. Good beer and drinks. Saw the Mississippi river. 

dallas library 8 stories tall! each floor is a different category

we hung out on the music floor. pretty awesome set up. records, CDs, good books

stopped for lunch at Freeman's creole restaurant. claire of course is always given the tambourine.

had to get some good southern food at the louisiana border. it's been WAY too long.

meatloaf, lima beans, scalloped taters

fried chicken salad, honey mustard, mac n cheese

the classic everything stores 24/7

hurricane daiquiris. all you need is one...we had 2


our empty balcony lunch

whole upstairs was empty too

shrimp po'boy

red beans and rice

mississippi river

steam baskets open on the street. smelt like heaven.