January 2018

We got our mojo back.

New Year…new adventures…and we finally began to feel like we were getting back on our feet. We said good bye to 2017 and to Mississippi and traveled south down to the town of Mandeville, Louisiana and parked our little Sadie at Fontainebleau State Park, nestled in the spanish moss draped live oaks along the beautiful banks of Lake Pontchartrain. Wow. It was gorgeous and it felt so amazing to be OUT again, exploring and seeing new landscapes. The rest we had experienced in Mississippi was good and needed but we’re living this way for a reason…to see and do and hear and feel new things. It was so good to be back at it.

Mandeville turned out to be a well appointed little town and the state park was unexpectedly lovely. We thoroughly enjoyed our time there and would gladly go back again. The only downside was that it was COLD…so very cold. We never expected those kind of temps on the Gulf of Mexico! Still, it was a nice enough place to land that we could overlook the weather, for the most part, and enjoy ourselves, regardless. Our day trip over the 23 mile long bridge into New Orleans was definitely the highlight of the week and it wasn’t unbearably frigid. By that time it had warmed up significantly and we took in the sights and sounds of the French Quarter, complete with beignets and coffee at Cafe DuMonde and, of course, a piping hot bowl of gumbo (for dessert!). A perfect day it was. One of our favorites.

From Mandeville, we traveled westward through Louisiana until we landed for the night in Lake Charles. We arrived earlier than we had anticipated and decided to do a wee bit of sightseeing before settling into our hotel room. Lake Charles, from what we could see of it, was very industrial and not very pretty. I’m sure it has its more aesthetically pleasing aspects but we just didn’t happen to be in the right place to admire it. Instead we opted to hit the nearby Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point and eventually drove ourselves out to the beach in search of the famous pink dolphin that was reportedly swimming the nearby waters. No such luck on spotting Pinky but we did manage to see lots of beautiful birds along the way, many that we had never seen before, and the beach was absolutely full of seashells. It was rather cold and windy but we had the entire seashore to ourselves so we laughed and played and collected some of our favorite treasures to add to our small collection.

HELLO TEXAS

Near the last week of January we arrived at our next rental at Lake Livingston, TX. Crossing into Texas felt like a true milestone. We were getting WEST! Our travels are always more exciting when the landscapes begin to change. Even though east Texas was not a whole lot different than Louisiana there was something about being in Texas that stirred us up…in a good way. Our new house was the homiest of homes we have stayed in. It had a fully stocked and upscale kitchen, a ginormous king size bed, a super comfy couch and it overlooked the beautiful lake. The only downside was that it was located in a town that offered very little to do so we had to do a lot of driving to get anywhere. Still, we enjoyed several things, besides the house, over the month we stayed. The Lake Livingston State Park, Joe’s Pizza (with their super delish house dressing unlike any we have tasted), sucking at bowling at Triple J Lanes and most days we had the little skate park entirely to ourselves. We had a nice day trip into nearby Lufkin to visit the Ellen Trout Zoo and we made weekly trips into the suburbs of Houston when we needed access to better grocery stores or parks.

January came and went with us all in a much more positive state of mind and expressing that, even though, we had been on the road for 5 months that it truly felt like we were just beginning. It seems that it took that time to fully transition into this lifestyle and get our legs under us. It doesn’t feel strange anymore. It feels “normal”. We have new routines, new expectations, and fresh perspectives on life, in general. Although, we do miss many things about our “old life” and can’t wait until we get to Asheville again, we are different people than we were when we left and there is so very much left we want to see and do!

Campgrounds, Hotels & Vacation Rentals Mentioned

Fontainebleau State Park - Mandeville, LA

Way up there on the list of awesome state parks! Lake Pontchartrain beach, pier, beautiful trees, seasonal water park, lots of trails, cool old abandoned sugar mill ruins and in a town full of restaurants and grocery stores. It’s just across the bridge from New Orleans, too.

Anchors Aweigh - Livingston, TX

We could get used to this place! It was such a comfy place to live for a month that we found it difficult to leave. Highly recommend!