Monday, March 2, 2009

We Settle In

We arrived in New Orleans at 11pm in thick fog. It swirled and danced around the streetlights as we drove along nearly empty expressways. I heaved a huge sigh when I recognized the downtown buildings – familiar sights to us after our 4-day visit in 2006. We had promised ourselves that we would return for a much longer visit - and here we were!

As our GPS guided us into unfamiliar territory I asked The Man if we were going in the right direction. He explained that Pontchartrain Landing was in an industrial area situated on a canal from what he could see on google maps. It was hard to see anything in the swirling fog but I didn’t care. I love fog and mist and I wanted to get out and dance in it.

When we arrived, the office was dark but the Christmas lights blinked and glowed huge red and green blobs in the fog. The office was built on top of shipping containers and The Man climbed the steep stairs up to the door and checked the phone numbers listed and pulled out his cellphone and started dialing. Knowing him as I do I was amazed! Normally he would have brought the numbers to me and asked me to make the call as he hates talking on the phone. While I sat in disbelief, a truck pulled up and a man jumped out – a smile wreathing his face.

“Sorry about getting in here so late.”

“You must be our Canadian friends. You’re only a couple of days late. Did you have trouble on the drive down?”

I listened to the conversation as the two men shook hands – both of them smiling broadly. I got out of the vehicle and walked around and introduced myself to the campground manager.

“Hi – I’m Aims.”

Nate stuck out his hand and said, “Welcome Miss Aims.”

I just about swooned right then and there. SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY! There is nothing like it!

We piled back into our vehicles and he directed us to a grouping of trailers and helped The Man back all 13 feet of our trailer in amongst them before leaving us to get settled. We tried to quietly get everything set up so that we wouldn’t disturb our neighbours before we too joined them in sleep.

It is amazing to wake in a new place and discover what the darkness hid. I always am up far earlier than The Man. If I do not rouse him he will sleep until 1pm. It drives me crazy. I always think of how much daylight is being slept away and how much can be done in those hours that he is sleeping. However – this 5 week holiday was all overtime. He had worked many long hours to get all this time off and he still had 5 weeks of holiday due him. We’ll be taking those weeks some time this year – I hope.

Once he was up and had gone to check out the campground washroom, we worked on setting up the trailer for a month’s stay. The Man had worked on installing a solar panel on the front of the trailer so that it would keep our battery topped up while we weren’t driving. He had also rigged up a phone system so that I could call my brother over the internet and he had ordered a US sim card for his cellphone so that cellphone rates would be much cheaper. While he did ‘The Man’ jobs – I washed the trailer. It was caked with salt and dirt from the long drive through winter conditions. The sun was warm and I worked in my shorts – a far cry from the cold winds of Memphis!

We walked over to the office and officially signed in. They gave us maps to the nearest grocery stores and pamphlets on what to do in New Orleans. Then that evening we drove to the French Quarter and just walked around and looked in any of the stores that were open. The fog swirled in as the night came on and I was again in my own little heaven. The fog gives everything a softer and mysterious look. Some nights it was so thick you could hardly see 10 feet in front of your nose. I remembered watching Gone With The Wind and thinking that the scene at the end - where Scarlett is running back to Rhett through the fog – had to be fake.

I didn't think they got fog like that in the deep South. I thought it was more like the fog they got in England. I was wrong. And I was delighted to be wrong! I wanted to run through the fog and call for Rhett myself!

We strolled through the nearly empty streets of the French Quarter holding hands. A few store owners told us that the weeks before Christmas were the slowest times in New Orleans. Wait until after Christmas!

In the morning, while The Man slept, I walked over to the office. Five women stood behind the desk and smiled at me as I hid behind my sunglasses. These women were campground workers and were learning the ropes at this particular campground. For those of you who don’t know what this is –

Rvers can work in campgrounds for their site rentals and for extra money as well. It is great for people living in their Rvs for long periods of time. I faced these women and put a huge smile on my face.

“Um. Do you think we could be moved?” I asked.

“Oh! Is there a problem?”

“Well……We have that little 13’ trailer.”

“Oh yes! It is so cute! We all were talking about it earlier,” they chorused.

“Yes. It is cute isn’t it? However – it makes a lot of noise – if you know what I mean. And um….I was wondering if we could move to a secluded spot so we could – you know – make a lot of noise without everyone listening in.”

I stood there and watched as all five women worked through what I had said and came to the same realization at once.

“Of course we’ll move you!”

I walked back to our trailer with a big smile on my face and told The Man we were moving and relayed the conversation. It was hard for him to hitch up the trailer again when his face was so bright red. Hey! I’m not dead yet and I don’t care who knows it!


Akelamalu said...

I know what you mean about being up early to make the most of the time you have on holiday, I'm always up first too.

I had to smile at how you managed to get your RV moved. :)

Daryl said...

Love this, since I can picture those streets so clearly I am there with you!

And I love that you are not dead yet .. xoox

Thalia's Child said...

teeheeee. I love it. I would never have had the guts to say what you did in order to be moved :D

rosiero said...

What were you doing? Moving furniture around? Ha ha!

Maggie May said...

You had a nerve saying that! But why not....... as you say, you are not dead yet!

Leatherdykeuk said...

What a fabulous story!

I'm glad your holiday was getting better after the disappointment of Memphis.

TSannie said...

More, I want more!

Junebug said...

The clip of Gone with the Wind was a great reminder. I always have loved that movie! How terrific to be able to go on holiday for 1 month at a time. The longest we have ever stayed away has been 7 days.

Polergirl said...

Go girl - you rock!

You have a gift for writing and expression. I love your style!

travelling, but not in love said...

Scarlet O'Hara or scarlet woman? I'm not sure which, Aims, but I'll guess that it's....hmm.

I like your style....

Lane said...

It sounds like the holiday was beginning to pick up:-)

I like mist but fog - not so much. Warmth I could definitely live with:-)

Lovely post Aims.

TSannie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

It's been lovely catching up with your travels - I never was a great fan of Elvis, but would be fascinated to see Graceland too.
As for your New Orleans adventure, I just love it so far, and you've only just arrived. You were dead right to get moved - and however you do it is fine! Very funny too..
M xx

TSannie said...

Obviously it was late at night when I read this the first's just as funny the second read through!

grandmamargie said...

HaHa I loved this post. And I love New Orleans. But I just can not imagine the French Quarter not bustling with people. Did you visit Pat O'Brien's? (I guess it is still there.)

KatduGers said...

Good for you!! Would have loved to have seen those ladies' faces, and the Man's!!

Brett said...

What a super post.

Melanie said...

What a lovely place to travel to. :-)

You need a sign "When the van's a rocking don't come a knocking". ROFL

Oh to have been a fly on the wall and see their faces! You's bad! :-)

Mean Mom said...

No doubt the fun really started once you had moved! Good for you!

aims said...

Honesty is the best policy! I figured if I tweaked their romantic side and then added in my embarrassment at being heard - presto!

bermudabluez said...

hahahah! Nice job aims!! I will definitely remember that one!!

Living the Dream said...

So what did The Man say "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn?" if they know exactly why we want the trailer moved? He He

Mickle in NZ said...

Hey, well done for ensuring yours was a super happy holiday. Where you could relax and really be yourselves. At least those ladies behind the counter eventually understood. I'd have worn sunglasses too!

My parents had such a wonderful time in New Orleans. Was part of a holiday about 4 months long travelling aroung North America by train in 1996. i have Dad 's great write up about it - looked through just now and can't find a single obvious date. Will yak with the dear Bloke this weekend for more info.

Thank you for sharing, thank you for being there, hope all is warming now for you, care, concern, love and huggles, Michelle xxx

softinthehead said...

Great post and great clip - one of my absolute favourite movies. I am definitely a morning person too - always awake before 6!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

What a lovely term of phrase: to see what the darkness hid. I might use that in my book - with your permission of course.

It's sounding very romantic so far..!

CJ xx

david mcmahon said...

You could write a postage stamp and make it eminently readable.

When we were on the west coast recently, we took out GPS and it was brilliant to arrive in a new city and not have to ask directions!

Dr.John said...

I'm up at 5:00 every morning but I go to bed early.
I have never seen Southern fog but I have driven in English fog and it was not a pleasure.
I'm glad they moved your trailer.
When we were in Canada traveling a nice guy loaned us his huge trailer that had a separate room for the boys so we could get out of our cramped RV. Pennie was conceived that night.

Polergirl said...

Hi aims, just a quick visit to say thanks again for your lovely comments and for stompin with me to kick some serious ass!

lisaschaos said...

Hilarious! you are one courageous woman! :) I hope you are enjoying yourself! Don't forget about me if you get anywhere near Wisconsin. :)

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