New Orleans, Houston, Dallas and back to Houston 2018

This post is going to cover the visit of our friends Kathy and Anne. The original plan had been that Kathy and Anne would arrive in New Orleans, where we would spend a few days, and then we would move to Houston where we would meet up with Kathy’s daughter, Nikki and tour the sites, we never did this because of Hurricane Harvey last year. Then we would move up to Dallas which neither Kathy nor Anne had visited. Anne would then fly back to the UK and Kathy would catch a coach back to Houston  to stay with Nikki for a couple of weeks before flying back from there to the UK.

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However, since that plan had been made, Nikki’s husband Matt had got a new job in Calgary and they would no longer be in Houston when Kathy was returning to stay with them. As it happened Anne (Jordan) wanted to visit a quilt show in Houston so the last part of the plan saw Kathy and us wend our way back to Houston where we would stay until Kathy flew out to the UK.

At this point I should point out there are now two RV maps of our journey around the USA as I ran out of space on the original one. The original one RV Map 1 takes you as far as Oklahoma and the new one RV Map 2 shows the route beyond Oklahoma and hopefully it will have enough room for our route in 2019.

So on the 15th October we picked up Kathy and Anne at New Orleans airport.

They have arrived safe and sound. Hope they will like living in a RV!!

After taking them back to the RV and introducing them to “Big Beast”, we sorted out their sleeping arrangements and they eventually collapsed after a long day.

We decided to take it easy on their first day and visited Oak Alley Plantation. This is a complete Plantation with the original house and slave quarters on the edge of the Mississippi, inland from New Orleans.

The front of the Plantation House
And the back view.
A group of tourists on the balcony at the front.
Slave quarters (not original as they fell down).
The inside of a slave quarter. The whole family lived in one room.
Guess what these are? Outside toilets!!
A banana plant.

The next day it was the turn of New Orleans to submit to the Brit invasion.

After the mandatory beignets we hopped on a hop on hop off bus.

Café du Monde. I don’t think Kathy believes how sugary they are!!
A beignet in all its glory.

Then a group photo before we hopped on the “hop on, hop off” bus tour.

The “three amigos” in front of Jackson Park
Fancy wrought ironwork on the balconies.
It must be Halloween!!
An amazing frieze, but where it was I cannot remember.
Mercedes Superdome – the home of the New Orleans Saints (an American football team for those of you who have no clue).
It is Halloween!! Wall to wall pumpkins.
We visited Lafayette Cemetery, one of the famous above ground Cemeteries. You cannot bury anyone in New Orleans as most of the place is below the water table, so you would be under water.
A family tomb
Artwork near the French Market
The paddle steamer we went on last year.

Day 3 of our stay in New Orleans saw us visit an Alligator Farm. Louisiana has a wild population of alligators that is added to each year by the farms that rear the alligators from eggs (which they collect themselves).. They have to release 12% of each year’s rearing (at 4 years old) and then are allowed to keep the rest for skins, meat and by-products. The percentage released is based on what would have survived naturally to 4 years old in the wild. Since the farm released alligators are usually bigger and in better condition than naturally reared 4 year olds they tend to survive longer in the wild. This has enabled Louisiana to stabilise its population at almost 2 million which has recovered from its low point of 150,00 in 1962 when hunting and commercial operations were banned.

The Alligator Ranch we visited.
A baby alligator from this years hatch.
These were 2 year old alligators.
And these were 3 years old.
A 3 year old caught and taped so it could be held.
An alligator ear.
As you can see it is quite big!!
Not sure why but when put on the ground if you tapped its head it did this.
Luckily for some this was a fibreglass model!!

And on Day 4 we returned to New Orleans and walked around the city and the famous French Quarter.

A lovely wrought iron balcony that the French Quarter is famous for.
“Fats” Domino, Al “Jumbo Hurt and Pete Fountain, famous NOLA Jazz musicians.
And it’s still Halloween!!
A live Jazz band.
Picture of a funeral band.
There wasn’t enough room on the seat for me (my excuse!!).
Jackson Square
A train running on top of the levee right next to the Mississippi.
The Natchez travelling at full steam.
The Fire Department got stuck in the narrow streets.
New Orleans Police bikes, BIG Harleys!!
A New Orleans Wedding procession has to have a band!!

And then we moved on to Houston with an overnight stop at Lake Charles.

Kathy was going to stay with Nikki as it would be the last time she would see them prior to their move to Canada.

So the two Annes and I visited the Nasa Apollo Mission Control Centre and Museum, which despite the famous words “Houston we have a problem”  is South West of Houston near the coast.

Outside Mission Control
Unfortunately Mission Control itself was in the middle of an upgrade, due to open in 2019.
Flight Director Gene Kranz and his famous Stars and Stripes waistcoat.
The Saturn V rocket that took all the Apollo Missions into space.
The Lunar buggy.
The Lunar landing module.
The crew of Apollo I who died in a launch pad fire while testing the launch procedures.
The last Shuttle into space on the back of its Boeing 747 delivery vehicle.
The Orion Module being developed for Mars.
Mars Rover vehicle.
Mars living quarters pod which when joined to other pods makes up a base.

Very interesting place (for me anyway), but give yourself a day to view it as it is a big museum.

On the last day we joined up with Kathy, Nikki and family and went out for a Mexican meal.

Mexican restaurant.

Then we moved on to Dallas. The first point of call was the JFK memorial and the Book Repository.

Outside Dealey Plaza
The Book Repository.
The camera in the window on the 6th Floor where the shots were fired from.
Standing in front of the infamous spot where JFK died.
The Pergola at the back of Dealey Plaza to the right of the Grassy Knoll. The words of the speech that JFK would have made, later in the day, are on a memorial plaque here.
The view back to the Book Repository standing in the road when the lights were on red!!
Kathy standing at the pergola looking towards the road where JFK was killed.
The view from the Book Repository showing the snipers view.
A model showing the trajectory of the bullets etc.
A seat was needed after the Museum tour.

Fort Worth and the Stockyards was on the agenda for the next day.

What makes you think it is still Halloween.
There was a “Chuck Wagon” display plus a children’s cooking competition using cast iron cookware.
Preparing the bull for people to sit on and have their picture taken.
The longhorns being moved to the outside corral.
The stock wagon children’s cooking competition, with help from a few adults. Huge pot of coffee and the big skillets contain the food.
This was a peach cobbler.
Think this was meatballs.
Some nice Harleys on show.
A chromed tank.
A mariachi band.
Some people dressed in period costume.
This guy didn’t half look like John Wayne from the back.
This was another gun fight!
Dead cowboys lying all around. John Wayne rules again.
The Kennedy memorial in Fort Worth.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid memorial in Fort Worth.
Anne really wanted to sit on Butch Cassidy’s lap!!

The final day for Anne in Dallas we spent on the trolley bus tour of Dallas and some other Museums and the Kennedy memorial.

The Dallas skyline.

The Reunion Tower, with an observation deck and 2 revolving restaurants. Everything is bigger in Texas.
A garden decorated for Halloween.
Kennedy Memorial
Inside the memorial.
The writing on the plaque.
The original trading post at the centre of Dallas.

Anne(J) and I visited the Holocaust museum, while Anne and Kathy did a different Trolley Tour.

Then Anne left for London.

The wishbone at Dallas airport.

And then there were 3.

Before we set off back to Houston we visited South Fork Ranch the famous ranch used in the Dallas TV show (1978 – 1991)


The original cast of Dallas. Apparently there has been a remake, but it never made it to the UK.
The trolley bus tour.
The house tour. “Ya’all been here before?”.
The kitchen.
The main living room.
Do you remember who shot him?
Miss Ellie’s bedroom.
The matriarch and her sons.
His and her portraits
One of the opulent bathrooms.
The famous swimming pool.
South Fork from the front.
Jock Ewing’s Lincoln Continental.
The graveyard used in the show.
Two Dallas cowboys.

We also revisited the Dallas Heritage site but since I have already posted pictures of it I won’t post them again.

And then we left for Houston, stopping in  Waco on the way where we visited a working co-operative farm.

A working waterwheel.
It drove the grinding stone in this flour mill.
The water source.

We arrived back in Houston, but since this was mainly for Anne to visit the Houston Quilt Show and do the Christmas shopping and for Kathy to go shopping with her, there are no pictures!!

Saying goodbye to Kathy, it had got cold!!

The next post will finish 2018 with our visit to Big Bend National Park.
















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