New Orleans bound!

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I saw this wall at breakfast and couldn’t resist.  The collage of license plates exemplifies our cross-country trip.  I needed a photo.  🙂

Breakfast was at a local place outside of San Antonio, the Oakridge Smokehouse.  The breakfast buffet  was the popular choice.  I haven’t had  biscuits & gravy in a while so that was a hit with me.

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Right next door was a store that featured Texas products, highlighting one of their important crops – pecans.

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Throughout this trip we keep running across pecan trees.  I’ve always heard about pecan tree in the southeast, but not so much in the southwest.  That being said  I needed to google ‘Texas pecan production’.   Trees can start producing at 5 years and live up to 300 years.  Nut yield averages 40-50 lbs annually, having alternate bearing years.   Both male and female flowers are found are the same tree and the flowers are usually wind-pollinated.  Sorry, it’s the horticulture part of me. I needed to do some digging……….

We didn’t stop in Houston but I got a shot of their skyline as we zoomed by.

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A friend told me to stop at a ‘Buc-ees’ if given the chance.

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It’s primarily a gas station, but carry a bunch of stuff.  Outside of Houston was our chance.  Yes, they feature a lot of gas pumps.  While I didn’t count them all, we were at pump 15 and not halfway through.  I’m going to guess there were at least 40 pumps.

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There was a huge bank of self-serve drink stations and shelves upon shelves of their own brand of products.

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They sold all types of Texas memorabilia, an example being below.

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Lunch was on the agenda and google maps led us to Neches Brewing Company. The website had a menu listed but I didn’t checked it.  Note to self, check it in the future.  We walked into a mostly empty bar and discovered they only have food in the evening and/or weekends.  However, the few people inside were very helpful and said to download an app (waiterapp), put in their zip code and voila, restaurants pop up that will delivery to their place.  One of their patrons, Heather,  was very helpful and we took her suggestion for lunch.  Forty minutes later our po-boy surf & turf sandwiches arrived. The sandwich totally hit the spot.

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The wait was pleasant and gave us the opportunity to try several local beers.

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All in all, we were there several hours which gave us plenty of time to try several of their local beers.  We got to know Collin, their bartender quite well and he photo-bombed my shot.

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We asked about last year’s hurricane which hit this area and heard heart-wrenching stories of bravery and a community pitching in to help their neighbors, even if they hadn’t talk with them in years.  Collin told stories of using his boat to rescue others, especially from their local nursing home.

All too soon, it was time to leave and continue our journey. This brewery is near Port Arthur and many oil refineries of Texas.

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We crossed a really cool bridge before leaving the area and began to regularly see water – something that we haven’t seen much of this week at all.

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Texans are proud of their flag and this bench is one of many examples we saw along our journey.

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We made good time to New Orleans and found our hotel in the French Quarter

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Staying in the French quarter gave us easy access to everything we wanted to see.

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We sprang an extra $11 for a balcony room-well worth the few extra dollars.  Adrienne is standing below our second floor room.

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Like most tourists we headed to Bourbon Street and did the ‘token’ photo.  No one was too wasted just yet, least of all us.

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We ended the evening dining at an older New Orleans establishment The Court of Two Sisters.

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Eric and I have eaten here a few times and if possible, it was on my wish list for this trip.  We stopped by with no reservations and 10 minutes later we were seated in their outside courtyard.0288D676-6AD8-432E-BFE3-29F905B2627C

We started our meal with a locally made beer – Arbita.  I ordered the fried catfish w/ cole slaw for my meal.  Their homemade tartar sauce was the best!

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Then it was time for the best part of my meal…………………..banana’s foster!  I had been saving up my calories for this part of the night.  Part of the attraction is the table-side service for the dessert.

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There is something magical about eating underneath sparkle lights and the weather was perfect.  The temps were in the 70s and great for this time of year.  It was a great end to our first night in New Orleans.

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