New Orleans

The Elk’s Lodge in Metairie, Louisiana would be our home base for visiting Karen’s uncle and his girlfriend in New Orleans.  We arrived in time to a full house of Elk members enjoying a New Orleans Saints football game.  We were one of two RV’s parked at the Lodge and as we checked in we learned that the Lodge rents out its large parking lot to movie production companies filming in the New Orleans area…and we were told that although they’d come in overnight they’d leave us plenty of room to come and go during our stay.

Then, somewhere in the wee hours of the morning, we awoke to the sound of activity around our RV.  A quick peak out the window revealed dozens of semi trailers, trucks and a bee-hive of workers moving into the parking lot, laying power cables and neatly organizing a movie production lot complete with dressing rooms, prop and costume trailers and a large catering operation.  By morning the entire operation was in full swing…and as promised, a neat layout that allowed us to come and go with ease.

The production being filmed is a 10-episode  series, On Becoming a God in Central Florida,  premiering on YouTube Premium, the latest in a host of streaming channels like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc.   The series will tell the true story of an Orlando area amusement park worker who created a multi-billion dollar pyramid scheme.

Then, one afternoon two days later, after filming in the area, the entire production facility picked up left us alone in the parking lot.  Pretty amazing thing to see.

Our first stop in New Orleans was the National World War II Museum.  The museum is easily a two-day ticket with 5 separate pavilions:

  1. Louisiana Memorial Pavilion – the Museum’s original pavilion, which features the institution’s newest permanent exhibit that tells the story of the war experienced on the Home Front. The building also includes the Museum’s original D-Day exhibit, macro-artifacts, special temporary exhibits, and the L.W. “Pete” Kent Train Car Experience
  2. Solomon Victory Theatre – the epic story of World War II in the exclusive 4D experience Beyond All Boundaries, narrated by Tom Hanks.
  3. Campaign’ of Courage:  European and Pacific Theatres – The galleries serve as an immersive timeline and provide a service member’s view of the war.
  4. US Freedom Pavilion:  The Boeing Center – Exhibits describe the history and production of war machines and honor service in every branch of the military.
  5. John E. Kushner Restoration Pavilion – up-close view at some of the Museum’s extensive collection of macro-artifacts, and learn how STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) helped solve some of World War II’s toughest problems.

We spent the entire day at the Museum and couldn’t see all there was to experience.  A special treat was the Bob Hope exhibit depicting this Hollywood icon’s contribution to entertaining the troops.

Why is a landing craft shown in the picture below?  Follow this link to find out.

The remainder of our enjoyable time in New Orleans included a visit to the New Orleans Museum of Art Sculpture Garden, a walk through the French Quarter and lunch at the famous Commander’s Palace restaurant in the Garden District.  Truly an enjoyable time with family in this historic city.

Glen Canyon – Page, Arizona

Page, Arizona is home to Glen Canyon Dam and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area on Lake Powell formed by the dam on the Colorado River.

We stayed at the Elks Club in Page and while there met a fellow Elk and the director of the Glen Canyon Resort boat tour operation who arranged our cruise on Lake Powell to Rainbow Bridge National Monument.

Day 2’s Journey….still in Florida

Floridians often think of Florida’s panhandle as “hurricane alley” and the map certainly confirms why. This southern border along Highway 98 Higgs the coast through towns like Panacea, Carrabelle, Appalachicola, Port St Joe and Mexico Beach. These are predominantly fishing/oystering areas so expect lots of little roadside seafood restaurants and roadside stands. RVers will also find small campgrounds either on the beach or just across 98 which is often only feet away from the Gulf. A much different vibe than the bigger towns of Panama City and Destin. You’ll note we bypassed this coastline in favor of US 20 which took us directly into Niceville and Rocky Bayou State Park which readers of this blog will already know about from past trips.

Day One

We left Sarasota about 9:30 am and headed north intending to stay somewhere between Sarasota and our son’s home in Fort Walton. We got off I75 near Ocala and needed west on 27 then north on 19/98 through horse country.

Karen found an Elks Lodge in Perry which has a beautiful setting with RV sites and we enjoyed a drink and dinner at the lodge.

Tomorrow we’ll hug the coast in 98 through Apalachicola and Panama City, Seaside and Destin to Rocky Bayou State Park in Fort Walton.