We had a one night stop at the Suwannee River Hideaway Campground in Old Town, FL. It's back in the woods, close to the river, quiet, shaded with nice facilities and staff. We'd definitely visit again. They have a nice nature walk down to the river and we headed out in the morning before we hit the road. I immediately regretted not having my camera but Stu grabbed a few shots with his iPhone. Enjoy!
Today was free beer day. Yes I said free beer! Back in 2000 Lin (my late wife) and I were in New Orleans. We asked one of the locals for good place to get crawdads and were directed to a little restaurant in a store front on the main drag outside of Kenner LA (adjacent to the city). I asked for a good local beer. The waitress told me about Abita Amber made by the Abita Brewing Company. Well it might as well have been an illegal drug…I was hooked. Abita Brewing company will never need surety bonds, LOL! Ever since then I have been on the prowl for it wherever I could find it. When Donna told me we were going to stay in Abita Springs, I knew we were going to stock up and tour the brewery as well.
Today was that day. We had a terrific lunch at the Abita Brew Pub and enjoyed an excellent wheat beer. Oh yeah and some good eats as well. We discovered that this was the original brewery that had been outgrown. The new place was a mile down the road from the pub. After some leisurely chatting we headed off to the brewery.
We arrived just prior to the 2:00 PM tour. Tours are given on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday as well as weekends. Entering the tasting room was like going into a really nice pub. A long bar with a scattering of tables. Just outside was a pleasant patio with more tables. Seemed like a really nice place to hang out and drink beer.
Well, that’s just what it was. One of the staff handed out cups, pointed to the drafts behind the bar and said help yourself. There were no limits or restrictions, just enjoy yourself and make sure you open the tap all the way or else you get a cup of foam. Oh yeah, did I tell you it was free?
After tasting all the different kinds, each of us settled into a beer of choice and sat at the bar as the staff told us about the history of beer and how Abita makes their particular beers. Very informative and we had more free beer. We then made our way to the actual brewery and saw all the vats and cookers and such. That done we returned to the tasting room for more...yeah, you guessed it …free beer.
We bought a few items and headed out to visit the local Harley dealers and enjoy the good weather. OK the drizzle was much more tolerable after the visit to the brewery.
As I've aged, my interest in history has expanded but I will probably never be a history buff. When my New Orleans friend, Lee, mentioned the D Day Museum (The National WWII Museum) as a place to visit, I knew it would be something Stu would really enjoy. I never thought I would enjoy it as much as I did....
Lee had told me it would take a full day and somehow I couldn't imagine that...we got there around noon and stayed until closing at 5:00....and we were only half way done. That said, at times the experience was so overwhelming emotionally, that doing it all in one day would be tough. We do plan to revisit the area and seeing the rest of the museum. We can't wait too long though, the future expansion plans call for a 6 acre complex!
Then we started the tour chronicling the escalation of WWII and our entry into it. There are short videos, booths where you can 2 minute personal stories, displays of every type and size imaginable. All the photos are on SmugMug, here are a few.
New Orleans was selected in part due to the heavy involvement of Andrew Higgins and his boat company. The LCVP (Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel) played a major part in D-Day and the landings on Normandy Beach.
The displays were never ending and always interesting. We walked around corners, into alcoves, up stairs, down hallways....history surrounded us.
We had just started the displays for the Pacific when the announcer started the closing countdown. We managed a couple of exhibits before finally realizing we were going to have to leave and return another day.
We headed to downtown for some dinner and stopped in an outdoor cafe with some great blues music.
A walk followed and the evening was topped off at Cafe du monde with beignets & coffee.
Anyone who has visited New Orleans understands the charm, the beauty, the mystery, the good eats & drinks, the music, the people, the history...."Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez" or "Let the Good Times Roll" kind of says it all. If you haven't visited, I hope you can someday.
We had picture perfect weather and I got to see enough to really whet my appetite for more. I see more New Orleans time in our future....LOL! You can see all the photos at SmugMug but here are a few to whet your appetite.
Gumbo, Jumbalaya, Red beans & rice, Abita Beer, Blues, Hard Rock Cafe, VooDoo Harley-Davidson, Marie Lavoux, the Mississippi, Mimes, Art, History, Bourbon Street, Beignets and coffee at Cafe du Monde...OH MY!