and Cathy McArthur on
the Road 2005:
is the first report of our winter travels with our Gulfstream BTCruiser . January 1 found us on the road from Atlanta to New Orleans to attend the Sugar Bowl. See "Happy Holidays 2004" to see what events preceded this trip. In the bigger picture, we are on our way to Mexico. We left son Bill and Stacey's house in Cumming, GA in two vehicles: Matt Merkle and Tom in one and Cathy, Katie, and Bill in the other. Traffic was light all the way to the KOA New Orleans East in Slidell. LA. We checked-in for RV storage and we all loaded into Matt's car for the ride into New Orleans. We arrived at The Iberville Suites at around 4:30 PM. After getting settled, we went to dinner at the ACME Oyster House down the street from our hotel. Cathy and Bill enjoyed Crawfish Etouffe and Seafood Gumbo. After dinner, we walked around a wild and crazy Bourbon street for a while. Katie and Tom headed back to the hotel and Cathy, Bill, and Matt walked down near the fog enshrouded river where Bill bought a latte. We also bought water and other supplies for our room. At 8:00 PM, foggy fireworks went off. It was the first fireworks that we only heard. We all turned in early, but some drunks in the hallway at 1:45 AM woke Bill for a few minutes.
The temperature reached the 70s again on our first full day in New Orleans. We started with breakfast in the hotel, staggered into 3 shifts. We all walked down to the river and bought tickets on the paddlewheeler Natchez for the 11:30 AM cruise (see our last visit to New Orleans for photos). Bill was the only one who didn't eat lunch on the cruise, so he needed a visit to Starbucks for a latte and a scone afterward. Bill, Cathy, and Matt walked to St. Louis Cemetery and then around the North, South, and East borders of the French Quarter; Katie and Tom visited Hokie Headquarters in the Marriot Hotel. We met at the pep rally shortly before 4:00 PM. We returned to the hotel to change for dinner; Katie, Matt, and Tom went back to Hokie Headquarters before dinner. We all ate at Brennans in the French Quarter. Our meals were fabulous! We highly recommend it. We walked a couple of blocks of Bourbon Street on the way back to the hotel: total madness!
The morning of the Sugar Bowl was springlike. After breakfast, we rode the St. Charles Streetcar to the end of the line and back. We ate a great (in both ways) lunch at K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen. We chilled out for a while after lunch and then headed for the Superdome and the Sugar Bowl. It was a magnificent spectacle which could only have been better if Virginia Tech had won. Nevertheless, it has been a great experience.