Our next stop was a little less than two hours from Rio RV Park. Located on the west fork of the Calcasieu River and 4 miles off I-10 is the scenic White Oak Park in Lake Charles, LA. This small county park has only 8 RV sites and 4 tent sites, offering electric only for $12/night. Very clean and well maintained park!
The morning after our arrival, we had lunch at Pujo Street Cafe in Lake Charles. Surprisingly, it was busy so we had to wait about 20 minutes for a table.
Based on the reviews, we both ordered a Monte Cristo Sandwich ($10.50) with raspberry sauce and yummy French fries. Delish!
We had read about the Creole Nature Trail and had thought we might take a drive along that on our last day but after reading about it and looking at videos, we decided that it didn’t look that interesting. Instead we took a ride into town to go through the historic Charpentier district, a 40 block area with grand homes and other buildings from the late 1800s and early 1900s. Maybe our expectations were too high but we were somewhat disappointed! Although we drove though the entire area several times, we saw a lot of older homes but not that many in good condition.
Leaving White Oaks Park on March 17th, around 11 a.m., our GPS showed that we would arrive in Nawlins by 2:37 p.m. Relatively boring and horrendous drive along I-10 with road construction everywhere resulting in difficult driving conditions with narrow lanes, slowdowns and even traffic jams. It was really bad the closer we got to Baton Rouge. When it wasn’t at a standstill, it was very slow going for miles. We arrived at New Orleans RV Resort (formerly Pontchatrain Landing) an hour later than expected at 3:40 p.m.
Since the resort was now part of the Applebrook RV Parks network, they do not offer Passport America from January 1st to June 30th (we were there in March). However, I had called them because of a mix up with our reservation. After a very long phone call, the girl I was talking to gave us the PA rate on a canal site anyway.
After check in, we were escorted to our site (#19). Because of some overgrown branches that were hitting our coach, our escort left to get some tree pruners so he could cut down some of the branches. How nice of him!
Once again the next morning we were off and running eager to revisit our favorite places. Our first stop was breakfast at Russell’s Marina Grill where we were quickly seated. Both of us had the same thing as last time in 2019 – Rob had Eggs Pontchartrain ($15 up from $13 in 2019) and Eggs 9th for me ($16 up from $15 in 2019). Delicious! It was less crowded than our previous visit in 2019 so our experience was much more favorable.
To return to the resort, we drove back along the scenic Lakeshore Drive which borders Lake Pontchartrain.
On Saturday, the 19th, we went to Messina’s Runway Cafe at the nearby Lakefront airport which is the source of all the annoying planes that fly over the RV resort. Interesting art deco decor! Unfortunately they were setting up for some type of event in the main lobby so it was difficult taking pictures.
After a short wait, we were seated. To say service was slow would be an understatement. Our waiter was Rob – it was his 3rd day on the job. I ordered (at the recommendation of Rob) the Brunch Burger ($15) which was an 8 oz burger on toasted brioche bun with applewood bacon, fried egg, Swiss cheese, herb aioli and green tomato jam with Brabant Potatoes (garlic roasted), accompanied by a Bloody Mary. The burger was really good but very, very messy to eat so I most likely would never order it again. Rob had the Cessna Chicken Sandwich ($14) which he said was very good. The menu said it was fried chicken but it was grilled instead. Good food but not sure if we would return.
Once the weekend was over, it was time to once again explore the city. Thinking that we could snag a previous deal in a parking lot, specifically the Parking Lot entrance on St. Peter (exact coordinates for the entrance here), we arrived there by 10 a.m. (a fixed $12 rate if you are in by 10 and out by 7). But darn, they no longer offer that deal! Bummer! Pay for your parking either at the stations or by scanning a QR code so no more parking attendants. Maybe that’s the reason why they discontinued the discount in the parking lot.
I had the Eggs Stanley which was a benedict with 5 fried oysters. Oysters were delish! Rob had their Corned Beef Hash which he liked but didn’t like the fact that the corned beef was in chunks.
After breakfast we walked around for a bit checking out Cafe Fleur de Lis (turns out we went there in 2010).
and Oceana Grill, Bourbon Street, and the Riverwalk. Nice day, a little humid, breezy and in the 70’s.
We were seated outside in the courtyard which was nice. Ordered a dozen of their special chargrilled oysters (we had these back in 2010) with a side order of fried oysters (5) and 2 Bloody Mary’s. Oysters were good but not as good as the ones I had in the morning. We walked along Bourbon Street on our way back to the car.
On Tuesday, 3/22, the forecast predicted a stormy day. It started out with a number of alerts – severe storms, high winds, rain with possible flooding, lightning, and a tornado watch in effect until 7 p.m. Oh, how I hate that “t” word so we spent the day glued to the TV. I called the office to see if there were any shelters in the resort in case the tornado watch changed to a warning. She suggested the bathrooms next to the office. Rob and I walked up there but it definitely couldn’t withstand a tornado so we decided we would just have to take our chances. By late afternoon, we had some showers followed by the skies ominously darkening. Later we would have a torrential downpour. We watched in horror as a tornado hit the town of Arabi about 6 miles from the resort. Unbelievable devastation! We were so lucky that we dodged the bullet!
The next day after a trip to the market to stock up on a few items, we went to Fiorella’s Cafe where I had their 4 piece fried chicken with fries and a Caesar salad and Rob had their special of spaghetti & meatballs with a Caesar salad. Both meals were really good!
On Thursday, we bid Nawlins a fond adieu, heading for our next destination – Bella Terra RV Resort in Foley, AL.
More photos can be found here.