Day 4. McKinney Falls, Austin

Erin’s health did not improve overnight, but Mallory came through with several recommendations for doctors from her “mom friends”, so Erin and I headed out to a doctor with walk-in hours. After an examination and some preliminary lab work, she prescribed Erin antibiotics.

A high-school friend of Nancy came to visit us with her family from Dallas. McKinney Falls has a nice swimming area below the lower falls, so we spent a couple hours there before dinner. Sean enjoyed jumping from the rocks into the water repeatedly as well as struggling to hold onto the rock wall behind the falls as he made his way across and they pounded down on his shoulders. Even Ian jumped from the rocks a few times!

Unfortunately Erin ended up spending most of the day sleeping in the camper. We were hoping those antibiotics would kick in quickly.

Day 3. Destination Austin, Texas

We left the New Orleans RV park really early, heading west. The Louisiana I-10 corridor seemed to consist mostly of bayou and bumpy bridges. I suspected maybe there was something wrong with the SUV, and tried shifting weight toward the tow hitch as recommended online and also changed the shock absorbing system from “comfort” to “sport”, which did seem to help. More on that later.

Erin was still very sick and the bumping around was not helping at all. We would have to go to the doctor or hospital if she wasn’t better by morning.

We made it to Austin in late afternoon. After setting up camp at McKinney Falls State Park and taking showers we headed out to town to visit Mallory at Black’s Barbecue. Dinner was really good and seeing my cousin again after ten years was even better. The kids thought she was really cool.texasborderbw

Day 2. New Orleans

new orleans architecture

Erin woke up seeming much better, though still complaining of stomach pains, but after some breakfast we got her to come to the pool and Jacuzzi for some relaxation. The pool was built to the side of the restaurant on the second story of the main building and had a waterfall toward the lake-side. At the bottom of the waterfall was a small pool that we found to be much more fun than the main pool, especially since we could jump between it and the Jacuzzi.

After the swim we prepared to head into the city for some site-seeing. Erin was starting to feel bad again, but we decided we would chance it. Awkward GPS navigation and city road construction kept us moving slow enough to enjoy the old city architecture, which was really impressive. We then found a parking lot about two blocks from our first destination, Café Du Monde. All signs began pointing toward a short visit as Erin was having trouble just crossing the parking lot. The staff of Café Du Monde didn’t seem local, but the beignets were piled with powdered sugar, the coffee was good, and now we can say we’ve been there.

I’m not sure how I feel about the seemingly homeless “musicians” that appear on every block in New Orleans, but I guess you do what you need to get by and maybe that’s what makes the city what it is.

We managed to get Erin to walk over to the waterfront to see the Mississippi and then after considering a trip on the trolley, we instead decided to head toward the car and find some food. Erin continued to complain until finally we simply gave up on food and got in the car, even having passed several restaurants. But sitting in the car we convinced Erin that we really should eat some lunch and all she had to do was walk across the parking lot. Actually, Nancy even moved the car to the other side of the parking lot, so she only had to walk a few yards to the restaurant.

Getting ourselves seated in an air-conditioned back room of the restaurant perked her up, so we settled in for some rice and beans, a po-boy, and crawfish etouffee. We enjoyed the food, but really needed to get Erin back to bed. Turns out we all needed a nice nap, followed by more pool time, gumbo, cheesy fries, and a game of Quirkle on the back porch of the restaurant.

Sean Eating a Beignet in New Orleans
Café Du Monde in New Orleans