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Road Trip #1
Buying a Newspaper
Charlotte, North Carolina to New Orleans, Louisiana
Jun 20 - 22, 2003

The premise...
Sunday, Jun 22 "Times-Picayune" was to highlight
"Ugly Money", "Where's George" & "Rubberstamp Mike"
as the feature story of the "Living" section.  Steve, Rich & myself make a
snap decision to drive to New Orleans, for the weekend,
just to buy the newspaper.  Doug MacCash, Art Critic / Writer, quips
"This is a bad idea, isn't it ?!"

According to MapQuest, New Orleans is 730 miles (one-way) from Charlotte...
It's pretty much a solid 12 hour drive with gas, food & potty breaks.
Six states connected by six interstates:
I-85 to I-285 to 1-20 to I-459 to I-59 to I-10
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Click for Fairfield, Iowa Forecast

Pics - Click thumbnails for big pic & use "Back" button to return...

The start of the trip, 3:00 PM Friday...

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One seat is reserved for the numerous snacks we toted.

Friday, June 20 - On the road to New Orleans...

  It all started with Doug MacCash, Times-Picayune Art Critic, emailing me about a story he was doing on
altered money.  We enjoyed a solid discussion of the merits, meanings & artistry of folks altering money.

Steve, Rich & I
finalized plans
Thursday evening.
We were to pack an
overnight bag & be
ready to leave from
work.  I got a car
Friday morning.
We met at Steve's
house & went by
Park Lanes to
retrieve our bowling
balls & got on I-85S
about 4:00 Friday.

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Our first Road Trip
meal - Atlanta,
Taco Veloz.  A
more traditional
burrito.  Rich did
not enjoy.
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Our first pit-stop &
there were 12 of
these huge spiders
guarding the pump.

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Meal #2, Shoney's
somewhere in
Alabama.  This is
around midnight.
shoneys_1.JPG (103369 bytes)
Richard is a
condiment nut & is
trying to get the
very last drop of
tomato catsup.
We are all getting
pretty tired at
this point.

Saturday, Jun 21 - late night to late night...

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By 2:00 AM we
decided to get a
room.  After miles
of nothing, we
happened upon
King's Arrow Ranch.
kingsarrow1.JPG (87189 bytes)
A view of our $42
quarters in
Lumberton, MS.
Steve volunteered
to sleep on
the floor.
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Rested, showered & ready to go by 9:00
AM Saturday.  We
have also entered
Central Time Zone.
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Solid Soul
Brothers showing
off our rented
Lincoln Town Car.
Man, this is a ride !
fillup.jpg (137637 bytes)
Leaving King's
Arrow, the lone
petrol depot serves
a diverse customer
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Woo-Hoo, the first
"New Orleans"
sign we see.
miles.jpg (89322 bytes)
Mile after mile...
This was our visual
experience with
map.jpg (113429 bytes)
Steve checking the map, getting
bearings, for final
assault on
New Orleans.
hardees.jpg (119328 bytes)
As the King's Arrow
breakfast buffet
was looking lifeless,
we opted for a
Hardee's biscuit.
Run by one of the
best managers
I've seen.
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Here we are, finally
in the state of
Louisiana !!!

You can just see the
Germans gathering
around our silver
Town Car in the top,
left of the picture.
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Lots of great info
from the
tourismo folks.
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We were delayed leaving the Visitor's Center by 50 German soldiers from 1st Mountain Div. - Engineers.
They love big
American cars !!!
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OK, now crossing
Lake Pontchartrain
and very nearly
in New Orleans &
ultimately, the
"French Quarter".
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The first thing you
see getting off I-10

to Canal Street on
the way to the
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Presumably a local
landmark, in a
landmark building.
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Great old Walgreens
The drive in on Canal Street
is a real treat of
great looking
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I'm always on the
lookout for
businesses - here
we have the
popular liquor &
luggage, complete
with 1970's facade.
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And next door
is the superb
"Sanlin" sign.
Just beautiful !!!
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Our first steps in to the French Quarter.
We happened upon a wedding in Jackson Square.
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Local musician we patronized.
Literally a
"street musician".
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Rich under
Rev. Zombies
Voodoo spell.
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Steve is ready for
a Bourbon on
Bourbon Street.
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Enjoying our first
meal in the
Quarter.  Cafe
Pontalba - food
was good, but a
bit pricey at
$72 for lunch !!!
Maybe it was the
"Dixie" beer.
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The Dungeon -
looks like an
interesting broom
legs.jpg (114772 bytes)
"Big Daddy's"...
same place has

been there at least
25 years, as I was
at this very spot
25 years ago.  The legs still swing
in & out.
absinthe.jpg (131640 bytes)
Steve wishing he
could get some
more of the mind
altering Absinthe.
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So, we try to get
one room for one
night & are turned
away at no less
than four hotels.
The fourth makes
a few calls & tells
us the Chateau
Sonesta has ONE
"Parlor" room.
fish_1.jpg (137573 bytes)
On the way to the
Chateau, we inquire
at an additional
four hotels.  Again,
no rooms for the
night.  As we go the
long way around
to the Lobby, we
notice this art & see
"Pyloric Valve"
on this piece.
fish_2.jpg (100404 bytes)
The only reference
I have seen to the
pyloric valve is
Ignatius J. Reily's
character in John
Kennedy Toole's,
"Confederacy of Dunces".  Thanks
to Steve for
turning me onto
this most
wonderful read.
fish_3.jpg (111648 bytes)
Steve & I were
absolutely blown
away.  Room
rejection after room
rejection, a very
circuitous route &
we find out we
are at the very
epicenter of one
of the greatest
books ever,
D.H. Holmes
Department Store.
dhholmes.jpg (67934 bytes)
"DH Holmes
Garage" still parks

the public's cars.
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Looking to get a
bourbon on Bourbon St., we
momentarily sat
here until we
realized we did
not fit the "Parade
Disco" profile.
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Bourbon in a
plastic cup,
this could be a
However, the
balcony seating
at Johnny White's
provided a great
venue to watch
the Quarter go by.
sturdy.jpg (133173 bytes)
Buildings across
from Johnny
White's.  The
balcony on the
left looked
unsafe.  In fact,
some folks sat
down & got back
up within a few
minutes.  At one
time the two
balconies were
probably even.
bourbon_1.JPG (140162 bytes)
Looking down
Bourbon St. in
the early
The crowds begin
to accumulate
until their mass
expands to exceed
sidewalk capacity.
At this point, the
mass controls the
streets & cars
be damned.
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A nice
French Quarter
proper.jpg (95552 bytes)
"Howl at the Moon"
serves our Knob Creek neat -
in a REAL glass.
The bartender says
glass is rare for
Bourbon St. bars,
but Knob rates.
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Rich partaking
of the party
atmosphere with
a Shootertini, of
all things.
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The afternoon
shadows descend
on the Quarter.
A signal for the
masses to
bourbon_3.JPG (95642 bytes)
We went back to
the Chateau,
relaxed, changed
clothes & went
to see what all the
fuss was about.
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Steve could not
find a proper
non-filtered smoke.
So, he requested
my rolling skills
to twist up several
& this smoke shop
happily obliged.
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Very neat bar in
the Quarter...
Laffit's - originally
opened in 1764 !!!
At that time
blacksmithing was
the legal business,
not liquor.
irenes_4.jpg (97084 bytes)
Steve exiting
Irene's - another
great meal in the Quarter.  Fish,
duck & lamb chops,
a drink or two &
shared dessert for
$126!  What a deal!
irenes_1.jpg (78248 bytes)
Inside Irene's...
Steve's just getting

started.  We sat
down to eat about
11:30 PM.  Steve
would not be back in the hotel room
for another 7 hours.
irenes_2.jpg (139708 bytes)
Being a little too
loud in Irene's.
However, we were
the last table &
those still in
Irene's were
having a
good time.

Sunday, Jun 22 - Finish the night & long day home...


bourbon_4.JPG (105389 bytes)
Now past
midnight, the
masses are in
full swing.
trash.jpg (92371 bytes)
A beautiful thing...
This receptacle is
full, yet folks
neatly stack as
many extra empties
as possible.
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Steve making
friends everywhere
he goes.
Here is a meeting
of the Trilateral
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Some nice
tile street signs /
historical markers.
rosie.jpg (130873 bytes)
At 16 years old,
Big Daddy
turned me away.
So Steve decided
we needed to
check out the
action 25 years
later.  The best part
was our waitress
Rosie !!!
room1.jpg (81673 bytes)
Our unbelievably
spacious room
at the Chateau
Sonesta, on the
site of DH Holmes
Department Store.
Steve is hurting !!!
room2.jpg (87240 bytes)
The Front Desk
called this a "Parlor Room" with sleeper
sofa.  We then
called for two
rollaway beds that
were quite sturdy.
room3.jpg (72127 bytes)
Rich showing off
the bathroom.
safe.jpg (73384 bytes)
The double-door,
secret, safe-deposit
room used to stash
the actual "Ugly Money" collection
until our breakfast
with Doug.
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WOW !!!
The morning after...

the Quarter is
clean !!!  However,
I imagine, the stale
beer stench is
coffee_pot.JPG (112349 bytes)
We were to meet
Doug at the
"Coffee Pot" which
we located on
our Saturday tour.
doug_1.jpg (96456 bytes)
The incomparable
Doug MacCash, Art
Critic for "The
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We spent almost
three hours with
Doug enjoying
fine conversation
on many topics
including "Ugly Money".
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The time has come
for Doug to ride
off & the three of
us to get in gear
for our twelve hour
journey home.
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But not before a
quick "Lucky Dog."
Very reminiscent
of Ignatius' one-time
career as a street
dog vendor.
Great looking carts.
Dogs are OK, but
too much bun.
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After buying a
few souvenirs, we
get on the road.
Steve received a request to prove
the continued
existence of
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So, here we are
right off the
interstate, at the
Slidell exit.
One of the last
exits before
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I needed to
buy twenty-five
newspapers to have
a few personally &
to give to the
several folks that
have helped with
"Ugly Money".
buypaper2.jpg (104607 bytes)
We never did find
a stack of papers
inside.  They were
always in a box
that required six
quarters each time.
And no box had more than a few.
s_out.jpg (98051 bytes)
After several
newspaper stops
we finally begin
our uninterrupted
journey home.
Steve takes
several cat naps
on the way home.
solid.jpg (80717 bytes)
JB doing some
"SOLID" driving all
the way to
"The Big Easy".
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Rich drives half
the way home.
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Dinner somewhere
at a Davey Allison
gas.jpg (73736 bytes)
Last gas stop.
Getting pretty
ragged out at
this point.

WHEW !!!
That's it.
Glad we made
the trip, glad
to be back
home !!!

movie.gif (701 bytes)Hokey movies to (701 bytes)

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Road Trip # 2...
Philly Cheesesteak

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