The trip from Austin to Omaha was a long, arduous one.
More than I had anticipated. The plan was to leave a few days early, check out some cities on the way.
New Orleans was one of those cities, for no reason other than I had never been!
// Here's my suggested listening for this blog post \\
Our first stop was only a few hundred feet from our front door. The morning ritual wouldn't change just because we were leaving town.
Best damn dollar tacos you could ask for. Apparently I wasn't the only who we enjoyed the tortilla wrapped goodness.
It wasn't long before we made another stop. We passed by the Lost Pines in Bastrop, which was only an hour outside Austin, but it was a good time to stop.
You've gotta make your occasional stops on long drives like these. That's what makes them great. The drive can be therapeutic if you do it right. It seems like every time you stopped, there's a feeling of rejuvenation when you get back into the car.
Plus, those stopes make for some sweet new Instagram material.
The regal beagle at Lost Pines
We continued on, crossing into Louisiana (which was our first time in the cajun state). The moment I saw water, I assumed it was the Gulf of Mexico and felt obligated to stop (turned out to be far from it). Sid got to run around and meet a couple new friends.
I met their owners, who's names now escape me. I asked if I could take picture of them and their dogs. They were a little confused but agreed.
Somehow, like usual, Sid's celebrity status came up. Shortly after, they began to tell me about their son, and how everyone in their small community loved his dog.
Let me just say, old people rock. They just want to talk to you about stuff. It doesn't seem to matter what the subject is. They'll just chat you up. God, I can't wait to retire.
It was a neat experience conversing with them. I asked if I could take their picture under the gazebo you'll see in the images below. They were into the idea.
We walked over and they got their dogs next to them. I watched as one of the dogs disrupted a massive mound of fire ants (oops). They began to spread.
The elderly couple tired to pose their dogs with "sit" commands. Unfortunately, the dogs were preoccupied by the fire ants who had sounded the attack alarm. I told the couple what was happening, they didn't seem to understand.
So, with the dogs best interests in mind, I told the couple I got the shot, hoping they'd release the helpless animals. They did, and the dogs ran to safety in the cool grass.
The drive from Austin to New Orleans was beautiful. The amount of concrete between here and there was astonishing. Bridges that extended as far as the eye could see. It was a part of the country I had never seen, and it lived up to my expectations.
Soon, we ran into brutal traffic which halted our progress. Baton Rouge is not a good place to be at rush hour.
Sid was not impressed...
But, the stop offered a great opportunity to take a selfie...
We pulled off to eat and take some long exposure shots.
Finally, we arrived in New Orleans!
The thing we did was find some water, which again I assumed was the Gulf of Mexico. It turned out to be Lake Pontchartrain (close enough, right?).
Sid was on gator detail. His eyes and ears were on high alert the whole time we were in New Orleans.
Check out the rest of the photos from my Christmas adventure below...