Leesburg to New Orleans

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Michelle and Nicole We planned to make a short stop back in Leesburg to take care of some business, but we ended up spending about three weeks there. Started out staying at Kim's brother's farm with Bill and Kent, where I made some repairs on the rig. Then we went to Purcellville to stay with Ken and Tamera, and spent time visiting many of our friends. I made several visits to Mad Fox and Vintage 50 to brew beer with my brewer friends. We also had a good time at Halloween at Geoff and Tanya's house (with Nicole and Michelle too). Also managed to acquire a new motorcycle, a 2011 Triumph Rocket III Touring, a three cylinder, 2300 cc monster of pure power!


Tail of the Dragon It was hard to get back on the road again, but our first stop was Asheville, NC. It was time to break in the new bike! We rode into the mountains a few times, including a 300 mile day to do the "Tail of the Dragon" on the edge of the Smokey Mountains. What a ride! Not just the "Tail", but the whole area is great riding.

Asheville is a cool little town with a lot of Hippie culture, as well as artists, musicians, and of course great brewpubs! I revisited many of the ones I had been to before, as well as a couple of new ones, including Heinzelmannchen (in Sylva), LAB, Asheville Pizza and brewery (2 locations), and my favorite, Green Man.

In keeping with the evolving secondary theme of the trip, I also reconnected with another High School friend, Suzanne Loar and her daughter Emily. It was great to see her again too, and I was sorry that we weren't able to spend more time with her.


Destination Destin After NC it was on the road again to spend Thanksgiving with the friends we met in Bar Harbor, Rex and Jodi. We had a great two weeks or so visiting with them in Niceville, including a wonderful family Thanksgiving at the Rocky Bayou State Park (where we were camped). Did a Toys for Tots ride, went to the Outpost, and spent several fun evenings at the VFW. Even brewed a few batches of beer, and refined my new "mobile" brewery!

New Orleans

Cajun Cooking School On the way to New Orleans we stopped in Bay St Louis tyo visit my college roommate Carl and his wife Jeanne. Went to the festival in Pass Christian and Carl ended up spending the night in the camper with us (after I got him out from under my motorcycle). We stayed at the Hollywood Casino, and had several nice visits with Carl and his whole family, including watching a Saints game.

We got to New Orleans and the Jude Travel Park two weeks before the girls were scheduled to arrive. Managed to move into the prime campsite next to the Hot Tub before they got there. Spent the time exploring the City, including the Avenue Pub and Nacho Mammas, our favorites. Did a lot of exploring in the French Quarter as well. Not much luck finding some of the brewpubs - a lot of them had been closed since Katrina.

Finally Sean, Michelle, and Nicole arrived. We took them to the Cajun Cooking School, where they learned to make Gumbo, Creole, and Pralines. Sean enjoyed drinking Hurricanes in the street. The girls liked the Voodoo shops, and they bought several items to torture their friends (and Dad). They used their new cooking skills to make us some fabulous dinners. We also enjoyed the World War II Museum and one of the classic New Orleans Cemetaries. Everyone enjoyed shopping in the French Quarter and eating Bignets at the Cafe Du Mond.

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