As you may have already read in our previous post, Gregg and I drove our 24-foot Thor Chateau RV from Los Angeles to Florida through the middle of the United States. Gorgeous trip!! However, our trip back to LA from Florida along the I-98 and the I-10 was a little different.
You would not believe how long it took us to get out of Florida! That is one big State! We drove almost 10 hours along the I-98 before getting onto the I-110 and then I-10. We passed through many cute beach cities along the Gulf of Mexico coast from Panama City to Destin and onto Pensacola.
Because we wanted to spend a few days in New Orleans, Louisiana, we decided to pass through Alabama and Mississippi and return at another time. Driving pass the bayous along the I-10 was gorgeous! Since I was inspired by the beauty, I decided to capture it in the painting below, which I call “Home on the Bayou.”
Once we got to Louisiana, we decided to have dinner before heading to our RV Park. We dined at Phil’s Marina Cafe in Slidell. This place is a must visit and eat! Deep sea shrimp, oysters, shrimp po-boy with regional draft beer was absolutely divine! From there, we headed to our RV park to get some much needed sleep at the Jude Travel Park of New Orleans.
Artists displayed their work and musicians played their music to our delight! Therefore, we had a spirited yet relaxed walk, and, consequently, strolled much of the city. We walked down the famous Bourbon Street and had a great Jambalaya lunch at one of the many restaurants lining the streets. Jambalaya is a meat, vegetable and rice dish, influenced by both the Spanish and French, which is quite filling, healthy and delicious!!
After getting a good night’s sleep, we felt revitalized. We got in our RV the next morning and drove toward Houston, Texas, which is an amazing city! There is so much to see in this city, known as many names such as Bayou City, officially as Space City, earlier known as Magnolia City but most recently “The Big Heart” because of its assistance given to Hurricane Katrina victims in 2005 and 2006. Houston is most well known for its NASA’s Johnson Space Center, where the Mission Control Center is located.
There is much more to see and visit in Houston. Definitely plan a visit to the Houston Zoo, where you and/or your children can spend an entire day and still not see everything. Experience an exciting day with reptiles, cats, elephants, sea lions, giraffes, butterflies and more! We did not visit many of the beautiful and engaging places but the Downtown Aquarium is “an underwater adventure” and a must for children.
The Buffalo Bayou is a slow-moving river which flows through Houston and has a variety of tributaries and natural springs. Many visitors view Houston while canoeing or kayaking along the river and it is spectacular! There is a must experience 160-acre park. It houses the magnificent Water Works that offers skyline views of Houston; the awe-inspiring Lost Lake which features a pond surrounded by amazing wetland gardens; the incredible Johnny Steele Dog Park which highlights ponds, water fountains water play areas and more for dog lovers; and, for music and entertainment lovers there is the Eleanor Tinsley Park which hosts festivals and events.
The scenery along our drive was breathtaking! We took a slow drive through beautiful farmlands from Houston to San Antonio, where there is the gorgeous, historical Alamo Mission. What a beautiful place! The River Walk, which is 15 linear miles of bike and hike trails from Brackenridge Park to Mission Espada, is amazing. There’s music, shopping, restaurants, fun attractions and more for adults and children. Great place to visit!
Thrilled yet exhausted from our trek along the River Walk, we headed back to our RV home-on-the-road and traveled to El Paso, which stands on the Rio Grande river and sits on the borders of Texas, New Mexico and Mexico. Quite interesting! Due to this fact, you will see signs for Juarez (Mexico), Las Cruces (New Mexico) and El Paso (Texas) along your I-10 drive in this area. There’s lots to experience here from the Zoo, Botanical Gardens, festivals, performing arts and ballets, museums, theaters and National Parks.
Because we like to visit, churches, cathedrals and missions, we were right at home here! The Ysleta Mission and its community are recognized as the oldest continuously operated parish and community in Texas. Lovely and amazing!!
Our adventures, so far, inspired us and we were eager to continue on our journey! We hopped in our RV and drove to our next stop – Tucson, Arizona.
Tucson is a beautiful desert city surrounded by mountain ranges. On the outskirts of the city, we saw many adobe homes and quaint towns with yards of desert plant gardens. As a result, we felt refreshed with the small town and city combination. As a result, we decided not to stop but to pass through and take in the beauty of the surrounding area. Because of the exhilarating scenery, we continued on to Phoenix to see if there were many similarities between the two cities and their neighborhood areas.
When we arrived in the Phoenix area, we realized it was much bigger than Tucson. More city, but still beautiful! Although there was much to see and do in Phoenix – zoo, parks, restaurants, clubs and the like – it was late in the day and we were eager to get home to our children, Tristan and Angelique. We had been gone almost a month and were ready to spend the Christmas holiday season with them. Therefore, we decided to continue driving so we could arrive home that night. Therefore, we noted that we’d return to Arizona, at another time, to experience the many National Parks and adventures it has to offer.
What an amazing trip this was! We’d do it again in a heart beat!!
Driving from Florida to LA
To assist you with your overnight decisions while RVing within the USA, here are a few sites that may help: RV Parks, KOA Campgrounds, Walmart, Rest and Truck Stops such as Love’s and Pilot Flying J, and National Parks.