Friday, August 17, 2012

Fontainebleau State Park, Mandeville, LA August 16-???!!

We knew that we would have a long drive and hit the road in Hernando, MS early.  We were definitely breaking our 4-2-4 rule (no more than 4 hours or 200 miles of driving and be off the road by 4pm).  We were headed south to Louisiana to spend some time near New Orleans.  My birthday is coming up and I figured New Orleans would be a cool place to celebrate!

I knew that we wouldn't want to be too close to the French Quarter so decided on Fontainebleau State Park.  It's about 30 miles from New Orleans and sits right on the north shore of Lake Ponchatrain.  We pulled in around 3pm and got a list of sites that were available.  The lady in the office was confident that we would like site 23.  We registered and headed to the site.  Ut-oh....big problem....there was no way that we could put our slides out!  The trees were too close to the parking pad.  One of the work -campers, Milton, came up on his John Deere gator to see if we needed any help.  He ended up driving us around the two loops so we could see which site we wanted.  We ended up at site 21 and got set up.  We took off on our pedal bikes to explore.

My favorite animal since childhood!
Deer are everywhere!

Fawns are so cute!

Great Horned Owl 
I heard the owl before I saw him.  I circled around until I spotted him and then listened to him hoot to another owl for quite awhile.  It was so neat!  We also heard (and then saw!) some wild boars but I did not get any pictures of them.

The park is absolutely beautiful....
Big trees with the moss and resurrection ferms

The skyline of New Orleans is visible from the beach area

Wonderful pier and shaded fishing/viewing area

Lovely Cypress trees

Gorgeous sunset!

We saw this vehicle during our bike ride and I just had to get a picture.  It made me chuckle!

We went to the Visitor's Center this afternoon and enjoyed looking at all of items and displays in it.  Stephen, one of the Park Rangers, was very friendly and helpful and told us quite a bit about the history of the State Park and the surrounding area.  He offered to let me borrow a few of his personal books about Hurricane Katrina as I had a few questions about the extent of the damage within the park.  He also gave us quite a few tips on visiting New Orleans.     Fontainebleau State Park is very high on my list of campgrounds with the "it" factor.  

There's so much to do here that I hope a week is enough!  There's a wonderful, paved Rails-to-Trails trail (Tammany Trace) that we want to pedal.  In addition to a Farmer's Market, there's also a brewery right off the trail that gives tours with "all the beer you can drink in an hour".  This is on my to-do list!  :-)   And, my sister Barbara is coming for a few days to celebrate my birthday with us.    It's going to be a fun, fun week!

Life is good!


Sherry said...

New Orleans for your birthday. Sounds like a plan and you may be in the closest park to get there. I think that's what Howard and Linda said when they were there. So nice not to have to have reservations. Let the good times roll!

Gail Houle said...

Beautiful place! Life just doesn't get much better :)
Happy "early" Birthday!!!

Al and Karen said...

We enjoyed our overnighter there back in April...its on the list for a longer stay!

Catherine, Jo Beth and Grace said...

We drove right by there today!

Ceal said...

More gorgeous scenery , a Farmers Market & Brewery. What more could you want? We hope your Birthday is fantastic & we'll try to call you sometime during the day. Watched a movie last night-"Double Jeopardy" with Ashley Judd & Tommy Lee Jones which was made partially in New Orleans.

Dave and Maxine- Wandering Wingers said...

Looks like a really nice area. Hope you have a great birthday celebration. All the beer you can drink in an hour....Perfect!

Jan Goldfield said...

I live about 20 minutes from the park toward Slidell if you have any questions. I have lived in New Orleans and Slidell for over 40 years and know the place pretty well.

Nancy and Bill said...

Wow, sounds like that park has just about everything but the ocean;o)) Putting it on our TODOS list.

Happy Birthday and ENJOY!!!

Anonymous said...

You are going to love New Orleans. My son and daughter went to college there. So much to do! Great place to celebrate your Birthday! Happy Birthday!

Bruce and Laura

Elaine said...

Happy early birthday sister! Looks like your celebration has start early - lucky you! Too bad the guy with the spiffy vehicle couldn't give you a ride around town after your visit to the brewery. XOXO

Elaine said...

Happy early birthday sister! Looks like your celebration has start early - lucky you! Too bad the guy with the spiffy vehicle couldn't give you a ride around town after your visit to the brewery. XOXO

Gin and Syl said...

Happy Birthday!! Looks like we know where to go when we decide to check out New Orleans. Wonderful to see all the wildlife.

Brandon and Amanda said...

Happy Birthday!!! Looks like a great park to spend your birthday week! Great pictures - the skyline reminds me of the view we had at 4 Mile Creek SP.