New Orleans

Another 5 hours of driving and we arrived in New Orleans, Louisiana. We stayed at the French Quarter RV park. We unhitched faster than lightning and then headed across town to Hansen’s Sno-Bliz. They have THE best snow cones. We have been here several times on previous trips. We arrived a little bit before they opened and watched the line grow insanely long after us. Emmerson watched the sno-bliz machine with excitement. Sno-cones aren’t really his thing. He is holding out for beignets.

After snow-bliz we dropped the cars at the campground and walked to the French Quarter in search of beignets. The walk wasn’t too far, about a mile. We opted to walk up and look at the mighty Mississippi. Unfortunately, we got caught in a massive rain storm. We caught cover and stayed mostly dry. Except for Breighton who found it entertaining to run around and try to catch the rain in his mouth.

We finally made it to beignets. The place Emmerson really liked was out of business. We opted for a few servings from Cafe Du Monde, not our favorite. Mom snagged a table quickly and our orders were up quickly.

We wandered around the quarter when we were done snacking. Dad took us all to a place called M.S. Rau Antiques. Boy was this place AWESOME! They has a $1.4 million chess set! We really loves this $300,000 cabinet that was played violins! The staff member even played it for us! WOWZERS!  

We had a nice seafood dinner out and then hit the swimming pool at the campground. B and E got into a larger disagreement over the pool toys so swimming ended earlier than planned.

In the morning David and Emmerson got up early and walked to the French Quarter for beignets from a different place. Success! Mom and Breighton headed to Lowe’s to purchase a few hibiscus plants for the caterpillars.

We all magically met up at the Audubon Insectarium about 5 minutes before they opened. We loved looking at all the fun insects in their collections. They had some neat old collecting equipment as well. We all loved the frog beetle. We popped out heads up in the cockroach room. Then on to the best part. They have a bug kitchen! You can try all different items withe bugs in them. Breighton stuck to the sweet items. Emmerson avoided this experience with gusto! Somehow Grandma and Grandpa even got suckered in to trying the bugs! The result…not too bad! Even going back to try a few more samples! Dad snuck away as there was NO WAY he was eating any of them! Mom enjoyed the classic board game area display. Remember Tickle Bee? The butterfly garden was also a treat but it is nothing compared to the one back in Gainesville!


One more evening trip to get beignets and a leaky faucet in the motorhome bathroom and we bring a wrap to New Orleans. Don’t worry we had to run out and buy a new faucet and install it! What a chore!

We say goodbye to new Orleans, we never know how the hurricanes will spare you. Hopefully you are here for our next voyage!

Random Emmerson selfie…


Off We Go…


Off we go on our adventure. We have 8 stowaways in the form on io moth caterpillars in tow. We are hoping that the cocoon soon so we can not worry about finding proper food for them. We brought a huge bad of hibiscus clippings from the yard. We are keeping them moist and in the fridge to last a while.

The first days drive was long. We spent the day reading on our kindles and settling in for the long journey across the entire country.

We made it to the panhandle of Florida to a town called Holt. Grandma and Grandpa arrived a little after us with their motorhome. It will be a fun adventure traveling with them.

We stayed at a really nice wooded campground called River’s Edge. It was nothing fancy but a place to rest for the night. We headed off with our bug gear in search of some new specimens for our collection. We caught a few new critters and then spent the evening before bed getting everything pinned.




Feeling Crafty

A and W came over to hang out and to get W’s insect collection finished. We made sure he had enough insects, which he did, and helped him get them mounted and labeled.

Then we played some video games while A and Emmerson played Egyptian Rat Slap (card game).

I was eager to knock another project off my list for 4-H. In January there is an insect art competition. I made insects from construction paper and then counted them in a shadow box to look like an insect collection. I thought it was a cute idea.

Then I had fun with scissors when the glue dried.

My final project. Now to keep it safe until January!

Up next was a new stuffed animal called Big Mouth. I learned to pin the pattern on for cutting. It was so much easier this way.

I worked for hours cutting pieces and getting everything pinned. Mom helped a little with the sewing since I was using faux fur and it was difficult with the sewing machine.

We all worked hard all day and Dad wanted Culver’s. We all went along and had a nice ice cream treat as a family.




Insects, Owls and the 4th of July

I think I am finally done with the insect collection to turn in. I worked really hard on it. I am super proud of all the things that I have learned.

We had to run some errands this weekend and swung through Home Depot. They had a kids build of bug cages! Mom even got some extras for the 4-H kids to build.

At home we patiently worked with our io caterpillars. We have to change their branches every other day so they have fresh leaves to eat. I am really hoping the cacoon soon!

All I know is that they poop…. A LOT!


We have been greatly enjoying the owls in the back yard. Mom tried to get new photos whenever they aren’t tucked back too far.



We celebrated the 4th of July on the 3rd of July at Spectrum Field watching paratroopers, baseball and fireworks. Grandma jo, Grandpa Howie and  Grandma Susie all were able to join us! It was a great day and evening.

On the 4th we set off the few fireworks we had left. Mostly smoke bombs, poppers, snakes and crackers.

We were all so exhausted that we were in bed long before the neighborhood fireworks started!



Universal Studios Last Hurrah

Our passes expire in a few weeks and we wanted one last day. We arrived early and rode Kong Skull Island a few times. Then a few trips on the pteranodon flyers, probably my last since E is almost too fall for it and I can only go since he needs a taller person to ride with.  We explored the Jurrasic Park area, always my favorite.

A few trips on the Flight of the Hippogryph in the Harry Potter area.

The train we took both ways just to say goodbye.

I insisted that we ride ET. The ride was down but we got to wait in the cool line inside. ET never says my name… he called me FRIEND! GOODBYE FRIEND!

We wrapped up with several rides on the Storm Force Accelerator and called it a day.

The real storms were rolling in and we had a long dive home. It was a great way to wrap up the Universal Passes. I hope we can get Disney passes again someday.