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Old 01-12-2006, 01:53 PM   #43
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Just Found Out!!!!

Well dear friends, It looks like after I get done with Pit Stop in February, my family and I will become bona fide Cajuns!

That's right, I had my choice between northern California or New Orleans and I chose N.O. I'll be attached to an ESD (Electronics Support Detachment). I'm pretty sure that means when something on a ship breaks that they can't fix, I fix it. If it's the same as the Navy, then it's a great job. Keep my feet dry and go home every night.

I will now be expecting feedback from all of you letting me know a good place to park the Toaster in New Orleans until the fam joins up with me down there. I need power, water, and sewer; but I don't want to pay out the nose either. Thank you for any input you can provide

I'm so excited! Believe it or not, I told YOU guys and I haven't even told my MOM yet!!!
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Old 01-12-2006, 02:59 PM   #44
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CALL your mother!!!!

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Originally Posted by Rivetedude
...I will now be expecting feedback from all of you letting me know a good place to park the Toaster in New Orleans until the fam joins up with me down there. I need power, water, and sewer; but I don't want to pay out the nose either...
And don't forget to have a spot big enough for courtesy parking. I'll be down for jambalaya!
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Old 01-12-2006, 04:15 PM   #45
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If I was gonna be stationed in NO's I'd purchase come Poontoons for my trailer with a Confederate Flag just in case I needed to be rescued ! r66
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Old 01-12-2006, 09:33 PM   #46
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It looks like the closest camping is at St. Bernard State Park according to Rand McNally. Looks like it only offers power and water, but it's only about 10 miles from my post and it has a bath house. I'll keep looking but that may just be the one.
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Old 01-20-2006, 06:28 PM   #47
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all I can say is that it's a darned good thing I bought an Airstream with 4-season capability! Thanks again guys.
Is that just leftover "Salesman talk" or have you really found ways to make an Airstream livable in winter??

Tom
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Old 01-20-2006, 07:44 PM   #48
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Post St Bernard State Park

"It looks like the closest camping is at St. Bernard State Park according to Rand McNally. Looks like it only offers power and water, but it's only about 10 miles from my post and it has a bath house. I'll keep looking but that may just be the one." Rivetdude
Best of luck to you! I'm sure you've already considered that the Louisiana State Parks website might be helpful. St. Bernard suffered tremendous hurricane damage. Maybe things have changed. Perhaps there are campgrounds in the area just for military and relief workers not known publicly? My folks will be camping in Abita Springs (I realize that's too far away for you) and its reopening only in Feb this year due to Katrina/Rita damage. Looking forward to reading about your adventures "way down yonder in New Orleans."
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Old 01-20-2006, 08:48 PM   #49
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Here's a plug for camping at Abita Springs. Small town charm, and they make a really nice Amber. If across the lake isn't too far, there are a couple of nice state parks near the Mandeville area on the north shore. This area wasn't hit nearly as hard by katrina. The causway's right there and people commute to N.O. daily
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Old 01-25-2006, 07:28 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill benton
Here's a plug for camping at Abita Springs. Small town charm, and they make a really nice Amber. If across the lake isn't too far, there are a couple of nice state parks near the Mandeville area on the north shore. This area wasn't hit nearly as hard by katrina. The causway's right there and people commute to N.O. daily
Thanks for the info! I called the NAS New Orleans number for the millitary park and he said that the Woodall's website is about three years out of date because they don't have an RV park anymore. He told me to call a place called Magnolia Shade. I called them and left a message and they never returned my call.

On the sunnier side, my recruiter called the other day and said that she didn't tell me previously because she wanted to get it approved first, but she got me a $5,000 enlistment bonus! Did you know that with that much money, I'll be able to buy an entire tank of GAS for my thirsty Dodge!!!

Does anyone know of a website that lists campgrounds besides Woodall's? I would've thought Google Earth would have them but they don't. Neither does Yahoo Maps.

Thanx!
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Old 01-25-2006, 08:38 AM   #51
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Smile Other campground ideas to check

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Does anyone know of a website that lists campgrounds besides Woodall's?
Thanx!
Congratulations on your bonus! I'd love to hear about other sources on the web for campgrounds around NO too. Our family makes trips down there 2 times a year, camping, so we're looking for new ideas too. I can share my findings, few, but hopefully helpful to you. We were just searching as my folks are going back to New Orleans shortly. We have never stayed in these campgrounds, just Abita RV park, which is marvelous.
Mardi Gras RV park is reopened http://www.mardigrasrvparkandmotel.com/
Jude Travel Park is open: http://www.judetravelpark.com/
It used to be close to a dangerous neighborhood, so we never camped there, but things have changed. Might be worth checking out.
New Orleans Convention Bureau has a list of a few campgrounds to consider.
Close Koas don't appear to be open yet.
Good luck. We'd love to hear more about campsites and findings.
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Old 01-29-2006, 02:22 PM   #52
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Smile Update website listing of LA rv parks reopened

Just saw a website here on RV Parks ready for Mardi Gras (about.com)
lists newly open parks and parks w/in 50 miles of NO. Spoke to the folks today, I guess the Abita park isn't making the 2/06 reopening due to repair problems, can't get the sewer and water back on in time. Good luck!
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Old 05-04-2006, 08:26 AM   #53
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To the Present

Well hello all. It sure has been some time now hasn't it?

Well, I'm here...and I'm working. The job so far is great and so is the Coast Guard thus far. I graduated Pit Stop on April 14th. What you say? Ok...I've got a little confession to make. I was supposed to graduate a month before that, but the FIRST time I was to leave for Pit Stop, they found that I was 7 pounds overweight! This developement turned out to be much better in the long run because I went on a huge diet, I ran everyday and after losing 13 pounds in a month, I was able to show up at Pit Stop in MUCH better physical shape. If I would've went the first time in the shape I was in, I would've failed the physical portion of the program and would have been reverted to real BOOT CAMP!!!

About Pit Stop itself, it was anything but easy and to call it a "Charm School" is like calling a root canal a picnic. Very challenging mentally and academically and I feel it was a significant personal milestone. On the other hand, Pit Stop was exactly what I needed. I wouldn't have been as effective an assett to the Coast Guard had I shown up with the total lack of military bearing and prowess ( ) that I now possess.

Now I'm sitting in my Toaster writing you guys from the Magnolia Shade RV park right smack dab on base about a block and a half from my workplace. The rent is $15/day ($450 or $465/month depending on 30 or 31 days) for Active Duty or Veterans only. The cheapest was actually in Picayune, MS (1 hour away) at Sun Roamers RV Resort. They charged $400/month which I paid for in advance prior to showing up on base. I stayed in Picayune 4 days and found out about this place and pulled out the next day. No, the place in Picayune did not refund my money. I did the math and had I stayed there for the remainder of the time, I would have spent roughly $395 in gas for 19 round trips. Either way I was out $400, so I moved. I have a JAG officer making some calls to see if she can get some of my money back.

As for the area of New Orleans, I can tell it was great once and it will be again some day. I was one of those people who sat back and watched the news and accused the media of overdramatizing the damage and blamed the residents for not getting out when they should've. Now that I live here, I couldn't have been more wrong. The east side of NO still looks like the day after the storm. There are wrecked cars littering the sides of the interstate and rubble everywhere. There are 10,000 FEMA trailers sitting in people's front yards that FEMA has still not authorized those people to live in yet due to certain utilities that have not been run. There are about 20,000 residents in FEMA trailers now. The downtown area and west side are pretty much back to business as usual. You get down further south and east and the damage increases exponentially. Part of my area of responsibility extends down to Venice and Grand Isle. Grand Isle isn't too bad because it's farther west, but Venice is totally in ruins. One small hurricane this year would erase the town completely. I actually saw the front clip of a car sticking out from under the front door of a house!!! I see progress everywhere though. That's the important thing.

As for me and my Airstream, we're doing pretty good other than a couple hiccups. My water heater tank apparently rusted through and it is now in-operable without soaking the bathroom floor. I by-passed it and am now using the shower house here at the campground until I get around to replacing it. My AC unit is building up excessive condensation in the inside shroud and starts dripping water profusely if I run it for longer than a week. I think the drain hose that runs out by the tire may be only partially clogged as it's still dripping outside. I'm using the AC in moderation so I don't have the problem until I get time to repair it. My water hook-up pipe didn't make it through the winter because I forgot to take the water preassure regulator out which has a check valve in it and held a little water there which froze. A quick trip to Ace and about $7 fixed the problem.

Other than those little problems, everything else here is going pretty darned good. The only other Airstream owners in the park came over the other night and introduced themselves and I'm pretty sure I may have recruited them into our community. They full-time. He is in the Coast Guard, and she's an Airdale officer in the Navy so I had much to talk about with both of them. We'll be doing a BBQ sometime here shortly. I walk to work everyday so I don't have to pay high gas prices like everyone else in my unit who live in FEMA trailers and have to drive everyday from Slidell.

Now that I'm settled in, I'll be checking in here more often so if I think of anything else I'll fill in the blanks, but that's pretty much an accurate update. Glad to be back and great to see all of you again!
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Old 08-27-2006, 08:16 PM   #54
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It's Over!

Well folks, so ends the Lumin' in Alivanum Saga. I got out of PSTP (Prior Service Training Program (Pitstop)) April 14th and on April 20th, I set out for NOLA.

I know we talk about enjoying the trip more than the destination, but unfortunately my trip was miserable. Coming through the mountains, I got several charlie horses from having my toe mashed to my poor tiny 318's firewall. After the mountains there was a large wreck in Mississippi, and wouldn't you know it. I begin to get a migraine headache....you know, the kind where you can't see! So somehow I maneuver my truck and 29' trailer across 4 lanes of bumper to bumper halted traffic to the nearest exit ramp and crawl into the Airstream, pop three 800mg Motrins, and go to sleep early at about 6PM.

At about 4AM the next morning, I wake up feeling groggy and restless, so I drive on down the ramp with which I exited to find myself in one of the worst ghettos that words fail to describe and unable to figure out how to get back on the interstate (Remember...I'm Groggy...and Restless). After wading through about 6 drunks in the parking lot of a gas station (two of which were fist fighting), I got directions from a lady via a tinney sounding speaker mounted in bullet-proof glass.

Thankful to get out with my skin, I find the interstate and drive half of the day to Picayune, Mississippi. Thinking this is the closest campground to New Orleans that isn't $800/month (I called around), I stop at Sun Roamers RV Resort. The place is very nice and I decide to pay a month in advance ($400). I stay for about 3 days and right after my water heater begins to leak profusely onto the ground, I find a campground a block and a half from the building where I work on base for $450.

Of course, the owner of Sun Roamers tells me (in her German accent), "Vonce you pey, you ah een. Theah ees noh mohney bach" Even though it didn't say this anywhere on my paperwork that I received, I ate the $400 because I'm a nice guy and let people frequently walk all over me.

I then pulled The Toaster further down I-10, through the still tattered New Orleans east side and on into Naval Support Activity New Orleans. By the way all you vets and actives, the campground is called Magnolia Shade RV Park, but you won't get any returned phone calls from them as the manager is never there. There are always sites open though, and the attendant is a full-time resident so you can pull in anytime 24/7. Also they have full hook-ups, a great shower house (see aforementioned water heater problem), and laundry facilities.

There I stayed for two months until joined by my wife and two daughters. Things went well for awhile. Being tight on money (and not able to fix the now bypassed water heater), we used the provided shower house and did dishes by running water through the coffee pot (a rather ingenius idea that I came up with and have since patted myself on the back numerous times for). We figured out how to put aluminum foil on the Vista Bake Windows and keep all the curtains closed to reduce the heat.

We began to get more comfortable in the old Airstream...more than I thought possible...right up until the fan motor on the A/C went out. We immediately opened all the windows and started up the three fans we had. This didn't help AT ALL!!! We realized quickly that other arrangements had to be made.

We quickly applied for and achieved emergency status to move into On-Base Housing. In the Navy, I always thought that you'd lose money by living in Base Housing, but this is entirely rubbish...especially here in NOLA. The cheapest three bedroom appartments are about $1,300/month plus tax plus utilities due to price gouging after Katrina. We pay $1,096/month with no tax and utilities included for a three bedroom town house.

But of course just before we move in, we call House Hold Goods who have our furniture. They have to have 5 days notice so they can arrange to have our stuff moved in. Guess what! They can't get our stuff until September 6th!!! I'm on one heck of a streak of luck here!

So here I sit friends and fellow Airstreamers in my Living room on a Coleman Lawn chair next to my Coleman inflateable queen-sized air mattress watching my 13" TV (on the floor) in my un-furnished (BUT COOOOOL) house typing to you the final entry of the Aaga of AlumiResidence on an internet connection I'm stealing from some idiot who doesn't know how to secure a network!!!!

Thank You All...and Good Night!!!

Ben
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Old 08-27-2006, 09:14 PM   #55
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Hope things start looking up fast! At least you are cool, and I think you have the makings of a book in this saga ~G
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Old 08-28-2006, 12:20 AM   #56
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Ben, it is good to hear you are all together and in good humour. What a read that was. You know that this will replay even better and better after an appeciable time passes and all is home sweet home again. You can make the worse trails and tribulations sound like Garrison Keiller. With a fine attitude like that how could you help but rise above any other ostacle.

I think you've just reminded all of us of the real power of keeping on the sunnyside. Please continue to keep us posted.
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