As we walked out of the hotel this morning, anxious to check out the parish of Houma, LA, we were startled when we ran into this statue of Jeff.  This is the same statue we saw in the French Quarter of New Orleans, except this one demanded tips, and it seems to be following us??

Jeff Statue

In an attempt to get a feel for Houma, we cruised around aimlessly.  After passing the same crawfish store a couple of times, the joke “look kids, Big Ben, Parliament,” a European Vacation reference, was thrown out.  The real joke was a couple of minutes later when we passed Big Ben.  We had to stop and do some site seeing.

Big Ben

Ready for some Louisiana fried catfish for lunch, we were searching for Big Al’s restaurant which was recommended by the front desk clerk at the hotel.  Big Al’s was unfortunately closed, but we came across Mr. Ronnie’s Famous Donuts.  Their intriguing sign drew us in and I’m glad we did; the donuts were excellent, and the girls working the counter were fun to talk with.  They shared their inside knowledge of Houma and Louisiana.  As we ate, I noticed the Mr Ronnie’s shirts for sale on the wall and had to have one.  This turned from buying a shirt to sporting the shirt and hat, and posing as Mr Ronnie from behind the counter.

Mr Ronnie's Famous Donuts

The Sampler Plate

The Real Mr Ronnie

After finishing our desert, we were ready for some lunch.  Still craving some catfish, the girls at Mr. Ronnie’s recommended Sparh’s Seafood Restaurant.  It was exactly what we were looking for, but our appetites were fairly diminished from the donuts.  We all split a cup of gumbo and pepperjack crawfish soup, and a plate of catfish chips and soft shell crab.  The crawfish soup was the best.  The waiter kindly brought a bowl of rice and recommended pouring the soup over the rice; something he often did.  Great recommendation, it would have been a great meal in itself.  The soft shell crab was intriguing.  I am glad to have tried it, but the crab with the shell and organs was a bit too much for me.  Shannon was content just to have found her favorite Captain’s Wafers.

Shannon's Favorite

Soft Shell Crab

After lunch we scoped out the casino in the bar tucked away in a plywood box.  The locals were surprised at our interest in the casino and wondered why we would want our picture in it.  Apparently they are well accustomed to casino’s in a box.  We talked with them for a bit, and they mentioned that we should check out their drive thru daiquiri’s.  Drive thru daiquiris, are you kidding me?

Casino in a Box

We followed their directions to Daiquiri’s & Company, and drove around the establishment to the drive thru window.  I was shocked as I looked over the menu: daiquiris, margaritas, pina coladas, black russians, knockout punch, and more.  As a resident of New York, drive thru windows and alcohol are permanently imprinted in my mind as a contradiction.  We ordered two huge strong drinks for only $12, a margarita and knockout punch.  I definitely don’t condone drinking and driving, but I couldn’t pass up this photo opportunity.

Daiquiris & Company

The Drive Thru Menu

Releasing the Stresses of the Road

As Jeff agonized in pain from brain freeze, a side effect of the knockout punch, we headed back to New Orleans.  On the way out we stopped by the hotel to pick up Shannon’s bag which had finally made its way back to us from the airline.  We had retrieved all of our road gear except the motorcycles, which were still stashed in NOLA.  As we rolled out of Houma, we came across a Halliburton sign welcoming us.  Jeff, aka Handstand, touched by the warm welcoming shared the love.

A Warm Welcome

We took the same roads back to New Orleans that we had driven the previous evening.  It would only be responsible of us to stop and pick up the debris from the fireworks we lit off last night; it was still there.  The daylight gave us a better read of the area.  As we jumped back in the car Jeff lit off a few of his own firecrackers.  We then stopped off at the Shell casino/gas station from the day before.  That’s where we met up with the same clerks, Shawanna & Rex.  As we walked in Shawanna replied “there are those foreigners.”  Ahhh, Shawanna, great sense of humor, fun talking with you two.  We couldn’t find the alligator farm??  Were you setting us up, sending us to the middle of the Bayou?

Litter Retrieval

Alligator Farm??

We arrived in New Orleans and went straight to Tripper’s house, a good friend of Shannon’s sister who had been extremely kind and allowed us to store the trailer, or “the box,” at his place the past week while we were home.  We talked to Tripper for a while and met his two great dogs: Sophie and Firepaw.  The names were very appropriate, Sophie a mellow sweet docile companion, and Firepaw a wild energetic and sporatic recluse.  I’ve never seen a dog literally chase it’s tail; so much furry, oops I mean fury!  Tripper, it was great meeting you and I hope you look us up next time you’re in Rochester.


Day ??


About bhoefen

Going on a road trip.
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8 Responses to Firepaws

  1. Emily I. says:

    Think you guys will make it up to San Diego by January 23? I’ll be there for a marathon – just curious! 🙂 Dan and I won’t be able to come down with the Orlando Crew in January because of my marathon training and Dan getting ready for his re-test the last week of January. We hope we can meet up with you again somewhere though! Happy New Year and good luck with your adventures!

  2. Mom says:

    Bret, I’m thinking that a drive-through Daiquiri might relieve some of that road stress in Boston…

  3. Michelle, Mario, and Simona says:

    Drive through cocktails!!! Are you guys sure you are still in the US!?!?!
    Shannon you are a good samaritan picking up the debris from the fireworks. I think you guys were scared that the Louisianna State Police would find that box and trace the fingerprints to you and send the gators for ya!!!!

  4. JLAG says:

    Now THAT’s a drive-thru!!! Do they have frequent visit cards…like buy 5 get a free hangover?

  5. Cuzin Katie says:

    It was so good to have you guys here in NOLA! I hope that you enjoyed your “rural” experience. Good luck on your next destination 🙂
    xoxo, kt

  6. Darren Kemp says:

    Hey Bret, thought you might like to see this, RNEWS did a CCS story:–clear-cell-sarcoma/

  7. Uncle Kevin & Aunt Judy says:

    Love reading about your adventures! That statue following you around looks kind of creepy–I’d beware of that if I were you!! Have a good day. Can’t wait to read tomorrow where you’ve been today!

  8. Debbie says:

    Greetings Road Warriors! WOW! You guys have been busy!

    I’m SO amazingly happy you guys got to meet Tripper–he raved on and on about how nice and how sweet you all were. He even said I should meet your cousin as he would be a GREAT date for me. (insert blink here). Ohhh kay! LOL!

    So, you’re westward bound and I do hope that the sunshine and warmth follows you. I’ve always wanted to see San Antonio because I’ve heard such amazing stories about the riverside and the Alamo.

    But what is most important is that you’re back on the road–having fun–and the journey and the adventure continues! Can’t wait to see where you guys wind up next.

    Love you all!


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