Late afternoon. Across the Texas plains with an orange sun burning the western sky. A few hours later we were in San Antonio with a two-hour layover. Off to the Riverwalk!
A nice twenty minutes stroll and we were on the river. We had a light supper of shrimp appetizers, gazed at the river, and wandered back. Time to settle in for the night.
I actually slept but awoke around four, in knots, so grabbed my pillows and cover and headed to the observation car where I snagged a pair of seats and was able to stretch out a bit. The floor was littered with large men who just didn’t fit into the seats. They had pillows wedged under their heads and were sleeping as well as the floor would allow. It was a good time to be small enough to fit into two cushioned seats.
I awoke at dawn and Debbie wandered in. A brilliant red sun hung over the swamps and cypress, their broad skirted roots under the water. I searched for alligators but found none. Soon a man’s voice down the way cut through the morning stillness, waking the last sleepers: “Someone, tell me we’re out of Texas. Please!”
But we we still west of Beaumont. Swamps rolled past. Egrets lounged on tree stumps. The blue sky began to cloud.
Breakfast on the train. Finally we were out of Texas and into Louisiana! Flat. Green. Treed. So different from the sparsely vegetated red clay of home. We settled in for the last stretch of the journey.
Skies became more gray and a little rain pattered the train. Amazingly, we arrived about an hour and a half early! A cab whisked us to our hotel (St. Peter House, on the edge of the French Quarter) and we were so early our room wasn’t ready.
They let us stash our bags and we moseyed on into the Quarter where we browsed the outdoor market and witnessed a wedding party being carried off in carriages. We even found a gallon of water to replenish our empty bottles. What we didn’t find was the restaurant our cabbie had recommended nor the food festival our innkeeper had told us about. We returned to our clean and ready room hungry and miserably hot. An air conditioned bus tour may be on tomorrow afternoon’s agenda.