Tag Archives: New Orleans

Odds & Ends

10 May

New Orleans has been our first stop after leaving Florida.  We encountered a few issues so we decided to take a few days to make life a bit more comfortable.  On the drive our windshield wipers gave out.  The plane blocks a lot of the rain and I put some Windex so the rain would bead.   I replaced the faulty wiper motor.   We also discovered we have weak headlights.  We switched them out with some brighter ones and added auxiliary driving lights.  Those have yet to be road tested.  A few organizational changes were made to the cabin.  The last few days were productive.

I decided to install a composting toilet for the following reasons: they have no odor, they can be dumped anywhere, they have to be dumped less frequently, and they do not require the installation of a holding tank.  These toilets are pricey.  I bought a marine toilet and spent lots of time modifying it to make it compost.  The key is to separate liquids and solids.  I accomplished the separation but it wasn’t pretty.  It did work for a while until Sarah and I first spent the night in the camper.  It had a major failure.  Needless to say sometimes its better to buy some things then make them.  I found a few suitable toilets in the market.  I bought a Nature’s Head toilet.  So far it has worked great.  I am always happy to use it.  The install was easy and we have no odor.  Anyone interested in a compost toilet should go with a Nature’s Head.  If you want more information email me and I’ll give you the skinny.

I also wanted to mention that I will be trying to be honest and transparent with my entries.  Being on the road I feel I have the freedom to be honest without having to deal with the fallout.  When you have a job and are one place we all have to play politics and be diplomatic.   My good friend Doug is always transparent in all situations.  He is not only honest about who he is, how he sees things, and his emotions to me as his friend but to anyone he meets.  It’s refreshing and it makes me want to be honest and quit hiding my thoughts.  So I dedicate this initiative to Doug who has showed me that being open and vulnerable is liberating and endears people to you.  If any issues arise with this approach take it up with Doug.

I heart NOLA

9 May

After we left Miami, it seemed like we were playing beat the clock. I wanted to be in New Orleans to see Fleetwood Mac at Jazz Fest on May 4. But once we got to Hani’s parents’ house, we started running into problems.

The drive from Miami to Ormond Beach was long and a bit shaky. Hani couldn’t diagnose the problem and needless to say, I had no clue. So we spent the first full day in Ormond going from one mechanic to the next to the next to the next. Eventually, it was suggested that a good start to fixing the problem was to get our tires trued (rounded) or buy new ones.

Thus was my birthday.


Fun. We spent all day (and $1,000) at this truck repair shop. All. day. But we now have brand new front tires so I can’t complain too much. Since the day was already shot, we drove over an hour in traffic to the Apple store to get Hani a new iPhone after his inexplicably died. We got back to the house around 9 that night to a nice dinner and birthday cake. And with the intention of spending my  birthday with belated festivities in New Orleans.

With the shaking problem (mostly) resolved, we planned on leaving that next morning. Then re-orangization got the best of us and it took for.ev.er. to re-pack and get ourselves together to leave. And we realized our water tanks had green gunk growing in them. My uncle was right. Never start a project involving water in the evening.

We were so anxious to leave Ormond, we didn’t care that the next morning we were hitting the road in a semi-monsoon, with windshield wipers that were not quite up to par. It rained basically non-stop the 2 days it took us to leave Florida. We drove along the coastal roads, which were really pretty, and would have been even prettier if they weren’t being viewed from behind rain soaked windows.

Despite all these set backs, we made it to Jazz Fest! Neither of us thought that was going to happen. And we went Saturday and Sunday just because we could and because we were so happy to be here!


Even forging through the mud to reach the stage.


Now its time to slooooow down. We have spent almost a week in New Orleans hanging out with friends and doing minor adjustments on the truck while parked on their residential street (the looks we get are priceless). We now have working wipers, organized storage, and a new set of headlights! We plan on going with them and some of their friends to the beach this weekend in Grand Isle, LA and then continuing on to Texas.