Our first stop – a New Orleans wedding reception for my nephew Adam and his beautiful bride Zeynab!

Getting there

We arrived safely at the NOLA (New Orleans Louisiana) with some interesting challenges along the way!

On the way to brother Dave’s house on the 19th we ended up getting a nail in one of the trailer tires. Thankfully I was immediately aware because of the TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) I installed before I left. Good move on my part for sure after reading tails of what could have happened. But it did not and we met some interesting people which actually re-instilled a sense of faith in this country for me.

We arrive here safely on Thursday with no incidents on our way from Panama City and with some trouble found the KOA campground near the airport. the drive here was through territory relatively new to me (in the past 40 years at least) as will be the rest of the journey until I hit Fort Collins.

Driving in this city is fucking crazy – worse than Atlanta and Atlanta is pretty bad. Once I got the trailer setup I setup the X6 for Sport mode and took it in stride. I am amazed how well the X6 drove in heavy fast traffic!

The KOA here is in a compound of sorts but very nice and not too full. It took me about 30 minutes to get to where everyone else was staying.

We visited with them Thursday evening. Friday I dropped Jake off at Pet Paradise boarding and helped them setup the venue.

Zeynab and Adam’s Reception

Marigny Opera House

The reception was held at the Marigny Opera House slightly east (down-river) of the French Quarter. An old Catholic Church turned into a Opera House and then abandoned after Hurricane Katrina. It has been partially restored now by the local community and serves as a multipurpose venue including weddings and performances.

This is the first time the whole Tubridy family has been together since Kari & Carl’s wedding in Florida in 2019. Zeynab’s Family was there in force from the Washington DC area. Zeynab family is from Somalia and they all belong to the same tribe! Her mother was going to school in the US and forced to stay here after political unrest in her country some 30 years ago before Zeynab was born.

Adam, Lisa, Dave, Collin (the third son!), Rick & Myhra, Carl, Kari & The Dude
Carl, Rick, Dave and Adam

After a great meal of traditional local cuisine (and boy does NOLA have cuisine!) the main act arrived. A fantastic performance by a traditional New Orleans Jazz Band the Young Fellaz played for several hours and included a second line march around the opera house!

Young Fellaz
Second Line street parade at Zaynab & Adam’s Wedding

The event was very special – as special as Adam and Zeynab are. It was great to meet her family – now part of ours – and what the future will hold!

Saturday we all got together with Adam, Zeynab and her mother Fay for a great brunch at Broussard’s – a famous dining establishment in the French Quarter. I was fascinated as Fae told us the story of her family in Somalia.

I picked up Jake later that day – he did better than I expected and of course everyone loved him. We headed back to the Excellent Adventure and prepared for our journey to Alamagordo!

The Adventure

One day left before the Adventure starts!

I have thoroughly enjoyed the last couple of weeks doing the final preparations for the first trip. Here’s the stops we’ll be making:

New Orleans, Louisiana

May 20-22: Hanging out with my entire family for the first time since Mom’s funeral to celebrate my nephew Adam marriage to Zeynab Abdulgadir last year during the pandemic. They are hosting a reception on Friday night at the Marigny Opera House.

Alamogordo, New Mexico

May 26-28: I was born here in 1955. Dad was stationed here at Holloman Air Force Base working on the early space program. He moved back with newly married & pregnant Mom after leaving the Air Force and joining Goodyear Aerospace who was one of the contractors working on the program. White Sands missile test range is here as well as the famous Trinity test site where the first atomic bomb was detonated as part of the Manhattan project.

Kanab, Arizona

May 31- June 5: I’ll be meeting my friends Dan and Maggie Matheson here near the north rim of the Grand Canyon and south of Zion. They have been here before so I will let them act as a tour guide and see the north rim of the canyon, Zion, Antelope Canyon and Lake Powell and other sites they know about.

Dinosaur National Monument, Idaho

June 7-8: Exploring, hiking, night sky and photography.

Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho

June 10-11: Exploring, hiking, night sky and photography.

Yellowstone & Grand Tetons / Jackson Hole, Wyoming

June 12-16: We have two days of exploring hiking and photography north of Yellowstone followed by an overnight trip through the park to Jackson Hole and back to my campsite north of the park.

Glacier National Park, Montana

Jun 18 – 21: Exploring, hiking, night sky and photography.

Devil’s Tower, Wyoming

June 24 – 25: Exploring, hiking, night sky and photography.

Fort Collins, Colorado

June 27: I will be staying in Fort Collins where I lived for 6 years in the 1990s listing friends before heading home.