Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Running Turtles. Fact.

We awoke this morning to perfect weather.  Clear blue skies and nearly calm winds, where did that storm go?  It was time to get out and see the world.  It was time to go to Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Pascagoula is the birthplace and hometown to our sister-in law, Jamie Nell Ranger.  I have heard stories about this town for more than forty years.

Jamie had given us a list of sites we should see while there.  Bozo's was at the top of the list. It has evolved from a corner store and neighborhood market to being the busiest restaurant and fresh seafood market in town.  We arrived early for lunch.  They were already very busy.

The seafood market portion of Bozos.
The Poboys and cooked seafood section,
I have acquired a love of catfish since arriving in the South.  We loved our catfish, hushpuppies, fries and onion rings lunch.  Their version of cocktail sauce was perfect.  I'm a fan of Bozo's.

Catfish..... my new addiction.  Only $5.00 per lunch.  What a deal.

Hurricane Katrina completely wiped Jamie's neighborhood away.  Everything was gone.  We drove to the corner of Choctaw & 12th where the family home had been.  Habitat for Humanity has purchased the property and constructed a new raised home on the site.

After leaving we drove "up the hill" to the coastline.  Now to hear Jamie tell the story there was a hill between her house and the water. As we turned the corner we could not see a hill or a raise or a bump....nothing.  At most the elevation may have changed a foot or two over the three blocks.  It was as close to flat as could be imagined.....sorry Jamie, your hill is missing.

This is the pier down the street (up the hill) from Jamie's house.  We walked the beach and let Eva get in a little "sand time".

A very long pier.
We drove around town and looked for ice cream.  It is a little known fact that catfish must be followed with ice cream.

The old firehouse downtown.

As we left the park this morning we learned why they have "Turtle Warning" signs along the road.  Terri saw something and swerved.  It was a large turtle making his "run" across the road.

I won't joke about signs like this in the future.
A turtle's life is at stake.
Life is good for us and the turtle.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Be Gone Tornados

Our area has been on a "Severe Weather Alert" most of the day.  We've gone from being in a green zone (no tornados) to a yellow zone (keep looking over your shoulder) to a red zone (really look over your shoulder and be ready to run).  Only problem is there is nowhere to run.  We've had 4" of rain in the past few hours and we are now under flash flood warnings.

A short report to say we are doing fine.  The Doppler radar shows this storm is moving East.  We are also headed East so we will be hunkering down here at Davis Bayou for 2 extra days.

We spent the day watching the weather reports on TV and reading.  It's been a warm muggy day between the showers. It's been a relaxing and boring day.

Because we spent the day inside I don't have any photos today.  But that only means I'll show you some from last week.

Me sitting at an evening artists market in the French Quarter on Sunday.
Artists market.
Not just big beers!!!
The original Bourbon Street.
The END.
In case you were wondering,
this is not a girl.
I also have the front view picture.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Down on the Bayou

Yesterday was a travel day as we moved on to Mississippi.  Sister-in-Law, Jamie Ranger, who was born and raised in Mississippi told us to use state highway 90.  She was right, it is a scenic road that winds through small towns and the bayou/swamps of the delta.

Traveling State Highway 90.
As we reached the gulf coast we were surprised to see brilliant white sand beaches. We drove the 26 miles of beautiful waterfront until we reached Biloxi.  The Davis Bayou National Park campground is just a few miles down the road in Ocean Springs.  The town was established in 1699.

Lovelace Drugstore in old downtown Ocean Springs.
We went into the soda fountain and had ice cream.
Davis Bayou is a great campground.  Being part of the National Park Service, it is in a location that stands out when compared to most places.  The bayou surrounds the campground and weaves through the hundreds of acres here.

Another suggestion from Jamie was to eat at the Shed, home to world famous BBQ.

The Shed...... I'm sure it has never had a building inspection done.  It's pieces nailed together to make a BBQ joint.
The bar.
The dining room has upgraded to gravel floors.
The building doesn't matter if the food is good.
After lunch we visited downtown Biloxi.  It's wall to wall casinos, 12 to be exact.  I liked the harbor with the fishing boats best.  More my style.

They have a fishing fleet moored right in front of a casino.  It is definitely the best part of the downtown waterfront.  Casinos may come and go.....but a good looking fishing boat is a part of history.  They were smart enough to save the best.

As in all tourist towns, they have schmaltzy t-shirt shops.  Here I am in front of a big one.  Or should I say entering one.

A warning sign as we enter the park.
Watch out for turtles.
We may be staying here for a few extra days.  They are expecting "sever weather" in Mississippi.  I think we will spend time in a beautiful park instead of trying to drive through a storm.  We've been assured that tornados don't occur in this county, just hurricanes.  As I sit here the TV shows a map of the state, we aren't in a yellow or red county,  we're in a green county.  The county next to us is yellow.

Life is tornados....and we haven't run over a turtle.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Thank You Soldiers

The dog passes the hat for its' musical performers.

Yesterday afternoon was filled with music.  As we wandered the French Quarter we saw a wide variety of musicians and street performers.

A silver singer.
Mostly loud, not in tune.  But still colorful.
Terri's favorite for the day.  Swamp-a-Billy Cajun Jazz.
So good she sat on the curb with her feet in the gutter.
The French Quarter is not all restaurants and businesses.  It is home to thousands of people.  This is where they live.

Subtle would not be a choice in picking your homes colors.  And it is even better if you do a little home decorating on the outside.

You may notice that some of the homes have two front doors.  That is because they are two skinny side by side residences.  The local name for them is "Shotgun Houses".  They say if you opened the front and back doors you could shoot a shotgun right through them.  They have no hallways.  Most are 10 or 12 feet wide and 50 or 60 feet long.  We've seen thousand of them in our driving the neighborhoods.

A suggestion for your home?

As usual we had an exceptional dinner on the outskirts of the French Quarter.  We asked a local standing on the corner where his favorite place was.  "Pralines" was his recommendation.  He was right, it was great.  The filee' gumbo, catfish and shrimp etouffee' were all wonderful.

It has been a wise decision to extend our stay here to 10 days.  Every day should be an etouffee' day.

Now for todays unclassifiable photos:

Just another doorway.
Gator anyone?
A little gold for Joan of Arc.
Walk like a New Orlean.
My funeral carriage.

Root beer from a paper bag.
Just like a local.
Still sober after 62 years.
A root beer "selfy".

And on a final note.  The picture I am currently using as my Header Photo was taken on the battlefield we visited yesterday.  A somber thought, wild flowers growing where thousands gave their life's.

Life is good.  Thank you soldiers.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Peace, Peace

A simple marker with the soldiers home state.
Iron gates leading into the cemetery.
Aged makers are now difficult to read.
It was a somber beginning to our day as we visited the Chalmette Battlefield graveyard.  This graveyard is next to the field that was the site of the last conflict of the War of 1812.  The Battle of New Orleans was the last defeat of the British after they had invaded Washington DC and burned down the White house.  General Jackson, with half the troops that the British had, won the battle with 17 U.S. causalities.  The British lost over 2,000 troops.

The British withdrew after the defeat and the war ended.

Over 2,000 men died in this field.
This monument overlooks the battlefield.
We climbed the circular staircase to the top of this monument to view the battlefield.  Terri led the way, I huffed and puffed behind her.  She kept asking if I was coming.  I wheezed "Yes".

Time to head down.
A view out to the Mississippi.
This sad commentary sort of wraps up the mess of our country at that time.
We followed all this with a trip into the French Quarter.  It was a much more joyous end to our day.  Photos and details will come in the next blog.