Not for lack of trying, I didn’t see any vampires while I was there – at least that I know of. My friend and I toured Lafayette Cemetery (which was likely FULL of vampires), the French Quarter (any vampires were hiding from the daylight or well disguised), and the Basilica (where there were no vampires, probably).
The French Quarter…
When in Rome NOLA, do as the locals do (and probably every tourist within 100 miles). This was my first time in NOLA so our first stop was the famous Cafe Du Monde for benigets and coffee, of course. Fortified with sugar and caffeine, we were ready to do NOLA take on vampires, and ride in a pimp-driven carriage.
Joan of Arc, Maid of New Orleans. The shiny gold statue greets you on Decatur Street as you enter the French Quarter.
(I started writing this post a few months ago. It has been the hardest post I’ve ever written. Certainly not my best work, but definitely the hardest message to articulate.)
Time stopped for me today.
Jeff, my best friend, my love, my partner in crime passed away. That one person who cared about the minutiae of my day isn’t here anymore.
And time has stopped for me.
You all know him, to one degree or another. He was a “background extra” in many of the photos on this blog. He was shy and said he didn’t want to appear in photos. But he secretly enjoyed it and later came to face the camera head-on putting aside any lingering self-consciousness. He was also the occasional subject of posts: some about our travels, some about his support, and some briefly mentioning our highs and lows or the struggles of alcoholism.
Jeff had the bggest heart of anyone I’ve ever known.
Y’all know how I don’t like to be on the gulf coast when big storms are coming. Until the hurricane passes, I usually go up the road a ways to Mississippi. On one of those trips, I stayed at LeFleur’s Bluff State Park right in Jackson. It’s a beautiful park right on the Pearl River.
When in Mississippi, I go see stuff. Which brings us to a brief slide show…
Most of you are aware of my penchant for rescuing stray cats (and wounded men, but that’s another post). Pye was a stray cat before she adopted me. Her extra long frame and large body belie the undersized, sickly stray kitten she was when she arrived on my doorstep six years ago.
She turned six years old this past March. For her birthday, I got her a “kitty tent” with attached toys. She can hide inside it, stick her head or a paw through openings, play with the hanging toys. She loved it for about two hours. Now she is bored with it. (But not the other toy I got her!)
Q: When is a lighthouse not a lighthouse? Is it still a lighthouse if it’s not on Google? (This is along the lines of, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it still make a sound?”)
A: (according to Kernut’s logic): If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck – even if Google doesn’t know it’s a duck.
One of these Mississippi lighthouses is in Biloxi and I thought the other was in Gulfport…. But when I Googleddid my extensive research, there is no light listed in that area – at least as far a Google knows.
The USS Alabama is a BIG boat! It’s a bazillion levels tall (I looked it up) with lots of stairs. No, really – LOTS. OF. STAIRS. And narrow hallways and little cramped rooms.
There are three levels below deck, and at least eight levels above deck. I started with the bottom levels and then went to the upper levels, looking in each of the many little rooms. Normally, I can withstand small spaces and large crowds for short periods of time without any effects whatsoever, but I stopped after the fifth upper level because I was starting to get too claustrophobic and agoraphobic – I can only stay so long in small spaces and crowded places before my skin starts crawling and my anxiety level goes through the roof.
And people lived in these cramped quarters for years. I would’ve jumped ship.
The USS Alabama – too big to fit in the picture frame.
Hi, I’m still here. Sorry it’s been so long. It’s taken me a long time to write a post because I’ve been stuck on what to write about this one and the next. While both adventures were great, I was at a loss for what to write.
The other reason is that my website is running soooo sloooow and GoDaddy only wants to sell me more hosting (I already have the Deluxe plan, and relatively little traffic). About 70% of the time I log in, I can’t get anything done because my site is running at a snail’s pace.
Other than that, all is well in the Florida panhandle. Life is good. I’m working, mostly from home. Between sitting all day, being near the fridge all day, and a new allergy medication, I’ve put on a few pounds. I’ve gone back to working out several days a week and eating better. But I’ll never give up chocolate.
But I digress. (Ah, I bet y’all missed that? Ha.)
There are alligators in Alabama. No surprise, right? The surprise is that I have yet to see one in the wild, on the loose, chasing small children or pets. Not a one.
It’s been some time since I used a really catchy (read: risque) title. I’m sure Google just downgraded my site and diverted my already slim traffic.
About the title…
As many of you know, Pye doesn’t travel well. You may recall the time she destroyed her brand new (cloth) carrier in a howling fit a few years ago during our return trip from the time she rode in the chassis for 150 miles. Clearly, she doesn’t do many things well like staying put, with the possible exception of eating, shedding and scratching furniture.
When I temporarily relocated in advance the two recent storms, I reluctantly admited the duct tape was no longer a practical solution to the Pye-shaped holes in the once-new-and-still-hardly-used cat carrier. With plans for an upcoming trip to Tennessee, Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana (the trip never happened, but that’s a boring story), I decided to upgrade to a metal, Pye-proof cat carrier.
I’m pretty sure I was drawn to this place for a reason – the Cheezy Americana energy is strong. Like the Force is strong in the Star Wars Universe.
Come to think of it, I was pulled to this area. Ok, maybe it was more like how a moth is pulled to a flame. But in my defense, I didn’t know any of this stuff was here before I started exploring the area.
Remember George Barber? My second cousin, (probably)? That guy who loves goofy roadside attractions, like Bamahenge? (We have to be related.)
Well, Bamahenge isn’t his only goofy roadside attraction… On his massive, wooded property leading up to Barber Marina, Mr. Barber let loose dinosaurs, knights, the World’s Largest Sundial, a Caesars Palace-style fountain, and the Lady in the Lake. (It’s mostly pictures from here on out, so don’t give up now.)
Dinosaurs and Knights in the Woods
You went to Bamahenge, right? Good. Well, keep heading down the same road and before long you’ll start to see dinosaurs in the woods.
If a cat is petrified and dead, was it scared to death?
(Ahahahaa! I crack me up!)
Seriously, folks, there’s a petrified (dead, not scared) cat in Pensacola. No, I’m not talking about Pye, my oft-scared, bi-polar feline companion for whom I occasionally consider finding a new home… she is alive and well and scratching the crap out of my furniture.
I am talking about a dead cat on display, no less, in a museum. Yup, right here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. can you find such treasures at the local museum as a petrified (dead, not scared) cat on display.