Sunday, February 28, 2010

We’re in Vicksburg, Mississippi


Saturday, February 27, 2010                                                                                                 Lorraine’s report

It’s a good thing we are retired, otherwise I don’t know how we’d keep up the schedule we have been keeping. As usual, we have been busy as ever, and I’m writing this Saturday night.

Since last weekend, when we were with Bill/ Barbara on Sunday, in Frankston,TX, we continually headed East and will eventually end up in Red Bay, Alabama. Right now we are in the Ameristar RV Park in Vicksburg, MI.

We were in Kinder, LA on Sunday afternoon and spent the night at the Coushatta Tribe RV Park. From there we drove on into New Orleans, LA, Pontchartrain RV Park, a good tip from Steve/Sandy, who was there several weeks ago. Thanks guys. We were both tired so we set up, ordered pizza and watched the Olympics.

Tuesday found me doing laundry in the morning, while Chuck worked on our traveling schedule and places to stay. We went out around noon and toured the homes flooded in Ward 9, from Katrina that were just down the road from where we stayed. We saw so much devastation and such a waste for all those poor people who lived there.

We had a call from Brad, Chuck’s brother who drove in from St. Peter’s, MO., saying he had gotten into New Orleans around 1 pm. We drove over to Harrah’s to meet up with him. We played at the casino for an hour, and then went to the French quarters to walk around looking at all the neat old buildings. It was a cool day, but it wasn’t raining, and both Brad and I kept the cameras busy trying to capture the beauty of this historical district.

We decided on dinner at The Original Pierre Maspero’s Restaurant. We all had authentic Cajun/New Orleans food. I had Crawfish fettuccine that was absolutely delicious, and Chuck and Brad each had food they both liked a lot.  What a great day we had!

Brad came over Wednesday morning, bringing us Mickey D’s for breakfast. Since it was suppose to rain, we decided to head out to tour Biloxi, MI, which is about an hour away from NO. Biloxi is where Katrina came ashore. We were told most of the destruction has been cleaned up, just that there is empty land where once stood beautiful old homes and buildings. It was true and so sad to see.

Of course, I had to dunk my feet in the gulf waters; only this time the water was a lot colder. From there we decided to check out a couple of casinos. We left our seed money, hoping to collect it another time.

We came back home and took Misty for her walk, then headed out to eat. Brad picked the Gumbo Shop, which turned out to be in the French quarters. I had their gumbo, which was delicious, the guys liked their food. It was late when we got home.

Thursday, Brad again brought breakfast so we could get a faster start, thanks, Brad. We took off and went to the Old New Orleans Cemetery #1. Again, we took a ton of pictures; even of Marie Laveau, the VooDoo Queen’s tomb. What a bunch of history there.

From there we drove through the Garden section of NO. Brad and I must have taken over a thousand pictures or so for these few days. We finished the tour around 12:30 and we were going over Brad’s list of stuff he wanted to see/do while in NO, and we remembered he wanted to take a Swamp tour.

I called to see what time it went and found out we had just barely enough time to eat and get there. So off we went, driving a half hour out of NO to find Jean LaFitte Swamp tour. We arrived with minutes to spare, since the GPS had us ending our search in an intersection five miles away. It was a cool, but sunny day, the boat wasn’t crowded and we had a very nice tour of the swamp and some of its critters.

We got home and I fixed fried chicken and my macaroni and cheese from scratch. We ended our evening teaching Brad how to play “Pass the Love” I think I won one, then they ganged up on me, so Chuck won one, too.

Friday, Brad left to head home to St. Peter’s, MO. Chuck and I took a drive to Houma, LA. I wasn’t impressed with the scenery there, so we came back home. We stopped by Boomtown Casino, where I won back what I was down from the day before.

That brings us to today, Saturday. Since it rained so hard in NO, we decided to head north to Vicksburg. We want to tour the battlefield and some of the museums while we’re here.

That’s it for our week. We are looking forward to getting to Red Bay, AL and getting the rig worked on and seeing our friends. Thanks to Brad for coming from MO to see us, we appreciated your coming to visit!

Until next time……Lorraine

2/28/10                                                                                                                                 Chuck’s report

We were unable to attend our son-in-law’s father’s funeral yesterday.  I remember the empty feeling I had during my father’s funeral and didn’t really notice who was there or who wasn’t.  Anyway, our thoughts were with you and your whole family Mark and we wish you all the best during these trying times.  Give our best to your mother and the rest of the family.  Bill was a good man and we were proud to have known him. 

Yep, we’re in Vicksburg, got in yesterday and will leave tomorrow for Red Bay, Alabama.  I figure we will be there three weeks or so but that depends on the progress of the work we need. 

Boy it’s lucky we’re retired otherwise we wouldn’t have had time to do the things we did this week.  Last Sunday was a travel day, we left Bill/Barb’s place in Frankston and headed to Kender, Louisiana, just North of Lake Charles.  Our friends Manual/Connie told us about this place and they didn’t lead us astray.  It was a nice campground at a Indian Casino. 

Monday we left and headed for New Orleans, stayed at Lake Pontchartrain campground, suggested by our friends Steve/Sandy, thanks for the tip, it’s a nice place.  My brother had made plans to meet us here for a few days and we wanted to get in a day early and get set up. 

Next morning Lorraine and I went out to explore some, we wanted to see the 9th Ward where all the flood damage happened from Katrina.  We were just getting started when we we got a call from Brad, he was in his hotel and ready for us to come visit.  We drove by, parked and visited with him for awhile, then headed down to French Quarter.  As luck would have it, his hotel is within walking distance so we walked down and through the area.  This was our first visit here so we sort of meandered around and taking in the sights.  Sure glad we weren’t here during Marti Gras, just looking around at the streets and such it would have been crowded, too much for me. 

So besides going to the French Quarter three times, we also did more touring of New Orleans with Brad.  We went through the 9th Ward, there are still lots of damaged homes with those symbols on the front that the rescuers put showing they had checked the home for bodies and such right after the flooding.  The campground we stayed at was under about 25 feet of water too although you couldn’t tell.  We also drove through the section of town called the Garden Section.  There were some really nice homes here but because of the time of the year, there weren’t too many gardens open. 

We drove down to Biloxi one morning to see where Katrina actually hit.  The only way we could tell there had been damage here was because the beach front lots were bare.  Only the Casinos have rebuilt there, I hear they will not allow any homes to be built on the beach front. 

We had a good time and visit with Brad but don’t have any pictures to share.  Thanks for coming down to see us for awhile Brad, we had fun with you!  Oh, too bad I was such a bad host and didn’t let you win any of the card games – ha. 

After Brad left on Friday, Lorraine and I wanted to see the mouth of the Mississippi.  Appears you can’t drive there, the delta changes too often to keep a good road there.  So even though we didn’t get there, I had to mark it off my bucket list.  Instead we drove down to Houma just to look around.  We were told there were lots of Cajuns living on the way and in town.  I must admit, we didn’t see much of anything out of the ordinary except for some of the signs on the restaurants and street names. 

Saturday we left New Orleans and drove into Vicksburg.  Our plans here was to go to the Civil War Museum and Battleground.  We got into the campground and set up, then went to check out a Casino.  This morning we drove the scenic tour through Vicksburg.  They have a set route marked on the visitor’s map that takes you through the town, past some big Churches, large homes, down to the water front and past the 32 murals painted there.  Being Sunday, all the shops were closed when we drove through the old part of town but at least there wasn’t much traffic.  Looks like there would be a fair traffic jam when Church let out, however, the parking lots were sure full.

Later we toured the Civil War Museum, Battleground and Cemetery.  They sure have it set up nice, you can drive through in about an hour if you don’t stop and explore anything or can spend all day.  We were there for over two hours, didn’t do much walking but sure enjoyed it.  Really makes one think, over 20,000 lives were lost during the battles and siege.  The siege lasted for 45 days and Vicksburg surrendered on July 4th, in fact, Vicksburg refused to celebrate the 4th of July for many years after.   This was a big turning point in the Civil war, one wonders what the world would be like if the South had won?   

They also have the “Cairo”, one of seven armored gunships used during the Civil war by the Union to keep the Mississippi open.  It was sunk and was underwater for 102 years before they got her up.  This was the first reported use of a mine to sink a ship.  They now have it set up for touring with relics found when they pulled her up.  They have a nice Museum where the ship is on display.  Of course they had to rebuild many portions of the ship but you can still see where the mine hit and sunk her. 

So with that, I’ll get right to this week’s pictures.  It took me a lot more time to pick and post our pictures because of all the pictures I had to go through.  Brad not only took over 600 pictures in New Orleans, Lorraine took over 1000 pictures during the week too.  So because of all the pictures to choose from, I ended up choosing more than normal.  Live with it, I ain’t taking any out!!

I think we are in the Bible Belt portion of the USA, what do you think?

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Louisiana sure has lots of water and bridges. 

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Pictures in front of our coach at the park in New Orleans.

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Downtown New Orleans, including French Quarter.

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Stuff for sale in French Quarter. 

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St. Louis Cathedral in downtown New Orleans.


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9th Ward homes that have been repaired and painted.  They certainly like bright colors.

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Our day trip to Biloxi, Mississippi.

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One of the aboveground cemeteries. 

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Marie Laveau’s tomb, you can make a wish here by making three Xs, knocking three times and turning in a counter clockwise turn three times.  I haven’t bought my Lottery ticket yet but hope it’s winner.

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More tombs, some are really old.  We found them from early 1600s to last year. 

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The pyramid one is being built, not sure who will be in it.

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Our swamp tour.  We like the Spanish Moss hanging in the trees branches. 

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Look closely, there is a gater in each of the four pictures below.

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Shacks along the canal, both were used in movies but I can’t remember which ones. 

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