Thursday, April 16, 2009

Today was the day to say goodbye to Betty and head east to Gulf Shores so after hugs and promises to return we headed out of Betty’s about 9:30.

It was a beautiful day, warm with temperatures in the low 70’s – a good day for traveling. The traffic wasn’t too bad and the roads, on the whole, were okay but there were some rough spots where we got bounced around pretty good.

Crossing the Achafalya Swamp (An 18 Mile Causeway)

The Mighty Mississippi

And Here's One For My Brothers & Sister

Entering Mississippi

Downtown Mobile Alabama

The U.S.S. Alabama

We arrived at Gulf Breezes Resort in Gulf Shores AL about 4:30. When we checked in the lady said there were no spots left near Ginny & Gil but we got a nice spot beside a pond and have no one near us on the curbside so we don’t mind that. We were just getting set up when Gil came by and asked us to come over for a drink when we were ready so that we did.

We met Barb & Jack at Ginny & Gil’s, they are a couple from the Cleveland area that Ginny & Gil met in Texas and Barb & Jack have been here at Gulf Breezes since late March. After a drink and good conservation it was time to head home to make a late dinner (as our kids would say – so what else is new!). Dinner is over, the dishes are done and I don’t think it will be long before I snuggle down into my comfy bed

As always, today was another great gift of a day in the sunny south and we look forward to another good day tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Today was another beautiful day, sunny and warm with a high in the high 70’s. Ginny & Gil left this morning as they wanted to drive along the gulf on their way to Gulf Shores and spend a night around Bay St Louis.

John & I had a quiet day, I spent a long time getting yesterday’s blog posted as there were a lot of pictures. John went out this afternoon to get fuel so we can head out on a full tank in the morning, so I took advantage of his absence and did a good cleaning and wiped down the floors – they really needed it, especially after last nights crab fest – LOL!! I also got the inside ready for travel tomorrow.

After all that hard work I had a bit of a lay down and read for a while then about 5 we went over for happy hour.

We came back and did chicken burgers for dinner and now the dishes are done and we will enjoy a bit of TV before calling it a day.

As always, today was another great gift of a day in the sunny south and we look forward to another good day tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Today was a gorgeous sunny day but cooler than it has been, just a perfect day for today’s adventures! Twelve of us from the park had reservations for a swamp tour at 10 a.m. so we left here just before 9 to head to Lake Martin for our guided eco-tour into the largest Atchafalaya Basin swamp & Louisiana’s largest nesting area of wading birds. The tour was absolutely wonderful, our guide Bryan Champagne has lived near the swamp all his life and knows it inside and out and was a fountain of information plus had fun stories to tell, I will let the pictures show you some of what we saw on the tour.

The Swamp

Fishermen In the Swamp


Hollow Cypress

Largest Cypress in the Swam

Roseate Spoon Bill

Egrets Nesting (We were lucky to be here in nesting season)

Duck Blind in Swamp

Inside Duck Blind - Yuck!!!


Blue Heron

Yellow Cap Night Egret

Spider on Cypress

Sure Hope They Don't Catch a Big One & Get Pulled Overboard!

Sharing a Log

A Big Guy

This Guy is Just Soaking Up the Sun

At times we were only in water a foot deep and it looked like you could get out and walk but not with those big gators handing around!!!

After the swamp tour Ginny, Gil, John and I went into St. Martinville, a beautiful town on the Bayou Tesche. We toured St. Martin De Tours Catholic Church, which was established in 1765 and is the mother church of the exiled Acadians. The church has an ornate baptismal font which, according to legend, was a gift of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette and a replica of the Grotto of Lourdes, an absolutely gorgeous church. John and I have visited this church before but this is the first time it hasn’t been under renovation so it was nice to see it without yellow tape all around it!! There is also a statute of Evangeline in the churchyard but my picture didn’t turn out very good.

St. Martin De Tours Catholic Church

Altar in Church


Baptismal Font

These are some pictures we took while walking around St. Martinville

Evangeline Tree in St. Martinville

Gil, Ginny & John in St. Martinville

Pretty Lanterns at Front Door of Funeral Parlour

Neat Mail Box in Downtown St. Martinville

We went into a cute little restaurant for lunch but after we sat down they said they closed at 2 and all they had left was salad so we asked them what else was open and they recommended another little restaurant a block away called the Café Oaks. What a wonderful little restaurant it was, John and I shared half of a French Quarter Mufelatta which is Mufelatta bread with mortagella, salami, ham, provolone & olive dressing as well as an order of onion rings which were to die for (Ginny & Gil also had the same for lunch & enjoyed theirs as much as we did). The onion rings weren’t the least bit greasy which was so nice and the French Quarter Mufelatta was wonderful. John & I ordered Iced Tea and it came in a mason jar then the waitress put a jug of Iced Tea on the table for refills and Ginny & Gil got the same with their water – neat! Ginny & Gil treated us to lunch – thanks again guys it was very nice of you.

The owner came and chatted with us and told us to check out their garden before we left, such friendly people and their garden was beautiful. They have a live oak tree in the there and Frances, the owner, explained that if the live oaks are over 125 years old they go on the National Registry and you can name it so their tree was called Canary.

Next door to the Café was a bakery, oh no, we just couldn’t walk on by!! Gil bought some beignets which are like a flat donut with icing sugar – yummy. I bought Ginny and I each a chocolate éclair (the fellows declined) which were also very good.

From there we went to see the cemetery as John and I think it is the prettiest one we have ever seen and I think G & G agreed.

On the way back we were in New Iberia so we got John to drive by Shadows on the Teche which is an old antebellum home that is open for tours. We found out that we could pick up the last tour of the day as it had just started, John & Gil passed on the tour but Ginny & I did it and it was a beautiful old home, with an interesting family history and the young fellow who did the tour was very good and knowledgeable. I asked our guide if they had any live oaks on the National Registry and he said they had 12 – wow! John thanked Ginny for going with me while he & Gil enjoyed a couple of cold ones!!!

Back of Shadows on the Tesche

Pretty Flowers in the Side Garden

It was about 7 p.m. when we got back and Betty came out to tell us she had got the blue crab today and ours were in a cooler waiting for us – we had said we would take a dozen if she could get them and the price was right at $8/dozen.

Blue Crab

Gil & Ginny had also asked for a dozen but I guess Betty hadn’t heard them and it was just as well as the four of us were totally stuffed after eating the dozen we had ordered (and Gil had to insist on paying for their half!!). Gil has an outdoor propane burner that we put the pot of water on so it saved heating up the trailer while cooking them and Ginny had some crab boil to add to the water.

And Into the Pot We Go

Man were they good, but messy to eat, and the crabs and a spinach salad were a good dinner after a late, filling lunch.

It is too late to try to do my pictures and publish this so will do that tomorrow.

As always, today was another great gift of a day in the sunny south and we look forward to another good day tomorrow.

Monday, April 13, 2009

This morning was kind of cloudy but then the sun came out and it turned into another hot, humid Louisiana day.

This morning Ginny & I went to Burke’s Outlet, someone the other day at Happy Hour had said that Monday’s are Seniors day with 15% off so Ginny & I thought it sounded like our type of shopping – LOL!! As it turns out as soon as I walked through the door I said to Ginny that it looked like a Beall’s outlet, only this one turned out to have nicer stuff than Beall’s in Yuma. To make a long story short, when we were checking out I had to get a Burke’s card to get the 15% off but I could use my Beall’s punch card (which just happened to be full!) so I ended up with 35% off my purchases – and remember they are already discounted, so I was a very happy camper!!

We came back to the park and after a quick lunch the four of us headed to Avery Island, home of McIlhenny Tabasco Sauce, where we got a tour of the plant where they make the sauce and then visited their store where we could taste some of their other products– most interesting – they even had ice cream with jalepno sauce and an icecram that was hot & spciy! There is also a jungle garden there which we would have liked to tour but it was too late by the time we finished with the store (too much time spent sampling!!).

Entrance to the Plant for Our Tour

The Assembly Line

Peppers ready to be put in the barrelsl where they will be stored to ferment for 3 years

Fermenting Barrel

Ginny & I had fun watching these guys stalking each other and having a bit of a tiff when we were on our way into the Country Store.

Light Fixture In Store Made of Tabasco Bottles

And For Those Who Really Like the Sauce It Comes in Gallon Jugs

On the way home we stopped at Wally World in New Iberia where we picked up some stuff (like over $100 worth!!!) then came on home.

When we got back John barbecued a steak for dinner - yummy!! Now it will be bed time, as soon as I get this done as we have another interesting day scheduled for tomorrow.

As always, today was another great gift of a day in the sunny south and we look forward to another good day tomorrow.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

We hope everyone had a Happy Easter and all our family enjoyed their family get togethers.

Today has been very hot and humid, not good for my arm and I don’t really like the humidity, but that is the weather here so we will just smile and adjust to it. There were severe storm warnings for this afternoon with a possibility of large hail stones, high winds etc. – not what we like to hear. Fortunately we got some wind while having our potluck dinner and a bit of rain but the main storm passed us by.
This morning we just chilled out and didn’t do a lot so it was a nice relaxing morning. This afternoon Betty had organized a pot luck dinner for 2 p.m., Betty did turkey, ham and corn bread stuffing and everyone else brought a dish of some sort- everything was delicious and a good time was had by all. (Sorry Ginny, my picture of the food table didn’t turn out).

Everyone Waiting Patiently to Get Their Food

Laurie & Stella Finally Got to the Food!

Tim, Giselle & John

Betty's High & Dry Crawfish Net

Around 4 everyone headed home then I think happy hour started around 4:30 but we didn’t go, instead Gil, Ginny, John and I went for a long walk – probably much better for us than sitting around – LOL!

We went back to Ginny & Gil’s for a while after our walk and John did a bit more work on her computer. We are now home and I don’t think It will be long before my bed beckons me to snuggle in.

As always, today was another great gift of a day in the overcast, windy south and we look forward to another good day tomorrow.