The sweet Grouch and I are back from a great vacation in New Orleans. Below are a few pictures from the trip. In case you have never been to New Orleans, there is more to the city than Mardi Gras and Super Bowls. The architecture of the homes in the different parts of the city is a feast for the eyes, and the camera. A wide range of cultural and national influences.
is world famous for its plethora of unique architectural styles, from
creole cottages to the grand mansions on St. Charles, from the balconies
of the French Quarter to an Egyptian Revival Customs House and a rare example of a Moorish revival church. The city boasts fine examples of almost every architectural style, from the Baroque Cabildo to the modernist skyscrapers of the Central Business District. (Wiki)
We visited several National Parks and old Forts within a few hours driving distance of New Orleans. In spite of all the rain and heavy fog, we had a wonderful time. I think the fog made for some interesting pictures.
The food was fantastic. Fresh seafood every day. I particularly enjoyed the soft shell crab.
We even had a buggy ride around the French Quarter with Emile our tour guide, and Queen, the mule.
Thanks to all the contributors are Right Truth for picking up the slack and writing fine articles while I was away.
Thanks to sweet hubby for planning such a great trip. I'm truly a lucky girl, to have met, married, and spent my life with my soul mate.
The sweet Grouch and I will be married 40 years this coming weekend. Being the sweet hubby that he is, he planned a wonderful vacation for us, celebrating our 40 years together. I briefly mentioned the trip here and posted a few pictures, but hubby has detailed every day of the trip in pictures at the following links. If you
want to see some wonderful parts of the United States, great food, and a couple who still love each other as much as they did when they met 40 years ago, visit the following links:
Sweet hubby and I are back from the Big Easy and just in time. Isaac appears to be headed directly toward New Orleans. Hubby planned a great trip across the Gulf visiting the Alabama battle ship in Mobile along with a tour of a World War II
submarine, Dauphin Island, Biloxi, Gulf Shores, and ultimately to New Orleans.
Lots of history, fantastic seafood, magnificent old homes, Louisiana bayou, swamp tours, soft shell crab, alligators, seafood, Fort Gaines, Bourbon Street (a/k/a the Den of Debauchery), cemeteries, ... did I mention wonderful food? And chocolate bread pudding!!! Key lime pie!!! I'm a happy girl! River boats, ferry boats... Tours of the Garden District, the French Quarter, and even the Ninth Ward where complete devastation of the area was caused not by hurricane Katrina, but by the levees failing.
Most important is that I had sweet hubby all to myself for 10 days.
We hauled the motorcycle on a trailer and spent two days touring the coast it. The weather was perfect.
First stop on our trip was in Huntsville, Alabama to spend time with old friends and tour the HAM (Amateur) radio fest, tour the Space Center.
Here are a few pictures:
Archie Manning's Home in New Orleans:
Chocolate bread pudding with hot white and dark chocolate poured on top. Yum Yum!
In the yard of a church that has since been purchased, renovated and used as a magnificent house in New Orleans:
Magnificent real estate in one of the many cemeteries in New Orleans. Personally I want to be cremated, put my ashes in a cardboard box and toss my ashes into the Tennessee River.
Sweet hubby and I saw the movie The Campaign this afternoon. We haven't laughed that much and that hard in a long time. The movie is great, very funny, and so close to what real politics are it is a little scary. The movie stars Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis .
In order to gain influence over their North Carolina district, two CEOs seize an opportunity to oust long-term congressman Cam Brady by putting up a rival candidate. Their man: naive Marty Huggins, director of the local Tourism Center.
Hubby and I also had a great day of motorcycle riding and a nice dinner out. What a great day.
Sweet Hubby and I saw The Dark Knight Rises today staring Christian Bale, Tom HardyMichael Caine and Gary Oldman . We wanted to see the movie plus we wanted to support the writers, directors, actors and all involved in the making of the movie. What happened in the theater in Colorado was a horrible thing, but the movie is not to be blamed, the shooter is to be blamed.
The Dark Knight Rises is written by Jonathan Nolan andChristopher Nolan, who also directed.
As Christian Toto at Breitbart notes, "The conservative themes coursing through "The Dark Knight" were no accident.":
"The Dark Knight Rises," the third and final installment in director Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, pushes the ideological envelope even further than before. It's impossible not to feel Nolan's disgust at Occupy Wall Street, a movement the film paints as both incoherent and violent courtesy of a class warfare villain armed with nuclear weaponry. [snip]
"Rises" never mentions the 99 percent or other overt Occupy Wall Street slogans. But Nolan clearly summons the spirit of the ragtag movement with a propensity for violence. Bane's henchmen literally attack Wall Street, savagely beat the rich and promise the good people of Gotham that "tomorrow, you claim what is rightfully yours." The Catwoman's gal pal (Juno Temple) assures her at one point, when they enter a swanky abode, that "this is everyone's home" now – in perfect Communist fashion.
We haven't even mentioned how Bruce loses a good chunk of his fortune by investing in a failed clean energy program.
But that's the beauty of Nolan's Bat trilogy. It simultaneously sends the kind of socio-political messages rarely seen on screens big or small without diminishing the craft or the imagination on fanciful display.
The Dark Knight, the previous Batman film, contained an elaborate analogy to the War on Terror, a shadow version of the real war fought out by men in costumes....
The actual enemy rarely shows up in movies. There have been more movies made attacking the War on Terror than movies showing American soldiers and law enforcement officers fighting terrorists.
Art is more than aesthetics, it is the stories that a culture tells itself, it is the loves and hates, the hopes and fears, the bright dashes of color and the oppressive tones of shadow, it is the note that lifts and then sinks reenacting the drama of life. It is the space where even the unspoken things can be spoken indirectly. It is a place where hunters slay fell beasts, maidens drown themselves for love and where the tribe reminds itself of its strengths and fears. It is a place of many lies concealing a few dangerous truths. The dangerous truth that our culture's art conceals and reveals is the truth that we are at war.
H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds" begins by drawing a picture of a complacent world of men who give little thought of what might be out there, who pay no attention to the "envious eyes" of the invaders that "slowly and surely drew their plans against us". We are aware and unaware of being at war, of passing men and women on the street who are slowly and surely drawing up their own plans against us. In the movie theater, we revisit that terrible knowledge that we are engaged in a war with no natural end under a hundred disguises. We recreate September 11 in our ten-dollar nickelodeons every summer and look to the sky. But it isn't aliens we are watching for. It's planes.
Yes, we have warnings of evil-doers within out government and our politicians reprimand those who ask questions. We have those in places of power and leadership who hate this country and work against it, who support groups like Occupy Wall Street. But we have some who are willing to stand up and make a movie revealing how empty and repulsive those people are.
When you visit the official site for the movie you will be greeted with this message from writer-director Christopher Nolan:
"Speaking on behalf of the cast and crew of The Dark Knight Rises, I would like to express our profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy that has befallen the entire Aurora community. I would not presume to know anything about the victims of the shooting but that they were there last night to watch a movie. I believe movies are one of the great American art forms and the shared experience of watching a story unfold on screen is an important and joyful pastime. The movie theatre is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me. Nothing any of us can say could ever adequately express our feelings for the innocent victims of this appalling crime, but our thoughts are with them and their families."
Support this movie, the actors, the writers and director. We need more like them.
Sweet hubby and I took a motorcycle trip to Reelfoot Lake and Reelfoot Lake State Park. It was a fantastic day, perfect weather, not a cloud in the sky, temp in the 80's, nice breeze, and I was with my sweetie. In case you don't know about Reelfoot Lake: Between mid-December 1811 and mid-March 1812 a series of catastrophic earthquakes shook West Tennessee and the rest of the Central Mississippi Valley. Click images to enlarge:
December 16, 1811, 0815 UTC (2:15 a.m.); (M ~7.2 – 8.1) epicenter in northeast Arkansas. It caused only slight damage to man-made structures, mainly because of the sparse population in the epicentral area. The future location of Memphis, Tennessee experienced level IX shaking on the Mercalli intensity scale. A seismic seiche propagated upriver, and Little Prairie (a village that was on the site of the former Fort San Fernando, near the site of present-day Caruthersville, Missouri) was heavily damaged by soil liquefaction.
December 16, 1811, 1415 UTC (8:15 a.m.); (M ~7.2–8.1) epicenter in northeast Arkansas. This shock followed the first earthquake by six hours and was similar in intensity.
January 23, 1812, 1500 UTC (9 a.m.); (M ~7.0–7.8) epicenter in the Missouri Bootheel. The meizoseismal area was characterized by general ground warping, ejections, fissuring, severe landslides, and caving of stream banks. Johnson and Schweig attributed this earthquake to a rupture on the New Madrid North Fault. This may have placed strain on the Reelfoot Fault.
February 7, 1812, 0945 UTC (4:45 a.m.); (M ~7.4–8.0) epicenter near New Madrid, Missouri. New Madrid was destroyed. At St. Louis, Missouri, many houses were severely damaged, and their chimneys were toppled. This shock was definitively attributed to the Reelfoot Fault by Johnston and Schweig. Uplift along a segment of this reverse fault created temporary waterfalls on the Mississippi at Kentucky Bend, created waves that propagated upstream, and caused the formation of Reelfoot Lake by obstructing streams in what is now Lake County, Tennessee.
These events, as well as the seismic zone of their occurrence, were named for the Mississippi River town of New Madrid, then part of the Louisiana Territory, now within Missouri. Judging from reports and eyewitness accounts, the quakes would have measured among the highest ever recorded on the modern Richter scale. (Tennessee Historical Society)
Reelfoot Lake State Park is a state park in the northwest corner of Tennessee in the United States. It encompasses Reelfoot Lake and is situated in Lake and Obion counties. A major hunting and fishing preserve, it comprises 25,000 acres (100 km2), 15,000 acres (61 km2) of which are water, and harbors almost every kind of shorebird, as well as the golden and American bald eagles. Other animals are also diverse and abundant. The many species of flowering and non-flowering plants attract botany enthusiasts from all over the country. Baldcypress dominates the margins of the lake, but many other trees and shrubs are also present. (Wikipedia).
Hubby and I had been to Reelfoot Late two previous times. One visit was while attending college. It was in October, Halloween to be exact. Cold. Raining. Camping. Freezing. Not even seeing the Bald Eagles could make things warm up. The second time was when our daughter was a young child.
The lake and park are a great place to visit. There is plenty of hunting, fishing, cabins, restaurants. A very nice vacation for those who have never visited Reelfoot Lake.
One thing we really miss is the Air Park. An airport on the Reelfoot Lake State Park land where you can fly-in, park your plane, camp in the beautiful campgrounds, or walk across the lawn and have a great meal in the Air Park Inn. Years ago the sweet Grouch had a 4 seat Pipe Cherokee. We would fly in to the park with friends on weekends, par the plane, eat at the restaurant, then fly home. The inn and restaurant are no longer open.
The airport is empty. What a shame.
The Airpark Inn may be on the road to ruins. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is considering the possibility of demolishing the inn at Reelfoot Lake State Park. Officials believe it will take more money to rehabilitate the inn than it would to remove it. The state plans to erect a fence to block access to the closed facility.
The Airpark Inn is probably closed forever.
The landmark structure in Reelfoot Lake State Park shut its doors in November. A fire had destroyed six of the inn's 20 rooms.
A January ice storm complicated matters. The inn was without electricity or heat for nearly two weeks. Water pipes froze and burst. The inn's water supply was cut off and remains off. The inn's remaining rooms can't be reopened until the water lines - and several other problems - are fixed.
Instead of repairing the inn, the state may demolish it.
The inn, which was built on piers over Reelfoot Lake in the early 1970s, won a number of architectural awards. Now, it is considered too dilapidated for repairs.
The concrete foundation/platform on which the entire facility is constructed (including walkways and structures) is significantly degraded, said Meg Lockhart, deputy communications director for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. Engineering reports completed before the fire indicated the repairs would be far too expensive because of environmental requirements, the inn's unique design and location, and the nature of the existing structure itself. (continue reading here)
We stopped in Jackson Tenessee and ate at the Flatiron Grill. Oh my. Such good food. We've only eaten there three times now and each one was a memorable experience.
In spite of the sad situation with the Air Park Inn and Restaurant, it was a wonderful day spent with my soul mate. Wonderful memories of times past. Wonderful new memories made today.
I'm a very lucky girl and I thank God every day for my sweet hubby. I especially like days like today -- when I have him all to myself.
Maybe not 14, but I would settle for being 21 again. Our 14 year old grandson is spending some time with us and watching him and all his friends makes me remember how simple things were at age 14. They have no idea how lucky they are, with their entire lives ahead of them. They don't understand the importance of making the right choices and how every choice they make will influence them for the rest of their days.
I cannot concentrate on all the important issues of the day. There is too much, it is overwhelming. The Muslim Brotherhood wins elections in Egypt. Hamas is firing rockets into Israel. Greece is going down the tubes. Europe heading toward democratic dark ages. Syria's president is allowing mass murder to continue with no opposition from other than a few semi-harsh words from the media and civilized nations. Our secrets are being leaked for political purposes by a sinking administration. On, and on, and on.
Maybe later I can concentrate on one of these awful topics, but for now I think I'm going to listen to the Somewhere in Time soundtrack and let the children play.
Sweet hubby and I watched this movie again last night. It seems a friend of ours is an extra in the movie. Yes it is old, 1980, but a classic -- actually a cult classic.
Reeve plays Richard Collier, a playwright who becomes smitten by a photograph of a young woman at the Grand Hotel. Through self-hypnosis, he travels back in time to the year 1912 to find love with actress Elise McKenna (portrayed by Seymour). But her manager William Fawcett Robinson (portrayed by Plummer) fears that romance will derail her career and resolves to stop him.
Make room for Fuel Efficient Vehicle Parking. Sweet hubby and I took a trip on the motorcycle today, stopping at Johnsonville State Historic Park, the 600-acre park on the eastern side of Kentucky Lake that overlooks the site of the Battle of Johnsonville. The Park has a new visitor center which has only been open for one month.
As we pulled into the parking area we could not help but notice that the first 4 parking slots on one side were not for Handicapped Parking. Those prized parking places were reserved for Fuel Efficient Vehicle Parking. (click images to enlarge)
I'm imagining a battle between the Left-Wing kooks over who should get those spots, handicapped people or their cause fuel efficient cars. Apparently the fuel efficient cars won the battle saying 'screw you' to the handicapped. (Well, not really, there were handicapped spots right in front of the entrance, but can't you imagine the agrument??? tee hee)
We did enjoy the visitor center, the movie about the battle, the great motorcycle ride and dinner at Loretta Lynn's Kitchen.
Johnsonville State Historic Park is named for Tennessean Andrew Johnson, Union Military Governor during the Civil War and Seventeenth President of the United States. This 2000-acre park located in Humphreys County, commemorates the site of the Battle of Johnsonville and the historic town site that existed from 1864-1944 prior to the formation of Kentucky Lake.
At Johnsonville on November 4, 1864, Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest's cavalry took up artillery positions on the western bank of the Tennessee River. Forrest’s confederates sank four Federal gunboats and transports and finished out the day by destroying the Union supply depot at Johnsonville. This Confederate victory, however, was too late. As a result, Union General William T. Sherman managed to cut his own supply lines (including Johnsonville) and instead commence living “off the land” as his troops left Atlanta and embarked on his famous march through Georgia.
Two large forts, the Upper and lower Redoubts, located in the park are open to visitors. Additionally, Original Union breastworks (rifle pits) are beautifully preserved throughout the park in various areas. Visitors may contact the park’s Welcome Center to schedule Interpretive tours by calling (931) 535-2789.
Look for these new Fuel Efficient Vehicle Parking signs to be popping up across the nation. See more about Johnsonville State Historic Park here.
It was another wonderful day. Sweet hubby and I have had a lifetime of wonderful days and I'm so thankful.
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