Sunday, March 27, 2011

Louisiana Lagniappe 2011

The good times continue to roll here in Louisiana with more new friends, old friends and fun. We are getting new neighbors every few days with many of them being snowbirds who are slowly moving north and have to stop by for the yearly fix of Betty's famous hospitality. Some of the people are ones we have met here in the past and others are first time visitors.

We returned to Judy Bailey's home to hear her band practice one more time before their first public appearance in the square in Abbeville. Above is Judy with many of her records, awards and photos from her years in Nashville.

Some of the natural things we have seen in the area.

Center is the full moon that was the largest in 18 years, left is a small gator we often see on our daily walks and a small cypress swamp we saw in a yard. At less than an acre, the swamp was a mini snapshot of the bigger swamps we have seen. Right are two geckos just enjoying the sun and not acting as an insurance company's spokesgeckos. At Betty's you truly do feel like family. Everyone in the park was invited by Betty's aunt Irene to a gathering at her beautiful home on the banks of the Vermillion Bayou. This is the only park out of the over 200 we have stayed in where this has happened. What great hospitality.

All the people at Irene's party.

Top; Jay & Heide; Merlene, Betty, Irene & Dan; Bob & George Ann, Kendra & Denis and Jim.

Center; Jim & Judy; Tony & Mary Beth; Dave & Sarah and Cindy & Larry.

Bottom; Nanc & Cookie; Marvin & Jim; CeCe & George and Sue & Paul.

We all had a great time and enjoyed the great food.

The first pubic appearance of Judy Bailey and the Louisiana Bayou in Magdalen Square. It was a wonderful evening of music and dancing. The reaction of the audience showed that all the practice sessions paid off. The music was great with a mix of country, swamp pop, blues and rock and most of the crowd stayed until the very end.

A young fan listening to Judy.

The crowd at the concert. Everyone in the park was there along with many, many more fans. There are several new people here whose names I haven't yet learned.

We did another day trip with Richard and Valerie to New Orleans. Here are a few street scenes form the fabulous city. The architecture here is fantastic. We had a great brunch in a little restaurant that was once the home of Edgar Degas and did a little shopping in the French Market.

On the street between Jackson Square and Saint Louis Cathedral you can buy a painting, have your portrait drawn or have your fortune read.

Some of the street performers, reindeer advertising a Christmas shop and Jackson Square. NOLA really is one of the great cities in the world. It appears to be in much better shape than it was when we were here three years ago. All the homeless who were living under I-10 near downtown are now gone. We visited an area that was under several feet of water after Katrina and the neighborhood was thriving. It is great to see the city is coming back.

I am always fascinated by the size of the Mississippi. We strolled along the levee that holds the mighty river out of the city and took a ride on the trolley. The map shows where the water that flows by the city comes from and gives you a better understanding of why this river is such a powerful force. The vessels range from ocean freighters, to stern wheeler tour boats, ferries and huge barge pushing tugs.

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