Friday, November 27, 2020

Thanksgiving In The Big Thicket

We've had some memorable Thanksgivings, traveling, and this one, in the so-called Big Thicket of east Texas--the Thick Bigot, we used to say in Dallas--will likely rank among them. We're holed up at the Escapees Rainbow's End "campground" near Livingston ("I presume"). It's a normal campground, a large one, plus many more acres of more permanent RV emplacements, ranging from houses with RV garages to more modest covered parking pads with utilities and storage. We have been Escapees members for a decade or so, but this, and our stay last week at the Rainbow Plantation in Alabama, are our first experiences with their properties, which are located in a number of states. The organization provides a variety of services for RVers, including even a Care Center here for invalids, persons recovering from operations, persons with disabilities, etc. Anyhow, we spent Thanksgiving at Rainbow's End for 2020, Vicki fixing a traditional dinner, and then Zooming with Rachel and Will and Rebecca and Penelope. Wet and stormy weather will keep us here through Saturday.

One of the several reception/lounge/laundry/etc. buildings

Welcome to Texas (I have a sort of Thelma
and Louise thing about Texas)

Our encampment

Wednesday, for amusement and to get some steps, we walked down
the highway (nothing else in sight) to Rudy's Honey, a honey farm,
bottler, and wholesale/retailer of some size; and bought some of
their great honey

"Raw honey" the salesperson explained: no treatment except for
filtering to remove wings, legs, antennae, etc.

Our Thanksgiving repast, 2020

Reflecting on some of our more interesting Thanksgivings in the past has led me to compile, for your viewing pleasure, a selection of Thanksgiving blog posts 2008-2019 (with a couple lapses):

2008    Koh Samui, Thailand  

2009    Mt. St. Michel, France  

2010    Gallipoli, Turkey   

2011    Menlo Park, California     

2012    Menlo Park, California; no blog post and no pix I can find! Help!

2013    Menlo Park, California  

2014    Near Santa Cruz, California  

2015    Laughlin, Nevada 

2016    Washington, DC  

2017    Washington, DC; again, no blog post, but one surviving photo; my diary notes: "November 23, 2017 All day food, T-Day. Skyped with Rebecca and Penelope. Watched almost a whole season of Great British Bake-Off with Rachel and Will. Pork roast, asparagus, yams, pumpkin cheese cake, green slime, a most satisfactory T-day dinner."

2018    Washington, DC    

2019    Washington, DC    

Thursday, November 26, 2020

New Orleans Out-Takes

Alas, we didn't get to any of New Orleans' cemeteries this time; they
were all closed or required your being on a tour to get in; having
recently seen the Cemeterio Monumentale in Milan and often visited
Paris' Pere Lachaise Cemetery, I don't think we'd have been much

Over-stocked (French book store)

The usual weirdness

New weirdness

Drummer boys; the streets are lined with them in the evening; 
New Orleans with a sound ordinance is unthinkable

Artsy-fartsy shot of the day

Sic transit, Gloria (the wrecking ball is not far)

Sign of the times (dating service)

Sic transit, Gloria, reversed: once the Kresge's,
a five and dime chain my mother worked at
in Miami for a time; now the Ritz-Carlton

Now in the Garden District

The French Consulate

As I have often observed, the French can't abide empty space

Lawn ornaments

The point of this photo was to show, as Vicki said, you cannot
rely on your neighbors to keep things up; note the paint peeling
off the wall; however, click to enlarge to see the incipient shoe
line to the upper right; what's this neighborhood coming to?

Case in point: beads adorning a stop sign across
the street

There was a time when "upscale casual" would have been an

Cafe du Monde consumes approximately 1/7 of the world's
confectionary sugar

"Dirty, disgusting, filthy, lice-ridden birds"

French Quarter version of the famous corn fence (from Sears

New Orleans, 2

Next day we took the (open air) trolley up to the Garden District, which Vicki always enjoys. I'm always impressed with the great variety of 19th century Neo Revival bourgeois architecture. Also the gardens.

Debarking from the trolley

Excellent signage

The very famous corn fence

Sometimes the gardens get in the way of the District

But the signage is excellent

Gothic house

Original building of the Louise S. McGehee school for girls

Nice grill work

Nice camellias

Schoolie parked in front of the mansion...friends moochdocking?

Tract housing for the wealthy, Vicki said (six identical in a row)

New Orleans, 1

We have visited New Orleans many times in the past, several times for vacation get-aways--we lived in "nearby" Dallas for 13 years. One of Vicki's fond memories is of the Christmas open houses in the Garden District we must have visited in the 80s. When I was in the higher ed biz, and later in the humanities biz, I went to New Orleans on several occasions, for conferences and meetings and such. I can't say we've seen it all: I still want to visit the WWII museum, for example. But that will have to wait until COVID-19 is over. On this visit we just walked around, looking at the architecture and flora and fauna and overall weirdness, not going inside anything that wasn't completely open-air. By and large, people were masked and staying apart, that is, until Saturday night on Bourbon St. We left about that time.

In le quartier francais, a residential bit

Not a residential bit; excellent signage though

Dorsal view of cathedral

Assorted iconic stuff...

Afternoon snack at the Cafe du Monde; reminding me that chicory
is to coffee as hamburger helper is to hamburger...

Excellent signage though

Jackson Square and cathedral from the artillery park


The Great River

Us, there

The band playing on

Not this day

"Now go do that voodoo that you do so well..."

Late afternoon Bourbon St.

Remains of the shrimp and grits at Cafe Amelie on Royal St;
their large courtyard seemed designed for COVID-19 dining;
the cherry/almond bread pudding was super; as was the Sazerac

Rue de Bourbon as we left