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Driving trip from SC to WI to see Heidi's son and family
A fun Halloween pumpkin tent
|A strange combination - a huge white cross and church, and an Adults Only store, got a chuckle from us|
|The bridges around Lexington Kentucky were a phenomenal photo op|
New Albany and Salem Railroad (The Monon). Fugitive slaves' use of this Railroad in escapes caused controversy in the 1850's.
Natural mountain stone walls, common when driving through the mountains in Tennessee/ Kentucky, always beautiful. The timing of the trip meant the beautiful autumn colors were rampant, what a treat. Some photos looks like Impressionist paintings, and still cannot capture what we saw and felt. We never get tired of it.
We enjoyed seeing this tank humorously painted like an ear of corn, you can see how the Gutwein gourmet popcorn company www.gpopcorn.com , 13 miles north of Indianapolis (Exit 141, Lafayette IN) processing the corn right from the fields.
KENTUCKY ARTISAN'S Center and town
Birthplace of Handicraft Revival
An impressive store of Kentucky artisan crafts is well worth the stop. The rest of the town has plenty of little artsy shops to visit
& Found, basketry and wood creation
POSSUM gourd, great folk art piece
Woven and wood basketry & vase
|Large bentwood chair and bench in the entryway of the Center|
|Chris Ramsey turned wooden HATS are world-famous|
|Artists decorated giant hands all around town|
|On the sidewalk leading to the Center|
OLD TOWN ARTISAN'S VILLAGE, where we found the rest of the Hands
|The Power of Make-Be-Leaf||Outside the bank, "Headed Home"||Tin Man|
LIZZADRO LAPIDARY MUSEUM of ART
Elmhurst IL - Link below to Rocks Page 7:
|Travel is FATAL to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness.
LOUISIANA & MISSISSIPPI
New Orleans, Gulfport, Biloxi
of the split bridges we crossed in Alabama on the way to New Orleans
(called the Crescent City because of its location at the bend of the
Mississippi. We were here shortly after the major Mississippi River
flooding in Iowa and other Midwestern states bordering the river, though
it did not affect New Orleans
View of Lake Pontchartrain showing the new bridge (left) and the old bridge never fixed (right), and the view through the reeds of the sunset
Going back over the new bridge, note the destroyed road through the slats of the bridge railing, and the railroad bridge further in the distance, it was nice to be able to make an art form of the view:
Plenty of other road and bridge building going on close to New Orleans:
Canal Street, some original buildings, some demolished, some being remodeled. It looked better than I had expected though I am not kidding myself on the work going on behind closed doors and the frustrating delays. Here is a grand building on Canal Street, street cars, a horse wearing a hat, pulling a carriage crossing the street
Downtown New Orleans, near Harrah's Casino, the Mardi Gras theme is evident
Downtown New Orleans, still beautiful, music in the air, horse or mule drawn carriages. Here was an unusual white mule we saw:
We're on Decatur Street in New Orleans in the French Market area. Here's a Joan of Arc statue at the beginning of the Market
We spotted a wonderfully strange van embellished with glass dinner plates, saucers, stained glass, glass nuggets, etc. what a sight! The Motto: "It's better to go somewhere slow, than nowhere fast". Note the top of the van that has a glass chess set glued to it, and many drinking glasses.
This man painted silver uses a special powder that breathes so it is not harmful to skin, he shows us the jar. He is part of the "Silver Alliance", a group that paint themselves silver and walk or ride through New Orleans. Others paint themselves gold. This is a growing group that do this
A restaurant was boiling crawfish by the handful from this cooler, the hostess showed us how to break them apart and suck out the meat.
Many original buildings showed evidences of humidity (grass growing from the bricks) as well as permanent damage from Katrina, though the charm was surprisingly intact. We were saddened and proud at the same time, very conflicted feelings. Those who live here and remember the Way it Was will never be fully reconciled with this New Normal, as many historical buildings & homes are gone forever.
Note the interesting piano keyboard railing, and armored knights:
One store (Auntie Sally's) making chocolate pralines, we couldn't resist buying a box after seeing so many throughout the French Market. They were delicious.
Music evident everywhere, here is a musician pulling his specialized guitar in a rolling cart
Colorful tile mural and sculptures
A donut with no hole, covered in powdered sugar called a "Beignet" is popular everywhere in New Orleans. This is a typical "post-Beignet table". They taste much like Spanish Sopapillas but with powdered sugar instead of honey:
We heard jazz music and followed it to an art center with a terrific band, Glen Andrews and the Lazy Six, music to heal the soul and bring laughter back:
A sampling of the beautiful flowers in the French Market
had a panoramic view from our Hilton Hotel room, overlooking the
Mississippi River, the bridge, the tugboats pushing barges, the cruise
ships, plenty of activity to appreciate
Oops - a SPIDER on the window outside, looks like the Monster Spider that Ate New Orleans:
In a Mardi Gras store, an appropriate T-shirt statement we could agree with..."Make Levees Not War". There's Heidi, masking for the camera
Here we are in Irish Bayou, a tiny town virtually untouched since Katrina. Here a unique castle home is leaning into the bayou, damaged from Katrina. Note the steps to nowhere beside the castle
ST. LOUIS/GULF SHORES/BILOXI
This beautiful new marker is on Lake Pontchartrain on Highway 10 at the beginning of the bridge
Evidence of many piers that used to dot the Crescent coastline, now just the supports remain, though one or two of the piers have been rebuilt, along with a marina. The beaches were scraped clean. We saw hardly any tourists walking the beach, as the infrastructure is still scanty though you can drive to hotels and casinos not far away. The one beach where we saw umbrellas and flying American flags was like an oasis
A historic beachfront property with Spanish style buildings that comprised the VETERAN'S HOME in Gulfport was uninhabitable. It was more than sad to see the empty buildings. A whole lot of work to rebuild.
This "Gator's Souvenir City" structure is being re-created as it was before, a welcome sight along the coast:
Another destroyed structure, very typical of almost endless work yet to be done. I could not possibly document more than a tiny bit, but I hope this gives you an idea.
|The rebuilding of the casinos has been the first order of business, and though the residents are grateful for the money & tourism it brings to the area, they don't always appreciate how the casino money has taken over the coastal towns. The hotel owners on Highway 90 are 100% booked most of the time, just with construction workers for the casinos, road building, bridge building, etc.|
OF DEAD TREES
by the Mississippi Master Gardener Association,
Operation Rejuvenation Project
One of the most heartening sights we documented were the dead trees along Highway 90 (in the median and on the north side of the road) on the coast between Bay St. Louis, Gulfport and Biloxi that have been transformed into animal carvings of dolphins, pelicans, sailfish, shark, sea turtles, cranes, eagles, parrots and seahorses. The sight of these lifted our spirits as I am sure they do to thousands of others every single day. Making lemonade from lemons. Bravo.
On Highway 90 in Biloxi, we found the Camille Memorial, a beautiful hurricane shaped mosaic, surrounded by black marble tablets with the names of the victims. The bent flagpole is the intentional message of the impact of Camille.
Unfortunately, we did not learn about the Katrina Memorial built by the Extreme Makeover folks in Biloxi (and the same mosaic artist that did the Camille hurricane swirl did the Katrina wave) until we returned home and did some research:
One of the beautiful live oaks, many did survive the onslaught of Katrina, a welcome sight:
A link to view some of the significant damage documented by the Gulf Coast News and some of the progress. A lot of these landmarks and certain areas mean a lot more to us after being there:
MUSEUMS OF ART, Highway 90, Biloxi
This was under construction at the time Katrina hit, there has not been a lot of progress to rebuild this as yet, but it looks like there are plans in the making. They are operating out of another transitional building elsewhere in the meantime. Great simple art hanging on the fencing too, bright and cheerful
humor with this toy caterpillar road grader bungied into place on
this big flatbed trailer, spotted in Alabama on the way home. Or it
Across from the Creek Poarch Casino right off the freeway near Atmore, Alabama was a little gas station with R. J's Hickory House, Barbecue & Grill inside, the best barbecue we'd had in quite awhile, strange but true
VARSITY Restaurant, Atlanta
We couldn't resist a stop in downtown Atlanta, right off the freeway, to our favorite hot dog joint. "What'll ya have?" is their favorite phrase to keep the lines moving with placing their orders. It is ALWAYS busy but seldom a long wait. Three levels - the main level where the food is made & served, another level with tables, a third area of parking with roller-skate servers to your cars. Generations of customers continue to come for all the obvious reasons, the food and the atmosphere.
We looked for long-time employee Erby Walker to serve us, it turned out he had passed away the week before. A wonderful tribute was displayed in appreciation.
Alaska trip posted on its own pages
We added plenty of great photos of the Festival, Museum and the Fossil Club's displays, posted to Fossils page 9, link below:
|A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour|
you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion, and avoid the
people, YOU MIGHT BETTER STAY HOME.
FRANKLIN & CHEROKEE, NORTH CAROLINA
|A simple leaf stuck on our car after a storm in Franklin, NC during the gem show became an art form:|
|Flowers behind our hotel in Cherokee NC|
|We look forward to seeing the poppy fields in Franklin, what a sight for sore eyes!|
|And unexpectedly, a flowering prickly pear cactus|
to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel across the
country from COAST TO COAST without seeing ANYTHING
A walk on the beach,
Myrtle Beach SC
Fun watching the birds run from the waves, finding shells, fossils and sharks teeth. Always a relaxing time for both of us:
Jellyfish on the shore this particular week, we attempted to make an art form of it through our photography. There is beauty even in death.
SHOW, MYRTLE BEACH SC
We found a single artist to feature from this show, as he was so outstanding.
Nnamdi Okonkwo is based in Atlanta, Georgia. He created these huge bronze sculptures of women. They are phenomenal. He has a workshop and gallery in Atlanta, visit his site at:
Here he is, sitting beside one of his Ladies
Here is a setting of 3 of his bronze ladies in various poses. It stops every single person in amazement at the sheer size and grace of them, here are five angles of the same grouping. This is one of those things that must be felt in person to be understood, though we attempted to capture the mood with our photography.
Mother and child, two different sculptures
Three other small sculptures, just as beautiful and moving as the larger ones:
ALLIGATOR ADVENTURE, Myrtle Beach, SC
Featuring UTAN, the largest croc in captivity in the United States
Link to Gators page 7 to view the Virtual Tour:
AURORA, NORTH CAROLINA
|An unexpected stop on the way back from NYC in Aurora, NC at the AURORA MUSEUM to see the new fossil Toothed Whale on display. View that visit on|
|We made another unexpected stop at our friends on Easter, who were not home. We, instead, took pictures of all their Spring flowers to surprise them.|
|He considered re-locating the glass specimens in their garden, and decided instead to leave a gator foot mug. Glenn knew for sure they would know it was US who had invaded their yard|
|A quick stop to see Williamsburg, VA and the Visitor's Center. The pansies were in full bloom, and a form of berry.|
NEW YORK CITY
left for a slingshot trip to the City Thursday night & Friday to
deliver our 10 foot gator taxidermy mount to a buyer there. We
delivered it at 1:30 p.m. right in the heart of the Theater District on
46th Street on Good Friday, the New Orleans themed restaurant is
We drew quite a crowd to see all the OTHER gator items we had brought. But since we were parked in a cockeyed position (no parking spaces, of course)
we spent just a few minutes inside. I'm sure once they position him at his best, he will be quite impressive! The restaurant is beautiful, two stories high, with wrought iron railings, a huge wooden mantel behind the bar, Mr. Gator on the right hand side. A real re-creation of the flavor of New Orleans.
|We "Toured the City" from the car for less than an hour before shooting back through the Lincoln Tunnel and heading home on a more leisurely drive. As everyone knows, you can't expect to take your car to NYC and expect to actually park. You need to park it at an Auto Train Parking Lot and take the train in to do any serious sightseeing and enjoy the restaurants and shopping. But Glenn adapted to driving like the best of 'em, you can be sure, weaving across traffic as they all do. It IS as crazy as they say.|
NYC from the South
Through the Lincoln Tunnel:
A sandwich board ad for a barber shop on a street corner
|A Clydesdale & trailer statue for kids, at the entrance to Central Park||O
|A Statue of Liberty on the edge of Central Park (not THE Statue, however). This wasn't an ad for a Tax Prep company, maybe someone else knows what it was for (?)||Times Square||Double decker bus||The Fashion District (a/k/a The Garment District), a giant button on top of a kiosk, and a common sight of fabric rolls being unloaded:|
|Leaving NYC, through the Lincoln Tunnel "No Honking $350 Fine" (right)||Leaving the City behind||A beautiful place we saw on our way out||Entering
New Jersey, already the pace has decreased. Whew! Of course,
then a plane landing at Newark airport flew overhead less than 100 feet
above us. But that was awesome.
Atlantic City, NEW JERSEY SHORE Trip
The Visitor's Center near Atlantic City is a real landmark:
The Jersey Shore is memorable, especially the 5+mile boardwalk. Here we are at the beach
A side trip to a craft show brought us to Smithville NJ, where there was a great row of shops including this wonderful carousel:
At the Noyes Museum of Art (Absecon/Oceanville), we were more intrigued with the wood marquetry flooring. I'm sure they thought we were nuts...
Of course, photos of Trump's Taj Mahal could not be avoided:
Surprisingly, they have wind generators here (this is the view from Absecon NJ), they are amazing structures.
another visit to New Jersey, though not so warm this time.
City, a beautiful mural on a building wall, downtown
A hurricane worked its way up the coast, we left Myrtle Beach after it had passed, only to land in New Jersey, drive to Ocean City, and see the hurricane causing enormous waves for brave surfers. Wave runners pulled divers out far enough to ride the waves. What a spectacle! We shot some photos from the beautiful pavilion, due to the cold wind & spray:
The ocean & sky made for postcard pictures:
The boardwalk in Ocean City was just as special as that in Atlantic City. Most of the vendors were open, brave souls! Of course Heidi always orders the custard wherever she can find it.
FUDGE & TAFFY STORE
Then we came upon the taffy store... they've been here since 1898 (109 YEARS!)
Notice the beautiful wood showcases, the stained glass windows, the store has delicious products and so much character, it invited us to linger...
The candy train, and the gorgeous, huge Victorian mirror:
And the white chocolate figures such as horses, stagecoaches, flowers, and man & woman figures that can be ordered for weddings, etc.:
And all the chocolate, pralines & taffy choices to make, it was AWFULLY HARD (smile)
The fudge, pralines and taffy for which they are famous, are made right on site:
|A terrific great white shark model display, and a goofy fish at the mini golf:|
|FREE PIZZA if you can eat one in an hour or less. The record time? NINE MINUTES!! Look at the SIZE of these pizza pies!|
|While driving through the area, we found this alcove with beautiful homes. In fact, the architecture on the Jersey shore is unique, enough as a destination just for the viewing|
Linwood, New Jersey
ROCK stone FACES! Not just a great garden & landscaping company. The owner carves huge boulders into faces, and has an eye for growing & arranging beautiful flowers and vegetables into a cornucopia of art.
Here are some examples of the face boulders:
And a boulder pile waiting for him to create more faces:
A picturesque and soothing koi pond, beautifully landscaped with bamboo trees
An unusual draping tree
And an incredible mural of a hand in nature
work of a skilled sculptor?
Actually this is exhaust pipe from a Loris salvage shop!
FRANKLIN, NORTH CAROLINA Gem Show
|Here's an example of the crystals from Brazil you can see at the show||One booth showing the calcite display items available|
|Uncut LAPIS LAZULI gemstone from Afghanistan||The nearby town of Sylva, NC was displaying their Confederate Flags on the Courthouse, not your typical choice for a patriotic statement|
friends Renee & Dale bought a carved moose from wood carvers "The
Bear Necessity", as a symbol of their new business "Outside the
Norm". They sure bought enough inventory to get a good start!
Renee and Heidi in the parking lot of the Whistle Stop Mall, having a light-hearted girly moment
|We visited our favorite furniture store in the Whistle Stop Mall, Amish-made log furniture. We will own one of these beds one day, if we can ever get it home and have a ceiling high enough!|
|A baby miniature pony, along with its mother, our "Awwww" photo of the moment|
|Across the street from the miniature horses was this wolf-dog on the porch (I shot the photo from a distance, for safety sake!)|
(Manitou Springs, Colorado, at the foot of Pike's Peak, near Colorado Springs)
ancient Anasazi Native American dwelling built into the natural red
sandstone cliffs, 700+ years ago (they built these and lived here from
1200 BC to AD 1300). It is a touch and experience place to walk
through and marvel at their handiwork and culture.
And a beautiful and well stocked gift shop for visitors:
A cactus thriving in the desert scenery, though I guarantee the snowman will be temporary, in the warm sun on the picnic table:
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