Friday, February 25, 2011

Automotive Memories - Day 2

On the second day of my trip to Louisiana I came across some great old cars on a frontage road running next to I-20 between Jackson and Vicksburg MS. It was the first great find of my day, and the trip. I stopped and spent about 30 minutes rambling around amoung them and snapping photos.

I have an on-going love affair with old cars that began back in the late 60's. Back then I hung out with a bunch of 'car guys' who restored, souped-up and otherwise worked on cars most of the time we weren't in school. Summer's were spent cruising the boulevard, scrounging parts in junkyards and parts stores, hanging out in garages and driveways...strange places for a teenage girl but I loved it! I was as proud as they were to show off the latest creation, the fastest hotrod, the lowest lowrider.

So when I saw these cars all lined up along the road I was drawn to them like a bee to a flower. One of the main things that attracted me to them was that these were the cars of my youth...mostly 50's and 60's models, all American made cars!!! There were Chevy's, Ford's, Oldsmobiles and even an old Edsel wagon. Not only did I remember these cars from the 'car guy days', I also remembered riding in them as a child to picnics, the drive-in movies, church and vacations... these were the cars of my youth.  And so as I wandered around this old junkyard snapping photos my mind wandered back to the days of my youth...Oh the memories, sweet memories these wonderful old rusted autos brought to mind.  When I had a chance to look though the photos I decided that the best way to share them here was a slide show and so I give you...
Old Cars

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Places Of Interest in Vicksburg MS - Day 5

After visiting the Eagle and Owls we went on to downtown Vicksburg...

We ate lunch at 'Monsour's At The Biscuit Company', a wonderful resturant owned by the Monsour family and located in the old Biscuit Company Building.  At a table overlooking the mighty Mississippi we dined on wonderful salads of crisp greens, tomatoes and cheese topped with fried crawdad tails or small grilled shrimp...Delicious!!  Gretta told me how this resturant had been a favorite since her teen years in Vicksburg and introduced me to the owner. 

Next we took a walk around the old depot which which is currently under will soon be home to a new railroad museum and gift shops with office spaces available in the 2nd level.  I will look forward to returning to see that when it is up and running.

Our next stop was in downtown Vicksburg to pick up some camera batteries and bottled water...we stopped at this Fred's store on S Washington Street.  I believe it to be one of the original stores from the 50's...the first Fred's store was opened in Coldwater MS in 1947.

After picking up what we needed from Fred's we headed to our next destination...The Historic Courthouse Museum.  This is one of the places that will defiantly need an entire blog post dedicated to it...the building and grounds are beautiful, the museum inside is amazing.  What an great collection of American memorabilia!

After the courthouse our next stop was the Mississippi River Bridge where we arrived just in time to watch a train come over the rail bridge.  Gretta told me about what it was like when as a child she used to travel across the bridge with her parents.  At that time the car bridge and train bridge ran side by side and she said it was very frightening to have the train right next to the car on some occasions.

From there we headed over to the Vicksburg National Military Park where we took a short drive through the park and stopped to walk through the cemetery.   They have an amazing collection of bronze statuary of which this is only one example.

Our final stop of the day was for dinner at Anchuca a historic mansion and inn built in the 1830's where we enjoyed a lovely dinner.  The owner was also a friend of Gretta's whom she has known for many years.  It was a lovely dining experience.

As we drove home to Gretta's house in Jackson we watched the beautiful almost-full moon was the perfect ending to a lovely day.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Eagle and The Owls - Journey Day 5

The last 2 days of my journey were a many beautiful, unusual and interesting things and will take several days and blog posts to do justice to them all.   On Friday Gretta and I spent the day photographing in Vicksburg MS.  Our day started with a visit to Becky, a friend of Gretta's who rehibilitates birds of prey...there we met these two beautiful owls...

This pretty girl (right) is a 'Barred Owl' who lost her eye to a bebe gun.  Becky told us how she takes her to schools and talks to the kids about respecting these beautiful birds and caring for them rather than harming them.

Below is a 'Great Horned Owl'...she was a little testy when we were there because she has an egg and is very protective of it even though it is infertile and will never hatch.  Becky has provided a home for her for the past 7 or 8 years after rescuing her from a death sentence at a zoo where she had been living for about 11 years.  Owls live long lives like humans...some have lived 70 or 80 years.
Becky then took us to another location where she has an American Eagle she is currently working to rehabilitate.  While there I asked her how one goes about becoming a wild animal rehabilitator?  She explained that she had to take some classes and a test, then work with an experienced rehabilitator for a year or so and then apply for a licence.  She also told us how she teaches a young bird of prey to hunt.

Overall it was an interesting and informative morning.  The Owls were beautiful, the Eagle was slightly intimidating.  It definatly takes a special person to be a 'Bird of Prey Rehabilitator'!
 God bless you Becky!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Day Five...Good Morning from Jackson MS

Good Morning from Jackson Mississippi.  This is my view of the world this morning as I enjoy coffee and homemade cinnamon rolls. 

I had a wonderful drive up from Lake Charles yesterday thanks in part to directions and suggestions from my son who spent 3 years at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and a suggestion from my friend Gretta who grew up in Mississippi.  I will post a couple of photos here with the promise of more to come in the near future.

Today we will be heading out to Vicksburg MS for a full day of photography so I will write more later.  I hope everyone reading here will have a blessed day.

Grace Episcopal Church in St. Francisville LA (right)

Cemetary at Grace Episcopal (Below

Windsor Ruins is probably the most 'off the beaten path' of any of the places I have visited on this journey through Mississippi and Louisiana.  Located on an isolated little dirt road off of a long and winding highway in Mississippi just south of Port Gibson these tall collums (below) are all that remain of a once grand pre-civil war mansion.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day Three...The Journey Continues

So today, up at 6am to be sure to be ready when the movers got here to Caryn's at 8am...then wait...they were at least an hour late.  After hanging around watching them load the moving truck for a few hours we decided to go get a bite of lunch.  Found a great little place in downtown Lake Charles...Pujo Street Cafe.

The food was great and of course, so was the company.  Our waitress was very engaging and helped us with our choices along with snapping a photo of us at our table.  Really cool atmosphere.
After lunch and a quick stop to check on the movers we were off to Holly Beach and Cameron in the Cameron Parish.  As we followed the road along there were several places to stop and walk out to various lookout point.  At one point we found this couple on the dock...said they had been fishing and not catching anything so decided to try for some crab...
We continued to follow Hwy 27 through marshland and bayou to the Holly Beach where we saw this beautiful scene

We then took the Ferry across to Cameron.  We saw this handsome fella setting on one of the posts when we boarded the ferry.

We then continued on through Cameron on Hwy 27 and enjoying beautiful scenes like these along the way...

I really find Louisiana to be a beautiful and enchanting place and am looking forward to seeing a bit more of it tomorrow as I head back East and North towards Jackson MS.  I am planning to stop off in St.Francisville LA then on up to Natchez MS and the Natchez Trace Parkway.  I'll be back in Jackson tomorrow night with my friend Gretta.
So far I have had a wonderful trip with great weather and really enjoyed catching up with Caryn after so many years apart.  I am sorry that she will once again be so far away yet I know we will see each other again this lifetime or another and I am reminded again of one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite authors..."Don't be dismayed at good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends." ~ Richard Bach

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Blue Skies...

...Smiling at me...

...Nothing but blue skies do I see...

Well actually I have seen a few other things...

found some great old cars sitting on the side of the road today

and a wonderful old homeplace museum. 
Started my morning out with a wonderful breakfast of homemade blueberry muffins and delicious coffee prepared by my friend Gretta...

Then set out westward across the state of Mississippi, crossing over the 'mighty, muddy' river in to Louisiana and on west I-20 to Monroe...then dropped down though many small Louisiana towns along Hwy 165, including Pineville and Alexandria sitting on opposite sides of the Red River.  It was a beautiful drive all the way from Jackson to Lake Charles and I am enjoying my visit with my dear friend Caryn...Dinner tonight at O'Charlies...Cedar Plank Salmon with lemon pepper, Ceasar Salad and Brocolli Cheddar Casarole...good weather, good food, good friends...what more could a girl ask for on a road trip?

Goodnight from Lake Charles Lousiana...sleep tight, sweet dreams.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

On The Road...

Yep, that's me heading out on the first day of my Road Trip...My dear hubby was behind the camera to snap this quick shot of me getting into my Cruiser...
The first day of traveling went well...beautiful weather, no traffic, enjoyable lunch with my friend Melissa in the Birmingham Alabama area...Catfish, hush puppies and slaw at 'Ezell's Catfish Cabin'. 

Then on to Jackson MS where after unwinding for a bit I enjoyed a wonderful dinner at 'Bravo' with my friend Gretta. 

Took a few other photos along the way which I will post in the morning before I head out for Lake Charles LA.  I am excited about tomorrow...I will be seeing my dear friend Caryn whom I have not seen in 30+ years as well as traveling through new territory and doing some exploring. Time to hit the sack so I will say 'Goodnight...Sweet dreams'.
Today I begin a new adventure...

Years ago, back in the days of my youth (well, early 20's), I did a good deal of traveling.  I loved being out on the road set time table, choosing my own route, stopping to see things I found interesting, eating where I wanted to...there was a special freedom in those travels.  It has been a very long time...and I can't wait to get on the road again!

My bags are packed...I'm ready to go.  Car gassed up...check.  Oil, brakes, tires all full...check.  Maps & directions, addresses, phone numbers...check.  Cameras...check.  Plenty of good music for the road...check.  Snacks and water...check.

This morning I will be setting of on what I hope to be only the first of many 'road trips' in my future...some alone and others with my dear hubby or son and eventually grandson.

My final destination for this trip...Lake Charles Louisiana.  That is where, at least for the next week, my best friend from Jr. High through High School (and a few years after that) is living.  We haven't seen each other in 30 years...Reunion time.  Along the way I will be stopping off to see another friend, or 2, and hopefully some interesting places and things.

Watch here for blogging, photos and video of this adventure...
I'm on the road again.