Palm Sunday - Holy Week, April, 2011

Wasting away again in Margaritaville: Panama City Beach, FL. (above)

Statistics:

Dates: From Palm Sunday to Holy Thursday, 2011

 

Areas Explored: the Gulf Coast from Panama City Beach, FL, to New Orleans, LA

Transportation: 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan

New Frontiers: This trip was a deeper exploration of areas that were already favorites.

 

Cast: Scott, Jessica, & Andrew

 

Trip Notes: Day 1: Drove from Chicago, starting at midnight, seeing the sunrise near White House, TN. Drove through Alabama to the closest warm beach at Grayton Beach SP, FL. Day 2: Spent the day and evening at Grayton Beach, interrupted only by a short visit to Panama City for dinner. Day 3: Spent most of the day in the beloved white sands of Pensacola Beach before heading west to camp the night at creepy Buccaneer SP, MS. Day 4: A hot day. Explored Chalmette and then drove along Mississippi to the French Quarter of New Orleans before heading to Metairie. After this we decided to visit the Barataria Preserve in West Bank. As sun set we crossed the lake to Mandeville and then slept in north Jackson, MS. Day 5: Ate breakfast in Jackson, luch in Memphis, dinner in Saint Louis, and slept in our own beds. (The next day we went to the Easter retreat in Lake Geneva, WI.)

Sights and Sounds of the Gulf Coast


Colors for sale at the Old French Market in New Orleans. (right)

Rolls of Film: Click on image to see caption, full-size image, or slideshow.

After a cold winter, it is good to see the beach.After a cold winter, it is good to see the beach. Butt scooting on Grayton Beach in the Pandhandle.Butt scooting on Grayton Beach in the Pandhandle. Grayton Beach State Park, Florida.Grayton Beach State Park, Florida. Some crab claws found on Grayton Beach. At night many crabs came out to play.Some crab claws found on Grayton Beach. At night many crabs came out to play.
Throwing sand... Throwing sand....
Throwing sand....
The sun setting over the white dunes at Grayton.The sun setting over the white dunes at Grayton. Another beautiful sunset at Grayton Beach.000.sunsetatgrayton Other-worldy Grayton sunset. A huge full moon added to the feeling.Other-worldy Grayton sunset. A huge full moon added to the feeling. Andrew thinking about eating face fries at Seaside, FL.Andrew thinking about eating face fries at Seaside, FL. Various creatures we found around our tent at Grayton Beach.Various creatures we found around our tent at Grayton Beach. I set up the tent in a tangle of Gulf shrubs and pine needles.I set up the tent in a tangle of Gulf shrubs and pine needles. A classic Gulf-area pine.A classic Gulf-area pine. "Hey, let's go to the beach!" Daddy has his cell phone in his pocket.Daddy has his cell phone in his pocket. The wind made perching an umbrella quite a task.The wind made perching an umbrella quite a task. Sand toes!Sand toes! Panama City Beach, Florida.Panama City Beach, Florida. Andrew thinking about his next move in Panama City.Andrew thinking about his next move in Panama City. Surfs up!Surfs up! Enjoying a second night at Grayton Beach. We went crab-hunting.Enjoying a second night at Grayton Beach. We went crab-hunting. Our camp electricity box had a few stowaways.Our camp electricity box had a few stowaways. Retirees require a fatter kind of crossing sign at Fort Walton Beach.Retirees require a fatter kind of crossing sign at Fort Walton Beach. License plate collection at Peg Leg Pete's in Peansacola Beach.License plate collection at Peg Leg Pete's in Peansacola Beach. Andrew's dinner at Peg Leg Pete's came with an eyepatch.Andrew's dinner at Peg Leg Pete's came with an eyepatch. And they served him And they served him "somethings" (as he called them) in a sand bucket. So we had to visit the white sands of Pensacola, which were nice and clean considering the Gulf oil spill.So we had to visit the white sands of Pensacola, which were nice and clean considering the Gulf oil spill. Building soft white sand castles that will never stand up.Building soft white sand castles that will never stand up. Our beach neighbor caught a shark. Here he is releasing it. We decided to take a swimming break.Our beach neighbor caught a shark. Here he is releasing it. We decided to take a swimming break. Various animals live in the dunes.Various animals live in the dunes. The tide rolled out providing Andrew with a The tide rolled out providing Andrew with a "slide." We left the beach to a Pensacola sandpiper until next time.We left the beach to a Pensacola sandpiper until next time. Our camp at the hurricane-ravaged Buccaneer SP in Mississippi.Our camp at the hurricane-ravaged Buccaneer SP in Mississippi. Andrew is sweaty in the welcome Gulf heat.Andrew is sweaty in the welcome Gulf heat. A tree choking in vines and air plants near the Mississippi coast.A tree choking in vines and air plants near the Mississippi coast. The Gulf of Mexico at Buccaneer SP is pretty rustic.The Gulf of Mexico at Buccaneer SP is pretty rustic. Where are we going next?Where are we going next? An old planter's seasonal home on the site of the Battle of New Orleans in Chalmette, LA.An old planter's seasonal home on the site of the Battle of New Orleans in Chalmette, LA. On the Chalmette levee you can see all sorts of commerce.On the Chalmette levee you can see all sorts of commerce. Birds and garbage on the flooded banks of the Mississippi River in Chalmette.Birds and garbage on the flooded banks of the Mississippi River in Chalmette. The New Orleans skyline from the levee at Chalmette.The New Orleans skyline from the levee at Chalmette. A huge southern oak providing Andrew with a shady place to relax.A huge southern oak providing Andrew with a shady place to relax. Daddy decided to join Andrew at the big oak tree.Daddy decided to join Andrew at the big oak tree. New Orleans was celebrating one year of surviving the Horzon Oil Spill when we arrived.New Orleans was celebrating one year of surviving the Horzon Oil Spill when we arrived. Walking toward Decatur Street and Walking toward Decatur Street and "tertending" we're in France. Spanish architecture near Jackson Square in New Orleans.Spanish architecture near Jackson Square in New Orleans. The place considered by many to be the high temple of jazz music off Bourbon Street.The place considered by many to be the high temple of jazz music off Bourbon Street. Andrew on Decatur Street checking out the shinging statue of  Joan of Arc.Andrew on Decatur Street checking out the shinging statue of Joan of Arc. Off Bourbon Street it is still Mardi Gras.Off Bourbon Street it is still Mardi Gras. A fountain near the New Orleans levee reminds us of Nola's musical history.A fountain near the New Orleans levee reminds us of Nola's musical history. Greenwood Cemetary: a Louisiana city for the dead in Metairie.Greenwood Cemetary: a Louisiana city for the dead in Metairie. An angel thinking of all the twisted history made by the New Orleanans buried around her.An angel thinking of all the twisted history made by the New Orleanans buried around her. I have passed this while leaving Nola too many times not to take a closer look this time.I have passed this while leaving Nola too many times not to take a closer look this time. In  Barataria Preserve, if you think you're alone, be still a moment and count all the life around you.In Barataria Preserve, if you think you're alone, be still a moment and count all the life around you. Spanish moss hanging over primieval swamp in Barataria.Spanish moss hanging over primieval swamp in Barataria. The boardwalk over the swamp was a favorite shortcut for lizards and snakes and this creature which seems to be both.The boardwalk over the swamp was a favorite shortcut for lizards and snakes and this creature which seems to be both. Texture of the swamp in Barataria. Many fish, gars, and frogs lived in this sort of place.Texture of the swamp in Barataria. Many fish, gars, and frogs lived in this sort of place. 052.baratariasmallgator052.baratariasmallgator There are more of these than squirrels in the Barataria forest.There are more of these than squirrels in the Barataria forest. A huge wader along a canal in Barataria.A huge wader along a canal in Barataria. An alligator fishing in the deep water of the canal.An alligator fishing in the deep water of the canal. The swamp thickens and the trees become fewer as you walk into the preserve.The swamp thickens and the trees become fewer as you walk into the preserve. Watch your step in places like Barataria.Watch your step in places like Barataria. A boat washed up in a canal near Mandeville's Sunset Park. We also saw alligators here.A boat washed up in a canal near Mandeville's Sunset Park. We also saw alligators here. Sunset over the Pontchartrain Causeway, one of my favorite roads in America.Sunset over the Pontchartrain Causeway, one of my favorite roads in America. We had lunch on Beale Street in Memphis, the adopted home of the blues.We had lunch on Beale Street in Memphis, the adopted home of the blues. From the inside looking out and hoping for better ribs than this.From the inside looking out and hoping for better ribs than this. Johnny Cash, eh?Johnny Cash, eh? What can I say? This is good advice.What can I say? This is good advice. Lunch in Memphis and dinner in Saint Louis. This was the day before they got wrecked by tornados.Lunch in Memphis and dinner in Saint Louis. This was the day before they got wrecked by tornados.

 


Photos copyright 2011 by S. Plencner or J. Bezold All other content copyright 2011 by S. Plencner