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Sat. Feb. 25 Mobile AL to Fri. Mar. 3 New Orleans LA

Saturday-  We went to the pancake breakfast at the Clubhouse. It was to start at 7:35. We arrived at 7:20 and were at the end of a long line. While still in line, they announced that they wanted us to sit down for the arrival of the King and Queen. So we did. We were glad we were at the end of the line, not at the beginning!

In came the King and Queen to Louis Armstrong’s” When the Saints Coming Marching In”. We of course were all singing the song. The King and Queen moved around the room again, giving out Mardi Gras beads.

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They eventually sat down and we got back in line. We had a nice breakfast. After breakfast was the “Teddy Bear Parade” where folks took a Teddy Bear and paraded around the room. Then they took a picture of all of them. We left before it occurred, but were told that was what was going to happen. There are lots and lots of parades, all over the area. Several in the same town on the same day. Each has a different theme.

We returned to the MH. I was very unhappy with my hair cut, as I usually ‘feather’ the sides and I could not get my hair to do anything. So after preparing the MH for travel, I jumped in the car and drove back to Fairhope to the salon. I asked Demi, the gal who had cut my hair, to do a repair. Her first client walked in right behind me, so she passed me off to another gal, who trimmed the sides and I gave her a tip.

I drove back to the MH. Bob had it mostly ready, so we did the final tasks and pulled out of the Escapees park at about 10 AM.

We drove north on Hwy 59 to I-10 west. We followed the road thru Mobile. We quickly realized that we had not driven this route before. Prior to Mobile is a long bridge then a tunnel. We could see in the distance a fire and lots of smoke, to the north. We drove thru the smoke, and it was pretty awful. We were glad that we passed thru and it cleared on the far side.

We turned at exit 13 and went into the Pilot for diesel. While Bob was putting the diesel into the MH, I went into the Wendy’s and purchased lunch for us as it was 11:30 by this time. I purchased a burger for Bob and a salad for me.

We continued across the interstate to Payne RV Park, a PA park. We could only have the PA rate for 2 nights, but we had a senior discount for the 3rd night. The gal was very nice and told us to just pick any site we wanted. We parked the MH and put out the slides. We sat down to eat lunch and realized that there was Blue Cheese on the salad. So Bob and I switched lunches. I cannot eat Blue Cheese, as it makes me very ill.

We settled in for the afternoon. We took a short nap and left at around 3:30 to go downtown. We stopped at Ulta for some items, then continued through town. Bob had chosen a parking lot on one of the streets. We pulled in and paid $10. We had passed numerous lots that cost $20 to park. We were about 3 blocks from the parade route.

We had taken our camp chairs with us and we walked down Dauphin Street, and turned left at the park.

Duval Street Mobile

We found a spot, right on the fence directly on the street. We settled in at 4:30. The parade was to start at 6.

It was fun watching all the activity. Across the street was the police security post.

Mardi Gras Mobile

There were nice people who settled in all around us. While we were waiting for the parade to start, we had live entertainment with all the folks waiting. The police presence was heavy. The cops rode motorcycles up and down the street, preforming turns in front of us. The did circles and figure 8’s. They rode close to us, taping our hands as they rode by.

Finally, the police on horseback rode by, in formation,  which we thought was starting the parade. That was around 6. We were sort of in the front middle of the parade, but after they rode past, there was a long break before anyone else came by.

Lots of vendors went by, hawking all sorts of junk, including boiled peanuts, T-shirts, beads, and lots of other junk.

Bob walked over to the Luni Brewery for a beer. Drinking in public was allowed and everyone, except me, was drinking.

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I have to say, I took many pictures, but because of the movement, most of them did not come out. They were very blurry, so here are the acceptable ones.

Mardi Gras Mobile

Mardi Gras Mobile

Mardi Gras Mobile

Above is the Navy band.

Mardi Gras Mobile

Mardi Gras Mobile

Mardi Gras Mobile

The parade schedule was a band, then a float, then a band again. We noticed that most of the band members did not smile. They did not seem to be enjoying themselves.

Mardi Gras Mobile

Before a float, someone walked by, like above, with the name of the float.

Mardi Gras Mobile

Mardi Gras Mobile

Above is the VMI (Virginia Military Institute) band, completed with the uniforms and kilts!

Mardi Gras Mobile

Dragons seemed to be a big theme in this parade.

Mardi Gras Mobile

And then there was the great breakdown! This float, turned the corner, and broke down. They finally had a pick-up truck that a WOMAN, who backed all the way down the street, for at least the two blocks we could see, to attach to this float. This all took about 1/2 hour. All those lights that you can see are the cops. They also started to entertain the crowd again racing back and forth and doing the circles and figure 8’s. So did some of the cops on bicycles and Segway’s. The crowd participated by slapping their hands as they went by and cheering.

Finally, to many cheers, the towed float went by. Most of the floats hauled a generator behind them, but this one did not. All the floats were pulled by U-haul pick-up trucks.

Mardi Gras Mobile

Mardi Gras Mobile

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Mardi Gras Mobile

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Mardi Gras Mobile

Mardi Gras Mobile

Mardi Gras Mobile

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Mardi Gras Mobile

Mardi Gras Mobile

All of the floats had people on them who were throwing junk at us. It included candy, beads, bags, lighted items, cookies, and  mini Moon Pies(various flavors)  which are a big thing!  Other junk also. Bob caught a dangerous long stick,  with feathers on it.  I had a lighted plastic ring and Bob had a long color lighted thing he could wave.

As the last float went by, I was hit on the head with something. We are not sure what, but it really hurt! It hit my forehead, Fortunately, it did not break my glasses, but I have a bruise and lump.

As soon as the last float passed, there were city workers who came up and grabbed the fencing in front of us. They basically pushed us back onto the sidewalk. Then a truck came by, spraying water on the street and then there were 3 truck street sweepers. They were not wasting any time!

We had to get through the crowd to walk back to the car. While walking through the crowd, we gave away most of the junk we had collected. Giving the stuff to kids, who were very excited to receive the items.

Then the fun began. Trying to get out of town was a mess. All the streets are one way, and the parade was still continuing around where we were located. We moved at a snails pace. We ended up going around different blocks. At this point, the beer that Bob had was recycling. So I literally dropped him off at a restaurant, and he ran inside to use the facilities. Then he ran back out and caught up with me just crossing the next block.

We finally figured out a route out of town, as the GPS did not know that the roads were blocked. We drove on to I-10 and headed back west. By now it was 8:45 and we had not eaten, so we stopped at a McDonalds for a quick dinner.

We arrived home and Bob did a quick walk with the dogs and then we fed them. We settled in exhausted!

Sunday- We did our usual Sunday tasks, then went to Costco and Walmart.  We returned home and settled in for the rest of the day. I have been sneezing for days. It is spring here and the azaleas are blooming. I am allergic to them and have been having sinus issues. Tonight, I just plain started sneezing like crazyand had a runny nose. I figured out that I had developed a cold in addition to allergies. Oh goody!

I took some medicine and we watched the Oscars. We were totally shocked at the ending!

Monday- We left around 10 and went downtown. We traveled to Doughin Street to visit quickly, as there was another parade at noon.

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I noticed this sign.

 

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There were a lot of Moon Pies thrown at us during the parade, so naturally, I was curious. Here is a synopsis.

Mardi Gras and the MoonPie”

By the 1970s, Mardi Gras crews had long since adopted the practice of throwing things from their parade floats to expectant revelers. At that time, their snack food throw of choice was Cracker Jack. Looking for something less painful to be hit in the head with, and easier to throw, someone stumbled on the idea of using MoonPies, and they’ve been aboard Mardi Gras parade floats ever since. The MoonPie has become enough of a Mardi Gras staple that the city of Mobile has, for a number of years, had a giant lighted MoonPie drop at dusk each night on the last few days leading up to Fat Tuesday.

Today, the MoonPie is as much a part of Gulf Coast culture as jambalaya, po-boys, mint juleps, crawfish, and other favorites. They are available nationwide in a variety of styles and sizes. But the best is still the original moon-sized miners’ treat.”http://www.allaboutmardigras.com/Features/Food%20Features/moonpie.html

Originally, Moon Pies were made for miners because they wanted something filling that they could carry in their pocket. The size of a Moon Pie came from asking a miner what size he wanted, and he said the size of the moon.

We stopped at this park to take pictures of the statues.

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Below is Louis Armstrong.

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Then we rode down Government Road to look at the Antebellum houses. Here are a few.

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These are all in the Mobile Historic District.

We left and went to Sonny’s BBQ for lunch. We really like Sonny’s and they were starting to become few and far between! We think this is our last chance to stop at one until our next trip to the southeast.

We stopped at the Walmart Neighborhood Market to pick up a few items that we had forgotten. Then we returned to the MH. We took a short nap, as I am still not feeling well. We settled in for a quiet evening. 

Tuesday-  Moving day again. We pulled out of the RV park at 10 and drove west on I-10. As we were driving along, there was an unattended fire on the side of the road. So I called it in to 911. It had already been called in prior to my call. That was okay, better safe than sorry, as the grass was really dry and you could see where it was already starting to expand.

We continued west, stopping at the Mississippi Welcome Center. They had this Mardi Gras display in the building.

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They also had another small “Mardi Gras” tree.

We continued west to Gulfport, arriving at the Campground of the South at about 11:30. We settled into a nice site, Passport America, for $23 FHU 50 amp on a concrete pad.

In the office, they had two of the King Cakes. We had been looking for a piece of King Cake, which is a Mardi Gras special. We could find the cakes, but did not want to purchase a whole one. So we took a piece from each one to try. Evidently there are lots of different King Cakes. These two were delicious. We split the pieces in half so that we could try each one. One had a cream cheese filling with cinnamon. The other was chocolate caramel cream filled. They were AWESOME!  Bob’s comment was, that it was a good thing we had not purchased a whole cake!

I called Paradise RV Park in Sun City, as instructed by Becky, one of the gals at the front desk. I had talked to her last week, and they were not taking reservations yet. I was able to speak with Mary, who said they were sending out the email this evening.

We ate lunch, and went to the outlet mall looking for a jacket for Bob. He had torn his current jacket in the middle of the material, so I could not repair it. We did not find one at any of the stores. We went to Belk’s and I found, only 1,  stuck on a sales rack of pants. it was half price, and fit Bob perfectly.

We returned to the MH and fed the dogs. At around 5:30 we left and went to dinner at Azteca’s Mexican Restaurant. We had seen its sister restaurant near our last RV park in Mobile. Both of them had full parking lots, so we decided to go there. The food was very good.

Wednesday- As soon as it was 9 AM in Arizona, I called and we paid the deposit on an RV site at Paradise for next winter.

We drove south to Gulfport. We turned right on Hwy. 90, the Gulf Parkway, and went to the Visitor Center. The gal there was VERY enthusiastic. She suggested that we travel the length of the highway. The highway has 79 attractions on the map that she gave to us. Most were restaurants or casinos. Anyway, we traveled to the west all the way to Waveland. There was nothing in Waveland to see, so we turned out to the Scenic Drive along the Gulf in this area, back towards the east, and into Bay St. Louis. We drove back across the big bridge over Bay of St. Louis and returned towards Gulfport.

We saw some Antebellum homes. It is hard to get pictures of them, due to trees and traffic.

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One thing that we noticed were a lot, and I mean a lot, of driveways going into empty lots which are for sale. This is of course post Katrina, in 2005. Our thoughts are that they cannot purchase insurance to rebuild there or the it is unaffordable.

We continued back to Gulfport and stopped at Shaggy’s Seafood for lunch. We had a nice lunch overlooking the Gulf. Then we drove through the town of Gulfport.

Gulfport is much smaller than I thought it would be! There was not much there. except the World’s Largest Rocking Chair.

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We continued north to the RV park and settled in for the evening.

Thursday-  We drove south again, this time turning west on the Gulf Highway, Hwy. 90., towards Biloxi. We only went a few miles, to Beauvoir, the last home of Jefferson Davis.

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The house is located right on the Gulf. Or at least it was, it is now on the north side of the Gulf Highway and then there is a sea wall and sand, before the water. This is all artificial, to protect the highway from any storm surge.

The Beauvoir House is set on a 52 acre estate, including majestic Oak trees. It is a National Landmark, owned by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc. The estate went through several owners prior to being owned by Davis.

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Jefferson Davis lived there for the last 12 years of his life.  After his death, his wife left and went to live with her daughter in New York. She designated that the house should be turned into a hospital for the Confederate Veterans,  their wife’s, and servants.  After they all died off, it was to be a memorial to Jefferson Davis and the family. The last person died in the 1940’s.

On the grounds there had been the hospital, a chapel, Confederate cemetery, and other buildings all which were destroyed during Katrina. There is a Jefferson Davis Presidential Library and Museum, plus of course a gift shop.

The house was damaged in both Camille (1969) and Katrina ( 2005). The house has been through 18 major hurricanes.

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Above is the house, then to the right and left were two smaller buildings.  Note that the house is high off the ground. It is 23 ft. above sea level.  The storm serge from Katrina was 24 ft. Under the house was a museum, where everything was destroyed. On the  main floor,  the wood floor was under a foot of  water for 8 hours. Because the floor had been cleaned with linseed oil so many times, the salt water did not damage the floor. Other extensive renovations had to be completed, however.

From the front porch, this is the view.

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To the left  of the main house, was the guest house. It is now used as a honeymoon house for people who are married in the main house.  When Davis lived here, it was used for when his daughter visited and spent the summer with them, bringing all the grandkids.

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To the right of the main house was the Library. This was Jefferson’s man cave! He wrote his book there on the fall of the Confederacy.

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We did the first tour of the day at 9:30 with Mr. Jim, the docent. The house is interesting as it has 5 main rooms. On the right are two guest bedrooms, there is a center hallway, and then on the left is the Music Room and the Men’s parlor. 

Below is the painted ceiling in the hallway.

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The doors are painted to look like oak, to show that the owners are rich.

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The colors did not come out, but the glass is pretty in the windows.

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The clock above, which still keeps time, was made for Jefferson’s father. It was made by a Baltimore company in the early 1700’s.

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This is the front guest bedroom, which was used by one of the daughters. The petit-point on the chair was done by Mrs.Davis, as was the weaved throw on the bed and the lace on the table in front of the bed. 

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Above is the formal dining room/ music room. That is a picture of Jefferson the year before he died. The chairs were restored, using the same material, post Katrina. It cost a lot to have the material made and the furniture repaired.

20170302_094915 Above is the one of the two daughters piano. The original was destroyed in Katrina and cannot be repaired. A lady was on a tour of the building and saw the piano. She had the same one in her home, that was built by the same company in Baltimore, in the same year! So she donated this one to the museum!!  She even paid to have it shipped to them….

In the men’s parlor, there was this mirror. It is a chaperone mirror.  Young ladies could never be left alone with a young man. A chaperone could sit in the other room, and see the entire parlor, from that room, making sure that nothing happened!

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In the picture above, you can see another petti-point chair covering, completed by Mrs. Davis. Also you can see the original floors, which were not damaged during Katrina, and the oak painted door. The doors are make of Cypress, not oak.

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Above is the back guest bedroom. This is a scrap quilt, which is very pretty.

This is a picture of the house, before the road was put in.

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We left the inside of the house, through the back hallway door and went out on to a large back porch. To the left, and past the back of the parlor where the master bedrooms. The first was Davis’s, and he had a large rocking chair in the room. He was over 6 ft tall. All of the other furniture was low to the ground, so that when ladies sat on it, their ankles did not show! He had trouble sitting on all of the other chairs in the house, and used to move the rocking chair from room to room. Then there was a second bedroom, connected to his room, which was Mrs. Jefferson’s bedroom. One of the prior families who lived in the house had 10 kids, so the connecting door was obviously used!

By the way, Jefferson Davis never signed his middle name. It was Finished! He was the 10th child in his family, and obviously, his mother was ‘finished’ with childbirth!

On the other side of the hallway was the dining room. To the back, there was a children’s dining area, which was smaller.

Of course, the kitchen was not connected to the house, as they tended to have fires. But there was a walkway, called with the dog walk ( because they would throw scraps to the dogs) or the whistle walkway ( where the servants would whistle while carrying the food to the dining room) either to let the folks know they were coming or to keep them from spitting in the food!

We walked down the back steps and walked through the rose garden to the Confederate Cemetery.  All the stones were thrown around during Katrina, but they knew who was buried there. They lined up the grave markers, at approximately where the person was buried, but they might not be exactly right.

Interesting fact, the Confederate gravestones, everywhere, do not have the rounded tops. They have pointed ones. This was so that the Yankees could not sit on them!! or actually, to designate that they were Confederate soldiers.

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Jefferson Davis is buried in Richmond, although he died in New Orleans. He was buried in the south, then moved later to Richmond.

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This is the back of the house. The bedrooms on the right and the dining area on the left. The small building to the left is the kitchen, which is now restrooms.

We went from here to the library and watched the movie. Then we went to the museum/Presidential Library. We climbed to the second floor and viewed the exhibits.

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Above is the hearse that carried Davis in a funeral procession. At the end of the Civil War, every confederate was allowed American citizenship, except for Jefferson Davis. Jimmy Carter granted it to him.

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The first flag above is the actual Confederate flag, the “Stars and Bars”. This is the flag that flew over the Confederate Capitol building. I The second, and most famous flag, is the Beauregard Battle Flag., and never the official flag of the Confederacy!

We left and went to lunch at a little place called the Café Benet. I had a terrible salad and Bob had a not so great sandwich.

We drove around the city of Biloxi, then returned to the MH. We relaxed for awhile, then went to dinner at the Casino, where they had a buy one get one free, all you can eat seafood buffet for $27. Not a bad price. We had a nice dinner.

Friday-  Moving Day- We drove west on I-10 to New Orleans. We drove into 3 Oaks and a Pine RV park. A PA park with FHU 50 amp. We paid $41.25 per day. We only signed up for 5 nights, but quickly realized we needed more nights, so we added two.

About 2 weeks ago, a tornado started its run from the park. The trailer in the site next to us, flew over our site and hit the trailer on the right side of us. The back fence is gone, and there are two damaged motor homes here. We can see other destruction in the next RV park.

When we arrived, we discovered with are in the 9th Ward. Not a place we would have chosen, had we known, but there is a gate to get in and out. The back fence is gone, but there is a motel/rv park next door, and it is also gated, so it makes it more difficult to get into this park. There are several RV parks, here in a row. They all had the trailers for after Katrina in them. When they closed out those trailers, all of the sites had full hook ups, so up popped all of these RV Parks.

We arrived at 12:15 and we went to The Crepe Cafe for lunch. We settled in for a quiet afternoon.

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