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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Mount Vernon - We Toured The House That Catherine Murat Saved - Today

Lulu and Keith in front of Mt Vernon. We had the place to ourselves today.

When we built our home in Woodland Drives - Tallahassee - we wanted to emulate the Bellevue Plantation - the home of Catherine Murat. Her plantation was just a couple of miles west of our home. They moved her house to the Tallahassee Museum. 

Today - my main objective of the tour was to verify the information about Catherine Murat and her saving of George Washington's home - Mt Vernon. Catherine is the great grand niece of the father of our country. She married Prince Achille Murat - the nephew of Napoleon. When he died - she bought and ran her big plantation. 

Washington DC - Saturday We Flew Into A Snow Storm In A Frozen City

Dr Zhivago visits Washington DC - from this view you can see the Lincoln Memorial - Washington Monument - Capitol - and White House. We were going 150 MPH and I missed the Jefferson Memorial.

Lulu has a meeting with her grant supervisor on Monday. So what better time than to spend a weekend with Liz and Keith. They live in their new home on Florida Avenue and walk to work in downtown DC. We left Tallahassee at 6 AM - and by 10 AM we made it to our hotel as the snow started to fall. And it fell all day. 

Most of the day we were just catching up on all the action since Christmas. We went to the National Portrait Gallery in an Uber car and then had barbecue at Hill Country. At 8 PM - we went to the Verizon Center to watch Georgetown defeat DePaul University. The crowd was light because the weather outside was miserable - even by Pennsylvania standards. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Fat Tuesday - Midnight - Bourbon Street - The Clock Stuck Twelve And We Turned Back Into Pumpkins

The final sweep - literally.

A few minutes in a small music bar. 

It is 8 AM - the morning after - Hangover Wednesday.

We woke up with one task today. After breakfast in our  hotel - we have to get to our bus stop by noon for the trip home. It is 1.5 miles away. I think a cab would be nice.

We really had a nice time last night - you are not sure what to expect. I did not see any physical violence - I did not see any crime. The closest came when Lulu grabbed a set of lighted beads in mid-flight that another girl flashed for.

At my age I cannot imagine drinking to the point of hurling - but we saw a bit of that - even some projectile hurling from a balcony.

Lulu said the crowd was a young one - but at my age - every crowd is a young one.

The average temperature of Fat Tuesday is 66 degrees here - the best we saw was 47 degrees with a 20 MPH wind. That is why I was wearing the blanket from our hotel room as my overcoat - no one really noticed.

Lulu has a pile of junk she wants to bring home. There is one black and gold necklace with the New Orleans Fleur de Leaf - a cool symbol that reminds me of my Boy Scout days - that I would like to keep. Maybe I can make it into a Christmas ornament.

I have a feeling we will be sleeping a bit on the bus home. We leave here at noon - add an hour for times zones - we arrive in Tallahassee at 8 PM. Our basketball game with Clemson begins at 9 PM! From the bus depot to the Tucker Center is about 6 blocks. We will dump our bags in the Leaf - if it is still there - looks for tickets for the basketball game - and this adventure will not be over until midnight.

For lent I plan to give up beads.

Midnight - Fat Tuesday - Mardi Gras - Bourbon Street - 2015 - Lulu

Take a good luck at the girl I eloped with 43 years ago. 

As Lulu begged for beads - I thought - how much money do you make a year?

Bourbon Street balcony ladies

Lulu caught a set of blinking beads - the lady next to her yelled - "I flashed to get those b----!"

I caught a glimpse of this gay bar thru the open door.

We went into this sign shop to warm up.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Fat Tuesday - New Orleans - Cold and Windy - Floats and Beads - Food Drink and Fun

We had the front row upper deck in our $60 round trip. 

Right now it is 5 PM - we are back in our hotel for a nap so  -  we can stay up for the last few hours of Mardi Gras on Bourbon Street. I should be napping but too much budget beer at lunch has me wide awake. 

We left Tallahassee on Monday at 2 PM - our Cinderella Carriage the Megabus - had us disembarking  in downtown New Orleans at 8 PM in a light rain. We decided to walk the 1.4 mile gauntlet to our hotel - as the rain pick up to a windy downpour. Luckily Lulu packed ponchos that fit over our backpacks - and we had an enjoyable walk thru the French Quarter. It took about 2 miles to our hotel with stops at Cafe du Monde and along Bourbon St.

Our Homewood Suite Hilton is very nice - a block off the main parade route down St Charles St. We awoke early to 40 degree weather with 30 mph winds. The Zulu Parade started at 8 AM and went forever. This was followed by the Rex Parade which I am guessing is the main attraction. 

What can I say - floats - beads - beads - and more beads. Everyone has been so very nice - not a bit of the drunken behavior I expected. I still cannot understand what people want there stupid plastic beads for - but Lulu has joined into the beg-a-thon - and she is laden with necklaces. 

At about 2 PM - I had enough - and we went to a nice place for lunch. We had a wonderful pizza - but were surprised they were offering $2 pictures of beer. We ordered one and it was huge - but the waitress brought us a couple pints because the pictures were not ready. We had no idea what to do with su much beer. We NEVER drank this much beer BEFORE. 

It is now 5 PM - Lulu just woke up from her nap and she thought it was 5 AM. Yikes. She was upset because she wants to see the midnight police sweep of Bourbon Street. They march from end to end and sweep the entire street - then say Mardi Gras is over - and then the bars open up again and have at it. What are your predictions that we make it that late?


In Mobile AL - we saw the battleship Alabama.

The Alabama State band zoomed by us with police escort

In the Big Easy - we departed our bus at Elysian Fields and walked to our hotel thru the French Quarter.

Beignets at Cafe Du Monde are a cool treat - half way to hotel.

Lulu posed with the cop - horse - and reveler. Note Lulu;s poncho

Demonstrators on Bourbon St.

Balconies on Bourbon St - people exposing their breasts for beads.

Zulu parade at 8 AM

Floats and Beads - for hours.

This lady looked like Cher.

Another float form Zulu parade

I wonder if Disney approved this EPCOT float

The streetcar named Desire - there is really a Desire Street here and we rode the streetcar.

A float form the Rex Parade.

Those are Lulu's gloves begging for beads.

The is a cool New Orleans firetruck.

Don't Tread on Me float.

Rex Parade Float.

The Florida Gators ROTC were parading - they had sweepers ahead of them to sweep away the beads.

Andrew Jackson is a big hero in New Orleans. 

Many of the costumes in the Rex Parade remind me of KKK outfits.

Our living room at the Homewood Hilton Suite

Our kitchen at Homewood on Poydras  St - one block from the parade route.

Our bedroom - you could see Poydras St out that window.

Our bathroom. Lulu got the 4 room suite for $175 a night on Mardi Gras night - not bad. Price includes breakfast and wifi. We could have squeezed 20 in here. 

Here is some of Lulu's booty from today's parades.

Wednesday - our bus leaves here at noon. and gets back in Tallahassee at 7 PM. We parked our Leaf at the law school - we will throw our bags in the trunk - then attend the FSU/Clemson basketball game - if we have enough energy - then ride home. I predict a long sleep on the bus home. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Valentines Day At The Beach - 63 Degrees

Looking west from the lighthouse on St George Island
On top of the light house - a view of white sand and blue water for miles in all directions
The long bridge in the distance is the way to the mainland. 
St George Island is about 75 miles from our house - no traffic. It has the most beautiful white sand and blue waters - everything is so clean. 

So we hopped in the convertible at 9 AM and drove south and west. The island separates the Gulf of Mexico from Apalachicola Bay. St George reminds you a bit of Key West but better beaches - you have to go out a long bridge to get there. There are about 1000 homes out there - most of them are rented out by the week. The island is about 4 blocks wide and it goes on for 10 miles. 

Cordless Charging For Electric Nissan Leaf.

Recharge your car without plugging it in.

When you buy a Nissan Leaf - you get a standard charging extension cord. For a little extra you get a 220 volt charging cord. Some people forget to plug the car in - and in the  morning they come out to a low battery. For $2000 - one can buy a charging system that is automatic. When you pull into the garage - you park on top of a charging box. It charges the battery without being in contact - just close. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Just Watched LaSalle Beat VCU In Double Overtime - Saw My Son - Grandson - And Old Neighbor Lee Schilling On TV

My grandson right behind the coach of LaSalle - picture taken from my television.

Our old Tamaqua - Catawissa Street neighbor - Lee Schilling is an alumni and booster of the La Salle Explorers basketball team. When he found out they were playing in Richmond VA - he contacted our family and left tickets at the "will call" for my son and grandson. The tickets were excellent - Row A - right behind the LaSalle coach. 

The game was close the whole way - VCU had their 62nd straight sellout crowd. The game was extended in double overtime - LaSalle won. This was a touch ticket. 

Lee and my son enjoying the action

Old neighbors enjoying their favorite sport together.

It was way past bedtime - particularly on a school night. Lee and the LaSalle team have a long bus ride home to Philly - but it will be an exciting one. 

Hakuna Matata - The Carefree Life At Alligator Point

We met this pig at the beach last week

Whenever Lulu gets a little stressed out about work or travel - I know a place where she can go to recharge her batteries. A good beach on the Gulf is about 40 miles from home. A couple hours there and she is ready to go again. This time she met a pig on the beach - it even climbed up on our blanket. 

Yes - a lovely family from Tallahassee has a cottage on the sand - and we caught them in the ritual of walking their pig. The water was 60 degrees and too cold for Floridians - but not for pigs. This pig loves to "go" in the water. 

I am not making this up - the pig's owners - The Porker Family!

We also stumbled onto a cottage on fire - after a little smoke the fire truck came blazing up the road. 

We had the beach to ourselves - and one pig

Lulu loved the pig - all I could think of was lunch. 

In a couple of weeks - there will be a lot of pigs on the beach - Spring Break.

Hakuna Matata