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3/19/2012

Gypsy Travels ~ Gulf Coast Road Trip


  My darling man and I have been craving the Ocean since moving back to New Orleans from Houston 7 months ago.  In Houston you are only 45 minutes away from the slightly seedy, yet quaint beach town of Galveston, so we were there at least once a week.  The funky historical vibe of the colorful beach cottages and wild, run down gardens is something I can never get enough of.  So yesterday, we decided to go on a mini road trip along the Gulf Coast heading East and see what we could find.  I hadn't been to Mississippi or the swamps East of New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina and have been anxious to see the level of destruction and how the revival process is going.

  We ended up driving to about Pass Christian and then working our way back along the water towards New Orleans. When we turned off the highway to drive down to the beach we came across a fantastic flea market.  My kinda Heaven, it had rows and rows of antiques, junk and local plants and veggies. We bought some beautiful herbs and vintage oriental carpets on a dime.  Total Lagniappe!  The winding road to the beach was lined with adorable old homes and climbing Wisteria in full bloom.  Then suddenly the road ended at the edge of the Gulf, and I was stricken with the beauty of it.  The sun was shimmering on the water, the sand was white as can be and all along the other side of the road the giant ancient live oaks grow. We knew immediately that we would be doing this more often.






  Although some of the homes either survived or have been rebuilt, the vast majority of them are nothing more than a concrete slab on an abandoned lot.  It is very sad what a hurricane is capable of doing.  Most of what I remember being there has been wiped off the face of the Earth. Though there are some signs of life returning to normal with shops and cafes and art galleries.
  In Bay St. Louis we grabbed lunch and a couple of cold beers at a cute spot called The Buttercup then strolled along the tiny main street to check out the shops.



This is how ice cream shops are supposed to look!











I'm in love with these shutters. Aren't they sweet?
This little house was my favorite.

  On our way back we drove through Bayou Sauvage , the largest urban wilderness park in the country. This was shocking.  Losing houses and stuff sucks and everything but those things you can get back, I went through that so I know.  The wetlands and forests lost to hurricane Katrina and LOGGING will take at least 20 years to return to a pre- Katrina state.  It really upsets me more than anything to see trees and nature be destroyed needlessly.  I didn't have any photos of my own to show you how it looked before but I found these on the Park's website.



Bizarre isn't it? These are pictures I took of what it looks like now. There have been some replanting efforts to replace the Cyprus trees, but it still has a long way to go. Did you know that Cyprus trees are logged from our already struggling wetlands to make garden mulch? WTF?



   It was a very sobering end to a glorious day and adventure. Something I will be thinking about for a long time. This is why traveling is so important~ because nothing that you read or see in the news can compare to (or prepare you for) the experience of seeing the world for yourself.

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for the little tour! Though, it's sad, of course, to see beautiful lands devastated but it's great everything is coming back to life! The park must have been obviously gorgeous!
    Enjoyed the lovely photographs and your itinerary!

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  2. Beautiful - I love this area!

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  3. I was living in Lake Placid,Florida when H. Charlie swept through, the devistation is unbelievable, my trailer was spared, but the one behind me, total loss. Boy are you making me miss the south though.

    BTW, I got the bumper sticker at Cafe Press...I get tons of compliments!

    Hugs...sharon

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  4. Absolutely splendid entry. I felt like I was with you the whole time.

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