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.
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.