After leaving Tyndall Air Force Base, we headed across the Florida Panhandle, through Alabama and camped north of Gulfport, Mississippi.
|Big Biloxi Campground in the DeSoto National Forest served as home base and provided easy access to the Gulf.|
|John showing off his boy scout skills.|
|Each morning the Cardinals gathered behind our trailer and welcomed the day with their delightful songs.|
|This restaurant near Gulfport was featured on the Food Channel but we decided that we were not going to try it out! It is a bit too much of a "dive" for us!|
|Jefferson Davis's portrait graces the living room of his home.|
|This replica of Jefferson Davis's horse was rescued twice from the gulf waters after Hurricane Katrina took it out to sea.|
|After a brief visit to Baton Rouge, Louisiana we headed to Lafayette where we soaked up the Cajun and Creole cultures.|
St. John Cathedral, a Dutch-Romanesque Cathedral completed in 1916, is the third church built on this site and is listed with the National Register of Historic Properties. We attended Mass here and it was a very moving experience.
|This "Cajun village" provided a walk through the history of the earliest Cajun settlers in this area of Louisiana.|
|The village of Cajun homes came alive through the stories told by the costumed narrators we encountered on our tour.|
|Acadian children were forbidden to speak French at school or on school grounds because of the 1922 Compulsory Education Act.|
|The message is clear and Annie and Dexter were on lease and watched closely.|
|Great White Egret|
|Turtles sunning themselves in the Bayou|
|Bayou county Cajun home.|
|This National Heritage Area encompasses a large area around Lafayette.|
|We attended one of Lafayette's many Mardi Gras parades leading up to Fat Tuesday and the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday.|
|We had a great time at the parade and managed to catch and collect a lot of beads and other trinkets.|
|We loved the food in Louisiana and took every opportunity to try different Cajun dishes.|
|This meal included catfish, crawfish, sweet potato french fries and jambalaya. There was also nothing like fresh hot beignets and fresh coffee in the morning.|
The Mardi Gras tradition is attributed to the French Catholic people. Here are the flamboyant costumes of a Mardi Gras King and Queen.
|We observed fields of sugar cane as is pictured above as well as rice being grown in the area.|
|We drove by this exotic deer farm on our way to Opelousas, north of Lafayette.|
|These appear to be Fallow deer on this farm.|
|The "King of Zydeco" music, Clifton Chenier, hails from Opelousas.|
|The Jim Bowie Oak|
We enjoyed a day trip to Avery Island to tour the McIlhenny Tabasco Brand Pepper Sauce Company. It was started in 1868 by Edward McIlhenny and is still owned and operated by his family today.
We drove through Houston and headed toward Fulshear, TX to spend a couple of days with Cathryn's cousin, Sig Cornelius and his wife, Patricia. This is the entry to their beautiful country estate.
|Sig and Patricia's beautiful home|
|Sig and Cathryn in front of Sig's tractor....John wants one!|
|John in a very happy place!|
|We enjoyed watching the Super Bowl in Sig's home theater....nice.|
|This is Mollie....she is the real boss in Sig and Patricia's home.|
|There is not much in Yoakum, Texas but it sure served a major purpose once.|
That's the end of the trail for now. We will be spending the next month in Texas visiting family and past digs, all of which will be in the next blog.
Happy Trails....until we meet again.
John, Cathryn, Annie and Dexter