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Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Magnolia State of Mind (part two)

Day 2 in Gulfport started with joy in my heart!  

The rain predicted for Sunday lifted with patches of fog to be expected. A warm front was coming up from the Gulf. Oh, and I decided we were so close to Louisiana, why not? Neither one of us had never been!

Cruising along 1-90 towards Louisiana, I had no idea a mixed bag of emotions was headed my way. 

We did a nice side trek (still in MS) along the coast through Bay St. Louis and Waveland... up towards the I-10 that leads to Louisiana. 
I love this shot my mom took on the way!
Once we crossed into the state, mom snapped my photo (thanks mom!) and besides squinting in the sun, I was bothered by the excessive traffic on a Sunday compounded with the HUGE amount of trash on the side of the road. (I am so thankful for the roadside adopt a highway programs Missouri and other states use!) 
Me and LA and trash in the far left corner.
Trust me, there was way more than what is showing in the photo!
After a quick stop at the LA visitor's center, we headed to New Orleans... NOLA for short. This is where I hope I offend NO ONE (these are just my thoughts), but I see why the NO is in NOLA. 
Visitor's Center for LA
I was able to navigate the city, but never parked. Mom took a lot of photos out the window of the cool buildings, and there were moments of beauty...

...but I have to be honest for every moment I said or thought, "Oh, this is totally what I pictured!" I had a twist of "Oh, this is so sad..."

A lot of things I saw made my heart ache. 
My mom clicked this in a residential area. Loved the houses!

Just how I had "pictured" NOLA to be. Love this one by my mom, too.
My quick NOLA experience was much like that moment you really look forward to that is a total let down. (Underwear as a kid for Christmas. That awesome Valentine's Day he forgets. The birthday party your "best" buddies blow off. I could go on and on!)

On a Sunday afternoon, I saw people passed out in filth and trash amidst beautiful buildings and historical features. I noticed a sign in a residential area encouraging people to walk in groups to be safe because as much as NOLA loves their police force, there just isn't enough of them. 
Found this image online (there are many of signs like these) of what I saw in NOLA.
There was a time I seriously thought I'd love to go to Mardi Gras in NOLA. Now, I know I would hate it. I will stick with Soulard/STL Mardi Gras and feel safer... and as odd as it sounds... CLEANER.

I would love to give NOLA another chance and perhaps take a guided tour or two, but the bit I saw (and smelled and heard) from "Betty" on Sunday destroyed the "Let the Good Times Roll" vibe I thought the city held... or maybe my idea of a good time is not the same as their view? That's always a possibility, too.

As we left NOLA and headed along a road (not the I-10) that went through LA towns and spaces that included wildlife refuges and marshes, I was still saddened by the amount of trash on the roads. Even out of the city in areas that are supposed to be protected people are dumping trash, and I still didn't see any signage or efforts for roadside cleanups. 

Getting back into Mississippi was so good. 
Back in Pass Christian, just a hop from Bay St. Louis. 
We had a late lunch / early dinner (I dub "linner") in Bay St. Louis, then went on a lovely beach walk in Pass Christian. I set up my tripod as the "blue hour" hit and got some long-exposure shots of a pier with the motion blur of the gentle waves around it. (I still have to process the images soon to see how they came out!) 

Once the light was gone, we decided to go look at some shops, hit up a Wal-Mart for local fare, and then settle in at our house for one last night, before heading back north Monday... which will be part three of this little tale! 
My gift to myself from MS! :-)
Until we meet again, 
M of MK Designs (Michelle!)

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