Our Alabama Adventure is Over

By kaw / 12 years ago

“Where have you been, Keith?” some might be asking. Good question, since one could easily conclude that I’d fallen from the face of the earth.

But I’m still here, and thankful to be so.

Now it’s time for a little update, then maybe even some news. If not in this post, in later posts.

We arrived in Rockport, TX, December 23—just in time to spend Christmas with our friends. It feels like we’ve ‘come home,” as many of the residents here come back year after year just like we do.

On the way here from Alabama, we stopped at a state park just north of New Orleans and visited the city one day.

We visited Mardi Gras World which is the largest company which specializes in building floats for the many parades held in the city. We learned many interesting facts about Mardi Gras, including the fact that parades are controlled by city ordinances. For example, each parade must have between 12 and 24 floats and at least 8 bands. (My numbers might be slightly off, but you get the idea.)

The left head in the picture is made from foam, covered with fiberglass. Fiberglass objects can and are used over and over. Figures which are not expected to have a lot of reuse are made by putting paper mache over foam.

That’s Pat on the right!

Floats must have tires which can not go flat. Some are hard rubber, some are foam-filled, and so on. Here’s another interesting solution:


Parades are sponsored by “clubs” which are formed for the express purpose of creating parades. I liken these clubs to country clubs, as it sounded like a good part of the New Orleans society revolves around these numerous clubs.

That’s probably enough on that. But it was interesting and should you find yourself in New Orleans I recommend Mardi Gras World.

Of course we had to have lunch somewhere. We chose this small restaurant for a relaxing lunch. (Whoops! Can’t find the picture.)

Some of the street performers were starting to get set up and playing in the early afternoon. I’m sure there were many more at night.

We walked around for a few blocks, including past Preservation Hall. At noon, there’s not much going on there to say the least!

We fairly quickly tired of walking so headed back to the park. The route was interesting: a 24-mile-long bridge over Lake Ponchitran.

The next morning, we headed toward Rockport. We hit downtown Houston, America’s fourth largest city, at 4 PM. How lucky can one get? It was not too bad; could have been much worse.

We drove for another couple of hours, then spent the night in a Wal*Mart parking lot. We usually do this when we are just going from one place to another. It’s much easier than finding a campground and certainly less expensive! Plus, there is shopping right there if we need supplies and often a restaurant nearby.

That left only a two-hour drive to Rockport so we were at our spot and set up by noon!