#35 Wild Dunes, Isle of Palms, SC, - Tallahassee, FL, - Pensacola, FL, - Daphne, AL, - New Orleans, LA, - Longview, TX, - Shreveport, LA, - Atlanta, GA, - Charlotte, NC, - Wild Dunes, SC. August 2011

View from atop the Isle of Palms Connector of ICW and Atlantic Ocean

The first part of our month was life as usual for us as boat work continued.  Mid-month we took one of Enterprise's cars and put 3000 miles on it in twelve days.  The purpose of our journey was to visit my 4 sons, their children and my precious great grand son. 
Puppy dogs and little children playing in the surf on Wild Dunes

Ravenel Bridge connecting Mt. Pleasant and Charleston

 I am a native Floridian and we're both currently Florida residents so it seemed only fitting to see our beautiful state capitol and the interesting art deco buildings in the surrounding area.

 Florida State Capitol in Tallahassee

We made a very brief stop in Pensacola to lunch with Emily, a friend of mine since she and I were in the 4th grade, and a quick visit to residents in the assisted living facility where my parents lived before their deaths a few years ago.  A great pause in our day.

Daphne, AL, is home to my eldest son, Chad, and his children, Sydney and Zack.  We had a great visit and got to watch Zack at his first soccer practice. Sydney is finishing high school this semester and is concurrently taking 6 college hours in addition to working!  What an energetic and beautiful young woman.
Entrance to our room in the quaint French Quarter Hotel St. Pierre
We had to bide our time somewhere while we waited for the weekend when sons weren't working and grandchildren weren't in school so what better place than New Orleans to "kill time". It had been decades since we'd been there so it was time to see what we'd been missing.

LOVE Central Grocery's Muffalettas!  There are many imitations but no duplications.
One delightful evening we spent at the Preservation Hall for some pleasurable Dixie Lane Jazz.  The venue is very small and the audience was absolutely enthralled with the musicians and their music. Bill was so taken with their music that he returned another night by himself.

       Mardi Gras beads hanging from trees along St. Charles Street

Sculpture of General Andrew Jackson with St. Louis Cathedral in background.

                          Bridge spanning the Mississippi River in New Orleans

              One of the many beautiful old buildings in the French Quarter

The streetcar lines kept us thoroughly entertained one full day.  We rode St. Charles Avenue and Canal Street streetcars.  The City Park and also Audubon Park was a real oasis.  The ferry that runs from the River Walk to The Point on Algiers provided a great photo op of the NOLA skyline and a brief visit with a local and some tourists.

My 3rd son, Andy, lives in Longview, TX, with his little children, Izzi and Joseph. We had a fun visit with them and my 4th son, Stephen, who drove in from Austin to visit with us, his many nieces, nephews, and 3 brothers. Later in the weekend, son #2, Matt and his wife, Hope, arrived from Dallas with 4 daughters Hailey, Morgan, Kate, and Lily and my first great grandson, Tristan, who is Hailey's son. Matt and his crew returned to Dallas, Stephen headed back to Austin, and Joseph and Izzi were looking forward to their 1st day of school on Monday so it was time for us to keep moving.



Zipping through Shreveport where I lived for many years umpteen years ago, some strange gravitational force dragged us off the interstate to a restaurant where I had consumed more meals than I can remember.  Jan, my dear dear friend who still lives there scooted over from work to grab a quick lunch with us and it was such a gift to be able to spend those few minutes with her.

Atlanta was our next stop with plans to visit my brother, Bob, and my last remaining aunt, 87 year old Aunt Ruth.  When I'm her age I want to be as young as she is!  Besides enjoying neighborhood haunts in our friend Nancy's quaint and time-honored neighborhood of old Fourth Ward (as well as her guest room) we were also near Bob's home in Morningside.  While they worked, we took advantage of some of Atlanta's history.
                                                        The New World of Coke

We wandered Atlanta's downtown streets after spending several hours in the GA Aquarium, the world's largest, with over 8 million gallons of water.  We've been to our National Aquarium in Baltimore but believe this to be more spectacular .  One tank is larger than a football field and with more aquatic life than found in any other aquarium.  We were fascinated by the magnificent array of species.
I just love this albino gater and his reflection!

Magnificent Lion Fish

In historic Grant Park is the Cyclorama housing the largest painting in the world depicting the Battle of Atlanta in 1864.  We took a stirring journey through time as we sat in the center of this sweeping panorama during American Civil War of the battle fought on July 22.

On that day Confederate troops lead by General John Hood made a desperate attempt to save Atlanta from the encircling Union armies.  Initially they were successful but Major General William T. Sherman led the Union troops in and regained positions they'd lost earlier in the day and they won the battle.  That day more than 12,000 soldiers were killed, wounded or missing.  Adjacent to the cyclorama is the Atlanta Zoo and there's a historical and very interesting tale as to why they are located together.

Our final stop was Charlotte, NC, so that Bill could attend an old/antique car show.  He spent the entire weekend immersing himself in old collector cars and those who appreciate them while  I enjoyed exploring Charlotte.

On Sunday we dragged our happy but weary selves back to Mt. Pleasant, SC, and Kindred Spirit to find her as we left her only because Irene's path gave us a break.  We loved our visits with my progeny...and theirs...and visits with friends and other kin and we were surprised at how much of different cities we were able to see.  We played the tourist role more than we had expected.

Now it's back to completing the window replacements and making new draperies for the salon.  That should keep us busy and out of trouble at least for a while.  Enjoy your Labor Day weekend and we'll catch up with you in 30 days.

Bill and Laura
Wild Dunes
Isle of Palms, SC


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