Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Vacation, Day 2, 10/22/2009, Part 2

We rode in Kay's truck from New Orleans to hers and Milton's home in South Mississippi. For you, random sights and sites seen as we moved along the streets and highways.

Seen before we got onto I-10.
Robert Dafford's mural, the 150-foot-tall clarinet painted on the side of a Holiday Inn hotel on Loyola Avenue, is trompe l'oeil . This mural was dedicated in May 1996. From Wikipedia: Trompe l'oeil (French for 'trick the eye') is an art technique involving extremely realistic imagery in order to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects appear in three dimensions, instead of actually being a two-dimensional painting.

Seen on Poydras, as we neared I-10, the Louisiana Superdome.

Seen just off I-10, one of New Orleans' cemeteries, also known as cities of the dead.
Found on the Internet: Why aren’t the dead in New Orleans buried underground as they are in most of the rest of the country? Tour guides are fond of explaining (and sometimes embellishing) the practice to shocked tourists. The main issue, they explain, is that New Orleans is actually located slightly below sea level. Because of this, the water table is quite high. When early European settlers put coffins under six feet of earth, they found that the water level would often rise above them, especially during the city’s frequent floods. Since the coffins were filled with air, the water sometimes pushed them up through the earth, causing both a gruesome sight and a health hazard. To keep the coffins underground, holes were drilled in the lid to let air escape, and the coffins were weighted down with rocks and sand. But this was only partially successful, and in any case the saturated corpses did not decompose properly, leading to unsanitary conditions. The only solution was to bury the dead above ground.

Tour guides seldom mention that above-ground burial was a common practice in both France and Spain, where many of the early settlers were from. Even without the resurfacing coffins—which, by the way, were the exception rather than the rule—this practice may well have been adopted simply to keep with tradition. In any case, this method is still widely used today, even though the water table has dropped considerably over the past two centuries as nearby marshes and swamps were drained.

Seen on the way out of town, just to the side of I-10.
Found on their Web site: Faux Pas Prints is a cutting-edge screen printing, embroidery, and promotional item company. We specialize in the corporate casual clothing market with products such as printed t-shirts, embroidered golf shirts, hats, jackets, and much more!

Faux Pas Prints is growing daily through a large number of satisfied customers coupled with competitive pricing! Your complete satisfaction is guaranteed.

Seen off I-55, at Manchac.
Kay says the railroad bridge is lowered when a train is coming. Milton works for the railroad.

Seen off I-55, at Manchac.
Found on the Internet: There is a place north of New Orleans called Pass Manchac or as the locals call it "Manchac." Pass Manchac is the home of Middendor's - a wonderful seafood restuarant that has been there longer than most people can remember. Pass Manchac is a small waterway that connects Lake Ponchartrain to Lake Maurpaus. On a thin sliver of land is the town of Pass Manchac. Residing on that land is Middendorf's. This is a small, crowded, noisy seafood restaurant that serves great seafood. There are no big signs that say "Authentic Cajun Food" or any such tourist nonsense. This is a real, local restaurant that serves great food. For generations, people from New Orleans (home of a few good seafood restaurants :-) ) have taken the 45-minute drive north to find. People from the north lake region have also frequented this place.

The specialty is fried thin-sliced catfish filets. These are great. So are the shrimp, oyster, crawfish, crabs, and everything else on the menu.

The atmosphere is casual - quit casual. Don't wear a tie or put on airs. Come and enjoy real food served by some real people.

Seen off I-55, at Manchac.
This is where Milton comes on the train. Can you tell that the small print reads, "Barge, Truck, Rail"?

Seen on I-55, near Ponchatoula, I think.
Personal fireworks rank real high with lots of people--I'll bet there's a great selection at this place. And I see they're also a Mardi Gras Party Shop--I love beads! To tell the truth, I adore sparkling, shiny stuff, period.

Seen on I-55.
I couldn't believe how many birds I saw sitting atop what appeared to be an unused billboard. Looking at it just now, I saw even more birds on the second level. And then I noticed how small those full-grown cows look beside the wooden framework. What in the world was advertised here?

Seen on I-55, in Pike County, Mississippi.
Welcome to Mississippi, Birthplace of America's Music. Found on the Internet in the May 13, 2009, Desoto Times Tribune: In recognition of tourism’s $6 billion impact on the Mississippi economy, Gov. Haley Barbour Tuesday unveiled new highway welcome signs that highlight the state’s emerging identity as the “Birthplace of America’s Music.”

“It has been known for many years that Mississippi’s musical heritage makes us the real ‘Birthplace of America’s Music’ – from the blues, to country, to rock ‘n roll, to gospel,” Barbour said. “These new welcome signs and the slogan are really designed to recognize and honor all of the talented men and women whose incredible array of entertainment skills put Mississippi on the world’s music map.”

During a press conference at Jackson-Evers International Airport, Barbour unveiled a replica of the new signs and proclaimed this week as Mississippi Tourism Week, coinciding with National Travel and Tourism Week, the tourism industry's commemorative event that runs through May 17. The governor chose Mississippi’s largest airport for the event because it is one of the state’s preeminent gateways; one of the first new welcome signs was placed on Airport Road.

“I dare say, no state has a greater claim on the slogan ‘Birthplace of America’s Music’ than Mississippi, and no state’s governor could be as proud as I am today with this recognition,” Barbour said.

So far, signs also have been placed at the Mississippi Welcome Center in Vicksburg; on I-55 in DeSoto County; I-20 in Warren, Lauderdale, and Jackson counties; I-10 in Jackson and Hancock counties; Highway 78 and Highway 61 in DeSoto county; the newest will go up on I-55 in Pike County this week.

Come back tomorrow to find out the plans Milton and Kay had for us while we were at their home.


Don and Krise said...

Another wonderful set of photos. I am amazed at the cemetery. My wife was familiar with them and mentioned that they would be one of the things she would like to see if we ever go there. Thanks again for sharing Lynette.

Jim K said...

I am so ready for a road trip.