The Gulf

Big Lagoon State Park. We’re on our way towards New Orleans, ambling west along the Gulf.


A little further along the trail from that sign we hit the ocean where we could swim again. Unfortunately, there were a million huge, pink, moon jellyfish. They were pretty harmless, but still, nobody wanted to jump head first into one. We didn’t notice them at first, thus the excitement.

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School desk at Meaher State Park, just down the road from Mobile, and the USS Alabama.

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As I was taking this picture, with the kids and Ali a block ahead of me, a homeless man walked up to me smiling. My mind immediately started running through whether I was going to answer his inquiry with a shake of the head or a dollar. Signs had been all up and down the road saying not to give money to the homeless, but to instead give to the boxes collecting for the organizations that help them. Anyway, as he came up to me, smiling, he asked, “Did ya’ll get a picture with Muhammad back there?”

So much for jumping to conclusions.


Ouest loves herself a good town square with lots of vermin to feed.

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One of those moments that, as a parent, you think, “This isn’t going to end well.” But you let it go anyway. Remarkably, no tears were shed.

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We’re too late in the season to really see any gators in the wild, so we stopped in at a gator farm to get up close, and to take a ride on an airboat. Those things seem like they’d be a lot of fun to get behind the controls of. The driver was one of those guys that leaves us Northerners wondering if Southerners just lay the accent on extra thick around us, or if that is really their slow, easy drawl. I sometimes wonder how a Yankee can ever come down here and fit in. Which is funny, because I never really think about that in Mexico. The South often feels like more of a foreign country to me than those across a border.

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Davis Bayou. Kind of cheating to call this seeing alligators in the wild, but I suppose it is—National Park with a nice little visitor’s center.


Magnolia trees make good climbers.