Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Gypsy Rhapsody
(A 1977 Airstream having fun with her owners, Vannie and Dave)

One of Vannie and Dave's favorite times of the year is...
being in Lafayette, LA for
Festival International de Louisiane.
Their daughter-in-law, Diane Harris, is the
production director for this festival year round.
One heck of a job...
According to V and D, it is one of those
"bucket list" festivals.
It is a FREE music and arts event celebrating the French cultural heritage of south Louisiana.

I hung around the old homestead place in Youngsville, LA.
Perfect spot to rest and recoup from the Florida trip.

The opening night of the festival was a little wet.

...but a miracle happened, and
the rain stopped...and God painted a rainbow in the sky...

..and Festival International de Louisiane 2016 said..."Bonjour"

Vannie said the opening was PRECIOUS.!
French Immersion students from Myrtle Place Elementary
and French students from Martinique had been practicing with
Zachery Richard on skyp for months.
The kids from Martinique flew over and "Viola"...
it happening.  MAGIC 

Dave said that this was the sky for the rest of the weekend.

V and D love hitting the festival streets early...
before the crowds.  They say it is a must-do.
This is downtown Lafayette.

Hospitality Room
Food...Clean bathrooms
The blue circle on the wall monitor is the festival emblem.

The Austin family showed up.
The grands are hard at work on a project in the Kid's Area.
r to l...Cooper, Vincent, daughter - Emilie, and Maddie.

Sister and Brother
Emilie and Ashley

Grubbing down on festival food
Vannie said that was his third plate (all different) in a matter of 30 minutes. 

Is that a popsicle?
Good matches her dress.

Vincent with his concoction.

...and Mr. Cooper enjoying a slushy. 

Are we having fun yet?

Vannie and Maddie visiting with some of the kids from Martinique.
They didn't speak the same language, but somehow they communicated.

Vannie said the swings reminded her of the ones on the Bernice Elementary playground
in the 1950's...big and strong and fun.

Vincent and Maddie got passed off to V and D for Saturday night.
Boy, was I happy.  Vincent is lovin' cooking those hot dogs.

Sunglasses inside????

I guess so....

Back to the festival and passing them back to their parents.
They had a long ride back to Austin, but I bet
this tiger and kitty cat slept most of the way.

What???? My brother????
Vannie said this guy was one of the food trucks at the festival.
Must say...he's lookin' good.

On the way back to the truck, V and D ran into these guys...

...check out Dave on the left in his Florida shirt...
I think he is a wee bit mesmerized.

OK...festival is over...but guess what...
when V and D visit Lafayette..the eating never stops.
This is crawfish etouffee with stuffed crawfish heads,
compliments of Timmy Credeur and his wife Kitty.
TO DIE FOR...according to V and D... 

Amazing...obviously, the deal is...
when you finish eating (and sucking) the stuffed head, you just carefully
place the shell on the side of the place.
Is that cool, or what????

Vannie said...
"Gypsy, we didn't think we could eat one more bite...
and then Timmy brought out the homemade strawberry cheesecake."
Dave said,
"Best EVER"...

...a little fatter...
...a little happier...
...a little sleepier...

Bonne Nuit

Friday, April 22, 2016


Gypsy Rhapsody
(Just an old 1977 Airstream rolling around the country with her owners, Vannie and Dave)

Vannie and Dave left the palm trees of Florida behind
and embraced the palmettos of South Louisiana.
There is no place better to do this than in
Palmetto Island State Park in Perry, LA...
just south of Abbeville, LA.

I have written about this magical place once before.
So relaxing...a perfect place to 
pick up a 10 year old grandson and camp.

Palmetto means "Little Palm".
It is definitely in the palm tree family.
They are all out in the woods at this park.

So much fun to be back in my "roots"...

Here's The Boy...
Cooper Harris...V and D's oldest grandson... 

Our SPOT...
Vannie soon had the hamburgers cooking on the grill...

I think we can all agree Cooper is enjoying his burger.

Looks like T-Pop is trying to keep up...
just give it up, T-Pop

The weekend was filled with riding...

...and riding...

...and more riding...
So many places to explore.

OK, folks, this is the infamous red iris...
Supposedly not many of these fact...
this is one of the few places you can find this little jewel.

Just another pretty iris out in the swamp...

Game Time
I was killing myself laughing...
Cooper was trying to teach Vannie how to play a video game.
If I could talk, I would have told Cooper...give it ain't gonna happen.!
I have to give him a gold star.  He didn't give up...
and she finally kinda sorta got it. 

Oh my goodness...nothing like a good game of Yahtzee...
except when The Boy keeps adjusting the dice to his liking.

I love it when it starts getting late and my people
move inside.  Cozy...!!!

Dave enjoyed watching Cars II as much as Cooper.
I think Mater is Dave's favorite character.
Actually, it is mine, too...I can really relate to that old truck.

Ahhhh...Breakfast cooked on the grill...
The smell of bacon and eggs was making me wish I was human.

The Boy likes his served in bed.
...and what do his grandparents say..."S u r e"

Louisiana state parks have FREE washers and dryers.
No coin operated ones, here.
Soooo....Cooper's riding the basket of clothes 
down to the laundry for T-Pop. 
T-Pop said, "Hey, it's free, folks...gotta wash."

Weekends over...
Heading to our spot in downtown Youngsville, LA.
We have stayed there before.  One of our Airstream buddies
is sweet enough to let us stay on their property.
We'll be parked there until about the middle of May.

Good-bye, Palmetto Island State Park...
Until next time.

Thursday, April 14, 2016


Gypsy Rhapsody

What??? Another bus ride to Key West...
guess they soaked their aching feet and
were ready for more FUN.

You just never know who you might meet on the bus.
This pirate was heading to work on Mallory Square in Key West.
Vannie loved talking to him.  He reminded her of one of her former students.
He actually had his dog in that duffle bag.  The dog was dressed up, too.
Wonder what their act was?

V and D headed to one of the piers. 
This one was where they cruise ships sailed out and in.

Finally a glass-bottom boat excursion...
Dave had been wanting to do this since they tried it at Wakula Springs...
and the tour boats didn't have the glass-bottoms.

No way Vannie was posing for this pic...but Dave loved it.

"Windows to the reef"
These boats had plenty of glass bottoms for
all to seat around and gaze at the "symphony under the sea".

North America's only living coral reef
Where was the Little Mermaid?  I know Ariel has to be there somewhere.

Vannie and Dave had reservations at a special restaurant at 6:00 pm,
so they had a little time to kill after the boat experience.

Orchids...just handing around...
Good Grief...Just so darn pretty.!!!

This tree looks like it has buttresses similar to some churches in Europe. 
I can tell you one thing, for sure...if Cooper, Maddie, and Vincent
were here, they would be trying to climb this tree.

Kapok Tree Trunk
Introducing the Kapok Tree...
The seeds are surrounded by a fiber that is light and very buoyant.
The fiber was previously used in life jackets.

V and D loved walking around the grounds of this
beautiful Catholic church...Basilica of St. Mary Star by the Sea.
It is the southern most parish of the U.S.

This grotto was built entirely of old coral, which the Keys are actually made of.
Vannie said it was a very peaceful place.

Dave is taking a much needed rest
getting ready for the big extravagant event coming up at 6:00.

Oh My Goodness...Is the name of this restaurant say what I think it says????
It's pretty clear...BETTER THAN SEX.
Vannie said they saw a report on this dessert restaurant on
the CBS Sunday Morning Show right before they headed on their Florida Adventure.
It had been on their bucket reservations were made...

There were small individual booths...and very romantic lighting.
Perfect date night.!!!

This was Vannie's.
Title...Better Than Sex...
It was an erotic chocolate bread pudding with a cherry filling
with a little scoop of cream cheese and sugar on the side.

This is Dave's.
Title...The Morning After...
It was a sinful chocolate and brie cheese grilled sandwich sprinkled with powered sugar
with a side of cold strawberry soup to cool things down.

They said that the experience was very satisfying.
Need I say more...

This is the next day...and they are STILL eating.
Oh me...Oh my.
Sunset Grille and Raw Bar on the Vaca Key outside the town of Marathon...
Here they are fighting over the last bite of key lime pie...
after eating a meal of conch chowder and blackened yellowed tailed snapper.
Oh me...Oh my...

The Redhead Express...
A delightful band to close out our last night 
at the Florida State Airstream Rally...
They were from Alaska, but were now living in Nashville.
A family of 4 girls and 3 boys...all musicians.
So much talent in one family...

I'm all hooked up...and ready to head out.

Over the bridges back to the Florida mainland...
Up the Florida peninsula...
Over the Florida panhandle...
Heading to Louisiana...