Thursday, 13 February 2014

Lake Charles LA (Day 4)

Look Doug, what is the glowing orb in the sky??? It's the S-U-N!!!! For the first time in days, we awoke to beautiful blue sky and sunshine. Still cold, but hey, we'll take the cool with the sun, any day!! To be fair, the sun actually made it's appearance just before sunset last night, with spectacular results through the trees:

We are definitely turned around in our directions here. There are no mountains to orient yourself to like at home. When I face this way, it seems as though I am facing north!!
Guess not!!
Funny, it seems that no matter how much time I spend in the van, I discover some other thing I can do. Yesterday, while we were wiping down the windows due to all the condensation onboard, I decided that I should also wipe the window out that is in the little closet we have. Now, this closet actually has the curtain that extends into it. We have never thought before of opening up this curtain. Check out the results!!

There you can see into the closet. You can notice that the closet door,
which opens down, is resting right on top of the counter.
When I close the little closet door, this is the result!!
Seems like a full picture window when you live in a place this small!!

There's Mary-Pat's rig.....   

We didn't get to see much of Mary-Pat. Her cold has really knocked the socks off her so she is catching up on needed sleep. She was gracious enough to let us use her car!! YIKES....that is such a novelty for us to not have to pack Euri up to go somewhere so we REALLY appreciated the gesture for sure!! So, into Lake Charles we went for a little tour!!

Mary-Pat has a Smart Car and Doug loves them!! He
really enjoyed driving this around for the afternoon!!
Lake Charles, the historic downtown area, is about 12 miles away from the actual park. It was a fun drive. We weren't sure what we would find. The GPS took us to a marina area right by the lake. We walked for a bit. Very pretty area...
Then we stopped to see a special memorial. We weren't even sure what it was at first. Did this ever prove to be an emotional journey for us both. I will let you walk through the memorial area for a moment then give you some info.





Twisted and torn, just like so many people's souls that terrible day. These beams were transported here and erected as part of a memorial. There was a city wide consultation so everyone had a voice in how to best represent the area. There is also a slab of granite from the Pentagon. Two young men died that day, both from this area One lived a short distance away in Sulphur and one was from Lake Charles. One was an Officer in the Pentagon and the other worked in the World Trade Centre.
It's hard to read their names on here but they are...
Leo Russell Keene III and Petty Officer 2nd Class Kevin Wayne Yokum
Winding it's way around the memorial beams is a low wall with "The Ribbon of Souls". There are thousands of pieces of stained glass imbedded on the wall in an intricate, wavy pattern. Each piece of glass embedded in the "Ribbon of Souls" represents one of the lives lost in the attacks. Earth tones represent the World Trade Center; blue the Pentagon; and green the Pennsylvania field. The clay tiles contain fingerprint impressions made by people from the community and that silently communicate that 9/11 touched all of our lives.



None of us will forget.....
Okay, a bit hard to Segway from the above, but here goes the rest of our time out and about. We left the waterfront and headed off for lunch. Doug (once again) had researched a local restaurant, well known called Steamboat Bill's. That is where we got our first taste of Crawfish Etouffee. Basically a yummy, spicy fish stew served traditionally over rice. So good. We think we are going to like Louisiana food!!

 Pretty darn good!!
Lunch done, we headed back to the historic district and just did a nice walk-about. Not many people out so we pretty much had the sidewalks to ourselves! Very pretty area and very easy to get around in. the Memorial is just around the corner from here and the restaurant was a quick drive, about 5 minutes away....


Historic old City Hall...



Then we came upon a wall on the side of a building. Permanently mounted were these board, painted with chalkboard paint. You can just add what you are feeling. We found it quite thought-provoking and interesting to see some of the choices people made.....


...."Cure Cancer"

....go to New York"



 ....this was my contribution....
"learn to be more tolerant"





Admit it, when you saw this you could hear the Aflac duck squawking!!
A krewe is an organization that puts on a parade and/or a ball for the Carnival season.
Guess this one is for or by the Pirates!!

Really nice little downtown area. We enjoyed ourselves. Our thanks to Mary-Pat for the use of her car. Such a rare event for us not to have to pack up the van!!
You know, sometimes when we are out on this journey, we both wonder what it is we are doing and what it is we are going to see. There are some small things that we "want" to see, but most things come at us as a surprise. Today was one of those days at the Memorial to 9/11 at the waterfront. We never even knew it was there but it was like we just drove right to it. We are thankful to have spent some time there. Thankful to always remember what is important in our lives. Mostly though, we both left with a pretty profound sense of deep and utter loss. What a catastrophe it was. What an unmitigated loss, for just no reason.
Thought for the Day: Begin each day with a grateful heart...