Monday, February 24, 2014


We wait for the arrival of our mail.  And we wait, and wait.  

You know the "postman's motto" ..... neither rain, sleet, hail, etc., etc.  Well, it is no longer true.  The frozen roads and runways for the U.S. mail planes slowed down the delivery for days and days.  

Finally, under way, we turn our attention to Avery Island, the home of Tabasco Pepper Sauces.  

We are not first in line!  Ahead of us is a bright canary yellow vintage motorhome with Tweety Bird looking out the back window.

This looks to me like a very nice restoration.  

I note the painting on the inside of the door.  How cool is that?   

As I walk up to the visitors center, I am greeted by someone who looks a bit familiar.  I wonder, did I see him greeting customers at Wal Mart? 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have it from a good source that Queen Elizabeth II likes Tabasco sauce.  

The buildings look like some of the distilleries located in Kentucky.  

 Would you like a splash of Tabasco on your pizza? Or maybe you like Tabasco on your eggs.  I am sure there is enough here to satisfy your craving for hot sauce.                                                                                                 Avery Island is not only the home of Tabasco sauce, but also the home of Jungle Gardens and its Bird City.  

"From pepper pods obtained shortly after the Civil War, Edmund Melhenny cultivated a crop, invented a product and founded a company.  

Today on Avery Island you can see pepper plants like those being nurtured for next year's crop.  Seeds from plants grown on the Island are exported to Central and South America, where Tabasco peppers are cultivated and harvested at the peak of their ripeness.  Only these choicest peppers from the tropics are used in making Tabasco pepper sauce.

Tabasco pepper sauce was first produced from capsicum pepper plants first grown on Avery Island.  Its recipe, so unique, McIlhenny was granted a patent on the sauce.  This recipe is closely followed today.

Each January, seeds are planted in greenhouses, seedlings are transplanted to the fields in April.  By August, the peppers reach just the right shade of red and are hand-picked.  Newly harvested peppers are mashed at the factory with a little salt from Avery Island.  

The mash ferments and ages for three years in white oak barrels.  Finally the aged mash is mixed with special premium vinegar, stirred for one month, strained and poured into slim bottles with their familiar red octagonal caps, green foil neckbands and diamond-shaped labels."  From Avery Island, bottles of the pepper sauces are labeled in nineteen non-English languages and shipped throughout the world.  

After visiting the production line, we walk to the Country Store where everything Tabasco is sold, including shirts, scarves, glassware and nic-nacks.  

After our visit to Avery Island, we drive a bit further to Louisiana's Palmetto Island State Park just outside Abbeville.  

With our America the Beautiful Senior Pass our daily fee is eleven dollars.  What a deal!  

And you would not believe it, but they provide washing machines and clothes dryers for FREE!  

This is the first time that I have used a commercial laundry since we began full timing.  

I do prefer to do laundry in the motorhome, but the previous night, the Splendide gave me a scare.  

I decide not to take any chances and use the park's facilities.   

I come back to the motorhome and John is gone so I walk down to the lake to see if he is there.  

Look at what John is doing while I slave over the laundry!  

He says that he came close, but not too close to an alligator sunning on the bank.  

The alligator slips into the water and John decides to paddle in the opposite direction.  

 Olivia is concerned about her dad and sits on the bank to wait for him.  

Now that we know that John can handle a kayak, we will start looking at ones that will better serve our needs.  

In my blog about visiting the pottery studio, I had many photographs of all the pottery and teased you with the question, which did we buy?
Well, here is our choice.  These two heart shaped bowls can serve as our salad, cereal, and soup bowls.  We really enjoy their design and diverse functionality.

Last, but now least, I have a new photo of Eme.  She is growing so fast.  It is hard to believe that she is almost two months old!

Well, I am almost caught up on our adventures.  Next blog, Where were the Talley's last weekend?  

Sunday, February 9, 2014


New Orleans, LA
Temperature: 72 degrees

We leave Gulfport heading west toward New Orleans.  I have been to NOLA but John has not.  John is looking forward to the experience.  John is a huge jazz fan.  He will fit right in.  

We are driving on Interstate 10 therefore there are no beaches to see as there were in Gulfport.  It is just time to veg out and watch the miles slip behind us.  Now, this is a relaxing drive.  

We arrive in New Orleans in time to settle in, have dinner of beans and cheese quesedilla and a salad.  Yes, I know, vegans do not eat cheese.  We have lost our vegan member ship and eating vegetarian some of the time and vegan when it suits us. 

I am awake and it is seven thirty.  I know it will be a while before John is up, so I just sit in the sun coming through the windshield and chill.  

After breakfast we head into the city of New Orleans.  Our destination: the French Quarter.  I know what to expect, John has no idea what is in store for him. The sights, the smells, the people.  

We park the car at a public parking lot.  Six dollars for the first hour, ten dollars for two hours.  My, that's a bit pricey.  Oh well, this is John's treat.  

As we walk closer to the French Quarter, we hear lovely music. A violinist and a guitar player.  The music is nothing I have heard on any street, anywhere.  Neat.  

Some stop to listen to the music.  Others hurry by as if there is no one performing.  I guess they are locals and have become immune to the lovely sounds.  

We turn left down one street and I am thinking, "great! we are missing the crowds."  Ha!  that does not last but a block. 

The sidewalks are narrow and filling.  Lines are forming at the best restaurants, mimes are doing their thing.  We continue to explore.  

I give a huge sigh of relief when I learn that the parades do not start until next weekend. Phew!  

There are a total of sixty-three parades in several locations. Four parades are in the French Quarter.  Others are located on the West Bank, Slidel, Uptown, Metairie, Mid City, Covington, Chalmette, Madisonville, and Marigny.  This is one big party town.  

The parades are not this weekend, but the bright gold, purple, and green decorations are on balconies that we pass.  Each color has a significance.  Purple represents  justice, Green represents faith,  and Gold represents power.  

If you would like to read more about Mardi Gras, here is the link to their website. 

It is really getting warm!  Should I say that I am actually hot??? Yep, I am hot!  Not complaining, mind you.  Just saying. 

The colors if the French Quarter are a party for the eyes.  Many buildings show their age with layer upon layer of brightly colored paint.  Many of these buildings date back to the seventeen hundreds.  If I dated back to the seventeen hundreds, I'd need a ton of paint too! 

John just has to walk on Bourbon Street.  All I know was that Bourbon Street is the most fowl smelling street we walk. 

The odors are terrible and the music coming from the businesses is at a decibel  higher than I am comfortable with.  We cannot even hear each other talk!

On another street I see a sign in a candy / praline store window that says they have classes.  Now, that is my cup of sugar!   I would love to take a New Orleans candy making class.  

Ahhh, there is a person handing out samples and of course I made sure that I do not disappoint her and accept a praline sample. Oh, my gosh, this is delightful!  Would I be a pig if I turned around and begged for another?  Probably.

A little later, I spy a gumbo shop.  Too bad we had a huge breakfast and there is no room for gumbo.  

Now we come to Jackson Square. Artwork, I love artwork.  All artwork. Any artwork, I love it all.  There is artwork all around the square.  

Something is wrong here... all around...the square.  Yep something is wrong.  

Many of the artists paint in their areas. This kind gentleman allows me to take a photo of him.  

Man, I am getting tired and really hot! How can I whine coming from Alabama that had an ice storm a few short days ago.  I do not know, but I can do it, just fine.  Just ask John.  

We head back to the car after two delightful hours of walking. Did we see everything?  Not on your life.  Will we return to New Orleans and the French Quarter?  New Orleans, yes.  The French Quarter? Not in this lifetime.  I want the open spaces, nature, birds, animals, trails to hike.  Oops, John says he wants to return.  

The French Quarter is for the young.  Being retired makes me not young.  Does it make me old?  Probably in the books, but I don't feel old.  I just have different interests now.

Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Bake Recipe on Love this healthy meal!

We come home and I begin to think about dinner.  I have saved a recipe Quinoa and Black Bean Enchilada Bake on Pinterest and I want to try it. So I did.

Doesn't this look delish?  Well, it is. It is a keeper for sure.   


In my last post I had a photo of Emerson (Emi).  I called her Harper.  

This, my friends is Harper....singing to a song on the radio as Adam is driving and Megan snaps a photo.  I think we have a diva on our hands, don't you?

Thanks so much for stopping by.  Have a great week.  And of course................

God bless y'all!  

Friday, February 7, 2014


Having a Friday reservation at an Escapees park, Rainbow Plantation and we take our time getting there.  Of course we have forgotten a that it is really, really dark once the sun goes down and being unfamiliar with the park, site fourteen just might be a wee bit hard to find.  

After a relaxing dinner at Cracker Barrel, we head for the "Plantation" to find that the street signage is hard to find.  We drive around the entire park once and finally find our street.  It is the first street after we turn off the main road.  What a couple of goofs.

Saturday, we head down the road to Gulf Shores for a nice time at the beach.  I scout for sea glass.  Not finding any, I switch to shell hunting.  I try to find the smallest possible shells. I want to make shell covered initials of the first names of the grands.  

Monday, we do some grocery shopping and drive around the area finding places that I enjoyed as a youngster.  

Tuesday, we travel to Fairhope, AL to visit Tom Jones, a potter, in his studio.  

He is busy making Mardi Gras pottery as it is selling faster than he can produce it.  

Tom has two four footed helpers at his studio.  Only one problem, the Greyhound is one sleepy pooch.  

He is a rescue, direct from the track in Mobile.  He ran thirty races, placed in twenty and the last ten,  he kept seeing squirrels and chased them instead! lol.  

Tom's studio is in an old brick factory where they used clay from the grounds around the site.

Now, some of the clay Tom uses is from right there on the grounds.   

This flower pot mold was left behind and Tom is keeping it in the studio.

The mold that is on the machine is for a ten inch pot.  The molds are as small as two inches. 

What a treasure!                                                                                               

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This is where the clay was stirred and kneaded.

Do you see the clay rattlesnake at the foot of the mixing vat?  

Here are the blades with dried lumps of old clay that was left behind.  

Here are some of his displays.  Can you guess what we purchased?  

The quirky signs displayed throughout his studio give you  an idea as to Tom's personality. 

We almost purchased something from this display.  But we found something we liked better. 

I bet you cannot find what we purchased.   

Something to think about!

OH! Mardi Gras beads!

How about a Christmas Tree?  

A bit too heavy for our coach.  Had to pass on this one.  

 Loved this Iris pattern.  Did I get this?  

Or maybe something from this display?  

It is a difficult choice when purchasing pottery.  In our case, we need to purchased for function, colors to accent our decor and be mindful of the weight.  

Photo: A day late but how has a month passed already ⌛️ #timeneedstoslowdown

Emerson (Emi) is now one month old! Megan took these photos.                                             This little one has her Nana's lips.  I can prove she is mine!  

Photo: 1 month 9.75 lbs 21.5 in

I think she is singing Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me...............

As for the rest of the week, we shopped, walked and walked, cleaned the motorhome and rested.  

After reading some negative reviews of I - 10, we took U.S. 90 from Foley/Gulf Shores to our location here in Gulfport Mississippi.  

Thanks so much for joining us on this trip.  Warmer days ahead are promised.  

God bless you all.