Sunday, November 20, 2011

Trip to Cajun Country!



So a couple of weeks ago I took a trip to Lake Charles, LA to drop
off some very important paperwork for mom and Mark.

All. By. My. Onesies.

Now, if you don't know me...I hate going anywhere alone. I'm a wuss
and I don't care who knows it. :) 

Since I was All.By.My.Onesies. I had to find a way to fill the time
before the lawyers were done with the paperwork so that I could go back home.






Yay for standstill traffic on the way there. 




So I'm not really sure how this came about but there is a giant Jesus in 
a cemetery right off the freeway. He is around 23' tall and is at the center 
of this cemetery that holds (I believe) some of the first settlers of the Lake Charles area.



What was really weird was that this cemetery was overgrown and forgotten
right next to the freeway but as soon as you stepped foot into the grounds...everything
went quite. It was really weird and comforting. You felt like you were transported
back in time where there was no freeway...just fields and swampland. 

And then I remembered I was in Louisiana and I had forgotten to lock my car
and the moment was broken so that I could go make sure my vehicle was still there.

btw...yes...that does say Bilbo Cemetery.




Right off the freeway, right next to the tourism building-thing
was a really cool feature. A 'gator viewing area!!!!

As it was a Tuesday, I was there All.By.My.Onesies. and it was pretty cool!
I didn't have to worry about the hubby getting bored or what was on
the itinerary. It was a completely different feeling for me.

So I took about a million pictures. 




He is hard to see but the gator head is right in front of
the left side of the tree trunk.




I had lunch at "Sabine Pass Crab Shack" since I kept hearing about
it on the radio on my drive into town. I was expecting true cajun cuisine...
I was disappointed.

While their food was yummy, I could have ordered it in Houston
at our local "fried fish" shack. There was nothing remotely "authentic" about
this restaurant. It wasn't terrible, it just wasn't what I wanted.

In the tourism booklet I saw that Lake Charles has a September 11th
memorial containing pieces of the pentagon and the twin towers.

Being a history buff I had to go check it out.

I was surprised at how this memorial affected me.

September 11th happened when I was in high school. I remember hearing
that something horrifying had happened while I was in gym class and the
coach was sitting next to a radio with the volume turned low.

I feel that this did a great disservice to us. The teachers were told
to carry on as usual so as to not startle us. I believe this is the right thing
to do...for middle school and elementary level children.

We had smart phones...with the internet.

So what ended up happening was some kids figured out what was going
on and told everyone else but by the time you play the telephone game
through a high school...the information is all warped. So we were left knowing
that something horrible had happened but we couldn't go to our teachers (who we
were supposed to trust) to talk about this life-changing moment.

Regardless, this monument is, I feel, one of the best 9/11 monuments.

Lake Charles lost two of it's citizens in the 9/11 attacks. Once the rubble
was cleared they received three pieces. One panel of the pentagon wall, and
two steel beams from the twin towers.




By the pentagon panel there is this plaque of Mayor Giuliani's speech.




And beyond that plaque are the twisted beams from the twin towers,
set in the exact proportion as the towers. That middle walkway is so you
can walk to these beams and touch history. You can touch a piece of the moment
that changed all of our lives.

To me, this memorial is what I needed. No exclusivity, no walls, no secrets,
no looking from afar in confusion, just a chance
to finally touch and feel a piece of that day that was kept from us.

At the base of the beams there are small holes (that are a part of the
manufacturing process) where people put flowers and flags in remembrance.

The colored glass on the wall surrounding the memorial is a representation
of all the lives lost on that day. There is one piece of glass per life lost, over 3,000
pieces of glass collected by the local elementary schools.

After visiting the memorial I drove around, looking at the gorgeous
houses on the waterfront and bemoaned the fact that I didn't find out about the
bayou nature trail earlier. I got the call that the lawyers were done with the
paperwork and I was outta there!




This is how excited I was to leave.




aaaaannnd then there was standstill traffic. Again.




But this time there was at least something to look at! A fire!

Half the state of Texas was on fire at the time...I wont lie...
I was kind of excited to see this little one so that I could one day say
to my grandchildren that I saw the fires when Texas was going up
in flames. :)

I'm big on stuff like that.


-Ri


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