Sunday, March 2, 2014

2014 South Pacific Cruise- More Tahiti

 Just something to look at on a cloudy, rainy Sunday morning here in Hooterville-on-Red.

CruiseGran and I took a half-day tour around the island.  It seemed like an full-day tour, as the tourguide got a little carried away, and we ended up back at the hotel 90 minutes late (I pity the couple who had a plane to catch!), but, in the end, it was worth it to see the sunset on the beach.  I love the couple swimming and the boy fishing.... and the sunsets......

Some of these have my particular "eye" (as Jan-Olav would call it) about them.  Working on them, I've realized how much I've missed photography.....  So they are dedicated to YOU, Captain!!


Open Up That Can of Worms

My dear friend Andy  always makes me think.

You might remember him. He's AJ's English godfather,  and he  squired us around England on several occasions.   He's also one of the most well-read, well-spoken, and deep-thinking people I know.

( I just realized that I have very few pictures of him on the blog.   I must rectify that.)

This morning, before I'd had more than two sips of coffee, I opened up my email. Andy had sent me a link to a BBC article about the movie "12 Years A Slave."

Louisiana Legacy of "12 Years a Slave"

Well, even in my semi-somnambulant  state, it got me thinking.   Below is my quick reply to him, although I want to ponder it more.   Stir up the proverbial pot, so to speak.  (I know that pot-stirring  is usually the area of expertise for my brother Ed... nevertheless...)

Thanks for that article.  I have, on many more than one occasion, had that schizophrenic discussion with myself, as the descendant of slave owners who still owns a working plantation that is, in turn, the employer of many people who are the descendants of the slaves my ancestors owned.

While I in no way condone the "ownership"  of a fellow human being (In some small way, is that not how I was looked upon for 25 years? As a possession? I did what I was told, obeyed even when I objected, and was punished when it wasn't sufficient. After years of verbal abuse, I dreamed of running away, but thought that a possibility no more than a slave might have...yes, I had no physical chains, but the legal, mental and economic chains were just as binding... But that's another discussion)

As I was saying...While I in no way condone the "ownership"  of a fellow human being, I think "we" in the 21st century have the habit of looking back on history through 21st century lenses.  When I regard history, whether reading personal accounts, or those of a third party, I try to removed those 21st century glasses.  

And, as you so often remind me, America is quite a young country. We will need much longer than 150 years to heal those wounds. 

I know I write from a very privileged vantage point.  That is purely by chance...or God's will, or Karma, or whatever one believes.  All I can do is to try to make the world I live in a better try to change the world for good, and to right the wrongs that I perceive in the world around me to the best I can.  Moreover, I have done everything in my power to make sure that MY  descendants see the world through different eyes than my ancestors did.  

As Gen. Robert E Lee said....

"The truth is this: The march of Providence is so slow, and our desires so impatient; the work of progress is so immense and our means of aiding it so feeble; the life of humanity is so long, that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the ebb of the advancing wave and are thus discouraged. It is history that teaches us to hope."

Hmmm. Flawed I and my argument are,  I know...but you got me thinking this morning!!!  

So, I've gone and done it.  Opened a can of worms.  

Think on it.

Ponder it.

Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

South Pacific Cruise-Tahiti

My mother had a brilliant plan.

Her birthday is in January, and what better way to escape the cold dreary winter in Louisiana then going on a cruise of the South Pacific for her birthday?

And who am I to say no?

Now some of you may have realized that I don't exactly have the typical beach babe body. But for the first time in my life, I did not let this stop me. I slathered on the sunscreen, draped towels around me, and had a fabulous time. I went into the woods, I hung out on wet beaches (in the a thunderstorm), snorkeled, trekked, and pushed my comfort envelope.

And it was fun.

So in the middle of January, we hopped on a plane (well, planes), and after a nice night's sleep, found ourselves on the island of Tahiti.

No matter how many pictures that one sees, it doesn't prepare you for the real beauty of the water in the South Pacific. (Funny thing is, in this first group of pictures, I don't seem to have any pictures of the water.)

Here's the view from our room at the Hotel Intercontinental.

One lounges a lot in Tahiti.

Have you ever seen such clams? This is photographed through about a meter of water.


Our first full day there, I took a trek into the interior of Tahiti. Far away from the beaches.

Tahiti was formed by volcanoes. As a result, there are magnificently sculpted peaks in the very center of the island.

And lots of waterfalls.

The roads are really rough getting into the interior.

Look at the size of these elephant ears.

And giant ferns.

Yes our little group even went for a swim...

Proof positive that I swam in river water.  YES, I swam in something other than a "cement pond"!!!!!!

Pretty impressive, huh?

Alix's Demoiselle Ball

Well howdy! I know it's been a while… But I've been off on a trip with Jane a.k.a. CruiseGran. I have lots of wonderful pictures to share of the South Pacific, but first I wanted to share pictures from the end of December.

As you may know, Alix spent part of this past summer doing the "debutante" thing. She had a lot of fun, made a lot of friends, and thoroughly enjoyed her summer spent in Shreveport. 

I finally neatened up the pictures from the ball in December and I thought I'd share them with you.


Here's a look at the girls this summer.

 Alix making her entrance into society (gigglesnort)  with the help of her uncle Ed.
(Yes, her hair color changes almost as often as her major.  She's back to brunette.)

Although I know Uncle Ed was not real thrilled with the idea of doing this,  he pulled it out with great aplomb.

 We applauded mightily when she walked by our table for the first time.

Relieved to let Austin take over.

 I keep wanting to sing a Patty Duke Show-esque theme song..."They're Cousins...(almost) Identical Cousins......."

 I'm so glad Eliot was able to be here for Alix's big night.  I love this pic of them.

 What lovely ladies!

 Love this pic!

The whole gang's here! Yes that's even (most of) the California crowd!   It was really sweet of them to come all that way for Alix's special evening.  

My baby girl.  All grown up.  I think I'm justified in saying what a beautiful lady she has become. 


And the best thing of all-she's even lovelier on the inside.

I am so proud to be her mother. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Summer Family Cruise Pics--Professional

Don't get used to it.

I know, I know- 2 posts in 2 days?


I normally would play catch-up chronologically, but since The-Nicest-Girl-I-Didn't-Give-Birth-To™ requested, I will endeavor to post the Summer Family Cruise photos first ...beginning with the ones taken by the amazing Crystal Photographers from Paragon Pixels.

(and yes, I bought the rights to publish them....if you know me, you know I try my best to respect copyrights.......)

Soooooooooooooooo, just for you, Mrs. Pryor!!!!

Looks like a formal night to me.

My gang with nephew Austin and my cousin Merrill (Bob) and his wife Andi.

The newlyweds.

I love how the wineglasses make a halo around AJ's head.  So appropriate.  The observant of you will notice that Anna-Grace is wearing the bridesmaid's dress from HER OWN WEDDING.  She borrowed it from her bestie.

When one goes to Nordkapp, Norway,  a photo with reindeer and Sami is obligatory (I think it's the same reindeer.....)

(no, those aren't artifacts in the photo...or snowflakes.  It was raining just a bit....)

The fam at Nordkapp, minus Hutch and Will, who were off exploring.

Cousin Merrill (Bob) isn't doing a reindeer impersonation, he's supposed to be holding up the world.


Vintage Room Dinner.  Arranged by the Best Sommelier in the World (family award), Crystal Serenity's Head Sommelier-- and my friend-- Bart DuFour.

If you've forgotten the cast o' characters, it's seated, left to right: Cousin Suzanne, Me, Mama/Gran/Jane,  sis-in-law Julie, Anna-Grace, cousin Ashley, and Alix.  Standing, left to right: Suzanne's husband Bill, nephew Austin, brother Will, brother Ed, cousin Merrill(Bob), AJ and Ashley's husband Buzz.

Finally a photo of me I'm happy to post.

With my beautiful niece, Emerson.

Dinnertime!  ( I love the background lady on the left!!)

Those two in gold are Julia (who actually runs the ship...go figure) and Mary Cecile (who is the family athlete.  She inherited her mama's tennis prowess). Yep, you've seen them before, but they grow up so fast.

Formal Family Photo.

Note that everyone got the black, white, and blue/green memo.

We visited with Captain Vorland.

And I have a happy formal portrait of "my three".

And because it's become a family habit....