Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Message From Above

After dealing with so many tragic stories in the news lately, and being smack dab in the middle of yet another flooded rental, it was nice to see these pictures in the New Orleans' sky over several days last week.  These messages from above came at the perfect time for me.  It's always good to get some positive news, and what's better than words of inspiration in the midst of a beautiful blue sky!

For the first few days, it was a mystery who the good samaritan was behind these words in the sky.  It was finally revealed that a New Orleans business owner, Frank Scurlock, was responsible for hiring the Kentucky-based skywriter, Nathan Hammond.  Nathan is one of a handful of professional skywriters in existence.

Mr. Scurlock said that he hired the skywriter to remind people that goodness will prevail if you let it.  Nathan was hired to spread some joy over the city for 10 days, with three messages per day.  So how much does it cost to spread this kinda joy?  It's been estimated to cost between $20,000-$25,000 so far, and Scurlock has plans for the skies of Baton Rouge in the near future.  Beyond that, he has even bigger plans.  According to a recent article, Scurlock "has a big concern for the violence that has been going on locally and nationally, and this has a local scope and hopefully a future national scope". 

Just goes to show, there are still good things (and people) in the world.  This guy earns my "heroes" label.  Now where did I put my sunglasses?  The future is bright, and love is in the air!

Hasta luego ... until then.  Mid-Life Cruising!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Navy Week!

"WASP" Navy Ship ... that's not the dock.  That's the landing strip on the 2nd level!

After working most of the weekend, we were able to get away this past Sunday afternoon.  Yes, we went back to New Orleans ... we never get enough.  The past week has been "Navy Week", where the Navy ships come to port and provide free tours of the ships, a Navy band concert, fireworks, etc. They visit New Orleans every three years, and we visited the last time they were here.  Has it been three years already?!

There are several ships along the riverfront to view during Navy Week.  When we went to Navy Week 2012, we went along the middle section of the riverfront and we were able to tour a tall ship, a huge sailboat!  We also viewed several military ships docked along the river.  Just seeing them docked there along the river was something to see ... so massive.  This time we decided to visit the end of the riverfront to view the ship there.  This is also where the cruise ships dock, which are also quite impressive.  One of these days we're gonna get on one of those cruise ships ... 

Here's a view of the side of the ship before we went down to enter ... 

We headed downstairs, went through a metal detector and walked inside.  The ship is so big that there wasn't a line.

The right was an open space, but to the left were several tanks and heavy equipment for viewing.

Past the tanks we a lower level that detaches from the ship, holding its own assorted bad-ass vehicles.  The vehicle on the left is amphibious ... so cool!  Um, I didn't take my new camera so the pictures aren't the best ... taken with my phone.

A close up of some of the vehicles down below ... now the amphibious is on the right.

We then went back to the level we entered on, and then up another level.  This had an opening on the side of the ship, which faced the river.  It also had tons of colorful flags from across the globe hanging from the ceiling ... so pretty!  Scattered throughout this level were various weapons for the kids (and big ones too) to get their hands on.  Ken pretended he didn't wanna "play", but I think he was faking it.

A grenade launcher ... thankfully there were no grenades!

We then exited the side of this level, and arrived on the landing strip.  I was able to get a better shot of the ship from this area.

The view of the Mississippi River ... no railings!  Glad they have something to break the fall.

Do you see Ken in the lime green shirt lookin' at ya?  I'm always trying to sneak another peek, and he's always looking for me.

There's that cruise ship again ... people were boarding and getting ready to set sail.

On the way back to the entry level, I noticed this plaque ...

After leaving the ship we walked a few steps, grabbed a beer and took a seat by the fountain in Spanish Plaza along the river and watched the ships pass by.  Behind us was a three piece jazz band ... perfect way to end the day.

As we walked to and from our car, we saw quite a few men and women in uniform ... some the white sailor (my favorite), some in camouflage, and others in khaki pants and shirt.  They were roaming around and checking out the area.  If we had more time, I would have loved to talk to a few of these men and women.  I wondered how they got chosen to travel on these ships ... not a bad gig!  Also, I wanted to tell them "thanks".  Although they may have a cool job, it definitely comes with risks.

Hasta luego ... until then.  Mid-Life Cruising!
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