Diane MacDonald


(posted on 26 Feb 2019)

St. Petersburg, Florida where the locals boast of 361 days of sunshine a year: 

Breaking the weather rules, it is teeming rain, so a good day to update "Musings", beginning by
backtracking to New Orleans.

NOLA - how to characterize this complex city given that we barely skimmed the surface?  Leading
up to Mardi Gras there is electricity in the air and colour everywhere.  The French Quarter is 
simultaneously stately and elegant, boisterous and boozy.  


In the elegant residential areas we explored outside the French Quarter, graceful old oak trees overlook
sprawling mansions.  The homes may appear small but often stretch backwards and upwards 
to reach 2 or 3 or - some many more - thousand square feet.


Pastel colours reign adding a festive atmosphere not limited to Mardi Gras.

"Old" is cherished here and new homes are constructed to conform to the late 1800s look.  
Many homes feature elaborate wrought iron clad "galleries" (balconies). 

Winter storms unleashed on the mid-to-upper US dampened the Gulf Coast with dense fog
and rain as we drove through Alabama and Mississippi.  Arriving at Mexico Beach on the 
Florida Panhandle left us in no doubt about the destruction "real" storms can wreak in this 
part of the world.  Hurricane Michael devastated this pristine white-sugar sand beach 
community on October 10th last year.


White sugar beach...

From Texas to Florida the beach colours in favour are pastel - and there is no doubt they
epitomize the vacation vibe.

One of the reasons people flock to Florida (home to 30 million in the winter) is the birdlife.
Pelicans are abundant (collectively they congregate as 'pods') and captivating.

Until next time I'll sign off with a flock of ibis marching past our campsite this morning ...