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Weathering the Storm-Day 5: New Orleans and Gulf State Park, Alabama

Weathering the Storm-Day 5: New Orleans and Gulf State Park, Alabama

Weathering the storm. It’s a difficult decision to make in life, whether to wait something out or to leave and start all over. You have to make a decision based on the unknowns. It may be the most taxing approach: To form a new ball of clay is certainly easier than molding one that has already been. It has been proven to me time and again that although this is the most difficult path it is the most rewarding. It shows your loyalty and your honest trust that everything will work out. Weathering the storm doens’t just give you a sunny day- it gives you rainbows.

New Orleans is a city that knows well what weathering the storm can offer. The city is looking much better than it did when I came to visit in January of 2007. The city is thriving, and it was thanks to a good amount of work and dedication of the people who call NOLA their home. My grandfather was originally from New Orleans area, and he went to visit quite often. One of the treats my family enjoys are beignets served at the Cafe du Monde. I can’t go to NOLA without stopping by the cafe and enjoying an order (or two, in the case of today).

Beignets at Cafe du Monde in the French Quarter. New Orleans, LA May 13, 2011

I’m not the only one to think so, either. Cafe du Monde never closes, and yet they are always jam packed full of patrons ready to devour the tasty morsels covered in powdered sugar. They are incredibly affordable,  less than a dollar a beignet, coming in orders of 3. For the best effect you should enjoy a Cafe Au Lait with your beignets, a tradition stretching back to 1862. It is a staple of the French Quarter, and something that anyone visiting New Orleans must try. Cafe du Monde’s website:

Always a full house at Cafe du Monde. May 13, 2011

I wandered the streets of New Orleans for a couple hours, taking in the surrounding. You can’t walk too far without hearing a live jazz band playing somewhere or another. Oleander fills the flower beds, and other short semi-tropical trees shade the walkways. The French Market is full of vendors selling various drinks, foods, goods and produce. It’s well worth it just venturing around the French Quarter finding various shops, and people.

The walkway behind Cafe du Monde in the French Quarter. May 13, 2011

One of the many distinctly New Orleans buildings in the French Quarter. May 13, 2011

My next stop was to be along the coast, down to Alabama’s gulf coast. I was going to camp very near the coast, at the Gulf State Park. It wasn’t too far a drive, and the drive is pretty nice. You get to drive underneath the water in a tunnel, and over a lot of waterways on bridges.

The park itself is very well cared for, and the price tag shows. It cost me a whole $36 to camp in a tent for one night. Granted it is a very well cared for park and it is along the coast, but it is twice the price that I have paid for at other campsites. I believe that the campsite is better geared towards RVs than towards camp tenting. If you have an RV this is an excellent place to stay. For a tent it may be a bit pricey.

I did get a nice spot, though. A short walk to the water of inner lake, that connects to the coast. A storm was rolling in when I pulled up to take pictures. I was able to watch as the sky turned dark, lightening filling the sky and thunder echoing across the coast. The water turned from calm to choppy, and dark. I had to take cover under a nearby shelter to keep from getting my camera wet and I considered making a run for my tent, but what followed shortly after was well worth the wait. A rainbow came out on the other side of the lake’s shore.

Gulf State Park, Alabama. The storm rolling in.

Gulf State Park, Alabama. Taking cover from the storm. May 13, 2011

The rainbow after the storm at Gulf State Park, Alabama. May 13, 2011

I was by myself, but I jumped up and exclaimed”Rainbow” out loud. Lightening was still filing the sky behind and to the sides of the rainbow, but the sight was absolutely beautiful and breathtaking. This is what I always wait for after the storm: the rainbow. A rainbow has always been a symbol of coming out of a difficult time even better than before. It’s why I weather the storm, so that I can see the beauty that is born out of it.

For every storm we have to decide whether we will seek sunnier skies, or wait for the rainbow to come out. For me, I will always weather the storm for what I believe in. You never know what miraculous wonder you will see with the next storm. So here’s to anticipating the storm- and loving every minute of it. Another adventure starts tomorrow….until then…


The distinct French Quarter street signs everyone knows and loves. May 13, 2011

The French Market of NOLA. May 13, 2011

The sign for the French Market Place.

My own recipe: Cajun Hobo Dinner. This is how you make it when you aren't allowed to have ground fires. May 13, 2011 Gulf State Park Alabama

This beer was created after the hurricanes swept through Louisiana, and it's proceeds helped rebuild NOLA.

The view from my campsite. Dusk at Gulf State Park Alabama. May 13, 2011.

I was playing with my manual settings on my camera and got this cook shot of the moon. Gulf State Park, Alabama. May 13, 2011

May 13th, 2011 | 4 Comments

4 Responses to “Weathering the Storm-Day 5: New Orleans and Gulf State Park, Alabama”

  • 05/14/11

    Lisa Cain says:

    Sounds like you are having a grand time Nicole! Sounds awesome. Would love to have some of those powdered sugar pastries from Cafe Du Monde!! Keep safe girly cause the Mississippi flood waters are headed that direction I believe.

  • 05/14/11

    Lisa Cain says:

    I can follow you on my cell phone now with just a click of the button. You have to love modern day technology at some point.


      Nicole says:

      That is pretty cool! I don’t know what I did before I put internet on my phone. I’ve only had it for 18 months now, but I can’t imagine life without it anymore.


    Diane says:

    Beautiful pictures as usual!

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