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Old 07-31-2007, 06:07 PM   #101
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Hey, ReWahoo, glad to see your still reading. Actually it was a small metal tube, with lots of glass, but didn't take the wife with me. I think the operative word is we live on a lake. Seventy Five percent of the time there is a cool lake breeze. OK cool is relative, but we still set out most evenings..... however, still not solution to the chiggers and mosquitoes!
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Old 08-03-2007, 11:20 AM   #102
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Last year Houston had about 6 MONTHS of steady weather in the 90's. Are you kidding when you say Houston isn't HOT, humid, muggy, sweaty and so forth? 6 months!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-03-2007, 01:21 PM   #103
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I made no claim for Houston. As I have said, we live on a Lake. Yes, even out here if you sit in the sun, or inside you car in the sun without AC it is going to get HOT! However, out deck is shaded by large oaks and pines, there is a breeze off the lake, a fan for backup, and a large picture of frozen Margaritas. The warmer it gets the bigger the pitcher!

Houston, on the other hand, a town we lived in before we retired, no breeze due to closeness of the homes, hot air off the streets and asphalt, shade at a premium, and smog.
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Old 08-05-2007, 09:07 AM   #104
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I got you...but I lived in Bellaire--in the exact middle of Houston. Hot, humid, muggy, miserable....22 years was enough!
During my lovely experience in the Houston area, I developed allergies and asthma, so I can't say I didn't get something out of the experience, can I?
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Old 08-07-2007, 07:04 PM   #105
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I got you...but I lived in Bellaire--in the exact middle of Houston. Hot, humid, muggy, miserable....22 years was enough!
During my lovely experience in the Houston area, I developed allergies and asthma, so I can't say I didn't get something out of the experience, can I?

Allergies are also rampant in the midwest, enough pollen and pollutants to make everyone sick, no matter if you were allergic when you moved there or not. Also, there's the humidity. Try living in Cincinnati next to the putrid Ohio River for 18 years, breathing that foul air from the old factories. What a disgusting town! (Don't retire there.)
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Old 08-12-2007, 08:33 AM   #106
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DW and I are starting to scout retirement sites. We just returned from our first trip through northwest Arkansas and southwest Missouri areas. The Fayetteville area is fairly nice and may get another look. Eureka Springs was way too touristy with little to attract us. The Branson area, especially around the lakes, was very appealing.

We were in Branson during a heat advisory. It was about the same temperature as a normal Houston summer (April thru October) but the humidity was 40 to 50%. It was actually fairly nice by what we are used to.

We are limiting ourselves to a "one day drive" to the kids/grandkid(s). That eliminates most of the country. Southwest Missouri is on the edge of the range. It was a 12 1/2 hour drive from Houston.
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Old 08-12-2007, 08:56 AM   #107
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DW and I are starting to scout retirement sites. We just returned from our first trip through northwest Arkansas and southwest Missouri areas. The Fayetteville area is fairly nice and may get another look. Eureka Springs was way too touristy with little to attract us. The Branson area, especially around the lakes, was very appealing.

We were in Branson during a heat advisory. It was about the same temperature as a normal Houston summer (April thru October) but the humidity was 40 to 50%. It was actually fairly nice by what we are used to.

We are limiting ourselves to a "one day drive" to the kids/grandkid(s). That eliminates most of the country. Southwest Missouri is on the edge of the range. It was a 12 1/2 hour drive from Houston.
Frank and I are considering Springfield, Missouri (first choice), with Fayetteville, Arkansas and Huntsville, Alabama as our backup choices. We went to Springfield twice last year and LOVED it. It has enough "big box" stores to make me feel happy and non-isolated, not to mention lots of walking trails and good gyms, medical facilities, and beautiful hills and lakes. Although I am more of a city girl, Frank wants to live someplace remote and rural, and he can find that around Springfield too. Also, my grandparents all lived in Springfield and it is the only "home town" I can return to. (I grew up in Kailua, Hawaii, and just can't afford to return.... who knew "You Can't Go Home Again" referred to housing prices? ) Anyway, I have at least some vague roots in Springfield.

We are interested in Fayetteville because Arkansas allows seniors to attend classes at the university there without paying tuition, and also because Frank's health insurance will cost far less there than in Missouri or Alabama, due to the tort reform in Arkansas.

We are interested in Huntsville because they also allow seniors to attend classes at university tuition-free, and also because they have a great tax set-up for retirees. Not only that, Frank is an engineer and if his retirement funds are a little lacking he can always take a contract in Huntsville.

SW Missouri and NW Arkansas - - what a beautiful area! I can't wait to see Fayetteville (never been there). We are going to visit Huntsville next weekend.

12 and 1/2 hours may evolve into more than a one day drive as you get older. It's about the same amount of time from New Orleans to Springfield, but Frank(52) and I(59) usually stop in Jonesboro for the night on the way.
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Old 08-12-2007, 10:24 AM   #108
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Frank and I are considering Springfield, Missouri (first choice), with Fayetteville, Arkansas and Huntsville, Alabama as our backup choices. We went to Springfield twice last year and LOVED it. It has enough "big box" stores to make me feel happy and non-isolated, not to mention lots of walking trails and good gyms, medical facilities, and beautiful hills and lakes.
Branson is about 45 minutes from Springfield and also has the big box stores, et al. Our first look at the area made it look more appealing than Springfield. We'll revisit the issue as we revisit the area. Thanks for the comments.

Quote:
Although I am more of a city girl, Frank wants to live someplace remote and rural, and he can find that around Springfield too.
After Houston, it was wonderful to see the open country. We looked at the real estate books and there is no shortage of acreage homes for sale in the whole area.

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We are interested in Fayetteville because Arkansas allows seniors to attend classes at the university there without paying tuition, and also because Frank's health insurance will cost far less there than in Missouri or Alabama, due to the tort reform in Arkansas.
I need to look into the heath insurance aspect. That will be a big factor. The Arkansas income tax is more aggressive than Missouri's but there are ways to game the system.

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Not only that, Frank is an engineer and if his retirement funds are a little lacking he can always take a contract in Huntsville.
That's something I've been wondering about. I am pretty sure I'll not be able to find anything in the SW Missouri or NW Arkansas areas. I could be a viable candidate for a government contract position in Huntsville. I'm more optimistic about the finances so it won't be a big factor.

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12 and 1/2 hours may evolve into more than a one day drive as you get older.
Notice that they were in quotes. I'm trying to get my overly protective wife to get more than a few hours away from "the kids." Moving to an area that would "lure them to visit" is my best approach. From our experience, more than a days drive made us not want to go places when we were raising kids. As long as she feels that it's not "too far," she will consider an area.
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Old 08-12-2007, 10:50 AM   #109
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We are limiting ourselves to a "one day drive" to the kids/grandkid(s). That eliminates most of the country. Southwest Missouri is on the edge of the range. It was a 12 1/2 hour drive from Houston.
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12 and 1/2 hours may evolve into more than a one day drive as you get older. It's about the same amount of time from New Orleans to Springfield, but Frank(52) and I(59) usually stop in Jonesboro for the night on the way.
I've done a lot of 12-14 hour drives, but only because I was still employed, and vacation time was short so I needed to get to the destination ASAP. I swore that once I was retired that I wouldn't do that anymore. I have all the time in the world, so I can take as long as I want to get somewhere. It makes it nice, especially when you see a sign along the way that shows some interesting place that you might want to check out. You can take that side trip, and/or adjust your route, and then resume your journey at your convenience.

We've talked about going out to KS to visit my sister and her family. It's about 700 miles, and I can easily drive that in about 11 hours. However, since I have nowhere else that I have to be, I'll take at least 2 days....maybe 3, to get there, and enjoy the journey. We'll stop 'here & there' along the way to sight-see and explore. We'll tell her that we'll be there late Friday afternoon, and get checked into the hotel, and then go to her house around 6pm, so she has a little time after w*rk to prepare. However, we'll most likely arrive at the hotel Thursday so we have time to relax and explore a little the day before that. Which means that we'd probably leave our home sometime Tuesday morning. Same deal coming home.....drive 'til we feel like stopping, then continue on the next day.

The FIRE'd life......NO Hurries....NO Worries! It's the time in life to slow down and enjoy the journey!
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Old 08-12-2007, 11:00 AM   #110
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Branson is about 45 minutes from Springfield and also has the big box stores, et al. Our first look at the area made it look more appealing than Springfield. We'll revisit the issue as we revisit the area. Thanks for the comments.
I love writing about Springfield! You are more than welcome. Next time we go there, I'll see if we can check out Branson. We missed seeing it.

In Springfield, you absolutely MUST visit the Bass Pro Shop on the corner of S. Campell and Sunshine. I don't fish or hunt, and I loved it! It has a museum, and aquarium, a restaurant, a shooting arcade, and many more things to do - - lots of fun, and not just a store. It's the biggest Bass Pro Shop in existence, and the first.

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I need to look into the heath insurance aspect. That will be a big factor. The Arkansas income tax is more aggressive than Missouri's but there are ways to game the system.
DEFINITELY get some "real numbers" on the health insurance. Frank's work allows retirees to continue their health insurance but at a higher rate (at least, I think that is what he said). Anyway, a co-worker of his said he was quoted $800/mo in Missouri, Alabama, Tennessee, or Louisiana, but $200/mo for the same policy in Arkansas. Frank doesn't have his own numbers yet but this sounds like a huge difference to me.

My health insurance will be much, much lower since I am a federal employee so most of it is paid.

Speaking of taxes, Missouri passed a law to stop taxing social security! The "non-taxation" will be phased in between now and 2012.

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I am pretty sure I'll not be able to find anything in the SW Missouri or NW Arkansas areas. I could be a viable candidate for a government contract position in Huntsville. I'm more optimistic about the finances so it won't be a big factor.
That's great. From what I can tell, work is hard to find and pay is awful in SW Missouri or NW Arkansas. I think we would prefer that area, but Alabama does have plenty of engineering jobs for Frank if he needs one. I do not plan to work again (ever! can't wait).

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Notice that they were in quotes. I'm trying to get my overly protective wife to get more than a few hours away from "the kids." Moving to an area that would "lure them to visit" is my best approach. From our experience, more than a days drive made us not want to go places when we were raising kids. As long as she feels that it's not "too far," she will consider an area.
Oh, OK. I didn't notice the quotes. As I recall, driving a long way with rug-rats was pretty hideous but they will surely enjoy and be lured by the lakes and hills of the SW Missouri, NW Arkansas area!
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Old 08-12-2007, 11:06 AM   #111
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Branson is about 45 minutes from Springfield and also has the big box stores, et al. Our first look at the area made it look more appealing than Springfield. We'll revisit the issue as we revisit the area. Thanks for the comments.

Notice that they were in quotes. I'm trying to get my overly protective wife to get more than a few hours away from "the kids." Moving to an area that would "lure them to visit" is my best approach. From our experience, more than a days drive made us not want to go places when we were raising kids. As long as she feels that it's not "too far," she will consider an area.
Oops....I was typing my last post while you were posting yours. Now I understand your reasoning for the one day drive! Yep, it's definitely nice to have them 'do the drive' to come visit you. In my Dad's later years (especially as his health was starting to decline) he told my siblings that he wasn't going to be doing the thousand mile trips to their houses anymore.....that it was now THEIR turn to 'do the drive'! My nieces and nephews were thankful for his decision, because they got to travel on vacation, and explore new places.

As for Branson, the only draw back I can see is that the traffic is terrible. The town's population is only a little over 6000 (IIRC), and during the "off" season the traffic is OK. But then you factor in the zillion of tourists, and all of their cars and buses, and those twisty-turny streets really get crammed with traffic. It's an easy town to get around in, but the traffic jams really slooooowwwww thing down. Other than that, it's a really beautiful area, with a quaint downtown, and upscale shopping at The Landings. We always enjoy our trips there......but I don't think I would want to live there.
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Old 08-12-2007, 11:42 AM   #112
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Oops....I was typing my last post while you were posting yours. Now I understand your reasoning for the one day drive! Yep, it's definitely nice to have them 'do the drive' to come visit you. In my Dad's later years (especially as his health was starting to decline) he told my siblings that he wasn't going to be doing the thousand mile trips to their houses anymore.....that it was now THEIR turn to 'do the drive'! My nieces and nephews were thankful for his decision, because they got to travel on vacation, and explore new places.

As for Branson, the only draw back I can see is that the traffic is terrible. The town's population is only a little over 6000 (IIRC), and during the "off" season the traffic is OK. But then you factor in the zillion of tourists, and all of their cars and buses, and those twisty-turny streets really get crammed with traffic. It's an easy town to get around in, but the traffic jams really slooooowwwww thing down. Other than that, it's a really beautiful area, with a quaint downtown, and upscale shopping at The Landings. We always enjoy our trips there......but I don't think I would want to live there.
That description makes me think that Branson is probably not for us. We aren't really interested in the entertainment aspects. I think that a lot of people live in the area surrounding Branson (where there are a lot of newer developments with 2+ acre lots, from what I have heard at city-data). Still, the total is probably pretty small compared with the number of tourists during tourist season. I will still see if I can get Frank to drive through there, the next time we go! Might as well see it, and that upscale shopping sounds like fun for browsing, anyway.
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Old 08-12-2007, 01:32 PM   #113
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The real attractions of the Ozarks are the climate, lakes and scenery.

Climate is four seasons but a generally mild winter and tolerable summer based on my Houston experiences. The lakes give good recreational opportunities. The scenery is excellent.

I talked a bit with the driver of the Duck Tour. He gave us the advice on the traffic loops. He told us to avoid the town on event weekends or plan on taking a long time to get to any shows. He also said that the traffic just about goes away once school starts. Most of their business after school starts is related to bus tours that usually have older people. The bus tours don't bring cars so congestion is less.

The shows aren't a significant factor in our decision making and we'd live well outside the strip. We were there during the "classic car" weekend and the Friday was a traffic jam on the main drag that went on forever. We had a couple days to orient ourselves and got around well on the bypass loops. The traffic really wasn't a problem but if we lived there we'd avoid the strip during event weekends.

We went to Bass Pro in both Springfield and Branson. The Springfield one is a good experience and is free. Next door is the World of Wildlife which is a decent tourist value for $11. The Lake Duck Tour (on 76 and not at the Landing) was worth the $19. Yakov was so funny I was in tears. I'm ready to vote for him to be President. If you go, you'll know what I mean. I'm a history idiot nut so I forced DW to go to Pea Ridge and Wilson's Creek battlefields in the heat. They were interesting. I'll go back without her if I get the chance. There wasn't time to go fishing but I'll do it next visit. We didn't really scratch the surface for the available things to do.

We're not done scouting but SW Missouri is the one to beat.
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Old 08-12-2007, 03:08 PM   #114
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The real attractions of the Ozarks are the climate, lakes and scenery.

Climate is four seasons but a generally mild winter and tolerable summer based on my Houston experiences. The lakes give good recreational opportunities. The scenery is excellent.

I talked a bit with the driver of the Duck Tour. He gave us the advice on the traffic loops. He told us to avoid the town on event weekends or plan on taking a long time to get to any shows. He also said that the traffic just about goes away once school starts. Most of their business after school starts is related to bus tours that usually have older people. The bus tours don't bring cars so congestion is less.

The shows aren't a significant factor in our decision making and we'd live well outside the strip. We were there during the "classic car" weekend and the Friday was a traffic jam on the main drag that went on forever. We had a couple days to orient ourselves and got around well on the bypass loops. The traffic really wasn't a problem but if we lived there we'd avoid the strip during event weekends.

We went to Bass Pro in both Springfield and Branson. The Springfield one is a good experience and is free. Next door is the World of Wildlife which is a decent tourist value for $11. The Lake Duck Tour (on 76 and not at the Landing) was worth the $19. Yakov was so funny I was in tears. I'm ready to vote for him to be President. If you go, you'll know what I mean. I'm a history idiot nut so I forced DW to go to Pea Ridge and Wilson's Creek battlefields in the heat. They were interesting. I'll go back without her if I get the chance. There wasn't time to go fishing but I'll do it next visit. We didn't really scratch the surface for the available things to do.

We're not done scouting but SW Missouri is the one to beat.
Fascinating!! Thanks for the information, especially about Branson. I didn't know any of that. I will have to go on the Duck tour.

As an aside - - I am not sure if I am a history buff, or not. I never was all that interested in it until I moved to New Orleans, but how can one live in New Orleans and not be? My gosh. This place would make a history buff out of anybody. You can see the windows that Lee Harvey Oswald used to wash for a living at the Reily Coffee company - - actually the same exact windows, and no signs; nobody knows or cares. Or, you can see the tower from which Napoleon Bonaparte supposedly used to watch for ships (no signs there either), or you can go to the Chalmette battlefield (that one has signs! LOL). There is so much of that here, and until the storm, nearly everything was intact simply because the area was too poor to be updated. Anyway, maybe this interest will continue after I leave, or maybe not.
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Old 08-12-2007, 05:08 PM   #115
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The Lake Duck Tour (on 76 and not at the Landing) was worth the $19.
I've wanted to do that tour, but thus far I haven't been able to squeeze it in. Hopefully I will on one of our next trips down there. I've been on Duck tours in other cities, and they were always worth the cost.......fun and informative!

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Yakov was so funny I was in tears. I'm ready to vote for him to be President. If you go, you'll know what I mean.
Yakov would definitely get my vote, too! He's great!

BTW.....the traffic goes away completely around the beginning of Dec., because most (if not all) of the shows close down until (IIRC) late spring. We've been there for the last week of the Christmas shows, and they were practically empty (as were the hotels and restaurants), and the entertainers would come off the stage after the shows and visit until everyone had a chance to chat. That was nice. And you're right...no traffic jams then!
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Old 08-12-2007, 05:11 PM   #116
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You lucky dog to have lived in one of the most exciting and greatest cities America had...but now they are bulldozing 10,000 homes, it's toxic air is making people sick since Katrina...and it's essentially over in New Orleans and never to really return to it's old glory. Really, realistically, our generation missed the greatest days of that city...damn!
Yakov Smirnoff used to have a routine about going to the grocery store--being an immigrant from Russia--finding "New Freedom" on the grocery store shelves (this is a type of sanitary pads for women, guys) and how excited he was finding just what he always wanted (freedom), tying one around his forehead when he ran around New York to catch the sweat and so forth. It was brilliant...just brilliant...and on t.v. WHY is this guy NOT on t.v. anymore is my question? He is the best of all. I had no idea what happened to him until I saw he was at Branson some years ago.
But if you ever get a chance to catch his act, do so.
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Old 08-12-2007, 05:35 PM   #117
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You lucky dog to have lived in one of the most exciting and greatest cities America had...but now they are bulldozing 10,000 homes, it's toxic air is making people sick since Katrina...and it's essentially over in New Orleans and never to really return to it's old glory. Really, realistically, our generation missed the greatest days of that city...damn!
I have been so very lucky to live here for the past eleven years. It will be hard to leave New Orleans, though that is our plan.

I remember coming to New Orleans several times back in the 1950's, when my mother would shop on Canal St. with hat and white gloves, and when there was no A/C anywhere! . It was a different city then, in so many ways. But somehow I can still see the New Orleans that was, shining through the junk-heap that it has become.

Frank is a sixth generation New Orleanian. None of his family has ever lived anywhere else. He says that he won't be leaving New Orleans - - that New Orleans left him. I never knew old New Orleans like he did, but strangely, I will miss it anyway. I told him yesterday that my heart says "stay", though my head says "go". He says he feels just as ambivalent, but realistically we both know we must go. I think our memories of New Orleans will go with us wherever we end up, so maybe we will not miss it so much as we think. Living here has really enriched my life and appreciation of art, architecture, history, music, and more. So laissez les bons temps rouler, wherever we go.
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Old 08-12-2007, 06:19 PM   #118
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I feel for all of the old time New Orleanians, but, if it were me and mine, I would get the hell out of there pronto.
I know about 6 months or so after Katrina, and all the Houstonians were going over there to work--they were worried about people getting sick THEN with all the mold and other toxic fumes coming from the flood. I cannot imagine how BAD it is now.
The city is, essentially, over...despite the romantic whinings of Richard Simmons, John Goodman, Ellen DeGeneres and all the other old time N.O. people who grew up there. I, personally, venture to guess that that particular Southern city will not rise again. Ever.
Again, realistically, our generation really DID miss N.O. in it's hayday.
By the way, my father was from your suburb, Metairie, so I have done my time there in N.O. since birth.
I wonder what city will take N.O. place as Party Central now
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Old 08-12-2007, 06:19 PM   #119
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So laissez les bons temps rouler, wherever we go.
Absolutely!

And like a good friend of ours who was born, raised, and lived most of his life around Lake Charles, LA, and now lives here in IL, says...."I don't live in Louisiana no more, but Louisiana will ALWAYS live in me!" He most certainly has brought Lake Charles, and his Cajun heritage within a few miles of my front door. In fact we just got done celebrating "Mardi Gras in July" 2 weeks ago....with a 3-day weekend of revelry, live music by Creole Stomp, and some of the finest Cajun and Creole cooking outside of LA. His restaurant and home are just on the outskirts of a small town a few miles away from here, and his life has splashed over on the town....they all love him and his family, and help him feel at home by having a Mardi Gras celebration complete with a parade every year (rain, shine, or snow) with the floats, music, beads, costumes, and the whole shebang! All of the restaurants and bars in town join in all the fun, too.

So where ever you might roam, NOLA goes with you! Beside, even if you're in Arkansas or Missouri....you're still in Louisiana!!!
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Old 08-12-2007, 08:12 PM   #120
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The city is, essentially, over...... I, personally, venture to guess that that particular Southern city will not rise again. Ever.
Personally, I'm not quite as pessimistic. The way I figure it, N.O. has been around for nearly 300 years (founded in 1718 ), and has weathered a LOT of storms (not just from mother nature) and has survived. It may take years, quite possibly decades, to completely re-group and re-build, but like the old adage says, "the south shall rise again". I think it's not only possible for it to rise again, I think in the long run, it's inevitable!
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