Deep South Tour:  Baton Rouge to Biloxi
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June 2nd

Rural Life Museum,
Lake Pontchartrain,
& shrimping in
Biloxi, MS
First thing in the morning we headed for the Rural Life Museum just east of Baton Rouge. The museum had tons of great artifacts--old medical tools and medicine bottles; horse buggies, including an old hearse; handmade wax dolls; farm tools; house tools; furniture. Plus out back they had examples of many varieties of plantation and cajun buildings including a well-equipped smithy and equipment for refining sugar. Unfortunately they didn't allow us to take any pictures in the museum. So... on the way out we had to drive through LSU's Burden Research Plantation. There we saw some very cute college chicks out running. We didn't take pictures of them either, but we did snap a shot of these orange and yellow sunflowers, which are probably part of some important research project:
Pretty Flowers... fresh from the research lab

From there we hit the road again, headed for Biloxi, Mississippi. But Chris wanted to see Lake Pontchartrain, which is north of New Orleans. We took the long route to get these very exciting pictures:

Don't I look excited?
I Look VERY Excited

This seems like a good time to introduce our little buddy, Lee Harvey Oswald, sitting in his usual spot in the book depository. Lee did a very fine job--we didn't get a single speeding ticket in two weeks driving my foofy German car through the Deep South.
Lee Harvey Oswald

From there we stepped on it... heading for Biloxi. We drove hard because this guy was waiting for us. That night we stayed in the Beaux Rivage, a floating casino. You can see it in the background behind our crusty captain. Mississippi started out by making gambling legal only on river boats. Then they allowed gambling on river boats that never left the dock. And pretty soon they decided that big hotels with hundreds of rooms could be casinos as long as they were built to float offshore. We learned from Chris's friend Drew (a former gaming industry expert as CSFB) that the Beaux Rivage was built with the latest oil rig technology to enable it to float steadily even with heavy waves.
Shrimpin' Dude

We arrived just in time to make our Biloxi shrimp boat tour. The crusty shrimp boat captain took us right out in the little harbor in front of Biloxi's floating casinos. And then he started catching some shrimp:

As we caught the shrimp our crusty captain explained how the nets worked, how the "tickler" chains cause the shrimp to jump off the floor and then get stuck right in the net. And lots of other stuff gets stuck in that net, too. Like this halibut:
That Ain't No Shrimp

And this future calamari:

And... some shellfish:

Our crusty captain only has a tourism licence. He can't sell the shrimp to restaurants without a commercial fishing license. (And anyway it's out of season.) So he gives the shrimp to marine biology labs for kids in the summer programs. And everything else? He throws a big party for the seagulls
Dinner Time

And the dolphins, too...:

That night we watched the Lakers stomp their way to a playoff victory on the big screen in the casino. And to celebrate, Chris and I stomped our way to $300 in winnings at the blackjack table. We had a funny pit boss who told us all about the time of his life working as a blackjack dealer in the Bahamas, and then I got to practice my Spanish with our dealer, who from Venezuela. Anyway, it was a good night.

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