Memorial Day Visit to Pearl River

May 28, 2010

We started out early on Friday, May 28 and made the drive to Pearl River, arriving mid afternoon. Darla and Elyse greet us in their living room.

We made preparation for heading to New Orleans for the Greek Festival at the Greek Orthodox Church.

Jeff drove us into New Orleans and that allowed me to look at the state of the construction of the new Twin Span Bridge, five years after Katrina heavily damaged the old one. This end of the westbound bridge is not yet completed, so we are sharing the eastbound bridge with the crossover to the new westbound highrise portion just ahead of us. The two highrise portions of the old Twin Span are still standing to the right.

We topped the highrise on the new westbound bridge and could see the long flat stretch of the two new spans leading to the western shore of Lake Pontchartrain.

At left above you can see the position of the Pontchartrain Causeway across the middle of the lake and at right above you can see more clearly the three bridges that cross the narrower east end of the lake. The rightmost of those bridges is the Twin Span shown in the photos above.

From the twinspan we could see the other two bridges to the northwest of it. Those low, solid-concrete bridges weathered Katrina and stayed in service.

The bridge nearest the Twin Span is the Hwy 11 Bridge, Pontchartrain Drive. The other bridge is a railway bridge.

Above left may be seen construction barges for the construction of the new twinspan. They are moored near the old bridges. Above right, one of the drawbridges is open.

It was fascinating to me to see the variety of heavy construction equipment they had mounted on barges such as those at right.

Traveling on toward New Orleans on I-10, we topped the highrise bridge and could see the Chef Menteur Highway bridge and the canal. We pass close to NOBTS, so Jeff knows this route well.

We got a view of downtown New Orleans, but we were headed north of there, close to Lake Pontchartrain, where the Greek Festival was in full swing.

Jeff and Darla checked in for the 5K run while we settled in on the grass by the canal west of the Church. Elyse and Jordan were keen on trying the climbing wall, as they had done last year.

Jordan took on the wall and climbed up by several different paths.

Elyse's favorite was the inflatable playground. She must have covered every square inch of it. It was extremely crowded, and Granddad was worried about losing sight of her. So they worked out a signal when she would change locations, and she followed it faithfully.

The girls wanted to go for a canoe ride, so Granddad Rod took the three of them while Jeff and Darla were running the 5K run.

We headed out down the bayou and actually got to watch Jeff crossing the finish line of the 5K run. We paddled down probably half a mile, and got good views of the beautiful houses and gardens along the bayou.

By the time we got back to dock after the round trip down the bayou, it was getting dark. Grandma Brenda had to use flash to get this shot. We were surprised that canoes were still going out in the dark.

Jeff and Darla were ready for their Greek dinner when they got back from their run. They sat in view of where they ran, across the bayou from the Greek Festival. We all enjoyed some of the great Greek pastries before heading back toward Pearl River.

More of Memorial Day weekend

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