Traditional Cajun Mardi Gras in Eunice, Louisiana

posted in: Fun Times 1

All the costumes, colors, and chickens.

The Acadian (Cajun) tradition follows the medieval French Mardi Gras tradition of going farmhouse to farmhouse dressed in full costume so that you wouldn’t be recognized for whatever debauchery you got yourself into the day before Lent. Upon arrival the courirs would beg for food to use as the ingredients for a community meal held later that evening. (Gumbo in Louisiana, obviously.) This involves not just crawling prostrate but also dancing and singing for your charity. Mostly while also imbibing a lot. It also involves the Capitanne making the runners chase the chicken received from the farmhouse.

I put a couple of videos up on my Facebook profile, if you want to see the full effect, but I also wanted to share some photos that show how the traditional Mardi Gras celebrated in this part of Louisiana is quite different than what you’d experience in New Orleans, but still quite fun! (Click on the photo for a larger version)

The Capitanne Leads the Mardi Gras Releasing the Chicken!

He's got a Prize! Mardi Gras Saddle Essentials. Color and Empties

These Two are Plotting Sometimes You Need to Stand on Your Horse to See What's Happening

That's a Big Beer Hand Riders in Costume

This would make a good LSU game day outfit too Chicken Gumbo tonight!

Revelers as far as the Eye Can See Now that's a Party Bus

Can You Drive a Tractor With that Mask? The Parade Rolls On Again

Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival

posted in: Fun Times 0

While we were in Columbus in early December visiting friends and family, one of those meetings took place at the fairgrounds, so we could all gather and see the Oho Chinese Lantern Festival. Not only did we get to enjoy the company of an adorable two-year old and her great parents, but we got to admire some serious artistry.


Dancing Girl

Big, Bold Lantern Display

All Lit Up For The Evening

I’ll have some more photos from this event on the blog in the upcoming weeks, but if you’re in Ohio, you have just a few more days to check it out.

Polynesian Cultural Center

posted in: History, Travel 0

While we were in Hawaii earlier this year, we did take a tour of the Island, ending at the Polynesian Cultural Center. The Center is run by a branch campus of BYU, so these are all students teaching the culture and history of these cultures. These photos were all taken during the “parade” on boats through the center of the park.

It’s an interesting place, though obviously with the ties to BYU there is no alcohol during the luau dinner, so it might not be what you’re looking for in Hawaii, but I enjoyed the educational aspects as well as the great examples of cultural dance.

The Maori of New Zealand

The Maori of New Zealand


Fiji Warriors

Fiji Warriors

Hawaiian Hulu

Hawaiian Hulu



Tahitian Female Dancers Tell Stories With Their Hips

Tahitian Female Dancers Tell Stories With Their Hips

Migrating American White Pelicans

posted in: Nature 0

Apparently, the lakes on the LSU campus are a popular place for migrating pelicans. It’s a yearly tradition for them to spend some time in Baton Rouge, and are a popular sight for photographers as well.

The day we set out to go see them, it was fairly windy and chilly, so while we saw packs of them flying overhead, our trip around the larger lake did not result in spotting the main group. I reasoned that the water might be a bit choppy for them out there, and they may be holed up in some more peaceful area.

Flying in Formation

Turns out, we should have just looked for the stopped cars.

The Pelicans Draw a Crowd

Yes, over on one of the smaller, and more peaceful, lakes. There they were!

Hanging Around


More Pelicans

I’ll have more from this trip around the lakes, of the pelicans as well as a number of other waterfowl who call the lakes home.

USS Arizona

USS Arizona

posted in: History, Travel 0

A few photos from the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.

Perhaps the most disheartening part of our time in Hawaii was the young member of the Naval staff reminding us before the trip out to the memorial that it is a burial site, and to be respectful. Because I’m sure the need for that reminder is because too many people had not acted accordingly. This despite the list of the fallen….

Names of the Arizona's Fallen

Or the fact that the ship is still leaking oil:

The USS Arizona is Still Leaking Oil

Approaching the Arizona Memorial

Flag Over the Arizona

Zurich and Christmas Markets

I was lucky enough to be in Zurich for work in early December, just in time to see the Christmas markets, enjoy some Swiss/German traditions like Gluhwein, and wander around the old town on a Saturday afternoon before flying home. The extra time made the long trip quite nice. I hope to be back some time with enough time to venture out into the Alps, but that will have to wait!

Clock Tower

Snowman Lights

Christmas Market Carousel

Tree Decorated for Christmas

More from Zurich to come!

Bruges – You Know, Like The Colin Farrell Movie

posted in: Travel 2

It’s true. I’m a huge fan of the black comedy In Bruges, and like many others, I’ve been somewhat fascinated with the city in Belgium since I first saw the movie.

And then, here we were planning to take the riverboat cruise in Holland and Belgium and yup, there’s a little trip to Bruges for an afternoon. Oh yeah!

It was as adorable as I thought it would be, with the swans and the gothic and that fairytale stuff.

Walking Along the Canal

It was also way more crowded that I thought it would be as well. Locals told us to really explore the town when it’s quiet, you need to spend the night, after the tour groups like ours leave. Definitely something to consider, but I was able to find a few quiet spots along the canals and storefronts.

Lovely Spot

Store Front

Belfry of Bruges

Oh also, Michelangelo’s Madonna. That’s not too shabby either.

Church of Our Lady Altar with Michelangelo's Madonna


Twelve Apostles Sunset Photos

posted in: Landscape, Travel 7

Living in Oregon, and just an hour from the coast, I have learned a few things about photography and the weather. No matter what the weather may look like mid-afternoon, there is no guarantee of a great sunset at the coast. Fog, the marine layer, can float in at any time, taking what seemed like it could be a great sunset, into a foggy, gray, landscape.

Now, the coast of Australia along the Great Ocean Road is very similar to the Oregon Coast, as you may have noticed from some of the photos I’ve shared already. Add in the fact that I had one free day during my trip there a few months ago to take the bus trip down to the Twelve Apostles for the sunset, and I knew going in, I would just have to deal with whatever the weather brought me.

Luckily, the weather and the sunset that evening were fantastic.

Getting Ready for Sunset

Twelve Apostles Rocks

Twelve Apostles

Last Rays

Sunset on the Coast

Sunset at 12 Apostles

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