This was the final day of my trip — the last time I’d see my half-brother Henry and his family for at least a few months, and possibly a whole lot longer.
As soon as I woke up, I wandered outside and took some photos. Check out the road and gated entrance to the property:
Here’s the view of the house from just inside the gate:
If you look closely at the photo above, you can see Henry standing beside the middle vehicle.
Here’s another view from just inside the gate, facing slightly to the left:
The property was huge. I could’ve explored for hours. There were barns and sheds and shacks and guest houses and wood piles and I don’t even know what else.
There was also a horse (named King) walking around in the backyard, along with a cute little dog (named Scruffles):
There were animals everywhere — three dogs and four cats, I think. (And the horse.) Most of them live outdoors, and they were never all in the same place at the same time, so it was hard to keep track.
Behold the front porch!
Is that amazing or what? I mean, THAT is a porch. People don’t have those in New York City. People don’t usually have homes that look like this, either:
In the two-part photo above, the image on the left is the foyer. There were four big rooms that branched off from it, and the stairs led to the biggest attic I’ve ever seen. The image on the right shows the dining room and kitchen. You can see everyone standing around at the far end of the room. Henry’s wife Yvonne and his sister Martha were cooking bacon and eggs and toasting onion bagels (which my mom and I had brought from New York City).
After breakfast, the six of us piled into two cars and headed out for a swamp tour. This was the view of the countryside along the way:
Here’s the view of the swamp from our small boat:
The next photo might be my favorite shot from the whole trip. It shows a cypress tree covered in Spanish moss with its roots poking out of the water:
That photo seems other-worldly to me. It’s like an alternate version of nature — something I could’ve seen in “Avatar” or some other sci-fi movie.
And let’s not forget the alligators:
There were gators all over the place, including the one below with only its eyes poking out of the water:
There were turtles on logs…
…and birds (cormorants, to be specific) in trees:
Here’s a photo of the six of us, taken by our tour guide:
Henry’s the guy in the baseball cap. Yvonne is sitting to his left, and her 13-year-old son Armand is wearing the hoodie. I’m wearing the black jacket. Henry’s sister (my half-sister) Martha is rockin’ the plaid shorts and holding a dog named Bubbles. And the lovely lady in yellow is my mother Naomi. We all would’ve been smiling (well, all of us except for Armand) if we were actually ready for the photo to be taken.
We lunched at a place called Myran’s. Here it is from the outside…
…and here’s my family at our table:
Onion rings.
Boiled shrimp.
Grilled catfish.
Cajun corn on the cob.
Oh. My. God.
It was one of the best meals ever.
I tried everything, but focused on this:
Fried shrimp, fried catfish, and (blerrrgh!!) fried oysters. I’d never had an oyster before, and let’s just say that I don’t intend to have another one anytime soon. But everything else was truly outstanding.
That was pretty much the end of the trip. Our flight was at 4:30pm, so we had to rush back to the house and pack. While Martha and my mom were loading the car, I squeezed in a few final minutes of fun by playing catch with Armand:
I had so many Mardi Gras beads that Henry gave m
e a canvas bag (thankfully one with a zipper) to carry them all. I have no idea what I’m gonna do with them. Maybe, as I mentioned last night in a comment on my previous entry, I’ll wear a whole bunch of them on the subway on Mardi Gras in NYC and hand them out to all the ladies. I just learned from a Google search that this year’s Mardi Gras falls on March 8th — THE day that The Baseball comes out, so there really will be cause for celebration. Everyone grab your beads and take to the streets! And if you don’t have any beads, take to the streets anyway, and I’ll give you some. Seriously, look how many I brought home:
I buried that baseball in there for perspective. It’s not like it was tossed to me from one of the parade floats, although would that really surprise you?


  1. txfilmmkr

    Those roots of the cypress tree that stick up are called “cypress knees”. People all over use them for arts and crafts because there are a lot of different things you can do with them; from painting and carving to building furniture. I’ve also heard of a few people losing horses and cows that stumbled and fell on cypress knees, fatally injuring them.

    Donny in Houston

  2. mhbaseball@mh.com

    Do you know how old that house is? No reason…..just wondering. Hey, you should put cards on the beads you give out, advertising your new book. I wish I lived in NYC. If I did, I would hit the streets for some of those beads. :)

  3. mhbaseball@mh.com

    AAAAAHHHH!!!!!! The cool-o-meter wasn’t in the July issue of Seventeen either, according to my ebay “source”. I have no idea what to do now. I guess, we can just hope that the May issue will have it. (I am still waiting to hear from my May ebay “source”.) But the way things are going, I don’t count on it.

  4. mhbaseball@mh.com

    Okay….forget everything I have commented about the Seventeen magazine up until this point. It turns out that the cool-O-meter IS indeed from the June 1999 issue of Seventeen. I just recieved an email back from a seller of the magazine, and they confirmed that it was from that issue. I even sent a link along, to the exact picture on your site of the cool-O-meter; with How To Snag Major League Baseballs. So its not like it is a cool-O-meter…..it is THE cool-o-meter. As far as getting your hands on the magazine, I found one online….but it’s 15.00. Let me know what you want to do. If you’re willing to pay 15, then I’ll send along the link to the site. But if not, I may be able to find one on ebay soon for a few dollars cheaper. (I’m not trying to say you’re cheap. I’m just stating that 15.00 is a lot for one magazine. But maybe not for THIS magazine.)

  5. zackhample

    Sorry for not answering these comments ’til now. Somehow I missed them.

    Cool. Thanks for educating me.

    Wow! Seriously? I want it. I’ll pay $15. No problem. That IS a lot to pay for a magazine, but these are special circumstances. Want to email me about this?

    There’s a reason why oysters are spelled with an “oy.” Seriously, no thanks, but I’ll buy you some in August if you want.

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