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Thursday, October 15, 2020

Cruisin' the Coast, 2020 style

 Cruisin' the Coast is a classic car show and festival that moves along the coast of Mississippi. David and I have attended several years together (David is a big classic car fan: his first car was a '66 Mustang), and always had fun, so this year we dragged the baby along. We only did one day - no overnight stay in Bay St. Louis - mostly because earlier in the week we were still trying to figure out where hurricane delta was going to land before we made any plans. As it turns out, the storm moved far west of the area (hitting poor Lake Charles for the second time in weeks!) and we ended up with beautiful weather. 

We did our morning runs and treated ourselves to PJ's coffee for the road, timing the trip to leave at about 9:30am, just in time to let the baby nap in the car. Since it's a little over an hour to Bay St. Louis, it worked out pretty well, although he usually naps longer than that. Good enough! Once we got to Bay St. Louis, we headed straight out to see the cars. We are lucky enough to have David's parents' house to use as home base, and it's easy walking distance to the little downtown area along the beach. We walked over and were quickly overwhelmed: we hadn't seen this many people together in one place since Mardi Gras! Mississippi doesn't have a mask mandate, but the crowds were light, and were moving around and outdoors, so a low-risk activity. The bars, though - we could see inside, where the LSU game was on, and they were packed. Definitely different from the very strict life we're living in New Orleans! 

Audubon baby was in heaven. He is OBSESSED with cars and trucks right now, especially loud engines, and also adores people. He's very social, and crowds are his jam. To make things even better, many festers had their dogs with them, and he is also really into dogs! He was beside himself with delight! We looked at the rows of cars with sparkling paint jobs, shining engines under popped hoods, and refurbished interiors, and mostly we were just enjoying the atmosphere. I used to say I didn't like festivals and crowds, but darn it if I don't miss them! We grabbed burgers and beers from a street vendor, but since the baby ate half my burger (story of my life, he is a piggy wig), I was still hungry. Luckily there is now a Creole Creamery - a New Orleans favorite - in Bay St. Louis, and we stopped for an ice cream cone (the employees there were the only people I saw with masks all day: restaurant workers must still wear them in Mississippi). I got bittersweet chocolate torte ice cream and it hit the spot on a sunny day. We walked back in time for the baby's second nap, which we spent reading the morning's paper and having a cup of coffee. 

Once he woke up, we headed back out for more car-viewing. David is a member of Greater New Orleans Camera Club, which has juried photograph contests on a biweekly basis. Next week's theme is "festivals and fairs", and David really wanted to take advantage of the "golden hour" before sunset to get some good shots. I hope he did - I haven't seen them all yet - and I didn't take too many myself (sorry). I was too busy talking to dog owners, all of whom were laughing at the baby's reaction to their dogs - he goes absolutely ballistic over dogs, kicking, gasping, clapping, eyes wide with glee. One woman with two young black labs brought them over for him to play with, and he was thrilled. When they left, he tried to run after them (which brings me to part where I have to explain that my not-yet-nine-month baby is, while not truly walking yet, taking steps. He will take 2 or 3 steps, but then he gets scared! And I, clinging to my freedom, do nothing to assuage his fears!).  

We left at around 6:30 to make it home in time for bed, and I fed the baby dinner in the car. It was a really enjoyable day trip - something for everyone. We all like classic cars, Audubon Baby got to see dogs, David got photo ops, and I got to be around PEOPLE. It's a tad unnerving seeing life at near-normal in Mississippi, but since we are low risk we didn't mind (the only concern is that we do both go to work, but both our workplaces have precautions that should protect the others who work there). And actually, Louisiana is in phase three now, so not that much different - it's just that New Orleans has been stricter than the state. But I expect to see us returning to some level of crowd activity soon. Meanwhile, it felt kind of good to see people in the street. It was good for my baby to be comfortable around others and to get used to people! I really wonder what the effect of strict lockdowns will be developmentally for these kids! 


  1. Eeks... those crowds would have bugged me. But I'm in a different situation than you are being pregnant and high risk due to RA. It is interesting how some areas of the country are going on as if nothing is going on... My nephew's school took a BUS OF PARENTS to a football game that was 5+ hours away. That is just batsh!t crazy IMO - especially since they had to move his HS to virtual due to multiples cases on the VB team... Ay yi yi. Our numbers are getting worse here so I just dread what is to come when the temps really drop and people are indoors more. As I type this, it's actually snowing outside. Womp womp. All that said, I'm glad you guys had a fun daytrip. Phil is also very into cars. He'd never own one but he appreciates fine automobiles!

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  3. It sounds nice to have some sense of normalcy! It so great that the baby is developing his own personality with the things that he loves. I love that you and your family get out there and find fun adventures and things to experience.