Monthly Archives: October 2016

High Tide Horror? 2

  The Bay of Fundy claims the world’s highest tidal change, and in Maitland, Nova Scotia that water runs unsettlingly red. Our tidal bore guide rafted us out to a sandbar, invited us out of the raft, and insisted that we go watch the tide cover the sandbar. None of us seemed too keen on the idea of walking the length of a drowning sandbar, but the experience turned out to be my favorite of the trip. As the floodwater’s shallow leading edge lapped over sand ripples, it made a cheerful, almost tinkly, sound. The pink wavelets seemed to be whispering and chuckling like cute horror show “innocents” […]

House Haunter on the Loose

The Avenue Plaza Resort in New Orleans offers a pool, rooftop sundeck, fitness center…and a haunted house? Yes, a Civil War era house occupies the resort’s back corner, and on certain evenings, hotel employees offer free tours. Our guide was new and had only heard rumors of ghostly goings-on.  She’d been told that twelve ghosts inhabit the house which was used as a hospital (amputation factory) during the war.  One of the ghosts objected to visitors playing her piano.  Another sometimes rearranged the toys on one of the beds. If our hosts were in, they apparently were not feeling it.  Vigilant as we […]

Celebrity Sauce

The Avery Island, Louisiana Tabasco Factory tour is about what you’d expect and not at all.  Inside, the factory is the typical sterile, automated, conveyor belt, assembly line.  Not the sort of thing you usually find in the midst of a jungle island.  The McIlhenny family has taken pains to preserve the beauty and habitat for generations.  Back in 1895, before ecology was even a thing, “Mr. Ned” founded Bird City, a refuge to foster a colony of the then endangered snowy egrets. Having spent my life in a prairie, I treasure trees, and massive oaks draped in Spanish moss are especially enchanting.  It was good that I was more than happy just hanging […]