Sunday, April 17, 2011

Seven dies in Alabama severe weather

I tried to mentally prepare myself for severe weather and tornados before I moved to Alabama and while I have been living here with all the preparation information I have received, but let me tell you. Nothing can prepare one for this type of weather!!! I was ready to hide away in the bathroom with a big bottle of whiskey on Friday night - and I hate whiskey!

It all stared about 3:30 p.m. on Friday. The first sirens when off. (Sounds like our crises or old war sirens in Sweden). Here in Alabama that means we left tornado watch and now we are in tornado warnings. Meaning people have spotted tornado touch downs. While at the movies the sirens when off a couple of times and I got my phone up just to check the weather news and radar to see where they spotted these tornados. I was kind of surprised when we got out of the theater the amount of activity people still was engage in. I thought everybody rushed home to hide.

We got back to our house for dinner and about 5-10 minutes after we arrived home the sky turned black and heavy rain and wind came over the city. At the same time the sirens starts to go off again and the TV programs are cut off and important tornado message is passed out to the public. "If you are in this neighborhood take cover now take cover now." This Friday evening was filled with messages and sirens for at least three hours before it stared to calm down. At 2 a.m. the Tornado warning was degraded to a watch and a little later all warnings for our area was cancelled. It took me a while to calm down and find my self comfortable enough to go to sleep.

The result of this storm was seven died in Alabama due to the tornados. And I know I will never ever again complain about grey rainy skies in Sweden. Cause I don´t want to ever again be close to a tornado. It might be different next time since I have now have experienced it even though I was not in it. It was too close this time around... And I believe Montgomery where we live, was lucky to not get hit, considering we were in the path of many of these bad weather systems all night long.

Here are some links of Friday nights severe weather which went over Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama. As I´m listening to the news now the North Carolina has been hit badly with deaths involved.

These links are from Mississippi and Alabama.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Travel time.. New Orleans

Got to have one of these when entering the Mardi Gras night life.... and tons of beads around your neck is needed too..

New Orleans was fun! Or NOLA as they call it. The place had nice food, nice old neighborhoods like the French district. Together with a visiting college friend we drove from Alabama to Louisiana with destination New Orleans. A five hour drive, which was not too bad at all. At least when we get to stop at great outlets for some shopping ;-) We also had great weather and being in end February you just don´t know what kind of weather to expect. But we were happy with mid 70s (23-26 C).

An evening view of from Sheraton hotel down town New Orleans. From the 36th floor.

Good connection got us staying in a suite at the Sheraton down town New Orleans on the 36th floor. Great view, scary one too, since the windows were all the way down to the floor. Leaning toward the window gave one a kind of strange fee falling feeling...

The Garden district with its wonderful houses and the French architecture. We also visited this grave site where the dead is buried above ground.. I would´t want to walk there at night...

My dear college friend had been in New Orleans before and was a perfect guide and planner of the trip. I just love to be taken care of... ha ha. We walked street up and down in the French district and the Garden district and took pictures, had coffee breaks, lunch and dinner.
We were also very lucky to be able to see the first Mardi Gras parade for this year, as well as take part of the crazy party life during the New Orleans Mardi Gras festivities...

It was more than crowded. This first night of the Mardi Gras festivities.

Considering the rest of the USA being strict on rules and regulations morals and values, visiting NOLA during the Mardi Gras was the letting loose from top to bottom - a moral free zone! Big crowds, drinks and beer in plastic cups in every visitors hand walking up and down the streets. Short skirts and no shirts were applied by some.. Strippers hanging in windows and doors to gentlemen clubs, and women and men flashing to get beads. Quite interesting to watch. But I will not publish any of those pictures on my blog.... sorry!

The French market with its café and its live music and good food (might not be so healthy) but cajun and gumbo is definitely good food and a must have when visiting New Orleans. Live music bands on street corners playing - this little guy just had a handful holding his instrument.