COVID-19 ... Texas and Abita Springs, Louisiana, March - April - May - June - July 2020

 

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In March 2020, we went, as usual, to Austin, TX and with Jenny to a time-share on Canyon Lake in the Texas Hill Country.  She had a good birthday.  After that, we were heading, as usual, to Louisiana for Lorraine's mother's 99th birthday.  Now we are spending time locked down during the Covid-19.  We are the only guests in a small time share on a golf course that closed 3 years ago, deep in the forest over 5 miles north from the small town of Abita Springs.  A very extreme form of Social Distancing. In our first two months here, we have walked way over 240 miles (380 kilometers) through the course and roads in the forest, in Covington, and the Mandeville waterfront on Lake Ponchartrain, as well as City Park in New Orleans.  Below are photos to show you our environment. 
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With Jenny we went to San Antonio a couple of times and shopping in the San Marcos Outlets.
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Along the roads to Canyon Lake, the Texas bluebells were sprouting out.
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On Canyon Lake, they had a nice supermarket.  There was news of maybe 2,000 cases of Covid-19 in the U.S., no need to panic (now 1 million).  Go to a restaurant.  Click to see a larger image.
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 In San Antonio, we took an open-top bus sightseeing trip and got of the the Mexican market for shopping and lunch.  At Canyon Lake we ate in restaurants every night.  Restaurants were still open.  Does anyone remember what restaurants used to be ?  Click for an even larger image.
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 Jenny had a good birthday.  Two days later, we were due to take her back to her home at Marbridge in Austin.  Well, they did not allow her back in ... that morning, they discovered a case of Covid-19 in San Antonio and, given that we've just been there a couple of times, they would let her back in.  Her mother lives nearby and took her in for a while.  Neither one of them knew how long this would last.  Click for an even larger image.
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 After a long drive from Austin to Abita Springs, we were to spend a week here, conveniently close to Slidell, where Lorraine's mother lives in a retirement home and Lorraine's brother Stuart lives, has a business and large family.  It is even closer to Mandeville, where Lorraine's brother Raplh lives, again with family.  And it is an hour from Baton Rouge, where Lorraine's son Estuardo moved over 3 years ago from Guatemala, with his family and a dog, and opened a Carpet World business. So close to them, but we can't go see them.

More than 50 miles north of New Orleans, deep in forests. An EXTREME form of social distancing!
 
 There are about 24 apartments here.  We are the only guests in the compound. Thanks to Lorraine's brother Stuart, we were able to return our AVIS car a couple of months ago when he lent us a car. We extended our one time-share week into five and after that paid for more weeks to June 19.  It's possible we'll be here longer, till July.  A nice apartment, nice kitchen, two bathrooms, a laundry.  Turtles, a rabbit, squirrels, birds, geese, storks and now, as it gets hotter, also snakes.  Very, very quiet. 
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This is one part of the 150 acre golf course that has been for sale for 3 years, where we walk. Click on the photo to see a larger one.
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There is a large network or roads in the forest, where we walk.
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The roads in the forest have golf-themed names, such as Tee, Green, Trap, Birdie and so on.  Lorraine is heading toward "Tee".  Click for an even larger image.
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Roads in the forest
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Walkways in the forest.  Lots of wild flowers.
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Click to see a much larger image.  Some lanes are in the forest ...
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... there is also a wildlife boardwalk over a swamp with interesting signs explaining the flora and fauna of the area.  
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On our walks in the forest, we pick wild flowers.  Click to see a larger image.
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Every couple of days we have new wild flowers from our walks. Click to see a larger image.
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On our own golf course.  Usually I hand my phone to people to take photos of us, but there is nobody here to do so. Click to see a larger image.
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On our golf course, there were two couples of geese and one single.  A month ago, we used to give them bread, but they have flown up North, maybe to Canada.  They did not need airplane tickets.
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Sometimes we walk on the Mandeville Lakefront, on the North shore of Lake Ponchartrain. The old oak trees are covered in Spanish moss. Click for an even larger image.
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The town closed all playgrounds, gazebos, and turned upside down dozens of park benches, just so that people don't congregate.
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Mandeville Lakefront, near the Causeway to New Orleans. 
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Thank goodness you can still walk, but you are not allowed anything else.
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Lorraine started house-hunting, just in cae we have to stay here longer.  What would you think of this one on the Mandeville waterfront looking over Lake Ponchartrain?
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In the past month, as we walk along the course that has been closed for 3 years, we've collected lots of golf balls.  This was after we walked some 75 miles.
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This is our golf ball collection after walking some more. Three times what we walked to Santiago de Compostela in 2018.  At least I had enough time to build a page of our photos from the trip to Spain and the walk to Santiago.

  Lorraine always told me she wanted a two month vacation somewhere.  Now she is getting it.  She was thinking Paris, Rome, Madrid ... but she got Abita Springs.  I have always asked her that I want to spend much more time with her.  Well, I've got my wish.   More to follow. 

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This page was last updated on 05/24/20.