Gulf Coast 9/13/10

9/11/10 – 11:15 a.m.
    Just got back from a 13 mile bike ride with Nick. We went west down the beach to Buccaneer State Park. (Map) There isn’t much left of the park, at least not on land. It has some very nice swamps and waterways, but on land it’s just some empty RV parks and abandoned attractions. It’s kind of eery to see empty swimming pools and watersides that end 15’ off the ground. Wish we had a canoe or something –  just standing on the bridge we saw lots of egrets, herons, and the movement of big fish under the surface of the water. After that we biked back 6 miles at 20 MPH to get back in time for lunch before Nick realized his clock was an hour fast.
    9:30 p.m. – We marched in a parade Today! The town was having a “Second Saturday” event downtown. It’s mostly to promote the local shops and venders, but this time they had a parade (I guess because of 9/11). Shortest parade I’ve ever seen. I think it was just us, Americorp, the fire department, and police. It was fun anyway. There was live music all over the place, so a few of us stayed late listening to a couple different bands. There was this one really talented local band made up of guitar, sax, keys, drums, and vocals, and they had a nice big group dancing in the street, or just listening all evening.
9/12/10 – 8:20 p.m.
    Today was lazy. We didn’t end up going anywhere this weekend, in part because we’re running low on activity money, but I think everyone needed a quiet day. I got some computer work done, watched a movie, played some volleyball, and that’s about it. I did bike up the street to CJ’s. CJ’s is a fantastic little grocery store 2 blocks from us, that has all kinds of breads and chips and dips and deserts and meals that they make right there. Their pita chips and hummus are amazing. This time I got honey cinnamon tortilla chips but I’m not sure what I think of them.

9/13/10 5:00 p.m.
    We’ve got dinner in an hour and fifteen minutes. It’s going to be red beans and rice and I’m very excited. Beans and rice is just about the best vegetarian protein there is, and my body’s been craving it. It’s been a little tricky for me to find food I can eat here. Stanislaus feeds us every meal except Saturday dinner, and most of it is just generic cafeteria food. Sandwiches for lunch, but I can’t survive on bread and American cheese, so I’ve been having to buy my own lunches a lot (the Mockingbird has the best homemade veggie burger I’ve ever had). However, the chef here at the school is awesome, and a few time’s he’s made me a special dish when everything else is meat. I think he jumps at the chance to cook some good food when he’s stuck making cafeteria food the rest of the time. The a couple days ago I requested some good old southern red beans and rice, and so the next night he told us we’d be having red beans on Monday “here’s your food history lesson for today” he said “Monday is red beans day because Monday is when the man would go back to work so it was laundry day for the wife so before she did laundry she’d put on a pot of red beans so we will be having red beans on Monday!”
    I’m getting worse at running. I didn’t make it very far this morning because my body was hurting too much. The rest of the day went well though. I thought I was done climbing around in the rafters, but no, Ben found more bracing for me to install. Then I fixed some joint details on the cornice returns, and then nailed jacks together. I got out of painting the outside of the house all together, but that’s what half of the rest of the group was doing. Everyone else building a porch and doing framing prep for the next house. I hope I get to do some wall framing.
    I can’t wait for dinner.

– Andrew

Empty swimming pool at Buccaneer State Park.

The road (and train track) that runs through the wet lands


Nick Tier





People on main street waving at us and clapping. Made us feel like celebrities.


Sweet band

Doug Baker and his bling

Nick is angry at the concrete pier. No idea why.


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