April 22, 2011

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What a wonderful time we have had in Florida from fishing trips, swimming on the beaches, amazing sunsets/sunrises, partying in key west during spring break, brunch in south beach,kayaking, enjoying disney world, space shuttle launch,and the list just goes on and on. Most of all seeing Stephanie thru out our visit made it so special. So much Fun!!! We will be starting to head west next week after we visit Savannah, GA and Charleston SC....

March 11, 2011

Everglades National Park

We took a day trip from Key Largo to visit the Everglades National Park. Lots of birds and alligators. This is not one of my favorite parks. Tried to do some trails and with each step I felt like something was going to jump out very uneasy queasy feeling. I am glad we went but, I have no desire to return.
We are enjoying our time in Key Largo, we went Kayaking and rowed 2 1/2 miles at John Pennicamp State Park, have eaten at some fantastic restaurants, beautiful sunsets . We took a ride to Miami and did brunch in South Beach. In the morning we leave for Marathon for 5 nights then on into Key West for a few days until we leave the Keys... and head for Ft Lauderdale.

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March 07, 2011

Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Everglades
It has been a while since I updated. We are thoroughly enjoying our time in Florida. The pictures below is just a sampling of what we have been doing the past few weeks. While in Ft Meyers we drove over to Sanibel & Captiva Island such a beautiful place white sand beaches and homes unbelievable homes, we found a chapel by the sea that was quaint had lunch at a funky little place, food not so good, but, sometimes that happens. We met up with Steph in Miami had a nice brunch at the Savoy Hotel in South Beach (groupon find) then afterward Steph and John took an air boat ride, I didn't go to chicken, I guess that was a good choice. John and Steph both said that while viewing an alligator it lunged at the boat. Yeah that would have done me in. LOL
We then drove to the Big Cypress National Preserve and saw so many alligators. They are the scariest looking creatures I have seen. They seem to have this little smirk like come a little closer and then snap got cha...
We are now in the Keys and just loving all this wonderful sunshine.
Click on the picture to enlarge it

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February 13, 2011

Mexico Beach, FL
and surrounding beach communities

The sun is shining and the weather is great. We got up this morning and decided to check out some of the local beaches an of course head over to Apalachicola for some local oysters. We had read that one of the top 10 oyster bars was about 30 miles from us we had to check it out... We also noticed that out of 10 we had been to 2 of them. Boss Oyster is a funky joint the restaurant sits right on the Apalachicola River and we sat outside on the deck. The oysters were quite big, very tasty, but, I prefer the smaller oysters, of course this did not stop us from each having a dozen. We then headed over to Cape Sand Blas, because that is where the #1 best beach in the US is, well its beautiful, but, so are all the beaches we have seen on the gulf including Alabama. We actually preferred the beach in Mexico Beach FL the sand was snow white much softer no rocks. The sunset picture was taken at Mexico Beach. The Lighthouse picture is from St George Island. We stumbled across the worlds smallest police station- in was in Carabelle, Fl that is the picture of the phone booth it was the police station until 1960. Now that is a roadside oddity.
We had a busy day and it was a lot of fun checking out a lot of funky little beach bars and restaurants. On our way home we stopped at shrimp stand and bought some fresh shrimp for dinner.
Tomorrow we will be moving on... Orlando is our next stop .....

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February 11, 2011

Out n About in Alabama

An Easy drive from Biloxi today. Staying at the SKP park in Summerdale, nice park. The gulf beaches are spectacular and all the colorful house very picturesque. Notice on the pictures how white the sand is, it looks like snow, while its cold enough to snow, it is sand. After a full day of traveling we headed over to Lamberts Cafe in Foley and had some buns thrown at us. John had the fried Chicken, I had catfish the portions are more than plentiful and we had left overs, Yep, even John…. We found some wonderful restaurants while in Alabama, Bimini Bobs in Daphne not a chain restaurant owned by a local. The food is fresh and cooked and seasoned to perfection. The menu is mostly seafood with a little Caribbean flair. The coleslaw had mangoes in it really good. We also went to the original Oyster house in Mobile, The oysters we so good and so was the seafood gumbo. Both restaurants sit overlooking the bay.

We drove over to Pensacola to tour the National Aviation Museum at NAS Pensacola. Home of the Blue Angeles . GREAT museum, we had a tour of the flight line, and then took a guided tour of the museum. This is always fun to hear personal recollections'. One of the most interesting facts about the museum is that no tax payers $ are used for funding. One major contributor is the owner of Enterprise car rental- the story goes something like this…. Fellow joins the Navy and is a fighter pilot assigned to the USS Enterprise, after his tour of duty, opens up a car rental business and names the business after the ship he loved that is how Enterprise Car Rental got its name, then hears about the museum and donates 10 million $$$. as told by the tour guide. One last interesting bit of info- the restaurant in the museum Cubi Bay Cafe, This was an actual officers club in Cubi Bay Philippines until a volcano erupted and destroyed the base. When the navy went over to clean up they brought back what was left of the officers club tables, chairs, plaques, portions of the walls and the entirebar. Thus recreating the restaurant inside the museum. I suppose you could say it’s a museum inside of a museum.

That just about concludes our visit to Alabama's Gulf Coast, except to say we will be back BUT it will be during the heat of the summer. Its a shame its been to cold to really enjoy the beautiful beaches.

February 06, 2011

Gulf Coast

Finally the sun is shining in the south again... all is good...
We toured The Stennis Space Center. This space center was established in 1963 to test the stages of the rockets that took Americans to the moon. Today the space center tests all space shuttle main engines as well as rocket engines for future spacecraft. In addition to engine testing this complex also houses more that 30 different agencies; department of defense, the national data buoy center, and the EPA. The Naval Oceanographic Office houses one of the fastest supercomputers in the world!!
Below are pictures of the the shower facility and toilet in the space station . The pictures of the towers are the testing facilities for rocket engines the engines are strapped down and tested.

Diners, Drive ins, and Dives
The shed BBQ and Blues Joint was featured on an episode of DDD
The place was a fun and funky kinda place!! There was some disappointment of the food, however the Chicken and Ribs were absolutely the best very moist and smokey flavor, a bit sweet which was very different for us. Now for the bad... the brisket and pulled pork was dry and really tough not much smoke flavor, in fact we had a hard time distinguishing from the pulled pork and brisket all chopped up. Not to our liking. There is an outdoor stage and Friday & Saturday nights Blues music is featured. Right next door is a campground not affiliated with the shed... WE thought that would be a fun place to spend the weekend.
Until next time...
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February 04, 2011

New Orleans/ Abita Springs
January 28- Feb 4, 2011

We spent a week in the New Orelans and surrounding area. The weather was great for the first part of the week, but, towards the end it was brutal, rain, tornado watches, freezing rain just plain cold. We took advantage of the "good weather" and spent one day in the French Quarter went to one of our favs Pat Obriens for hurricanes, listened to some great street musicians, popped into a couple of small bars, had lunch at one of our favs Cafe Maspero on Decatur. We found a small bar with a very unusual name you can see the picture below, its name was "Huge Ass Beers" for real that was the name. Too funny, but true.. they were big
Being big fans of Diners Drive ins and Dives we met boomer friends and went to Louie & The Redhead Lady it was featured a couple of weeks ago. I was dissapointed in the quality of the food. I had the fried green tomatoes which was featured on the show, it was just ok rather bland. While the service was top notch the food just didn't measure up.
We also visited the Abita Brewery (twice) for tours and free samples and when I say samples I mean you get at 12 oz glass and fill it up before the tour, during the tour, and after the tour. While the tour was good, it was really more about tasting the beer... and that we did-
Next stop Biloxi MS....

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