Alabama

USS Alabama Battleship

The last 2 times we passed through Alabama we stayed in Gulf Shores. I had wanted to visit the USS Alabama battleship but we didn’t make it either time. So this time through Alabama we stayed right in Mobile, only 5 minutes away from the battleship which made it easier to make sure we got around to touring it.

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Our good friends from Fernandina Beach, the Norstrem family came to join us for the weekend and we all toured the ship together.

USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park is a really neat place to visit for the whole family. You can tour almost the entire ship and climb on everything which is lots of fun for the kids. They also have a naval aircraft museum and a submarine to tour. It costs $15 for each person aged 12 and up, $6 for ages 6-11 and 5 and under are free. Although we all enjoyed our time there, we weren’t excited to have to pay for 3 adults now that Jake is 12. It would be more affordable for families if the children’s prices applied to all children, not just under 12.

Anyway, we still enjoyed our time there exploring this ship which served in World War II.

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Charlie got the award for the most excited of the day, he is really interested in battleships!

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The interior was really cool to walk through. We saw living quarters, kitchens, laundry facilities and even an ice cream parlor! It was hard to imagine what it must have been like for those living on this ship during such an important time in our nation’s history.

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They have rooms like this for scouting troups to spend the night on the ship. That would be quite an adventure!

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After touring the battleship we walked through the naval aircraft museum.

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And then toured the submarine.

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I have to say, if I was in the military I think I would prefer living on the battleship over the submarine. I can’t imagine being underwater for so many months in such cramped quarters!

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We stayed at Meaher State Park right on Mobile Bay which was so beautiful, and enjoyed gorgeous sunsets most evenings. Chris & Ken wasted no time in getting into a cribbage game as soon as they got there.

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It was a nice surprise to meet my friend Doug’s brother and sister-in-law Ron and Brenda who were also staying there that week. We had fun playing dominoes with them one night and Ron is very good at entertaining kids with trick questions!

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One other fun thing we did that week was to visit the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center. We were able to get in free with our reciprocal zoo and science center membership. We met up with another family there that we had met 2 years ago at a Jellystone Park.

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After a great time in Mobile we spent a few days in Louisiana and then headed to Texas.

Categories: Alabama | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Back to Gulf Shores, Alabama

Last year when we left Florida we spent some time at Jellystone Park of the Alabama Gulf Coast.  Because we had so much fun at Jellystone last year we only spent one day visiting Gulf Shores so this year we decided to stay right in Gulf Shores at Gulf State Park.

My favorite thing about this park is the amazing, paved bike trails!

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I rode for miles on these trails and even got to see some cool wildlife like this alligator and her babies.  (The 2 babies are a little hard to see; they are hanging out in the water behind the mama.  I later learned that these are not exactly babies anymore, they’re about 3 years old.)

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One day the kids went for a ride with me because I told them I found a cool rock-climbing park along the trail.

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The Gulf State Park Pier was across the street from the campground.  This was fun to visit in the evening for the sunsets, and the boys liked wrestling in the sand.

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There were cool birds hanging out on the pier.

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I like this sign.

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Fat Cat enjoyed hunting rabbits at our campsite.  The rabbits didn’t pay any attention to her.  She would sneak up on them, and then when she finally decided to chase them, they ran away and she was stuck because of the leash.  It’s a little hard to see but she is hunting a rabbit (to the left) in this picture.

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The highlight of this trip was having the Norstrem family come to stay with us for a few days.  Ken, Kelli and their kids are good friends of ours from back home in Fernandina.  We miss them a lot when we’re traveling and are thankful that they came out to join us for a few days before we got too far away from Florida.  The funny thing is that every time we see them it seems to be rainy and cold.  This was no different.  We had nice weather all week, but as soon as they were on their way to see us the rain started.  And it rained pretty much the entire time they were with us.  You might wonder how can 9 humans and 1 cat live in an RV for 3 rainy days?  With the Norstrems it was no problem.  We have so much fun with them no matter what the circumstances!

One day the kids all decided to go outside in their bathing suits and play in the rain.  But the rain decided to take a break at that time, so instead they had a water balloon fight.

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The campground had a really nice nature center so we went there one day to play with snakes.  Umm, I guess I should say the kids played with snakes, I have no interest in holding a snake.

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The snake was trying to get in Jesse’s pants!

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This snake was on the floor eating a dead mouse.  Yuck!

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This turtle roams around the nature center.  You have to be careful where you step!

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We wanted to take the Norstrems to the pier, but the weather never cooperated so we just had to go in the rain.

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Another cool bird hanging out on the pier in the rain.

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We took a field trip back to Florida to the Pensacola Naval Aviation Museum.  This was really cool!

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The Blue Angels practice from here, but we were a couple of weeks too early.  Their practice sessions don’t start until late March.

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And finally, we celebrated Chris’s birthday.  Poor Chris had to cook dinner on his birthday.  We had planned to have dinner at Lambert’s (Home of the Throwed Rolls), but the wait was 90 minutes.  So Chris suggested we all go back to the house (RV) and have dinner there.  For those of you that know Chris, he is a great cook!  He cooks for everyone that comes to visit, even on his birthday.

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We had so much fun at Gulf State Park and especially with our friends visiting.  We miss them and look forward to seeing them again when we get back to Florida.  We keep trying to talk them into joining us on the road!

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Geese, Roosters and Patriotic Yogi Bear

We just spent a week at Jellystone Park of the Alabama Gulf Coast. It was fantastic! It was the first place we have been to where we were in a more woodsy type place. It was very peaceful, well, except for the noise of the geese and the peacocks and the roosters and — oh well, never mind, I guess it wasn’t all that peaceful, but it sure was fun! I didn’t even realize that peacocks made so much noise. It took some getting used to the first day hearing all these animal sounds like we were living on a farm, which I guess we were. Right in our campsite backyard was a geese pen with these 2 geese that I really grew attached to. I fed them bread every day and they honked and made all kinds of noise whenever they saw me.  I am going to miss these two!

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Even Fat Cat liked our campsite.  So many strange animal sounds for her to be curious about.

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I of course loved the beautiful sunsets that I could see right from our site each night.  Did I mention that I love sunsets?

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And of course the boys enjoyed a little fishing in the pond in our backyard.

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Jake got to visit with the activity director’s pig.

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Speaking of Barbara the activity director, she was amazing! She is so good with kids and had all kinds of activities planned for the kids each day. Made it a little difficult to get a lot of school work done this week, but that’s okay. Here are some things they did each day.

Crafts:

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Wagon ride:

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Cup stacking challenge which ultimately ended up just being a “build whatever you want with the cups”:

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And I’m happy to say that Yogi Bear is very patriotic. He gets the kids out to raise the flag and say the pledge every morning:

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One evening when Barbara went home, as if the kids didn’t have enough activities all day, Chris decided to organize a water balloon fight for the kids.

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We are really going to miss Barbara and the owners of this Jellystone. They were all so nice and made us feel right at home.

One of the best parts of being there was meeting some really good friends.  It has been nice to meet new friends everywhere we go.  An older couple we met at Suwannee River actually came to visit us in Destin!  I am amazed at how nice & friendly the RV’ing crowd is.  People have been so good to us and we have met some wonderful people. At Jellystone we made great friends with families with kids. The hard part of course is having to say good-bye. The kids had a blast playing with Sawyer and Sunny and their little brother Scott every day.  Chris and I enjoyed hanging out with their parents at the campfire each night. We already have plans to get together with them again next year.  And last night we sat around the campfire with some other new friends camping next to us. Campfires really are a great way to get to know people.  Thank God for Facebook so we can keep in touch with our new friends and hopefully meet each other again someday down the road.

While we were at Jellystone, it was hard to get away and do other things because there was always so much to do right there at the park.  The kids never wanted to leave and miss any activities. We did manage to get away to go visit Gulf Shores on my birthday. The view from the pier was beautiful and the pelicans resting on the pier were neat to see.

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Watch out Jesse! That pelican doesn’t look too friendly.

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We found this suds making machine in Gulf Shores that the kids loved!

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And one more picture from our last night at Jellystone and the campfire with Yogi.  The two little guys in front of Jake & Jesse were the boys they got to play with last night.

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We had a wonderful time in Alabama and we’re very thankful to the staff and owners at this Jellystone Park for their hospitality.  We hope to be back to see you again someday.

Categories: Alabama | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

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