American by birth, Southern by the grace of God.
Louis Grizzard, a great American
It's choice ~ not chance ~ that determines your destiny.
Jean Nidetch

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Gulf Shores, AL

Yesterday we returned to Gulf Shores after spending Christmas at my daughter’s house near Douglasville, Ga. There was a white Christmas in Atlanta for the first time in 128 years! It was beautiful to look at but I didn’t leave the house from Christmas Eve until Tuesday morning! We brought 2 of the grand kids back with us to spend the week….Kyle and Logan.

Today was sunny and windy. We went to the beach after lunch and stayed about 2 hours, then the wind picked up and the clouds covered the sun….brrrrrrrrrrrr. Hopefully, the weather will warm up a little in the next few days and the wind will calm down.

The campground here, Gulf State Park, is level and all the roads are paved so the boys can ride their bikes and new razor scooters all over. The sites are the largest we’ve seen anywhere and are concrete and level. The area where the hookups are located is also concrete and lighted. The laundry room is large and there is a camp store, activity room and very large swimming pool for summer use. Everything is new, of course, and the beach pavilion, pier and parking areas are all very nice. The State Park also has two more beach locations in the town of Orange Beach which are smaller than the 2 mile beach inside the park boundaries.
The city of Gulf Shores has a very nice, very large, public beach with 2 restaurants adjacent.


I'm definitely getting some pictures of the campground tomorrow. There are 496 sites and most are full!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Snow on the beast on Christmas Day, 2010....
Just starting and still going a few hours later!

Winter Wonderland!

Christmas Eve 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone!

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Finally a beach day! Weather was nice with clear blue skies. Still a little windy and the high was only 60 or 61, but it felt good in the sun. We spent about 2 hours on the beach. Tomorrow is supposed to be a little warmer and more so on Tuesday.

Even though the camp ground is almost full, the condos along the beach look almost empty.
Guess the "snow-birds" are all campers! =)

There is still plenty of clean up activity on the beach. It looks like they are about finished with the major cleaning. Large equipment scoops up the sand and dumps it in a "sifter" type thing that spits out any 'tar balls'. They were way down the beach from us and it was perfectly clear all around where we were. We walked about 100 yards down the beach and saw only 2 small 'tar balls', smaller than a quarter. There were still a group of workers walking along the beach, searching for more.

Small 'tar ball' on the beach.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Gulf Shores

We arrived in Gulf Shores on Wednesday afternoon and were greeted by these ominous clouds. The sun had just gone below the edge of the cloud layer. This was beautiful, the way the front was advancing all across the horizon. I'd never seen anything quite like it.
We were able to arrive at Gulf State Park and get set up just before dark. The front had totally covered the area but it never did rain....just very windy all night.

This morning we were greeted by 61 degrees and sunshine. The picture is of the new beach pavilion, looking out our window and across the lake toward the beach.

By late morning, the clouds had returned. The Gulf looked more like the Atlantic!

Lunch was at Tacky Jack's. We shared "Mexican Garbage" to go with our beer (Sam) and Margarita (me)!

After lunch, we explored Gulf Shores and Orange Beach to locate the essentials: Walmart, Publix, Lulu's and other favorites. Tomorrow is supposed to be 70 so maybe a good day to walk the beach before the forecasted rain on Saturday & Sunday.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Good weather for a road trip

Saturday, December 11th

The sun was shinning and the temp was to be in the 60's so we decided to ride up to Fanning Springs to their annual Christmas festival. There was a craft show with the usual crafty items and a surprisingly large antique car show.

This '55 Crown Vic was my favorite. The pictures just don't show how beautiful this car was!

This '57 Bell Air was also a favorite.

And a few others we liked.

And something we've not seen before.........along with pony rides at the festival, there were elephant rides.

After the car show and a walk through the craft area, we went across the street to the state park. Fanning Springs just became a state park in 1997, so one of the youngest of Florida's parks. As usual, the springs are 72 degrees year-round and there were a few brave swimmers while we were there. The water actually felt like bath water - but the air temp was about 65.
This was one of the most scenic springs we've visited. Steps and a ramp lead down from the concession area to the springs and the large swimming area.

Across the way is a picnic pavilion and meeting room, available to rent. The water in the Suwanee River and the springs is low this time of year. From the pictures, you can tell it would be about 10' higher in spring and summer.

The water in the distance is the swift moving Suwanee River

The sign for the Suwanee River on US 19/98

River and bridge seen from the state park

The old trellis from the original bridge was saved and is a monument in the park

We didn't see any manatees but Ranger Andy Moody said there were three in the springs the night before.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Friday, Dec. 3rd.....

Another State Park stamped on the Passport Book. Marjorie Rawlings received the Pulitzer Prize for her novel, The Yearling. Her home is now a State Park in Cross Creek, Florida.
There were lots of orange and tangerine trees on the farm.

And some nice looking chickens.

After the Rawlings House, we drove over to Micanopy for lunch. This place didn't have a name.....just a sign that said 'CAFE'. We had overpriced ham sandwiches. Next time we'll be sure to take a picnic lunch!
This fella said he used to be with the Allman Brothers Band. He's playing for tips now.

After lunch we drove to the cemetery where Sam's parents are buried. They lived in Micanopy for over 30 years, after moving from his hometown of Largo.

This was their house about 4 miles from town. I remember going there when we were first married, as early as the 70's and into the 80's, before they sold and moved into town (Micanopy). Whoever bought the property didn't stay long and it has been abandoned and run down. We couldn't get near the house for the overgrown yard. Very sad.

Saturday, December 4th.....
Temps were up to 70 on Saturday so we decided to go to the 'beach'. ;-) Fort Island is the only beach near us, located in Citrus County, Crystal River. Not too bad...I needed a beach break! It seems the nuclear plant is viewable from everywhere in the county!

Found a couple more pictures on Webshots that I 'borrowed'. This first one looks like a post card from the 80's or 90's.

Maybe we'll go back again before we leave the area. Supposed to be 75 tomorrow!