Saturday, January 24, 2009

Beautiful Days at Perdido Key

Kirsten enjoying the beach at Perdido Key - the water was particularly beautiful this past thursday (Jan 22)!

Kirsten admiring the beautiful shells she picked up on the beach. Shells of the Florida Panhandle are very nice indeed, varied and colourful!

Richard was enjoying surf fishing when we joined him on the beach... Check out the pole in the sand just past them...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Visit to Historic Fort Morgan

Kirsten and I visited historic Fort Morgan on Mobile Bay. This fort figured prominently during the civil war to protect Mobile from the North. The canon beside Kirsten weighs 14,800 pounds and the walls of the fort are said to have bloodstains still evident from the two week seige at the end of the war.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Trek to New Orleans Airport....

Kirsten safe and sound in her Beach Front Condo -"home" for the next two weeks!

Yesterday I drove to pick up my 84 year old Aunt Kirsten who is visiting from Denmark. She ended her flying journey in New Orleans, Louisiana at about 11 PM, striding confidently and energetically into the lounge of the New Orleans airport after more than 22 hours of travel. What an amazing woman!!!
To get to that reunion, I drove there from Pensacola, Florida traversing Alabama, Mississippi and ending in Louisiana travelling mostly on the Interstate Highway I-10! One day, one highway - four States! The weather was warm in the daytime - around 65F. The drive was about 4 hours and saw the little rental car going through under sea tunnels and over long bridges. Alabama and Mississippi billboards beckoned motorists into numerous Casinos with examples of payouts, fine dining and "loose" slot machines. Long segments of the drive were through wetlands and vast expanses of "nothingness" - just nature! Passing through Mississippi into Louisiana brought signs of hurricane damage - perhaps from "the big one - Katrina" and perhaps from subsequent relentless hammerings of the Gulf States by Mother Nature.

The I 10 eastbopund in downtown Mobile, Alabama approaching the George Wallace Tunnel.

The 8.7 kilometre, I-10 Twin Span bridge into New Orleans over Lake Pontchartrain was severely damaged during Hurricane Katrina with several segments of the bridge collapsing into the water. It is scheduled for destruction in 2011, pending completion of construction on the replacement structure. An interesting report on the reasons for the failure and some chilling photos can be found at the site . The report states "The Interstate 10 Twin Span Bridge over Lake Pontchartrain north of New Orleans, La., was rendered completely unusable by Hurricane Katrina. The cause of the collapse of the bridges generated great interest among hydrologists and structural engineers as well as among the general public." A new, 6 lane, bridge is under construction (US $ 800 Million)and I couldn't help but wonder how safe the existing and clearly repaired bridge was in the interim. We made it across twice without incident!

The next two weeks will be sun and fun filled for us as we explore with Kirsten and enjoy one another's company.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Little About the Area ...

Pensacola, the city we are close to is one of the oldest settlements in America. It is less than 20 miles to the east.

Excellent venues for food and entertainment on the Emerald Coast are plentiful in this area. We have heard a lot about the restaurant and Seafood vendor Joe Patti's and we can't wait to visit it soon. Joe Patti's Seafood Company originated in 1931 from the back porch of Captain Joe and Anna's home in Pensacola.

We are also very close to Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Foley, Alabama. The city of Mobile is about an hours drive away.

Entertainment around here includes night spots on the Beach:

"The Flora-Bama Lounge and Package (aka The Flora-Bama), located on Perdido Key in Pensacola, Florida, is a beachside oyster bar, nightclub, and Gulf Coast cultural landmark, touted as being America's "Last Great Roadhouse". The Flora-Bama takes its name from its location only feet away from the Florida-Alabama border (it is officially located entirely in Florida). The bar was originally in Florida but due to a dispute between the two states about building a bridge over the Perdido pass, Florida gave Alabama the land from the pass to the bar in exchange for not having to pay for construction of the bridge.....There is live music to be had every day of the week, with usually at least five bands playing on Saturdays. It is still a spot likely to attract celebrity visitors, with faces such as Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Kid Rock, and Kenny Stabler sometimes seen amongst the patrons." .... Wikipedia

Another hotspot is The Hangout ( where Highway 59 meets the Gulf. This is a beach gathering place dating back to the 50's. The web site is under construction but there are some cool old photos there. We went there for breakfast and had a table that looked out over the Gulf. The windows are huge garage door type openings that can be retracted completely to give the feel of having breakfast right on the shore! They are open for breakfast lunch and dinner and the Bar is open late of course!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I Can't Believe it is January

This is just very strange to be in sandals and shorts on January 7th. It is a cooler (63 F) here today and not a cloud in the sky!! The wind is coming from the North and is pushing the surf on the beach. The waves are high today 6 to 8 feet off the coast and the surf is really pounding. We went for a long walk this morning early to see if any new and pretty shells had washed up but alas, there was nothing obvious~! We saw quite a collection of portuguese men o war washed up and a catfish got caught in the angry surf and was washed ashore to the seagull's delight.

These two photos are the "prize" shells we have found on the beach over the weeks we have been here. Richard has glazed them so they will not oxidize and will retain their pretty colours. That is the one observation that I have about Florida - there are such beautiful colours here, in nature, all around us.

Yesterday we had lunch at a restaurant called the Shrimp Basket and I had my first taste of Gumbo...My friend Suzy says she hasn't had a good cup of Gumbo since she got here but this one tasted pretty good - quite spicy! Since I do not have a pre-conceived notion of what it should taste like I am wondering if it was in fact "good Gumbo". Funny to have the time now to consider such things!!! :-) We are just planning the rest of the week before I head to New Orleans next week to pick up Aunt Kirsten.

One thing that I wanted to share are the many attractions in the area. I will try to think of a few every time I am are a few:

Adventure Island - a family fun place with Lazer Tag, Bumper Boats, Paddle Boats, an Arcade, Go Carts, Kiddie Rides Adventure (mini) Golf, a "volcano" and much more.

Craft Farms "36 Holes of Pure Palmer Golf " comprised of two golf courses "Cotton Creek" and Cypress Bend"

Pirates Island Adventure Golf - an adventurous mini-golf extravaganza complete with shipwrecks, ancient graveyards, cascading waterfalls and sea fog!

Alabama Dolphin Cruises - Dolphins guaranteed - seeking out the bottlenosed dolphin the cruise takes in the views of million dollar homes on the gulf.

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo - Animal Planet called it "the little zoo that could".the zoo is home to more than 290 animals , lions, tigers, monkeys, and macaws are among them. There is a petting zoo and a reptile house as well as daily animal shows in the summer.

More to come in the future...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

What's new in Perdido Key?


This is a favorite photo that Lisa sent me of the two girls. They are so adorable and I am sure that when they are in their twenties they will love this photo too. All is well here at Perdido Key. We are expecting my Aunt Kirsten from Denmark next week for two weeks.

LISA (my Daughter) and KIRSTEN (My Aunt)

We will pick her up at the airport in New Orleans and stay at the Airport Hilton overnight because her plane is arriving late and she will have been travelling for 20 hours (poor her!). She will enjoy the sun I am sure! She told me this morning that it has been cold and she has been scraping her car off twice a day!!!

Richard and Christina - Week 2 - Nov 30th 2008

I notice that we were a little pale when we first arrived here and now we are very tanned from the beach and fishing...

Yesterday Louise and Mark were on the shopping channel selling Mark's Yoga videos. I watched it, on the internet, two of the airings - it was live three times during the day. They did very well, looked great and enjoyed the experience I am sure! Louise is an ambassador for Lululemon Athletica this year...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Sports in the Water at Perdido Key!


This week has seen many newcomers to the beach including more snowbirds, holiday revellers with their families and vacationers with sports in mind. With access to the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and the Gulf we saw surfers and kayakers this week enjoying their sports! The surf is not as high as would be ideal for some sportsmen but, I am certain there would be nothing like kayaking with Dolphins around you in the water.

Ed and his wife from Georgia were here on a brief holiday in their Montana fifth wheel and took the opportunity to kayak in both the waterway by the Marina but also in the Gulf itself. This morning there were three dolphins in the water with them. Ed was warned by the locals that the sharks feed this time of year at daybreak and sunset but that did not discourage him in the least....

Friday, January 2, 2009

Cool - Our Airstream at Night

The Park, the Marina and the Beach at night are all very lovely!

The Airstream at our new site is also very pretty at night. There are rope lights around our mat and I found a pink flamingo that fits the ambiance perfectly. The little lights in the tree are airstream lights that I got from Grant at RV Canada in Ottawa. He always jokes with me that I keep buying his stock of lights! (which I do!)

The lights add a little to the magic of having shorts and sandals on in January... Thinking about last January and how cold and snowy it was in Ottawa, I am grateful to have the opportunity to be in this warmer environment. I wish you could all be here with us to experience it...

Rudy, Reggie and I on the Beach