Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Gulf Islands National Seashore, Mississippi to Seaside , Florida

From Mandeville, Louisiana, Lady Blue takes us east on Route 190 to Route 10 and then into Mississippi. our stop is at Davis Bayou Campground in Gulf Islands National Seashore in Ocean Springs , Mississippi. This is a link to the Park website Gulf Islands National Seashore. Lot of geckos around.
Jan is pointing to Davis Bayou. We will also be visiting Fort Pickens , part of the same national park, just south of Pensacola, Florida, to the right on the map.
A short walk from our campsite , a huge alligator that looks like a Disney prop. Until it moves.
If you cannot read the sign on the window, it indicates this is a 1955 Comet trailer.
Looks in great shape, also really like the wooden storage.
Another nice connection to our campground is the Live Oak Bicycle Route that leaves from our campground and goes through the town of Ocean Springs.  
Along the way , of course, are a number of restaurants.  This one was open and looks very interesting.
Two for one drinks also was encouraging.
Our waiter was excellent and so was the Red Snapper with exceptional pasta.
The setting was outdoors. Loved the fountain over the open flame.
The bike ride back was quite nice, going by the ocean front estates.
From Mississippi , we followed Route 10 up and around Mobile Bay.
On the east side , we follow Route 59 south to Summerdale, Alabama and another one of our Escapee RV parks, Rainbow Plantation.  Some nice people again in a pretty park with many good towns to visit.  Our last visit here was in 2010.  It is a much busier area now.
Lady Blue and Eustis are all excited about moving into Florida.  
From Summerdale, Alabama, we follow Route 59 south to Route 98 which heads east into Florida.
This route takes us through a lot of military area, including Pensacola Naval Base.
There are some definite tourist areas like bridges into Destin.  The lighthouse is part of Harry T's Restaurant.
Jan and I are all excited to meet our newest granddaughter.
Luckily, we were able to grab the last available spot at Grayton Beach State Park in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.  Scott, Rachel, Lucas, and Lilly will be a short walk away in Seaside.
Nice to meet you too, Grandma!

A number of nice restaurants in Seaside.  Lucas really enjoyed the food, but also how the restaurants were happy to provide paper tablecloths and crayons for artwork.

The center of Seaside is quite popular day and night.  This was after the peak of Spring Break.

Part of our walk and bike ride took us through Watercolor with a palm tree lined street.

A great selection of food trucks, all in Airstream trailers. One dating back to 1955.
What's a vacation without a good selfie.
We needed our mail sent.  This was the local post office.
A post office the size of a postage stamp.
It was quite busy.
Lucas and Jan find the perfect sized house
Yes, we forced Scott and Rachel to pose.
But, they were happy to do so.
We wish the weather was as cooperative for them.
There are fun things to do on wet days.
Creative too. This was a great do your own pottery shop.  All kinds of paints, shapes, and ideas. Plus they glaze and fire and ship .  There were all ages of kids here.
How happy are you, Lucas?
Lilly was comfortable wherever she went.
All along this section, the ocean is just a walk across the road.
Parking can be difficult on busy days, but parking is free.
A steady companion at Grayton Beach were three of these bright green frogs

Our visit was great, but still too short.  Looking forward to seeing more family and friends soon in June!
We headed up Route 285 to Route 90 west to Blackwater River State Park.
 A nice chance to visit with niece Christine 
as well as Laura and Daniel.
From Blackwater, Lady Blue takes us west on Route 90, south on Route 281, west on Route 98 to Gulf Breeze and then Route 399 to Pensacola Beach and then west 7 miles to Fort Pickens.

Lots of parking and lots of white , sugar sand beaches.
Never tire of seeing the herons
A large number of osprey here.  The fishing is extremely good for them.
The Fort Pickens campground was a surprise. We were expecting a very basic parking lot near a beach, but this was quite nice for $13 per night with our senior pass.
Lots to do close to the campground.  It was a nice walk to the fort.  
This fort served as a defense of the harbor from the early 1800's to 1947
It is a large fort, built with 8 and 1/2 million locally made bricks.
That's a lot of bricks!!
This link tells you more about it.   About Fort Pickens
The archways are impressive.
The cannon are very maneuverable but required a number of soldiers to move.
The view from the fort shows other buildings and across the bay to Pensacola.
With shifting sands, there is more land now between the fort and the water.

An added surprise is a practice run by the Navy Blue Angels.
They publish a calendar of their appearances and practice runs.  Fort Pickens is an excellent place to watch.
The sound is amazing.  
Yes, they are heading straight down to the deck.  
Of course, they break off in time but it happens so fast!
The starburst is awesome.

They seem to be right above the treetops.
Not sure if this happens in their shows.
The added two planes come in at the end of the practice. 
A link to some info  Blue Angels
The Blue Angels fly F-18 Hornets.
You will note that there is a lot of information in the link above about the 
Naval Air Museum in Pensacola.  We did not have a chance to visit this time, but other campers indicated that it is a wonderful, hands on kind of museum with all kinds of planes and info.
Things to climb on , sit in, and play with!
We are now in Georgia Veterans State Park.  Hopefully, we will catch up on our blog next week.

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