"In every person who comes near you look for what is good and strong; honor that; try to imitate it, and your faults will drop off like dead leaves when their time comes."
– John Ruskin
Good morning everyone! Happy Sunday! For Steve and I, this is the only day of the week that stands out because we go to church. Otherwise, every day is Saturday - - yeah, yeah, I know what you're thinking! No swearing, please. :(
We left our Florida home base of Bushnell and have begun our trek west to San Diego. Our first stop was to Carabelle, Florida which is on what is called "the forgotten coast." It really has no claim to fame like the Tampa area, the Pensacola/Destin/Panama Beach area (which is called "the emerald coast") or other parts of Florida. Driving highway 98 along the coast to get to Alabama is probably all that would make it interesting. We did, however, stay at a very nice campground that was right on the water, and by right on the water, I mean the back of Big Red was hanging over the rock wall and almost on to the beach. We were blessed with beautiful sunrises and sunsets and heard lapping waves all night long. This sounds like the makings of a vacation commercial but when you get to our age it just makes you have to go to the bathroom several times during the night. Those types of campsites are few and far between so when you can get one, you grab it.
We enjoyed our time in Carabelle very much. We did a little geocaching on St. George Island, which is a very nice little island out in the Gulf of Mexico, directly south of Carabelle. The white sands there are amazing and the dunes and vegetation make for a lovely landscape. The fishing along this part of the world is focused mainly on crabbing and oysters and we learned a little about that on our geocaching adventure. There are also a lot of hiking trails in the Apalachicola State Forest, so if you are looking for a quiet, non-touristy kind of beach environment to visit, I recommend the Carabelle/Apalachicola area of Florida.
After a few days there, we made our way to Summerdale, Alabama where we will be parked until December 10. This campground is near Gulf Shores and we are looking forward to doing a lot of great and fun things during this visit. When we stopped at the Visitor Center just across the Florida/Alabama border, the gentlemen there recommended that we visit Lambert's Cafe (http://www.throwedrolls.com/) and indulge in the "throwed rolls" experience. What a hoot. The restaurant is quite charming with tons of old signs on the walls and the occasional black cat watching over your dining adventure. Aside from the absolute TON of southern style food that they serve you, there is a gentlemen who wanders around offering hot rolls right out of the oven. If you want one, you simply raise your hand and he throws it to you - - sometimes from clear across the room. It's quite the hoot to watch and the food is excellent. In addition to the Jethro Bodine-sized dinner, there are people wandering around with side dishes that will find their way on to your plate - - fried potatoes with onion, black-eyed peas, cabbage, deep fried okra, etc. Clearly, you need to fast for about 3 days before you go to this restaurant to be able to truly enjoy all that it has to offer. We chowed like we'd just left a two-year stint in a prison camp and still had full take-home containers that we ate the next day. Lordy, my mouth is watering just thinking about the place. So if you are in the Gulf Shores area of Alabama, or in Missouri where there two other restaurants are located, I highly recommend a stop. You won't regret it.
This week we plan to visit the USS Alabama, the Bellingrath Mansion where they have quite the Christmas display, and other great Mobile and Gulf Shores adventures. We are hoping that while we are here we are able to get another great picture of us to use as a Christmas card again this year, but how many times are you lucky enough to run across a drunken Santa who will let you sit on his lap?
So that's it for our update this week. Steve and I are still thinking and talking about our trip to Haiti. We have sent the funds for the roof repair of our dear Wilguens' home and we hope it gets there before Christmas. I wish every one of you could experience a trip to a place like Haiti or any other third world country that experiences extreme poverty. You will never again complain about what you don't have or what you think you desperately need in life. God has been so good to this country. Don't you think we seem to be losing track of that lately, or is it me?
Gotta go. Take care y'all!