The USS Alabama is a BIG boat! It’s a bazillion levels tall (I looked it up) with lots of stairs. No, really – LOTS. OF. STAIRS. And narrow hallways and little cramped rooms.
There are three levels below deck, and at least eight levels above deck. I started with the bottom levels and then went to the upper levels, looking in each of the many little rooms. Normally, I can withstand small spaces and large crowds for short periods of time without any effects whatsoever, but I stopped after the fifth upper level because I was starting to get too claustrophobic and agoraphobic – I can only stay so long in small spaces and crowded places before my skin starts crawling and my anxiety level goes through the roof.
And people lived in these cramped quarters for years. I would’ve jumped ship.
The USS Alabama – too big to fit in the picture frame.
Hi, I’m still here. Sorry it’s been so long. It’s taken me a long time to write a post because I’ve been stuck on what to write about this one and the next. While both adventures were great, I was at a loss for what to write.
The other reason is that my website is running soooo sloooow and GoDaddy only wants to sell me more hosting (I already have the Deluxe plan, and relatively little traffic). About 70% of the time I log in, I can’t get anything done because my site is running at a snail’s pace.
Other than that, all is well in the Florida panhandle. Life is good. I’m working, mostly from home. Between sitting all day, being near the fridge all day, and a new allergy medication, I’ve put on a few pounds. I’ve gone back to working out several days a week and eating better. But I’ll never give up chocolate.
But I digress. (Ah, I bet y’all missed that? Ha.)
There are alligators in Alabama. No surprise, right? The surprise is that I have yet to see one in the wild, on the loose, chasing small children or pets. Not a one.
It’s been some time since I used a really catchy (read: risque) title. I’m sure Google just downgraded my site and diverted my already slim traffic.
About the title…
As many of you know, Pye doesn’t travel well. You may recall the time she destroyed her brand new (cloth) carrier in a howling fit a few years ago during our return trip from the time she rode in the chassis for 150 miles. Clearly, she doesn’t do many things well like staying put, with the possible exception of eating, shedding and scratching furniture.
When I temporarily relocated in advance the two recent storms, I reluctantly admited the duct tape was no longer a practical solution to the Pye-shaped holes in the once-new-and-still-hardly-used cat carrier. With plans for an upcoming trip to Tennessee, Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana (the trip never happened, but that’s a boring story), I decided to upgrade to a metal, Pye-proof cat carrier.
I’m pretty sure I was drawn to this place for a reason – the Cheezy Americana energy is strong. Like the Force is strong in the Star Wars Universe.
Come to think of it, I was pulled to this area. Ok, maybe it was more like how a moth is pulled to a flame. But in my defense, I didn’t know any of this stuff was here before I started exploring the area.
Remember George Barber? My second cousin, (probably)? That guy who loves goofy roadside attractions, like Bamahenge? (We have to be related.)
Well, Bamahenge isn’t his only goofy roadside attraction… On his massive, wooded property leading up to Barber Marina, Mr. Barber let loose dinosaurs, knights, the World’s Largest Sundial, a Caesars Palace-style fountain, and the Lady in the Lake. (It’s mostly pictures from here on out, so don’t give up now.)
Dinosaurs and Knights in the Woods
You went to Bamahenge, right? Good. Well, keep heading down the same road and before long you’ll start to see dinosaurs in the woods.
If a cat is petrified and dead, was it scared to death?
(Ahahahaa! I crack me up!)
Seriously, folks, there’s a petrified (dead, not scared) cat in Pensacola. No, I’m not talking about Pye, my oft-scared, bi-polar feline companion for whom I occasionally consider finding a new home… she is alive and well and scratching the crap out of my furniture.
I am talking about a dead cat on display, no less, in a museum. Yup, right here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. can you find such treasures at the local museum as a petrified (dead, not scared) cat on display.
Florida is full of old forts. Forts are old stuff. You all know I feel about old stuff.
Old stuff is cool and all, but if I’ve seen one fort, I’ve seen them all. I’ve seen a few of them now. They all look the same.
I thought I might be wrong about them all looking the same, so I decided to check out Fort Advanced Redoubt on the Naval base in Pensacola. (Yes, that really is the name of the fort. No, I don’t know why. It’s probably best not to ask me questions about old stuff.)
To see the fort, you need top top secret military clearance. Maybe not top top secret. Or you could have a friend with access to the base. I won’t tell you which I used. Might be my top secret clearance or might be a friend with access.
So, I saw the fort. I was wrong… It looked pretty much the same as the others I’ve seen, but maybe with more mold. Yup, definitely more mold. It did have a moat and drawbridge, which were both kinda cool since they were my first ever moat and drawbridge.
In the event you like old stuff, particularly old forts, I took pics for you. But I didn’t read up on it, sooo…
You know how so many attractions have a “self-guided” tour? Today, you get to do a self-guided tour of Fort Advanced Redoubt! (I know, so cool, huh? You’re welcome.)
Announcer’s voice: You may now begin your self-guided tour of Fort Advanced Redoubt. Please watch your step.
Oooh look, a sign! This looks like a good place to start the tour…
A sign is usually where they start those self-guided tours, so here ya go…
And now the slideshow portion of the tour. As this is “self-guided,” just pretend you’re actually walking through the fort, ok? But, wait! There’s more…
I know. It’s been along time since I posted something.
I’m sorry. I have missed you all, and missed sharing my goofy adventures with you.
My life has been a whirlwind of activity this year. Mostly good, I’m happy to say. There’s so much to catch you all up on: I’ve traveled to several states (MN, NY, MS), started a full-time job (entirely virtual, I’m happy and blessed to day), and dodged a couple hurricanes. (Like a good panicky blond lemming, I headed for the hills when Irma and Nate came near the Florida panhandle. As I’ve said before, I prefer earthquakes to hurricanes and tornadoes.)
I took pictures of my travels and will share them with you all in (somewhat) chronological order. So you don’t fell like you missed out on anything, I’ll pickup where I left off…
Gulf Shores, Alabama – by helicopter.
O. M. G. I went on a helicopter ride over Gulf Shores, Alabama! It was awesome!! And beautiful!!
I already knew this area was beautiful, but I didn’t realize it until I saw the Gulf Coast by helicopter.
Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama, from the air. (and me playing with my camera phone options)
The town of Elberta, Alabama, not one to be left out of the Stonehenge fun, proudly displays a 1/3-scale fiberglass Stonehenge. Lovingly named “Bamahenge”, it is one of the coolest tourist attractions in Baldwin County.
Pensacola, Florida, is the home of the Blue Angels. Everything is named “Blue Angel This” and “Blue Angel That.” They frequently fly overhead when practicing. On the weekends they’re usually out of town delighting some other city with their aerobatics.
In addition to watching the Blue Angels, there are many cool things to see and do, not the least of which is the National Naval Aviation Museum. The museum is massive and takes two to three hours to complete – and it’s free! Got to love the free.
I don’t know enough about the specifics types of aircraft on display, so I’ll dazzle you with a slideshow of my excellent slowly improving photography skills. *grins*
Despite the large number of photos above, there is much more to see in the museum. Twice a week the Blue Angels do a practice and autograph session. I highly recommend it to all who venture to Pensacola. Visit the Blue Angels and the museum daily, 9am to 5pm, at 1750 Radford Blvd.