Thursday, May 9, 2013

Exploring the Gulf Coast

After the rally in Houma, LA, Don and I have enjoyed some relaxing down time. Warning: this blog is lengthy because it’s been awhile since I posted.

We first went to the FamCamp at the Naval Construction Battalion Center (home of the Atlantic Fleet Seabees) in Gulfport, MS. It was the perfect place to kick back after being so busy during the rally. We even got to take Shadow to a dog park one day. He loved the walk, even though he doesn’t move as fast as he did when he was younger.


However, we never made it into the dog park. We could see it, but we couldn’t get past the water between us and it, and we never figured out how to reach it by driving around to the other side.


Oh, well, we enjoyed the time along the path anyway. And Shadow was tired enough to go home.


I’ve been taking a break from making lapghans for Soldiers’ Angels and working instead on a few other projects during the past few months. Here’s the sweater I made for myself.


I knitted three baby afghans (two in white, one in turquoise) and matching booties for Don’s two new great-nieces, one born in December, another in April, and the third (boy or girl?) due in a few weeks. The afghans are square, with a hood in one corner, and are meant to wrap up the little bundles!



The first baby girl (Carolina) also got some leg warmers, designed to lap over her shoes. Her Mom (Lisa) also knits and suggested I make these when we were sitting out a bit of bad weather. They were fun to do, and I’ll bet little Carolina looked cute at the next Mom & Baby Yoga session!


I found a lacy pattern for chemo caps and made six out of various soft yarns in pretty colors. These will be donated to the local hospital along with baby caps when the Escapees collect them at the next Escapade in Gillette, WY in June. Here are the first three. They’re so easy to make, I’ll probably make several more before the rally.


We marveled at the pretty white sand along the beaches and roads along the Gulf coast.


Cleanup and reconstruction is still continuing after Hurricane Katrina struck this area 8 years ago. New palm trees are being planted in several areas.


This rental agency provides water trikes for fun in the ocean.


Several huge casinos have been built along the coast.


One day we visited Beauvoir, the Jefferson Davis Home & Presidential Library.


Although the library isn’t fully open until it is dedicated in June, we were able to visit the gift shop and watch three brief films about Jefferson Davis and his service to the Confederacy.


We found our way past construction projects in the gardens and surrounding land to the home where Jefferson Davis and his wife lived out their last years.


The expansive wrap-around porch was a lovely place to wait for the tour to begin.


And to enjoy the beautiful views which gave Beauvoir House its name.


It was a very interesting tour, and I encourage you to follow the link above to learn more about this site.

Our plans were to continue east and visit the Rainbow Plantation Escapees RV Park in Summerdale, AL. However, Don’s son Craig had a little spare time between jobs and while his wife Liz is in Colorado taking care of her elderly mother, and we agreed to meet him in Pensacola. He drove from the Tampa area to visit some friends near Lake City, FL then drove to Pensacola to visit us. We stayed at the FamCamp on the Naval Air Station Pensacola.

We had thought we’d do some kayaking, but the weather wasn’t conducive. Instead, we simply enjoyed sharing the time together. One evening we had dinner on the deck at Atlas Oyster House on Pensacola Bay.


Our view included some beautiful yachts, one of them similar to the one Don’s brother owns in Hawaii.


The sister restaurant next door, The Fish House, had live entertainment on the far end of the deck that we were close enough to enjoy as well. In fact, if we had been much closer it would have been hard to have a conversation.


The next day we enjoyed visiting the aviation museum on base. Craig wanted to take a ride in the Blue Angels motion-based simulator, so we accompanied him. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to conquer my claustrophobia tendencies, but I did and really enjoyed the ride!


We had lunch in the Cubi Bar CafĂ©, which is an exhibit as well as a restaurant, displaying thousands of plaques from the NAS Cubi Point Officers’ Club in the Philippines which was closed in 1992.



Craig got a phone call about a possible job contract, so he had to cut his visit short and drive back to Tampa – an all-nighter that he’s still young enough to handle. But he took the time to make Hawaiian Poke from the fresh ‘ahi (yellowfin tuna) that we’d bought earlier at Joe Patti’s Seafood, and we enjoyed it with some other appetizers for a light dinner. It was perfect, after our big lunch that day.



We enjoyed Craig’s brief visit, and thanks to him we now know how to inflate the mattress on our sofa bed!