Mullet Country

Trip Start Mar 28, 2013
Trip End Jul 31, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Alabama
Tuesday, April 30, 2013

We crossed the border into Alabama and into a new phase of our trip.  First of all, none of us have ever been in Alabama or any of the other States we're going to except California and Nevada.  Secondly, we are now officially flying by the seat of our pants with nothing booked for the next 3 months!  We have a vague route of where we would like to go and certain things we want to see and do.  This is huge for Aimee, not having a schedule or anything booked.  In some ways it is very exciting and refreshing not having to be somewhere on a certain date or time.  We are open to stay longer in a place if we feel like it or move on early if it suits us.  It definitely makes this trip feel like more of an adventure.

On our way to Gulf Shores we drove through Pensacola, Florida and had heard good things about the National Naval Aviation Museum there.  We decided to stop and we were really glad we did.  They had all different kinds of planes and helicopters hanging from the ceiling as well as a lot you could look at up close and sit in.  Usually the Blue Angels (America's equivalent of the Snow Birds) do numerous shows there every week but because of government cutbacks they no longer do this.  You could still sit in some of their older planes and there was a great IMAX movie we watched that made you feel like you were right in the plane with them.   They had exhibits about the USS Enterprise, naval aviation in both world wars, women in aviation, the coast guard, and what the home front was like in the USA during the war.   They also had an exhibit about POW's from the Vietnam War that was scary and sad. There was some video interviews of the POW's including Senator John McCain that were very moving.  We toured Nixon's Presidential helicopter and the kids enjoyed playing in a climber shaped like an aircraft carrier.  Another great find!

We also came across a great park called Perdido Kids Playgroud while on route.   We stopped and played awhile and were impressed by all the great activities at the playground.  The boys loved the climbing wall and Clare loved the ride on animals.  Always good to take a driving break and get some fresh air.

We were a little disappointed to find out we just missed the "mullet throwing contest" in Gulf Shores.  Aimee embarrassingly has to admit that after seeing all the cut off jeans, kids without shoes at the park, and the "mullet" hairstyles her first thought was that it was a wig throwing competition.  She has come to learn that a mullet is a fish, sorry Alabamians!

We have been very pleased with the State Parks we have stayed at and Gulf State Park didn't disappoint!  They had an Olympic size pool and a great splash pad Clare especially liked.  The Nature Center had tons of live snakes, turtles, and even baby alligators swimming in a little pond exhibit.  The Rangers are always great at sharing information and answering questions, especially for the kids.
After walking on the beach one morning we went to The Track, an amusement park.   We all went on the go-carts, Caleb having his first opportunity to drive on his own.  He did pretty well only having one little crash.  We also went on the bumper boats and the boys thoroughly enjoyed soaking their Mother!   Clare went on a few little rides and Cohen was able to drive a go-cart on a small track by himself.

Word around the campground was you didn't want to miss eating at Lambert's who are famous for their "tossed rolls".  When I say tossed I mean they literally have a waiter walking all around the restaurant yelling, "hot rolls, who wants hot rolls?".  When you put your hand up he throws it across the restaurant to you.  You can imagine how much the boys loved this (you know I'm mostly talking about Bru) and everyone was full from rolls before we even ordered.  It was a pretty neat restaurant specializing in Southern cooking.  You could order deep fried frog legs, chicken gizzards, and a variety of other things you wouldn't see on a menu at home.  Bruce had hog jowls which he enjoyed and we ordered some great strawberry shortcake to take home for dessert.  It was kind of neat how they did things with waiters walking around offering about 5 different sides (deep fried okra, black eyed peas, fried onions and potatoes etc.) that just came with every meal.  You could eat them while you waited for your order or eat them with your meal if you wanted.  They had huge portions and our doggy bag was pretty big!   

The State Park had a good golf course so Caleb and Bruce played a round while Aimee, Cohen, and Clare played tennis, basketball, went to the Nature Center, and went swimming.  It was boiling hot and it was the first time we actually ate dinner inside the trailer with the air conditioning on.

Gulf Shore has the 2nd longest fishing pier on the Gulf of Mexico so that was a stop that couldn't be missed.  We packed up the rods and paid our fee, seriously, had to pay $2.00 to just even walk on the pier, it cost more to fish.  It was interesting to see how obsessed some of the fisherman were, some with 6 rods on the go (that was the limit per person) and how much some people just seemed to absolutely love fishing.  They had their carts they would pull or push along with all of their gear and everyone was so friendly with each other.  We didn't catch anything, but one of our neighbouring fishermen let Cohen reel in a fish on his line.  It wasn't "a keeper" so he suggested Cohen feed it to one of the many waiting pelicans.  Cohen thought this was great but at bedtime asked if he maybe should have "saved him" and thrown the fish back into the water.  Is there such a thing as fishermen's guilt?  We reminded Cohen about the "circle of life" and how starving that pelican looked and he seemed ok with that.  

We had a little celebration on our last day here as we reached 100 kilometers on our bike odometer.  It's crazy to think over a period of a month we have biked that far but we are on our bikes almost every single day.  Thank goodness, with all those cheese balls!

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Megan on

You're into serious adventure now!

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