The Gulf Coast - a great place!

Trip Start Jan 04, 2009
Trip End Jan 09, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Alabama
Sunday, January 4, 2009

After a long drive through the interior of our fine country on Highway 51 and then a shortcut across Mississippi, I arrived in Mobile, Alabama.  A place I had never even come close to prior to this trip. I knew about it from Jimmy Buffett songs but that's about it.  My friend Jimbo and his wife have a house on the east side of Mobile Bay and that is where this trip gets its start. Our first mini-trip was to Florida (of all places).  After a quick unload and reload at Jimbo's house, along we went eastward an hour or so past the Florabama, to a fabulous little gem of an urban park, the Big Lagoon State Recreation Area. This is a state park (I think) in Perdido Key, which is a bit west of the Pensacola Naval Air Station. On the north side of the lagoon were the infamous Florida condo towers.  The south side of the lagoon where we went was beautiful and EMPTY, all white sand beaches and dunes.  If you were to trek south across those dunes you would be on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.  We could hear the wind screaming along, but on the lee side of the dune it was calm and still and BEAUTIFUL. I love seeing places like this. An amazing little piece of Mother Nature, two minutes from urban hustle, proving once again that you do not need to drive all day to get away from it all.  Sometimes you just need to look in your backyard!  After a fine afternoon floating around we packed it in and went home. Dinner was marked by my first ever consumption of oysters, hand shucked out in the backyard, fresh as could be.  They were great!
The next day was a bit more low-key. The first thing that happened was breakfast.  Eggs in a hole.  A breakfast that I had never even heard of much less eaten.  They were great. The perfect cast iron pan may have had something to do with it too.   We spent the morning doing nothing and enjoying it. The house was on Mobile Bay so we paddled a bit, kicked the sand, and played with Jimbo's dog. A fine Sunday morning. Mobile Bay is a pretty piece of water, which I very much enjoyed seeing for the first time. After lunch we had some dessert fresh off the tree, loaded up and began the next leg of the trip.
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Where I stayed
with a friend and his wife
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starlagurl on

I absolutely...
agree. There are so many gems in your own neighbourhood if you just take the time to look. It saves money AND the environment. Good for you, keep up the great writing.

Louise Brown
TravelPod Community Manager

quietwaterfilms on

ahhhh ......blush....
you probably write to all of your aspiring travel podders. :) thank you though for the nice words!

Humor aside, I do feel strongly that many perfectly pleasurable places are never considered because they are too close to home. In part, I think this is because the 'road trip' has value in our culture. Places also tend to be perceived as more valuable if you have to work to get there. Nonetheless, I very much enjoy the pleasant paddling places five minutes from my door as much as I do five hours from my door. Although skiing and biking are near and dear, if it is in water and I have a paddle in my hand, that is where I am most happy.

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