Friday, February 27, 2009

Mardi Gras Parades

WHEN? Sunday · February 22 · 2:30 PM
WHERE? Mobile, Alabama
WHAT? Joe Cain Parade

WHEN? Fat Tuesday · February 25 · 10:00 AM
WHERE? Gulf Shores, Alabama
WHAT? Gulf Shores Mardi Gras Parade

WHEN? Fat Tuesday · February 25 · 1:30 PM
WHERE? Orange Beach, Alabama
WHAT? Orange Beach Mardi Gras Parade

We've put up two Photo Sets on Flickr featuring these three parades. You can check them out at:

Monday, February 16, 2009

Checking Out a Beach

WHEN? Monday · February 16

WHERE? Perdido Key, Florida · find us on the map

WHAT? Gulf State Park Florida Point

Neighbors have been telling us about this public beach they go to ever since last year, but we had not been there. We've passed the turnoff for it many a time and really wondered about it, but just did not check it out. Since the weather was good, though cool, we decided it was time for an outing in the sunshine.

As the map shows, Alabama Point is on the west side of the Perdido Pass bridge, and Florida Point is on the east side, which is the state line location between Alabama and Florida on Highway 182. As their sign indicates, it is part of Gulf State Park in cooperation with the city of Orange Beach, Alabama. Florida Point has lots of parking, a bathhouse, a covered picnic area, and the beach runs the length of the pass and around to the Gulf. It has four boardwalks over the dunes and sea oats if you want to go directly to the Gulf.

Until a person has been here awhile, it is hard to even know how many beach locations are part of Gulf State Park, which has over 5 miles of beaches available in both Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama. All areas in Orange Beach are free of charge to everyone.

Hurricane Ivan struck this area in September 2004, causing extensive erosion damage to the this beach on the east side of the pass. When we arrived in this area in early 2008, it appeared that the environmental restoration was still underway, which included dredging approximately 560,000 cubic yards of sand from the shoaled navigation channel and placing it on Florida Point.

I am not knowledgeable of maritime terms and such, but I am learning some. The photos of piled up rocks that go out into the water are jetties. A jetty is a protective structure of stone or concrete which extends from shore into the water to prevent a beach from washing away.

Honorable Mention:
Although it's a slightly further drive from our home than other area beaches we've visited, this is the only free-of-charge public beach we've found so far that that has real restrooms.

To check out our photos on Flickr, click on Florida Point Beach Access Gulf State Park

While walking along the beach, we encountered a young couple from Bowling Green, Kentucky on the beach and asked them to take our photo together and we did the same for them. I hope we hear something from them because I have forgotten information that might allow me to find their Christian work on the web.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Fort Condé

WHEN? Wednesday · February 4

WHERE? Mobile, Alabama · find us on the map

WHAT? Fort Condé

Fort Conde

Today's visit to Fort Condé came about because we weren't hungry enough for lunch when we finished with a VA appointment. A friend in Mobile suggested visiting this downtown museum before she joined us for lunch.

Several school buses were parked outside the fort, and we were joined by students on a field trip. Since it was a cold day, we concentrated on the fort's indoor artifacts, including many historical photos, some of which were from early Mardi Gras and the reign of King Felix III, the first royalty associated with this annual festival. You'll notice in our Fort Condé photos on Flickr that the decorations for Mardi Gras were everywhere we went.

Mardi Gras tree In the fort's stockade

This fort has had many names and was much larger when it was needed for protection. As it now stands, what visitors see today is what was recreated for Mobile’s 1976 United States bicentennial celebration. To learn more about the fort's history, visit Fort Condé on Wikipedia.

Monday, February 2, 2009


WHEN? Monday · February 2

WHERE? Gulf Shores, Alabama · find us on the map

WHY? LuLu'S at Homeport Marina

Many is the time we have noticed this landmark as we were crossing the Intercoastal Waterway on Highway 59 in Gulf Shores, but we had never gone inside. So it was high time we did. There was a small crowd when we arrived there around 4:30 PM. This will not be hard to understand since the date was Superbowl Sunday.

As we came in, Greg Brown was playing a James Taylor song, and we took a seat at the bar and ordered drinks. It was a beautiful day weatherwise, so it was a good day to get some photos. We listened to several songs, and then I asked if Greg knew anymore JT songs. He did and played Carolina In My Mind.

While sitting there we glanced over the menu, and Smitty said you'd better bring your wallet when you came here. When you look over all the real estate, furnishings, etc., it is not hard to understand the prices. There's lots of overhead here.

As LuLu'S website tells you, their first location was on Weeks Bay, much closer to where we live, but being located right on the waterway means they get lots of pleasure boat traffic, and the atmosphere here is worth a lot, and live entertainment as well.

You can check our our photos on Flickr by clicking on LuLu’S.