A Terrible War and White Sandy Beaches

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

DSC01388It’s been awhile since I posted. Our Suburban ended up at the shop for a couple of extra days so we stayed at the campground and focused on school and the businesses. It was actually kind of nice not being able to go anywhere.

On Friday, January 21, we left the beautiful Styx River Resort in Robertsdale, Alabama. I should say that we hated to leave. It was very quiet even though it was almost completely filled up. They had started planting the flower beds the day before we left so everything looked so nice. The Styx River is very clear and pretty. It reminded us of Michigan.

After leaving, we dropped our camper off at the mechanic for a  routine check-up. We spent most of the morning at an area diner. TheyDSC01420 were very nice to let us stay for a few hours and do schoolwork until Barry called. Fortunately, all is well with the camper! We picked up our mail and then spent a little time at Camping World where we bought some parts for our hitch. Then we were on the road and headed to our new park.

Today we drove to Florida to visit Gulf Islands National Seashore. Because it’s so nice (in the 70s), we keep forgetting that it still gets dark early. The park closes at sundown so we didn’t have very much time. Gulf Islands is another park that has more than one location. We chose to visit Fort Pickens, which played a part in the Civil War. Geronimo was imprisoned there from 1886–1887.

DSC01410 The drive to the fort was beautiful. The homes in Pensacola and Pensacola Beach are so unique and with their bold colors, are just what you would expect so close to the Gulf. We drove through miles of white sandy beaches before we actually reached the fort. We took some pictures to post on facebook so our Michigan friends with their snow and 10 degree weather could see that we are dealing with the ‘white stuff’, too! (They didn’t think it was very funny!)

The fort itself is very interesting. It’s kind of a labyrinth of tunnels, passage ways and dungeon like rooms. We wondered how the soldiers were able to run up and down the steep staircases while wearing heavy boots and carrying weapons. The cannons are some of the biggest we have seen. We climbed to the top of the fort in a few locations but couldn’t see the ocean even though we could hear it very clearly.

Eva and I hurried through the Jr. Ranger Book and arrived back to the visitor center just in time for a Ranger to swear her in as a Jr.DSC01424 Ranger. We chatted for awhile with a couple from Hillsdale, MI, who are fellow Michigan State fans before we left to walk the shore of this beautiful park.

DSC01427 When we arrived at the beach, a couple noticed Eva’s swimming suit and beach toys and asked, “Hey, little girl! Are you really going to swim?” I couldn’t figure out why they  would ask such a question. We were at a beach after all. When we stuck our toes in the water and felt how cold it was, I realized that they probably thought it too cold to swim. The girls didn’t hesitate at the cold but went right into the water. I had to laugh. The water was still warmer than it would be in Lake Michigan or Lake Huron in the middle of July!

On Monday we start War, Terrible War which is volume 6 of A History of Us by Joy Hakim. We are in the perfect area for our study of the Civil War.

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