28,297 miles 9:30AM 70°F
National Naval Aviation Museum. This free museum blew us away. We ended up spending five hours wandering the excellent indoor exhibits. Many of them are presented in context with artifacts and short videos explaining the history of each plane.
We started with a docent tour led by a retired helicopter test pilot. We highly recommend taking this type of tour in any museum as the personal stories bring history to life. Following that tour, we took a bus tour to the restoration hanger and outdoor storage areas.
If you can be here on a Tuesday or Wednesday, the Blue Angels practice field is right next door. Viewing is up close and free. Check the museum web site for more information.
Two more are on display indoors. One is a cut-away of the fuselage, set-up with a crew as if they were on a mission.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time at this museum. Our only regret is not staying another day to see the Blue Angels practice.
28,373 miles 5:14PM 81°F
Here's the view behind our bed at site #35 at the RV Resort in Topsail Hill Preserve State Park. We border a small pond with the swimming pool beyond. At $46.62 for the night, it is the most expensive State campsite we've found.
Sunday, October 30, 2016
The trawler fleet was underway about 0530 here on Dauphin Island. I swear we could feel the vibration from across the road.
After breakfast we enjoyed hot showers, but I received two more mosquito bites. The bath house does not have screens! It appears there is a foundation and blocks next door for a new facility. It is time for a little modernization.
Today is Sprinter Van Intuition's first time on the water! We arrived 45 minutes early to find no one in line and the ticket both closed. Taking the time to drive a little more around Dauphin Island, we were back 30 minutes later and the scene had not changed.
The aptly named Fort Morgan, arriving on time from Fort Morgan, docking at Dauphin Island.
The $40 fee was collected mid-bay. The Crew on the Mobile Bay Ferry were friendly and efficient.
Jon J, "Crewman No. 2" unlocked the door to the engine room below us. He was back in twenty minutes and we had two working engines again.
Disembarking from the ferry, we drove around the grounds of Fort Morgan and checked out a Kayak launch site.
Arriving in Florida, we stopped at the Perdido Beach Visitor's Center where friendly volunteers urged us to stay in the area and enjoy the local cuisine.
Arrived at Big Lagoon State Park. Our site has privacy, is close to the bath house (which has screens in the windows), and backs to a small pond. Sites with electric and water are $22.30 per night.
Joe Patti's Seafood, we did a U-turn to see what was so popular. Turns out that the restaurant is closed on Sundays, but the seafood market is open every day. The counter had a HUGE selection of fresh fish and shellfish.
We didn't leave hungry, as there is a both selling made-to-order beignets. These deep fried pastries dusted with powdered sugar were a treat.
Driving into downtown Pensacola, we did find a few restaurants open in the historic district. With the warm weather we opted for a sidewalk table at Hub Stacey's. Tasty, large sandwiches were big enough to save half for later.
Finding the other parts of the district, including the railroad museum, closed up for the day, we headed back to Big Lagoon.
Saturday, October 29, 2016
Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art
Biloxi Schooner Pier where two schooner replicas take the public out to experience a different era.
Reached our spot for tonight at Dauphin Island Campground. Our neighbors are in the smallest class C camper we've seen yet, traveling from Germany with two boys.
There are lots of mosquitos here so we are going to walk out to the water where the breeze from the bay might keep them away.
Fort Gaines was hosting a Society for Creative Anachronism event so looked crowded and had a high entrance fee for the short time remaining today.
Dauphin Island Sea Lab was a bit of a disappointment and could use some clean-up and more funding. I don't know how much damage has been suffered from hurricanes. We're spoiled from visits to the NC Estuarium in our home state.
After the estuarium, we walked out to the fort and checked out the extensive boat launches available adjacent to the campground.
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