Still Moving at a Leisurely Pace

I believe these are Laughing Gulls.

I believe these are Laughing Gulls.

Some of our blog followers have questioned why we didn’t continue north via I-75 to Tennessee or Kentucky before cutting across and heading west into Indiana. Well, Don made a conscious decision not to follow the hordes making a mass exodus out of Florida via I-75 or I-95 this Spring. He felt there would be less traffic if we cut across northern Florida on I-10 to I-65 in Alabama, then take I-65 right on in to Indiana. We have been at a stand still too many times on I-75 in both Florida and Georgia, and it didn’t seem to matter whether we were heading north or south. It just add to a long day of travel. This also gave Don the opportunity to have stopovers in two of his favorite towns, Gulf Shores, and Nashville.

On the morning of our second day at Rainbow Plantation, Sunshine Satellites showed up and within minutes the tech had diagnosed our TV pixilation issue. It seems the Swim Module had water in it. The way it had been installed contributed to the problem. The tech installed a new module in such a way that water shouldn’t be an issue for it in the future. I’m happy to say that our TV is working as it should (and no longer driving Don bonkers trying to figure it out.)

After the tech left, Don was on the phone with a mechanic at Dually Depot for input on installing a new pump to the truck’s external tank. With that information in hand, we headed back to the auto parts store where Don picked up the pump he’d ordered the day before, a new selector valve and a new hose. Back at our campsite he quickly installed the new parts and tested the pump. Yippee! It was up and running again! Don was so proud of himself, you see, even he knows he’s not mechanically inclined. Two problems solved today and it didn’t break the bank. Now that’s a good day indeed.

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Seriously?! I wasn't in there shopping that long.

Seriously?! I wasn’t in there shopping that long.

Since we still had most of the day ahead of us, we decided to visit Gulf State Park, but first, lunch at LuLu’s on the Intercoastal Waterway.Don stayed true to form by ordering the fish tacos. He commented that they were “Almost as good as the Island Cow’s.”  My southern roots came out, I ordered the fried green tomato BLT and a sweet tea. Lulu Buffet’s place is Don’s favorite restaurant to dine when we’re in the Gulf Shores vicinity. The atmosphere is very cool and beachy but I don’t find the food to be outstanding. I feel the prices are a bit high too for what you get.

We have reservations for a two week stay at Gulf State Park next September. Although the campground doesn’t reserve specific sites, we did know we were assigned a full hookup water site on the Live Oak loop. We wanted to see what to expect when we arrived. We circled the Live Oak loop twice and of the 18 possible sites, we found only 3 that we didn’t care for so the odds are with us for next Fall.

Gulf State Park Beach

Gulf State Park Beach

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While we’re here we might as well visit the beach right? Considering its Spring Break for the kids in Florida and Alabama, the beach wasn’t too packed. We parked the truck, grabbed the camera and spent the next hour walking up the shoreline and back. We didn’t linger too long with Tucker waiting back at the Suite Pea.

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On Wednesday we met our friends John and Pam for lunch at Frank & Lola’s Cafe inside the Margaritaville Hotel on Pensacola Beach. We each ordered something different from the menu but we all agreed our meals were good and we would order the same thing again.

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John, Pam, me & Don on Pensacola Beach

John, Pam, me & Don on Pensacola Beach

Don and I had never been to Pensacola Beach before but John and Pam had once lived near here. They still have a son in the area and always stop for a long visit when leaving Florida each Spring. They were anxious to show us around. Don and I were smitten. The town was typical of a beach town but we never saw any rundown businesses. Everything was immaculate and well laid out. And the beach! Oh my! It reminded us of the Caribbean, it’s color was such a vivid emerald hue! The soft white sand sparkled brilliantly in the full sun. Just gorgeous! It was plain to see why Pam and John love this spot so much.

I love the water tower at Pensacola Beach. It's disguised as a beach ball.

I love the water tower at Pensacola Beach. It’s disguised as a beach ball.

Pensacola Beach

Pensacola Beach

Don picking up women at Pensacola Beach

Don picking up women at Pensacola Beach

Before heading back to the camper we wanted to stop at Joe Patti’s Seafood Market in Pensacola. We discovered this gem the last time we were in Gulf Shores. Pam and John decided to tag along with us and pick up some fresh fillets too.

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These two children were mesmerized by the lobster tank.

These two children were mesmerized by the lobster tank.

If you go, be sure to take your cooler with you. After you make all of your seafood selections, take them and your cooler to the checkout. The clerk will pack everything in ice for you. We highly recommend you stop at the fresh beignet food truck too. It’s located  just outside the entry to Patti’s. It’s a delectable taste of New Orleans right in ‘Ol Florida. We had a fun day with our friends, as always.

Get your fresh beignets here! Plain, cream, lemon or raspberry filled.

Get your fresh beignets here! Plain, cream, lemon or raspberry filled.

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The next day we were back on the road early. Our usual stopping point between Nashville and Gulf Shores had recently closed. What a disappoint. The Dandy KOA just off the interstate in Clanton, Alabama had been a clean, safe, and convenient little park. It was an oasis when compared to other campgrounds along that stretch of highway. Now we had to scramble. Where else could we spend a night or two or three, that could accommodate our size rig and was appealing enough that we would WANT TO stay there?

Our campsite at Oak Mountain State Park.

Our campsite at Oak Mountain State Park.

Eventually we did come upon a state park a short ways further north of Clanton in a town called Pelham. We opted to spend a couple nights to get a feel for the place. It’s pretty typical as state parks go but it does have some 30 and 50 amp full hookup sites and the sites are all paved. And it’s quiet. It doesn’t have that WOW factor but it’ll fit our travel needs. Tomorrow we pack it in again.

See you in Music City!

Here’s look in’ at you kid……….

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