Last Thursday May 2 Duke and I drove from Biloxi, Mississippi through the southern tip of Alabama to Destin Florida. We stopped outside of Mobile to see the Battleship Alabama. It is moored there as a museum.
In Pensacola, Florida we visited the National Naval Aviation Museum. The planes, spacecraft, ship models and other displays were fascinating. I enjoyed our tour guide explaining to us how planes are launched and recovered from aircraft carriers. We spent about three hours there and could have spent all day.
In Destin we had a yummy boiled shrimp dinner at a local bar called Elmo's. It rained very hard the whole time we were there. They were getting over an inch of rain an hour.
On Friday we drove from Destin to Duke's Brother's house in Tampa. It rained most of the way so it was a good thing that we didn't have any site seeing planned.
Saturday we visited the Dali Museum in St Petersburg. They have a large collection (almost 100) of Salvador Dali paintings and drawing. I learned a lot about Dali. He lived from 1904-1989. I think my favorite is the large painting that up close is a naked woman gazing out a window and from a distance is Abraham Lincoln .
The museum building is stunning too.
Sunday afternoon we drove from Tampa to Orlando. Monday we drove to Daytona Beach. Along the way we stopped at Blue Spring's State Park and took a two hour boat ride on the St John's River. We had a very knowledgeable guide who also had a few good jokes. The St John's River is the longest River in Florida. It flows north. According to our guide this is not because Georgia sucks but because the river drops 30 feet over it's 310 mile length.
The boat ride was wonderful. We saw several interesting birds, alligators ranging from babies to giants, lots of turtles, and what was most amazing and interesting, a water moccasin snake crossing the river on top of the water.
We have taken lots of alligator pictures on this trip. I never get tired of seeing alligators. This next picture is the giant we saw on the river bank and the picture after that is several young alligators
The guide says it is rare to see a Purple Gallinule but we saw several of them. They have big feet that allow them to walk on top of the vegetation on the water.
This turtle is warming his feet in the sun. Since turtles are cold blooded this is apparently how they warm up their blood.
After the St John's River trip we spent the night in Daytona Beach. Our hotel was right on the Atlantic. We went for a walk along the water, sat and had a drink outside overlooking the Atlantic and had a great dinner in a restaurant called Ocean Deck that was open air and right on the beach.
The weather the last few days has been perfect, in the 70s and sunny with just a few clouds. This is a great time of year to visit Florida.