Spring 2004

The difference between April, when we usually travel, and February, when this trip is taking place, is mostly crowds.  (It's been somewhat difficult since it is over the February 29th Leap Year which is DJ and my 5th anniversary of meeting in San Diego 20 years ago. I bought her a dozen beautiful silk roses to apologize for this  first ever slight and I hope this will make her happy.) Bruce and I were both working very hard and needed the break and we got lucky with good weather. . 

This trip was so vast that it set a new record of sorts for sheer diversity. It was made all the more poignant when the entire area we visited was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina 18 months later in 2005.

We started in New Orleans after an NSA Show and went east on I-10. The first day's stops included the Scott Aquarium in Biloxi, Mississippi. This facility has some very interesting exhibits and sea life. The big turtle was the most interesting of them. 

(Click on the little picture to see the big picture.)

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Bellengrath Gardens, Mobile Alabama

The Bellengrath family was the first Coca Cola bottler in Alabama and they must have made a lot of money since they lived on an estate the size of Ocean Beach California. He created a large and expansive garden and lake complex that is now a national treasure. We strolled around and I offer these flower photos as evidence.

(Click on the little picture to see the big picture.)

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Fred Jr.
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Bruce makes friends.
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Bruce takes a snooze. He was lulled to sleep by the scenery.
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This is the scene that put Bruce to sleep. I had a camera so I stayed awake.
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Bee careful, y'a heear?
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This is some kind of tree.
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Fred and Ethel go for a  swim.
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Dauphin Island Ferry from Mobile

This is a neat little ferry boat that takes you on a half-hour ride across Mobile Bay. Besides the gulls, there are oil drilling rigs in the bay. 

(Click on the little picture to see the big picture.)
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The Boyz relax.
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This thing looks serious, dontchathink?
The Gulf Breeze Zoo
(click here for their website)

We thought this was the Pensacola Zoo but it turns out to be in Gulf Breeze, Florida. Why, you may ask, do we include Pensacola in the Alabama Trip? (Oh, go on... ask... it's ok...) It seems that Pensacola is only a few miles from the border and a zoo is something that shouldn't be missed so off we went. The title of this section is a hyperlink to the zoo's website if you want the official scoop. 

They have some interesting animals and a nifty train ride through an open area that is an imitation of the San Diego Wild Animal Park. 

(Click on the little picture to see the big picture.)

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Bruce makes friends with the girls in the gift shop, Ann on the left, Danielle on the right. 
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This is an albino python... the snake, not the guy in the hat. We discover that snakes are not hollow. Also that I don't like them... snakes... not the guy in the hat. Him I like.
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This girl drives the train. She gets to work at 5am and works until 1pm. 
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We have to give a "thumbs up" to indicate that we're ready to roll.
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They really don't want you to get hurt on this little train, ok?
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Bruce learns the difference between dry Giraffe tongue and wet furry thing tongue.
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Weeks Bay Reserve

The Weeks Bay Reserve is an estuary preserve that preserves wetland areas where rivers and salt water come together. Their website is and it is fascinating. Normally, you would expect to see photos of birds and other wild life at a site for this kind of place but not here! Nope... here you get the Weeks Bay Reserve Numbering System and the colored ribbons on Weeks Bay trees. 

Don't ask why... it is for Sandra. (You know who you are!)

(Click on the little picture to see the big picture.)

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Stennis Space Center

There isn't a page here but there is a story. Bruce is with Bobby Tate who is the nicest person we've met on this trip. She gave us our only souvenir of the trip. Click on her name to read about her.



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