Fun in Flori-Bama

We’re in Florida. No we’re in Alabama.

That was the debate Angie and I had last week when we camped along Perdido Bay in Lillian, AL, which is just steps from the Florida state line. I’m fairly certain we kayaked across that line at least once, giving us the right to brag to our friends that we paddled all the way from Alabama to Florida in a single day. That don’t need to know that it took about 15 minutes to accomplish this feat.

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The Gulf Shores/Pensacola KOA is located right on the bay and from our cabin, we could watch the sun turn the water a beautiful shade of pink in the evenings and catch a Great Blue Heron hanging out on the dock every morning.

My favorite part of the trip had to be just being able to walk out into the warm waters of the bay to go for a swim. We spent so much time out there that other campers thought we had to be water-logged. What can we say? We’re water people! We also employed a bit of knowledge from our Florida Master Naturalist classes and showed some “bored” children how to spot all of the amazing creatures in the bay, including blue crabs, hermit crabs, clams, and an assortment of little fish.

We also went on an outing to see the Pensacola Blue Wahoos minor league baseball team take on the interestingly named, Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. The Wahoos won and we enjoyed all-you-can-eat popcorn, served in a sand pail complete with shovel.

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No trip to the coast is complete without a day at the beach though, so we did that too. For most of the week, the yellow and purple caution flags were waving on shore but luckily on the day we went, the water was pretty calm and absent of any jellyfish.

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We had a great time but the true highlight of the trip was meeting two friends from Arkansas on their version of a Thelma and Louise trip (minus the ending, of course!). Dana and Tonya are neighbors who decided spur of the moment (like the day before) to take off for the beach. Though they never said exactly what was going on, it was obvious that something heavy was happening in their lives at home. Yet, what stood out most to us about them was their carefree attitude…and the fact that they slept, just a few feet from the shore, on a giant air mattress. No tent, just an air mattress shaded by a picnic canopy.

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I really do believe that the people you meet on your journeys are what make the experience worthwhile.

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