Larry & Cheryl's 2010 Travels travel blog

Today's trip from Alabama to coastal panhandle of Florida

Florida Gulf Coast cities have these signs on every lawn and business

Pensacola is America's first settlement

Driving thru Pensacola, there were large lovely churches

Another interesting church building

New and old in downtown Pensacola

Here we split off Interstate-10 and head for the coastal route

Old Pensacola cemetary

One of many marshes we would see during the drive

There were many parks along the Pensacola Bay

This coal barge was going under our bridge

Florida is famous for it's pastel houses on stilts

High rise condo on the outer islands

One of the lovely tourist beach towns along the Gulf

And one of many, many bridges connecting the islands to the mainland

All of their boats are raised off the water

White sands and green grasses along the intercoastal

We drove through many areas of arched trees over the road

Palm trees are everywhere now

Another of the many parks along the water

Highe dunes along Highway 98

The soft powdery sand needs the grasses to hold it from blowing...

The sand is so very white and soft

More dunes and grasses

Gulf side of the highway

Ruins of a forest, hurricane devastation

We crossed a lot of bridges

Halfway across this bridge the boaters are only in about 2' of...

Busy Gulf cities

Pine forest inbetween cities

Another lovely bridge over aqua water with palm trees

More hotels or condos on the intercoastal islands

Pine forests and Palmettos

The city of Panama City Beach is a big tourist town

More condos on the water

What happened here? Miscalculation?

Larry liked this little paddleboat advertising a restaurant

Here we are in Panama City

Lots of Spanish Moss here on the trees

Traveling along on Beach Street showing St. Andrews Bay

View of St. Andrew's Bay

Panama City Elks with our rigs and their beach

Couple of Pelicans in St Andrews Bay

Getting ready to set out to lay booms

Local newspaper headline

Local marina inhabitants

Pelican soaring above the marina

Larry trying out the warm water of the bay

Cheryl had to try it too - VERY warm water

We headed for the coastal route, Highway 98, so we could see the Gulf communities with the white sandy beaches. We saw some intercoastal waterways, some beaches, some pine forests and palmettos. We saw some lovely southern homes and tall condos on the Gulf islands.

We settled in at the Panama City Elks Lodge which is next door to the marina and the City Hall. The Elks Lodge has its own beach which we just had to try out. There was no signs of oil yet but they were worried. The water looked a little brown near the shore but we were told that it was because there had been some heavy rains lately and it was muddy water coming down the rivers and creeks into the bay. Also, like we had seen in Alaska, when fresh water comes into salt water it takes a while to mix and it looks murky.

The water was so warm that it was NOT refreshing, since we were so hot and very humid. We walked around the marina and saw a group of law enforcement and fishing boats gathering on the docks in preparation of setting out with some Coast Guard booms. They were going over the safety proceedures.

The Lodge Lounge was not normally open but someone was preparing for an event so they welcomed us, and our neighbors, in for a drink. We were very grateful for the wonderfully cool air conditioning.

Our neighbors are (naturally) Elks, but they are also Escapees that have Texas drivers licenses and have their mail forwarded from Livingston. We enjoyed their company and discovered we are heading in the same direciton.

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