Well, we are back on the water again after nearly a month break. We went to Independence to help Gary's mother after her knee surgery. However, she was sent to Rehab for more than 2 weeks so I went home as I was not needed. Before leaving we had a snow storm which was nice to see after not seeing snow for over two years now.
My going home was a complete surprise for my parents and worth every penny to see them. I had a real nice time seeing friends who have kept in touch with me since leaving my homeland. Thank-you, dear friends.
As some of you may know, England has been having one of its worst winters on record not for snow but rain. They have had floods in the south west of England that are going to take weeks to subside because the land is so sodden. All of the Thames Valley is flooded and rivers in Cornwall and Somerset. The day after I arrived in the UK to be picked up by my dear nephew, George, a hurricane hit the south west coast making the floods even worse. I feel so sorry for the people as it must be a terrible mess to clean up - the stench and the destruction. (It is strange, bad weather seems to be following me - ice storm in Alabama, snow in Independence, now the hurricane.) Hmmm, where shall I visit next?
I worked on my father's garden cleaning it up to make it look nice before I left His daffodils were almost but not quite in bloom when I made my departure. I called Mum and Dad 4 days after arriving back in the US to be told someone had come into their garden and cut down the daffodils and their leaves. Dad said they were cut not pulled so some mean, rotten person got a nice, free bouquet!!! My parents were so angry and I do not blame them.
We have an extra "hand" on board - the "hand"some Jerrold (Gary's cousin's husband) who has been so "handy" to have around. He is staying with us for a week and is doing all the driving and grunt work that I normally do. He is with us from Mobile to Panama City and seems to be thoroughly enjoying himself despite being put to work.
We passed a lighthouse in Pensacola Bay that was built in the 1859. It is now part of the Naval Air Base. We also sailed by Forth Pickens, named after Major General Andrew Pickens of the South Carolina Militia who fought with distinction in several Revolutionary War Battles (Cowpens and Siege of '96). The fort is the largest of 4 forts built to defend Pensacola Bay and its navy yard and was never occupied by Confederate Forces during the Civil War. Building began in 1829 and was completed in 1834. Pickens also led several campaigns against the Cherokees, who called him "Wizard Owl" (info courtesy of National Parks Website).
Gary and Jerrold visited the Naval Air Museum for a day whilst I was left to clean the boat, scrub the floors and counter tops, do the laundry etc. It is a hard life being a woman!!!!
Ford Tri Motor (one engine on each wing and one in the nose)
Our next stop for lunch was "Lulu's". A restaurant owned by the sister of Jimmy Buffet. He did not put in an appearance despite having such distinguished guests as Gary, Jerrold and myself. Maybe he was in Margaritaville looking for his "shaker of salt"!!!!
The restaurant is immensely popular in the summer so has built a play area for children to keep them occupied whilst a table becomes available. In one area was a mini "Ropes Course" (a fancy climbing gym). I took a photo of a young boy manipulating his way over the upper level of the course.
We have spent several nights in coves, which I always enjoy. As we pulled into one the sun was just beginning to set over the shrimp boats.
Kingston Rover Loop Map