Sunday, November 29, 2009

Christmas Reflections - DeFuniak Springs

We're at the Sunset King Resort in DeFuniak Springs for the week, hope everybody had a good Turkey Day, we didn't, we had a Happy Ham Day instead, we decided to let Honey Baked ham do all the work this year. We may not have a ton of left overs but the good news is that this little town is the home of the PUB Burger so that will beat four days of turkey sandwiches.

The best part of Thanksgiving is that it's one of the few times that the Lions make it to national TV, so we get to watch them win or lose, it's a long standing tradition with Detroiter's. When I was a little kid my dad had season tickets (back when they were hard to get) and we would go to the game while mom put together the turkey feast. It was Briggs Stadium back then and it always was cold and snowing, we would be wrapped up in surplus army blankets with three thermos's one with hot chocolate for me, one with coffee for dad and the third one was a wide mouth filled with steaming hot dogs. I couldn't tell you if the Lions won any of those game or not but I can tell you it was always a great day. Oops, seems like my mind took a little side trip here.

Last night (Saturday) we decided to brave the 52 degree weather and head over to the Christmas Reflections, this is the reason that you have to come through this area during the holiday season. There is a nice park around Lake Defuniak, which is said to be one of two perfectly round spring fed lakes in the world, there is a walking path around the shore line of the lake which is in a type of crater about thirty feet deep and then there is a sidewalk at street level. The shoreline walk is just under a mile and the street level is just over a mile so we walker counterclockwise on the shoreline and then came back on the street level, this allowed us to be sure and see everything. They make the street one way every night and charge $3.00 per person to drive around the lake, we always park and hoof it.

They claim to have something like 6 million light in the display, I can't verify that since I lost count at 2,345,652 we hit a flashing display and I just got confused and couldn't remember if I counter the red light twice or not so I gave up. Maybe next time.

My tripod broke a few months ago and I forgot to replace it so I didn't get a lot of the timed exposures that I wanted but the following pictures will give you an idea of what it's like.

Christmas Reflections runs from Thanksgiving through December 31st and if you ever find yourself in the area during this time it's well worth your time to see it.

Entrance to Christmas Reflections

My Favorite area, I've named it "The Ghost Cemetery"

Dancer,Dasher,Comet,Vixen, Harry,Joe Fred and someone else.

The Flying dolphins

Military Tribute

A typical Christmas living room

One of the few non-light displays

Christmas FLORIDA style

The best part of this display is while walking around you look across the lake which is so smooth it's like a mirror and see all the reflection of the lights in the water. It's to hard to capture in a picture because of the distance so I guess you'll just have to go see it for yourself.

If you love Christmas lights then you're going to love DeFuniak Springs.

Note: it took about two hours to do this blog today instead of the 20 minutes that it should have, GOOGLE was just putting the pictures and text where ever it felt like it today, so much for what you see is what you get.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Gulf Shores Area

Our two weeks in the Gulf Shores area is over and we really didn't do to much this year, our first two days were filled with rain and wind from Ida. Our first day out was to the Croc's store at the Foley Outlet Mall, last year we cleaned up here, this year they didn't have any sales that you couldn't get at any regular Croc's store so we left empty handed or I guess you could say bare footed.

We're camped at Azalia Acres which is right off of I-10 at exit 53, this puts us half way between Mobile and Pensacola, this park is only about three years old, it has a nice club house, laundry and bathrooms plus huge open sites.

We got one trip to Burris Farm Market in Loxley, this year the produce didn't look very good and was over priced, but the little deli in the back of the store still has the best desserts around, Cathy went with the strawberry cobbler and I had the bread pudding with a scoop of vanilla, better then lunch.

I did read about a great restaurant on the web and a lot of people were really talking it up, saying they had a great burger, Big Daddy's. It took a while to find it but it was worth the effort, just south of Summerdale take Hwy32 west a little over six miles, than as soon as you cross over the Fish River get ready to make a left turn onto Ferry Rd, about a half mile and it's on your left. It's right on the river with indoor and outdoor dining, I tried the Big Daddy Burger and Cathy went with the Blacken Shrimp Po-Boy, the burger was good but I wouldn't get it again, Cathy said that the blacked shrimp was fantastic and that this moved Big Daddy's into second place for her list of favorite seafood places. The couple at the table next to us ordered the Fried Clam Po-Boy and the Fried oyster Po-Boy, when they brought there plates out they were piled so high you could not see the buns. The lady ate half of the clams with her fingers before she was able to pick up the sandwich without having everything fall out, you also get your choice of fries onion rings or 50/50 which was nice. Next year I'll stick with seafood at a seafood restaurant.

Now onward to my favorite place for Christmas light displays, Defuniak Springs, Florida.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

IDA 1 - US 0

OK you're hearing from us again so we made it through Ida, but just barely and I mean just barely. A monstrous gust of wind came along and blew our dish over breaking the weld on the arm so that it could not be fixed until daylight. And all this happened right before Monday Night Football so we missed the game. It was terrible I tell you, just terrible.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Racing the Weather............and Losing

Southern Louisiana ,We finally found some warm dry weather in southern Louisiana, we did a long drive for us when we left Little Rock and made it down to Vicksburg,MS. We didn't even bother to unhook the car, just laid back and watched some football, when we checked in at the Ameristar Casino RV Park they gave us two vouchers for a buffet breakfast at the casino right across the street. So the next morning we were up early to get across the street and stuff ourselves, we had to take the shuttle back to the RV Park, it was that or climb about 500 steps back up the hill.

We drove across Mississippi into Louisiana to the city of Roberts, which is half way between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. When we got into camp they were just finishing a Halloween Weekend, and the park was packed, every site was full (over 350 sites) so we had to park off on the side and watch some more football until the people started checking out. Finally around 4 o'clock we got into our site and got set up, the next morning when we went out we were the only ones in our area and there were only about 10 units in the entire park.

This close to Baton Rouge there is only one thing on our minds, Mike Anderson's Seafood Restaurant, this is our favorite restaurant of all time and anytime we are near here this is where we have lunch, and it was only an hour drive each way, but worth it, so much so that we made the trip again Thursday.

Now it's onto Biloxi, my big challenge there will be getting Cathy out of the casinos.

We're in Biloxi for four days, it's Saturday so we're going to relax and watch some college football, a beautiful sunny day with the temperature's pushing 80, we're suppose to get some rain Monday and Tuesday so we're planning on hitting the outlet malls and the casino's on those days, because tomorrow is Football Sunday.

Remember how we cut things short up north to get away from all the rain and bad weather, well things don't always work out the way you want, while checking the weather tonight to see when the rain is going to start tomorrow and we found out about IDA, Hurricane IDA that is.
Since we are camped about 2 miles from the coast we both had nightmares about Hugo last night, so it's up early and on the road running like the yellow cowards that we are. Where we're going we'll still get part of the storm but we'll be about 32 miles back from the shoreline.

We're the little yellow dot on the shoreline right above the eye of the hurricane.

Got into camp early and got everything set up before the rain started, we should be OK in this park, I parked the car right next to the tripod with the satellite dish to try and block any big winds that might come up, can't have the wind blowing it over tonight, it's Monday Night Football.

If you never hear from us again then I guess we didn't run far enough.