New Orleans - Mobile - Pensacola
30.06.2013 35 °C
Left New Orleans, Louisiana and headed east through Mississippi into Alabama. 52% of Mississippi is heavily forested. It is very flat and swampy country. A lot of houses are built flat on the ground, with no foundations. You would think if the houses were a little higher off the ground, then they wouldn't flood so easily.
Shortly after we entered Alabama, we visited the Bellingrath Home and Gardens which were opened to the public in 1934. Mr Bellingrath had the first Coca Cola franchise in the south and became a very wealthy man. After a visit to the doctor, he was told to stop working so hard and to learn to relax, so he bought a little fishing shack. Mrs Bellingrath developed the gardens while he was fishing. After the gardens were done, they then built a lovely house. Please enjoy the following photographs.
Spanish moss in the trees.
Some of Mrs Bellingrath's porcelain collection.
We spent a couple of hours in this lovely place and also had our lunch there.
Mr and Mrs Bellingrath and their home in Mobile. They were wonderful philanthropists.
Alabama's nickname is "The Heart of Dixie". The camilia is the state flower and they have low taxes. We are now in the deep south where church and family have very strong ties. They still celebrate Robert E Lee Day, Jefferson Davis Day and Confederation Memorial Day. Over the years, this area has been devastated by hurricanes year after year.
The civil rights movement started here with Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on a bus for a white person. When she died, she was the first and only black person, so far, to lie in state in the capital building. 911 was started here and as you drive through the towns there are signs saying "hurricane evacuation route". The state bird is the yellow hummer and the state rock is marble. Cotton and rubber are grown here and Mercedes Benz SUVs are assembled here.
Some famous people from Alabama are: Nat King Cole, Courtney Cox, Emmy Lou Harris, Helen Keller, Wilson Pickett, Lionel Ritchie, George Wallace, Booker T Washington, Martin Luther King, Jesse Owens, Joe Lewis, Willie Mays, Carl Lewis, Condelezia Rice, Percy Sledge and the Captain and Tenile.
We called into the Battleship Memorial Park for a photo opportunity. USS Alabama was there plus lots of aircraft and memorials to the Vietnam Vets and Korean Vets.
We drove across the border into Florida, the Sunshine State. The state drink is orange juice and just over the border we pulled into an information centre and they were handing out free orange juice and maps of Florida. Florida has lots of water, lakes and ocean. They experience hurricanes every year. Why would you live here? It's hot and humid and attracts hurricanes! The average wage in Pensacola is $35,000. We spent a couple of hours at the beach. I was too lazy to get changed and go for a swim but went and had a paddle in the Gulf of Mexico. It was a bit cool because I was so hot but was okay after you got used to it. We went shopping and I brought a lovely dish shaped like a crab. It is very unique and will be a lovely reminder of Pensacola.
We drove across a bridge that was three miles long to get to the beach. Half way across is the remnants of an old bridge that was destroyed in a hurricane. People now fish off it.
We had a nice dinner at a local fish restaurant with the four girls from Newcastle and Miller and Joan from Melbourne.
Hampton Inn, Pensacola - Room 304