Saturday, August 17, 2013


We made good time through South Carolina and Georgia and into Florida and we stopped at both welcome stations.  They don't give free Coca Cola in Georgia anymore but they do give orange and grapefruit juice in Florida.  The billboard said FREE OJ.   I thought perhaps it was a political statement on Mr. Simpson's legal status.

This one is for Sam.


We easily found our campground and got set up quickly.  Since it was a holyday we left for Callahan to  find a place to eat before attending Mass at Our Lady of Consolation.  It wasn't very far, the meal at Cedar River Seafood was good and Mass went very quickly.  Maybe Father had not eaten yet.

We had bad storms all evening but it cleared by morning.  We left before 9:00 heading to Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach.  We bought tickets for an eco-tour boat trip then walked to the coffee shop to wait until it was time to depart.  

Our tour boat.
Ted and Tom were the only men other than the skipper.  The rest were ladies on an adventure tour. We were told of the estuary we were in, the shrimping industry, about the nets used, the paper mills located at either end of Fernandina Beach and a bit of history of the area.
Mid-way through, a shrimp net was dropped.  Ted and Tom helped put it out and bring it in.  
What was captured was put in a small aquarium, identified and passed around.  There was a
and something she called a mantis shrimp.  She was very uncomfortable handling the container because of what she said this small crustacean can do.  I looked them up and found this.

Called "sea locusts" by ancient Assyrians, "prawn killers" in Australia and now sometimes referred to as "thumb splitters" – because of the animal's ability to inflict painful gashes if handled incautiously[4] – mantis shrimp sport powerful claws that they use to attack and kill prey by spearing, stunning, or dismemberment. Although it only happens rarely, some larger species of mantis shrimp are capable of breaking through aquarium glass with a single strike from this weapon.[5]

Everything is tossed back into the water after "show and tell."  It was a very informative and relaxing tour on the water.  We asked the two young "mates" where to eat lunch and ended up at T-Ray's housed in an old gas station.  It was a fun place.

Then we took a trolley tour.  Amelia Island was rather "undiscovered" until the Ritz Carlton built a hotel in the south beach area.  People attending various hotel events fell in love with the area and the rest is history.  

One stop we made was at a net company, where four employees can tie a shrimp net.  It was fascinating to watch.  
The other employees use manufactured netting to construct those you see raised behind goal posts and home plate for instance; also the stationary ones such as one used by a punter on the sidelines while practicing. 
 This is a shrimp net that is dragged along the bottom. 

It has a TED (turtle escape device).  The white and brown turtles illustrate how it works. 
We covered most of Fernandina Beach looking at the architecture of the beautiful old homes.  This house was used for the Adventures of Pippi Longstocking movie.  
There are many beautiful old Florida homes here

It was a very enjoyable day and we arrived home around dinnertime but no one was hungry.  We individually grabbed a little something later on instead of having a meal together. 

Friday we drove to the Okefenokee Swamp in south Georgia.  
Shaking hands with my new friend.
We saw a movie which was nice but not terribly informative.  We found an animatron man on a front porch scene and by pushing several buttons we received lots of great info on the swamp, the lumber and railroad industries and the towns and people who lived there.  It helped a lot as we took another tour, this time in a skiff.

We didn't see any wildlife other than some herons and sandhill cranes but the "prairies" covered in water lilies and the cypress hung with Spanish moss made up for it.


We learned a lot about the eco-system of this famous swamp.  On the way out we stopped at an old homestead.  It was built in 1927, just as the stock market crash was about to happen.  I imagine these folks made out better with their simple lifestyle than the high rollers and those who lost jobs because of the crash.

Eileen had country ribs in the crockpot.  They turned out well and we put together another good dinner.

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