Sunday, December 6, 2015

Port of Call: Apalachicola, Florida

We had called on Apalachicola almost ten years ago, when we cruised from the Tampa Bay to Mobile Bay. This sleepy coastal town charmed us with its historic antebellum homes, unique shops   and restaurants. Not to mention its prized oysters! We're thankful to have friends in the area and happy the town still retains its old Florida feel.
Fishing is the religion of Apalachicola, as you can see from its Christmas decor
Over the Thanksgiving holiday, some antebellum homes were opened for tours. We visited the Raney House and the Orman House, and learned that Apalachicola was an important and busy port in the mid-1800s, shipping cotton to textile mills in Europe and New England. Fishing and tourism have since replaced the cotton trade. Sadly, the BP oil spill in 2010 decimated the oyster industry. All the oysters now come from nearby Louisiana. They were still very good and reasonably priced, at $9.99 a dozen at Papa Joe's, which moved to its downtown location last year.

Raney House all decked up for the holidays
Front door of the Raney House

a symbol of Southern hospitality
a silk Chinese gown hanging in the bedroom of the Orman House
Apalachicola's annual Christmas celebration was the Friday after Thanksgiving. Families and tourists awaited at the city dock for Santa to arrive on a shrimp boat. The festivities included dancing performances, luminaries lining the streets all over town, and carolers serenading diners at various restaurants. We were lucky to be eating at the Seafood Grill when they came by.
Luminaries lining the streeet

Have a great holiday, y'all!

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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Serendipity ... at Foster Falls

Lately, we've been discovering hiking trails closer to our marina. Several weeks ago, we hiked Foster Falls in Sequatchie, a mere 30 minutes drive away. Our timing was serendipitous, as we got to see some pretty fall colors.
Fall colors at the entrance to Foster Falls Recreation Area
Foster Falls, a 60-foot waterfall

With temperature dropping to freezing this weekend, we seized the opportunity to hike Foster Falls area again. We had wanted to hike a different trail, but couldn't find it, so back to Foster Falls we went.

Serendipity was with us again. An empty parking spot (this place is packed with hikers, campers and climbers!) awaited us. As soon as we got out of the car, we heard the falls roaring in the background. With gusto. The recent rainstorm was responsible for the huge volume of water rushing down the 60-foot falls. We felt a rush of adrenaline, and eagerly hiked down the rocky path to the foot of the falls. Most of the leaves were gone. We sat and watch the water rushing down the rocky cliffs, and let it mesmerize us for a little while.
Foster Falls, after the rain
Suspension Bridge

Picnic area
Entrance to campsite

Stay warm and Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

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