After leaving New Orleans, we planned to visit the USS Alabama in Mobile, but hadn’t planned where we were going to camp that night. We chose Jellystone Park, which is apparently a chain, in Elberta, AL. The battleship was a fascinating tour for three young boys. It was interesting to me to imagine life aboard a large battleship. Among the cannons and mess hall, the medical center was quite impressive, including an operating room! The quarantine room held sailors suffering from ailments like tuberculosis, influenza, and head lice. Another tourist mentioned the mattresses in sick bay look thicker than the rest of the beds on the ship and thought he might fake being sick to use the comfortable beds, a somewhat familiar issue.
The boys were excited to stay in Jellystone as they are fans of Yogi Bear. The campsite was very inexpensive and it felt like we had the place to ourselves. There were other campers, but we certainly had full run of the pool, splash pad, playground, basketball courts, and horseshoe pits. The boys played and played. They found frogs and lizards and huge pinecones. We decided to stay another night, because it gave Mark and me a chance to relax a little while the boys burned off lots of energy. It is becoming more and more eye-opening to me how much these boys are eating! We grilled hot dogs and chicken breasts one night and ate them with sliced veggies. The other night was spaghetti and salad. I’m shopping for easy things that don’t require many ingredients. Our fridge is pretty small, but it seems to be working OK. Our family usually does breakfast well and we’ve really been enjoying the inexpensive fresh fruits in the area. My only complaint about Jellystone were the bugs! There were some type of beetles that came out at night and invaded the pool. Mark and Brennan are still suffering from what I assume are mosquito bites, but who knows for sure in the south! If they are mosquitos, they are sneaky ones...unlike the huge ones that swarm around us in Alaska.
As we planned to leave Jellystone, Mark found a place to stay for Memorial Day Weekend. It would be a lot more expensive because of the holiday and because of the location…right on the beach! We drove another couple hours to Destin, Florida, making a couple important stops for shopping. We bought swimsuits, boogie boards, beach chairs, beach towels, umbrella, snorkeling gear, bikes and helmets for the boys, more groceries, and probably other things I forgot! We were prepared to spend some serious time on the beach!