Tag Archive for spanish moss

Pajama Dave’s Amelia River Cruise

Amelia_River_Cruise_22

Back in May, my husband and I spent a week at Amelia Island for JSConf, at which he spoke. I, on the other hand, did what I do best: explore my surroundings with a camera in one hand and food in the other. Luckily, JSConf aided my daily adventures by offering a significant others’ track of activities. That track included a cruise down the Amelia River led by Pajama Dave. I wish I had pictures to record how awesome Pajama Dave is, but all I can say is the man can rock a pair of Bud Light PJ pants while providing quite the entertaining river cruise. I’m not sure which is the greater feat.

But you came here for pictures, didn’t you? The boat loads close to the “Caution: Manatee Area” sign at the downtown Fernandina Beach marina.

2013_Fernadina_Beach

We took the Cumberland Island Cruise, which takes about two hours in all. Loading is fast and the tour is mostly shaded but bring some sunscreen just in case.

Amelia_River_Cruise_01

We passed a sawmill and a street full of oleander that Dave was sure to tell us was popular for poisoning husbands in tea form back in the day. All along the way, dolphins frolicked around us, though it took me until near the end of the cruise to snap their pictures successfully.

Photo magic!

Photo magic!

No manatee sightings, but I’ll recover from that injustice. The first point of interest for me was the historic Fernandina Beach neighborhood, Old Town Fernandina, where the Timucua American Indians settled and the first European invaders came around 1811. It wasn’t the history that caught my attention, however. It was the house used in the filming of 1989′s the New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking! Appealing to my 80′s childhood is a surefire way to my heart.

Amelia_River_Cruise_07 Read more →

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

New Orleans’ Adventures: Honey Island Swamp Touring

The Gourmez happy in the swamp.

The Gourmez happy in the swamp.

This is the fourth entry in a series on my December New Orleans vacation. Lest you think this many entries is a few too many, just know New Orleans has always been high on my list of cities to visit, so I was pretty excited to finally do so! Blog #1 was on the north side of Lake Pontchartrain, Blog #2 was on dining at night in New Orleans, and Blog #3 was on drinking at night in New Orleans—and no, drinking need not be limited to the dark hours in this town.

The dock at Cajun Encounters.

The dock at Cajun Encounters.

For our next New Orleans adventure, we went 40 minutes east of the city to Slidell. Honey Island Swamp is 20 miles long, and a good portion of it is protected for wildlife conservation. A large number of boat tour companies operate within the protected section of the swamp, and we chose Cajun Encounters on a recommendation. It’s $25 for a day tour of the swamp, and with a tour that takes about 90 minutes, it’s well worth it. I thought it a deal in all honesty. They offer transportation from New Orleans for an extra $20 if you don’t have a car.

First view of the river. Click twice for the largest picture.

First view of the river. Click twice for the largest picture.

Who doesn’t love Spanish moss?

Who doesn’t love Spanish moss?

Our tour guide was super nice and pretty entertaining for a man with only a few months under his belt. Questions were always welcome. We went through three distinct areas of swamp. The first was similar to a standard riverbank but with plenty of Spanish moss, reddish leaves, and cypress outcroppings called knees.

Knees in the water.

Knees in the water.

This was December, which means winter and the least active time for the swamp’s wildlife, so we were cautioned we wouldn’t see a lot of it. We didn’t, but there were some creatures to encounter!

Turtles on the left.

Turtles on the left.

Plenty of snapping turtles lined the banks, and they’d dive into the water when we got close.

Read more →

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather