Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sea-ing More of Florida

Time is quickly marching as Betsy’s brother’s visit comes to an end.  Mark is a guy who spends his winters in Chicago (I know we think that is crazy too) enjoying the big city life immersed in the arts and culture that make that city unique.  So after a number of strolls on the beach, checking out the New Urbanism architecture, and admiring the local galleries, I thought he might enjoy going to some of the local museums.  There is no Contemporary Arts Museum or art institute but I was able to come up with a couple of doozies that would give him a taste of the local culture.  The Man in the Sea Museum ($5) and the Destin Fishing Museum ($5)  O.k., so the truth is I have been wanting to go to these museums and this was my excuse to make it happen. 


Betsy refused to go in the Man of the Sea Museum since she is certain we were there many years ago with my parents.  She opted for a nap in the car instead but Mark and I were brave enough to open the windowless steel door and have a look.  The museum is filled with undersea paraphernalia (donated from a nearby U.S. Navy installation) that takes you on a journey from crude early diving equipment to the creation of undersea labs capable of housing people for months underwater.


The exhibits are very hands-on so you can climb in the Undersea Lab, put a Mark IV helmet on your head and don a scuba mask if you choose.  After forty-five minutes of poking around the exhibits and listening to the videos, we ventured outside to take a look around the metal objects that adorn the parking lot.  Betsy got to see those for free from the car window.  We both decided undersea exploration is not for us but were glad we visited the museum.



There was no way we were going to try out the decompression chamber.
Go on in Mark . . . I think you'll fit.
The Destin Fishing Museum is quite small (and located conveniently right next to the Senior Center) but jammed packed with artifacts, pictures, mounted fish, and historical artifacts that tell the story of Destin’s past and fishing history.  The museum houses many unique artifacts including a bamboo fishing rod that belonged to Ernest Hemingway and the oldest seine fishing boat still in existence.  While perusing the exhibits, the Assistant Director came over to give us a history lesson in Destin’s geography.  Turns out Destin is home to the largest commercial fishing fleet in Florida and one of the largest fishing rodeos in the country.  No wonder the town is called the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village.”  The Destin Fishing Rodeo celebrated its 65 th year in 2013 and with over 30,000 anglers competing throughout the month of October vying for over $100,000 in cash and prizes.  The fishing industry is big business in Destin and that is very obvious when you visit. 





In between all this excitement we still had time to hook up with and introduce Mark to some of our friends.  We had a great dinner of Zuni chicken with Jen and Nikki at their home and another day met up with Jen and Deas (Nealys on Wheels) who were organizing a get together with some other RV bloggers, Clark and Lynn (Tales From the Mutiny).  We ended up in Panama City for some delicious grub at Dusty’s Oyster Bar – a new favorite restaurant of ours.  The joint is known for their oysters served practically any way you want them.  Mark was back in oyster shooter heaven.

Clark, Lynn, Betsy, Deas, Jennifer, Me, and Mark

Mark will have to wait for sophisticated cultural activities until he gets back to Chicago.  He was a good sport to partake in my love of small obscure museums.  In the meantime, we still have a few more days with Mark which we will enjoy as we indulge in more seafood, amble through the art galleries, collect a few more sea shells, and glare at the emerald water.






3 comments:

  1. Living in an RV would make hanging out in a decompression chamber seem like old hat to you. ;c)

    I enjoy small museums, too, lots of priceless gems hidden in them!

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  2. Love that last pic. I could just sit back and watch the ocean for an hour instead of a museum myself.
    Syl

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  3. Awww, we really enjoyed meeting you guys and can't wait til our paths cross again (hopefully when it's a little warmer).

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