Field Trip to Beautiful Gardens

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October 17th 2011
Published: October 18th 2011
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Our Saturday was a planned shorter day crossing Mobile Bay. The Mobile Harbor is a very busy industrial port with large ships and barges everywhere. Once a little past this industrial part the skyline of Mobile appeared in the distance. After passing the Downtown Convention Center we saw a huge Carnival Cruise Ship, Elation. It sure made our little PDQ look tiny.

Mobile Bay is very good size, much larger than Charlotte Harbor and busy with barges, large fishing ships. I was impressed with the hundreds of birds that diligently followed the fishing vessels. Incredible sight. We found our way to Dog River and nestled easily (nearly) into a slip. Thankfully our boat is only 17ft wide and with Cap't Roger's superior driving skills, we were tied up without issue.

Time to give a little credit to my Brother John for supplying us with good supply of Black/Blue Berry Jam. That has become one of our staples. Next necessity is the bag of ginger snaps. Make a great treat as we enjoy the trip from the fly bridge.

All in all, it's been an interesting trip. Next stop, Orange Beach, Al.

This leg of the trip brought us to Dog River Marina. This was rated a 4* (out of 5) in several guide books. They must have used the friendliness of the people there because the marina itself was a hybrid between a working boat yard and a cruiser's stop over. I did manage to get a load of laundry done and there was a large collection of DVD's to borrow. The rental car came in handy as we made a few trips to pick up little things, get to dinner and take a wonderful tour of some magnificent gardens.

The Bellingraph Home and Gardens was spectacular. Probably our pictures (many) don't do justice. The rose garden was a highlight and the plants along mirror lake were surprising. Although most of the mums weren't in bloom, I can't imagine how spectacular it will be when they do bloom. Mr. Bellingraph was one of the first Coke bottlers in Alabama, starting as a one man operation. He amassed millions in his life time and turned a little fishing camp into a gorgeous mansion with the attended gardens. A great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

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