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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

USS Alamaba and life as a WWII Sailor

It's Wednesday and I come to you from Tallahasse, FL. We are finally in a CLEAN hotel room, with NICE customer service and I have to say, I am thrilled. I'm feeling a little weary and tired tonight, so this Days Inn feels like the Hilton, after some of the places we have encountered along our way. Last night's stay didn't have internet so I'm going to give the Reader's Digest version [or try...].

Today's recap is easy, we woke up and left Pensacola. Turns out we stayed in the dumpier side of Pensacola, but we didn't find that out until this morning. Oops haha... We took the scenic drive from Pensacola to Tallahasse and we were rewarded with some beautiful views of the Gulf, of swamps, and of forests along the way. We stopped for a few minutes at the Gulf National Seashore and took a little walk into the woods. Lots of hanging spanish moss which was beautiful. The drive lasted a little longer than we thought because I somehow missed directing Matt to the right highway. We improvised though, and made it to Tallahasse alright. We crossed another timezone, so we lost another hour. This time switching is kind of hard on the mind and the body!

Now yesterday, Tuesday... We were in Mobile, AL and we decided to go and check out the USS Alabama Battlefield Park. We were able to tour the USS Alabama [a battleship], the USS Drum [a submarine], and a big airplane hanger. We were there all day, taking our time doing the self tours. I took a lot of photos that I'm excited to show my Grandpa, and see if he encountered the same type of living conditions in the Navy during WWII as well.

My favorite parts of the day were:
-Seeing the living quarters of the sailors. The officer quarters were the best and most spacious, but even then, they were about as big as a typical bathroom. The enlisted men slept in cots held up by chains, three or four cots hanging in a vertical line from the ceiling, in a huge open room. I just kept imagining how much that would stink, having hundreds of men in a big open room, when they're all hot and sweaty. Ick... haha. The toilets grossed me out too, because they were basically a troph with a bunch of seats, separated by little partitions without doors. I only spent a few seconds in there, because my girliness overtook me and I was a little grossed out.

-I loved seeing the medical quarters. There was a fully functioning hospial onboard. They had surgical OR's [not exactly as high tech as they are these days, but still... they did the trick!] They had dental rooms there too, with at least one place for dental surgeries.

-The huge kitchen and the mess hall was neat to see too.

That really is a city on water. I'll have to post some photos soon so that they can speak for themselves. I need a little break from the process of uploading and backing up photos, but soon, you can take a look into the USS Alabama without heading to Mobile. If you are ever down there, check it out. I recommend it.

The submarine was neat too, it was so small inside! Well, I mean it was a long sub, but the hallway was only a foot or two wide with little rooms on some of the sides and cots hanging along the way. It was pretty neat. I would go crazy on a sub that small and confined; I don't know how those sailors did it.

Matt and I encountered a retired Marine at the battleship park that took Matt on a up close and personal tour of some of the aircrafts in the hanger. Matt got to sit in one of the helicopter. He also gave Matt a Marine Corps coin as he shook his hand and said 'Happy birthday, brother.' [It was the Marine Corps Birthday on November 10th.] We didn't catch his name and he didn't share his rank, so it was just two Marines, sharing military history.

Now, we'll be in Florida for the majority of the rest of our trip. We will be going to my aunt and uncles soon and will be there for Thanksgiving. Then we'll head south toward the Everglades and the Keys. For now, it's time to google things to do in northern Florida! Anyone have any tips or favorites? Please, let me know!

Love and faith,


1 comment:

COMMENTS!!! I can't wait to hear from you!