Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Florida in December

During our Bellingrath Gardens visit we soaked up so much of the Christmas spirit that we decided to continue that feeling the next day. So we visited a military fort. At the beach. What the what?!

Welcome to Florida in December.

Fort Pickens was built from 1829 - 1834 and was only one of four forts in the South never occupied by the Confederate forces during the Civil War. Not for lack of trying, of course. In any case, the structure is mostly still standing and boasts ten concrete gun batteries {i.e. freaking huge cannons} that no longer fire but were created to combact specific threats from the Civil War to WWII. The more advanced technologies, like long range missiles and atomic bombs rendered forts, like Pickens, pretty useless by the end of WWII though so it now serves as a learning tool of those that came before.

Craig and I have been to the fort several times, and we even took Canon when he was just over one month old.

Don't mind the bad quality of the photo or the ridiculous play on words going on here. We thought we were hi-la-ri-ous. 

Needless to say, Canon did not remember this place so it was a wonderful opportunity to explore from a child's point of view. He thought it was so cool - especially the guns of course. Good grief, he is such a boy. Of course, no exploration is complete without a packed lunch, a flashlight, and a body guard {aka Dad}. Dude was flying high that day.

Don't tell Bruce, but we found the bat cave. It'll just be our little secret.

The room below looks so cool with the double openings and the benches. I can imagine the soldiers in here writing letters to their girls back home or playing cards while waiting for the signal to fire the cannon in the next room. But if you could see behind the camera, there is a tv on a rolling cart with a VCR playing a documentary about the fort. Did I just ruin it for you? Sorry about that.

Canon was so excited to use his flashlight to explore these tiny tunnels. Apparently, the military used these tunnels as last-resort lines of defense in crisis situations. They would fill the pockets in these tunnels with explosives and then blow them if the cannons and artillery fire weren't enough to hold the enemy back. They didn't take into account that they are the perfect size for three year old children to imagine finding treasure in the "deepest parts of the cave!". Why that never crossed their minds, I will never know.

Someone please explain to me why people feel the need to deface amazing and beautiful places. I mean, seriously, who wants to know that J, G, and B are in a love triangle, especially since we all know how that will turn out. Keep it to yourselves guys.

That, my friends, is a stupid big cannon. I mean massive. In fact, it is called the Massive Rodman Gun - 15" in diameter. It was used while under heavy siege from the water.

Yes, it was a very festive visit. Can't you tell? A perfect way to stay in the spirit of the season - the beach, flip flops, and gun batteries. Merry Christmas to all.


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