Suwannee River to Clearwater, Florida Didn’t Sink The Boat

Clearwater Florida

If you believe it, you can achieve it.

We awoke early and saw a beautiful sunrise and a quiet bayou on Suwannee River.  We fired up the normal pot of coffee that we make each day on our propane coffeemaker.  I hate the darned thing by the way and I can’t wait until it wears out in 5 years or I can sell it to another cruiser.  I wish we got a much smaller press, because we rarely drink more than a cup or two per morning.  I rinsed down the boat one last time and Aubrey set off with the kids to find new creatures that were interested in capture.  Bianca stayed in timeout while I fueled the boat because she stole her brother’s stick and taunted him with it.  Once she got locked down he promptly restore the stick and made the following announcement:

I am the fairy godmother and this stick will help you to be better- poof!

11231319_1066927279991817_2316755752511007350_nIt didn’t work but we had to get out of there while the tide was still high!  We went out on the North end of the town through the naturally “deep” river (4-8 ft.) and out 3 miles through something the Army Corp of Engineers dredged a couple decades ago.  My sonar read 2.4 feet several times but I never saw sand kick up in the prop wash or felt the dreaded bump of a sandy shoal. Continue reading

Kliebert’s is the Absolute Best Alligator Farm in New Orleans!

Aubrey definitely wrestled a few gators!

Aubrey definitely wrestled a few gators!

All of you know how addicted my lovely wife Aubrey is to catching animals so we had to find the absolute best alligator farm in New Orleans to indulge her. We did just that and found a place outside of New Orleans called Kliebert’s in Hammond, LA.  We are so glad we made the drive because the experience was made our entire trip, even if we don’t do anything else.Kliebert's Alligator Farm New Orleans

The marina hof so many animals that you would never expect to see at an alligator farm.  The farm is the longest running in Louisiana and possibly the USA.  It is nice and clean and all of the people are so friendly.  The cost is so low, something like $48 for 4 of us after my military discount.  It was worth five times as much as that, easily.  Hammond Alligator Farm

The Marina had a loaner truck that we borrowed to make the 1 hour drive to Hammond, LA.  We stopped in town and ate the best Po Boy catfish sandwiches we will likely ever eat.  We ate at Noon and I am still full at 10P, probably because I ordered an additional one after the first was so good!  We made it to the farm just in time for the tour.New Orleans Gator Experience

Harvey Kliebert founded Kliebert’s Alligator Farm in 1957 and it is now run by his Grandson, T Mike.  We took the tour and that was really cool but it was the extra (many hours extra) time that T Mike spent with us that made the visit so worth while.  Aubrey got her fill  T Mike is a regular on Swamp People and several other shows.  This is his life and he loves it.

We saw big gators, small gators, nutria, crocodiles, snakes, alligator turtles, fox, macaw, chickens and all sorts of farm animals.  Bianca made light work of catching her own chicken when the tour started and kept it throughout (including in the shop at the end).  Blake rode and kissed a few gators and played with T Mike’s puppy.  Aubrey held EVERYTHING!  The trip was for her and she took full advantage of it.  We saw “Crush” a 1200 lb 15 foot gator and watched him eat.  That was cool!

I got to hold and learn about all of the animals and I loved every minute of it.  Aubrey and I liked it so much that we will likely be back in September for an alligator hunt with T Mike for her birthday.  I’ve got an idea for a gator skin seat cover for my Harley and I know just the guy to help me get it!  I can’t say enough about the warm hospitality of T Mike and all of the people.  We felt like family and we spent something like 5 hours there.  I barely got Aubrey to leave but she got in the truck just as we were pulling away.  She must love me..New Orleans Baby AlligatorsNew Orleans AlligatorsD94A7984T Mike Kliebert AlligatorAubrey HamicRobb Hamic

Top Places To Visit In Cuba

I’ve always been jealous that my European and Canadian friends got to visit Cuba.  Many people take their holidays in Cuba and find the best places to visit.  I always thought it a shame that Americans could not visit Cuba, even though it was so close to Florida.  The idea of seeing a country that hasn’t changed that much in decades always interested me.  Together with rich historical sites and some of the best scuba diving sites in the world, Cuba is irresistible.

places-to-visit-in-cubs

Old Havana

I added some extensive information below that is worth reading regarding getting the proper license to visit Cuba.  I also found an article published in the Washington Post helpful.

Ok, let’s assume that you’ve made it to Cuba.  What’s next?  Now it is time to explore this beautiful country.  I’ve read that car’s are easy to rent and it is really easy to get around the country from Havana.  This seems the most popular way to comb the island for its natural beauty and wonderful experiences.  I’ve read about a package offered to people where you can rent a car and receive hotel vouchers for the national hotels for as little as $15 per day, car and hotel included for two people.  Many people see Cuba this way and it sounds like a dream. Continue reading

Photography in St. Croix

st croix travel miss lone star #travel #travelblogger Christiansted Walking Tour vacation

Walking around in Christiansted St. Croix and enjoying the old buildings.

Camera Miss Lone Star TravelsBelieve it or not, it took a long time to take this picture.  Please notice the rooster at the corner of the frame.  He was elusive but he had to be in the picture.  We were coming from doing a little shopping and life seemed to slow down.  We strolled down this old street and I could picture how it was to walk on this same street hundreds of years ago.  It was an “ah ha” moment, indeed. I loved Christiansted Harbor and the old town although it wasn’t packed with tourists or filled shops.  It was quiet and there was enough to entertain us as we walked along.  We ate at a local place for lunch and we were content.  The light was coming through the tight street at an interesting angle.  There were vines and moss growing on the old walls.  The proud rooster patrolled his territory.  I hope he would of this picture.

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Captain of the Miss Lone Star