Saturday, September 8, 2012

Roadside Attractions - Florida to New Orleans Edition

A week after we got married (and a day after Frank celebrated way too hard on St. Patrick’s Day), we headed to the Big Easy.  To make the road trip from South Florida more fun, I mapped out several road side attractions we could visit.  I also did this on my road trip to Ohio with my parents.  They appreciated it.  Frank, not so much.  But it was free.

I used this website to pick out our stops.  The site works great, as you can search your travel route by state. 
Look at all these awesome places we could go!
Frank wouldn’t let me veer too far off course to check these things out, so the ones I’m spotlighting are all directly on our track.

First, Blue Angel on a Stick, in Pensacola, FL
Yep, definitely a plan on a stick
You can find this interesting artwork at both the last rest area out of Florida before Alabama and the first rest area IN Florida from ‘Bama as well.  And I made Frank stop both times.

On the left, our way out of Florida, on the right, our way back into the Sunshine state
Pensacola is home to the Blue Angels and there are not one, but two roadside tributes in this Florida city.

Frank would not stop on the busy interstate to let me get a better picture
Second, World’s Largest Rocking Chair in Gulfport, MS

An apropos place for the largest rocking
chair - right in front of a furniture store!
This chair was freaking huge, much larger than any rocking chair I’ve ever seen.  Roadside America claims it is 35 feet tall. 

That makes it seven times taller than me!
You can find this fine piece of craftsmanship right off I-10 on Canal Street.  It’s about two miles north of the interstate.  Unfortunately, we had to drive through this mess just to get there.

Extremely dangerous, but we knew there were risks to seeing
something as wonderful as the World's Largest Rocking Chair!
Third, the Apollo 13 Lunar Lander in Westonia, MS

This was definitely the most impressive roadside attraction I’ve ever seen!  It’s a replica of the Lunar Lander trainer the astronauts from Apollo 13 used.  Obviously they never actually landed on the moon, so this was pretty cool to see.

And below the Lunar Lander…

Footprint from Fred Haise!  He was the astronaut played by Bill Paxton in Apollo 13 in case you’re wondering.  Apparently he’s from Mississippi, so he left his footprints and signature beneath this huge structure.

Frank: "Awesome!  Can we go now?"
I wanted to stop at the Fisherman’s Castle on Irish Bayou in New Orleans next, but SOMEBODY wanted to hurry up and get to the bar.

Not mentioning any names, but it could have been this guy... love him!

Total Cost: Free

Best Deal: Seeing a replica of history with the Lunar Lander in Mississippi

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