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Extended trip to Panama City Beach and Myrtle Beach

Extended trip to Panama City Beach and Myrtle Beach

Old Feb 17th, 2024, 08:13 AM
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Conservation Park

Conservation Park quickly became our favorite park in Panama City Beach.
It's located inland about 15 minutes from the beach.
It has parking, restrooms, large park map display (pocket paper maps available).
The trails themselves are well signed.
We found the park relaxingly serene, very enjoyable for walking, the elevated walkways are our favorite.

Conservation Park

Park restrooms and also map display and pocket maps available

Park map display

Start of wide trail

Gravel pathway with tall pines

Trail signs

Start of elevated walkway

Elevated walkway with tall pines

Elevated walkway

In some areas the green algae on top of water looks like smooth green carpet

Elevated walkway with Cypress trees

Elevated walkway viewing platform bench

Cypress knees - protrusions from the Cypress tree roots , possibly to help stabilize the tree or for more oxygen

The park has a number of ponds with beautiful reflections

Pond reflection

Pond reflection

Spanish Moss on tree

The park trees are mostly Pine and Cypress that grow straight and tall but there some that differ from the uniformity

Differently shaped tree, perhaps an oak

Very tall and straight Pine

The bark of a Pine tree that protects it from fire, the sap from pines is very flammable ( turpentine used to be made from pine sap)

Pine tree bark after a fire, the tree survives

Odd shaped tree offshoot

Dead tree with termite damage

Fungi on dead tree

Fungi on dead tree

Metal rebar mosquito in front of mosquito control building on the road to the park, we haven't noticed any mosquitos while in the park or in the city

Last edited by aulop; Feb 17th, 2024 at 08:19 AM.
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Old Feb 18th, 2024, 06:09 PM
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Air Force Armament Museum

Day trip to Elgin to visit the Armament Museum located outside Elgin air base.
The museum has free parking and is free to visit.
The museum has exterior and interior exhibits with a mixture of guided and unguided bombs, missiles, small arms and airplanes.

Air Force Armament Museum

Two inert bombs that can be sat on - Dr. Strangelove immediately came to mind

MOAB - Mother Of All Bombs is actually Massive Ordinance Air Blast Bomb

Museum building view from upper walkway

Small arms display

General purpose bomb

Various missiles are exhibited

Fat Man - exhibit of the nuclear bomb dropped on Nagasaki Japan during WWII.


F4 Phantom

MH 53 helicopter

SR 71 unusual shape

SR 71 under view

We took a different road on the way back and drove through an actual town named Niceville

Niceville Turkey Creek
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Old Feb 20th, 2024, 05:52 AM
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Duplin Winery

The Duplin Winery in PCB is housed in a beautiful wood building with a lake and a large patio area.
They have a dedicated tasting room to try their wines made from Muscadine grapes.
Along with the wines they also have cheese / cold cut trays and cakes to snack on while having a drink ($).
The whole experience was very enjoyable in a beautiful relaxing setting.

Duplin Winery building

Wine barrel truck in front of winery building

Inside the building, market style

Wine displays

"Sunshine" in a bottle

Dedicated tasting room

Patio area

Patio and building

Relaxing spot on the wood pier on the lake

View of building covered porch

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Old Feb 22nd, 2024, 07:40 AM
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Rainy days

The weather has been mostly sunny but there's also been some cold windy rainy days.
On those days we try to find indoor activities or at least partially indoors.
Here's the ones we tried so far.

Rainforest black light golf & arcade.
Once our eyes adjusted to the black glow lights we enjoyed it more than we expected.

Indoor glow in the dark mini golf with arcade games and a snack bar

Arcade games at the entrance

Arcade games at entrance

Glow in the dark mini golf rainforest theme

Glow animal statues

Glow dinosaur

Glow portal

Glow pterodactyl

Glow plant

Glow plant

Glow dinosaur head

Last edited by aulop; Feb 22nd, 2024 at 07:49 AM.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2024, 06:19 AM
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Rainy day continuation

Ripley's Believe It Or Not has a collection of oddities along with some art work and some odd / bizarre items.
This location also has a maze and a theatre.
We have seen it at other locations so we weren't as impressed as someone seeing it for the first time but was ok on a rainy day.

Ripley's building in the shape of a boat

Ripley's building

Intricately carved Jade stone boat

Except for the wood base this sculpture it's carved from bone

Bone carving detail

Bone carving detail

Temple door

Megalodon shark jaw over 5 feet

Genuine tribal mask

Tribal mask

Tribal mask

Jimmy Hendrix image made with guitar picks

Across the street from Ripley's is Wonderworks, the "upside" down building design is very eye catching but we haven't visited it so we can't comment on the interior
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Old Feb 23rd, 2024, 06:38 AM
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Rainy day continuation

Center for the Arts is a small art museum in Panama City (not Panama City Beach), entrance is free / donations accepted.
Despite it's small size and small number of exhibits we enjoyed viewing some of the quirky art pieces from local artists.
We made it a day by visiting the rest of the City's waterfront.

Center for the Arts in Panama City

The collection includes both paintings and photos

Shoehorn bill bird painting

Raven painting

"Melted Clocks" mural detail, reminiscent of Salvador Dali

Monochromatic photo, one of the best pieces IMO

Glass artwork

Mixed media

Traditional sculpture, life sized and very detailed

Quirky piece

Quirky piece

Last edited by aulop; Feb 23rd, 2024 at 06:44 AM.
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Old Feb 25th, 2024, 02:29 PM
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Man in the Sea Museum

This a small museum with some interesting diving items, on the exterior there are some submersibles ( including Sealab) and some historical and more contemporaneous pieces on the inside.
A weight belt and shoes are available to try taking 12 steps to replicate the scene from the movie Man of Honor.
Surprisingly there is a saturation breathing apparatus used on a spy mission on the Soviet Union.

Man in the Sea submersibles

Exterior display

Visitors can try taking 12 steps with the diving shoes and weight belt

Old diving helmet

Old diving suit and helmet

Self contained diving apparatus

Saturation breathing apparatus used in spy mission

Explanation of the importance of the diving spy mission

Photo of diver parachuting, the amount of gear on him is surprising

Last edited by aulop; Feb 25th, 2024 at 02:42 PM.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2024, 04:55 AM
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Panama City Beach, Falling Waters and Caverns.

After several weeks in Panama City Beach we are finally departing and travelling to Myrtle Beach.

On our way to Myrtle Beach we are visiting Falling Waters State Park and Caverns State Park in Florida.

Last day in PCB

Last night in PCB

Falling Waters State Park

Woodpecker carving inside the park

The park has accessible pathways to the falls

The falls were very disappointing, more of a trickle perhaps due to the lack of rain.

Next we went to the Forida Caverns State Park.
The Caverns can only be viewed as part of a tour.
Due to a medical emergency - a person in our tour group had claustrophobia / panic - we had to evacuate the Caverns, after that the tour resumed but we didn't have enough time to continue so we only saw a portion of the Caverns.
The Caverns are hot, humid and fog up eye glasses and camera lenses.

Florida Caverns State Park

Beautiful coloration due to the different color lighting used in the Caverns

The blue lights reflected intensely from a pond in the Caverns




This is the narrowest "tunnel" in the Caverns - less than 4 feet high - shortly after the tunnel the medical emergency happened
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Old Mar 4th, 2024, 04:16 PM
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Hobcaw Barony and Atalya Castle were our next stops on our trip ( thanks for the travel tips Gretchen).

Hobcaw Barony is 16000 acres of mostly natural wildlife habitat.
The only way to visit is with a guided tour on a mini bus.
Our guide was very knowledgeable, explaining both the historical importance of the property, it's residents and guests along with the environmental research and habitat rehabilitation.
We visited one of the slave villages ( the slaves originally worked on the rice plantation) on the property as well the main house.

Hobcaw Barony welcome center

Mini bus for the guided tour

Hobcaw house no photography inside

House front porch

The house is made of cement and brick in order to avoid fire that destroid a previous structure

Slave village house

Interior of slave house

Slave village church

Inside of the church

Church altar

Inside the church is the list of slaves that lived at Hobcaw Barony

Atalya Castle design has a Moroccon style design and is entirely made of brick .
The brick was painted white on the interior and left natural on the exterior, volunteers are trying to preserve it and stop any further deteoration.
All the furnishings were removed by the family.

Atalya Castle entrance

The castle's covered exterior walkway

Interior rooms, all that remains are the brick walls, no furnishings

Interior walkway

Castle's tower

Beautifuly restored iron window grates

Window iron grate

Last edited by aulop; Mar 4th, 2024 at 04:18 PM.
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Old Apr 20th, 2024, 08:05 AM
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For anyone that was reading my trip report and was wondering why it suddenly stop - we had an emergency that required us to stop our trip and return home.
All is fine now but unfortunately we didn't have the opportunity to explore Myrtle Beach and the surrounding area.
Perhaps a future trip.

Travel adds to life, happy travels.
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