Archive for February, 2009

Port Hudson State Historic Site

North of Baton Rouge, Louisiana is the site of the longest military siege in U.S. history.  For 48 days the Union army battered the Confederate Army.

Some of the earthworks survive that served as battlefield trenches. I can’t imagine spending a few hours getting shot at in such conditions, let alone 48 days.  Well after 48 days, the Confederates gave up the site and the shipping route that it was protecting.

After walking through the site, which probably took an hour or two, I arrived back at my rental car.  Notice anything out of place in the photo?

That’s right.  I left the front drivers side window DOWN during the visit.  In the trunk was my suitcase and other belongings.  Everything was still there.  I guess not many criminals visit historic sites.  Good thing for me.

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An afternoon in Key West

I visited  a few random sites in Key West.  I first stopped at the privately owned “Harry S. Truman Little White House.”  At the time of his presidency, this was part of the Key West Naval Station.  Truman used it as a retreat for 175 days of his presidency.   Prior to Truman the home served as the home of the base commander, headquarters during the Spanish American War and a place where Thomas Edison developed weapons for the military.  The home was also used by Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton (post presidency) and Colin Powell (president who never was – my opinion).  Truman spent the most time here however.  The desk that he used to work on while he was staying here is on display.  It is smaller than the desk I am typing this blog at.  If I were the president I would’ve demanded a bigger desk.  I was a bit scandalized when the tour guide showed us the table where he played poker with  the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, amongst others.  That would never go over today.  Can you imagine Barack Obama and John Roberts getting together for a game of basketball?  Actually, maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

After I toured the home I walked over to Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park.  The park is mostly used for recreation, in other words, it is a beach.

However there is an actual fort on the premises.  The fort never saw any hostilities.  It was ironically used by the Union during the Civil War, despite being in a Confederate State.

I then walked to the “Southernmost Point.”  Key West is the southernmost point in the CONTIGUOUS United States.  Hawaii is actually further south.  Of course Key West is not technically contiguous to the mainland of the American Continent.  It is actually an island, but I guess you could say it is contiguous since there are bridges connecting all the way up to the mainland.

Anyway there is this concrete monument declaring the southernmost point.  However, it’s a farce.  The actual southernmost point in Key West is actually on the Navy base.  I believe the true southernmost point is at the tip of the area jetting out in this photo.

Key West is also the southernmost point of US-1.

I finished off the day at Kelly’s Caribbean Bar, Grill and Brewery also known as the Southernmost Brewery.  The brewery was the reason I came.  The bar area was completely filled so I got a table.  I was ushered to the upstairs dining area.  The hostess nearly knocked down the patio heater when seating me.  This could’ve been a major disaster as the heater was in an enclosed building (probably not something the fire department would like) but it didn’t seem to faze her.   I had a couple of good beers and a nice hunk of fish.  I didn’t have the special of the day, which was something that was flown in special from Hawaii.  I didn’t come to Key West to eat Hawaiian seafood!  When I go to Hawaii I will see if they have any Florida caught fish.  Good grief.  The dining room I was in had some sort of a dinner theater stage, although there was no performance.  I would love to visit again, however next time in the bar area.

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