It’s Thursday and we’re picking Terri & Mark up at the Mobile airport. Our bathroom light has just stopped working and I can’t find the correct diode here so we’ll make a detour on the way. We leave a little early – not because we’re too excited, we are, but we can do some errands in Mobile on the way. Then, they arrive, oh happy day.
After we catch our breath and have a beverage or two under the Magnolia, we take a small tour of the park and then meet our friends, Bill & Ann and Dick & Marcia at Big Daddy’s for dinner. The weather did not promise to be great for their weekend visit but we’ll make the best of it anyway.
Friday, we ventured up to the Mobile Delta to 5 Rivers for a Delta cruise. Here gator, gator gator! It is worth the read to follow the links I’ve provided, it’s a pretty amazing piece of nature. We packed a picnic lunch and were on the boat by 11AM. Our guide was very knowledgeable and good at what he does – he kept us entertained and was able to answer all our questions – if you knew Terri she had at least one! We did see a few gators relaxing in the sun. They paid no attention to us in the pontoon boat but as soon as a family approached one in a canoe, he took off. Our guide said gators are afraid of ‘things’ that are the same size as them – like canoes – big boats not so much. After the 2 hour cruise we found a picnic shady table and broke out our lunch. It is a beautiful area.
Our outing took us down the east side of Mobile Bay through Daphine and Fairhope along the scenic route 98. Oh, the shops in Fairhope and we have the queen of shopping with us so we had to stop! First, a look at main street then a stroll down through the French Quarter. The trees have come out in leaf so all the mini lights (thousands of them) have been removed and the gardens at each corner of downtown are in bloom and are beautiful. This has to be the nicest little town in the USA and we are so lucky to live so close. We’re on our way again to settle under the Magnolia tree for a few beverages before dinner. It has been a great day and better that we are sharing it with Terri & Mark!
As I have said before, our plans are securely set in jello and it is a good thing. We wake to rain and our plans have to be rearranged to fit the weather. So instead of getting going at dawn, we have a leisurely morning then off to the Elberta German Sausage fest! Elberta is just 20 minutes east of us at the Plantation and with Mark being from Calgary, he just had to have a picture of the town sign. By now, the rain has stopped and with the heat, the grounds are drying up quickly so we wander – not aimlessly – through the many craft and art vendors and then off to the grill for a sumptuous German Sausage. We stop by a Karaoke set up and listen to a little eleven year girl belting out a terrific sound. She gathers a huge crowd and by all appearances, she is a regular here at the fest.
We continue on our way toward Florida and to the Naval Base, the home of the Blue Angels and the Naval Air Museum. This museum is spectacular. If you were to closely look at each exhibit, you would need to make it a 2 day visit to see it all that way. There are planes on the floor, planes hanging from the roof and other exhibits around the edges and on the balcony that surrounds the main display floor. There are a couple of flight simulators that the ‘kids’ had to ride which was a good thing, it gave the ‘old folks’ an opportunity to sit and rest. After a very entertaining afternoon, we exit to see a jet circling for a landing – we planned this for Mark, LOL.
Our trip home via the scenic route along the gulf. What ever happened to public access to the beach? With all the condos and resorts, there is no room for us to just stop and walk in the surf. Oh, look up ahead – Florabama is on the left, a favorite stop for many spring breakers. Lets stop for a beverage and see what’s going on and maybe we can get out onto the beach. Up to the bar and get our libations and then stand on the picnic tables – everyone does it. Hey, there is beach access so off we go, the sand is soft and difficult to walk in but firm near the water.. Not too much going on, a few sunbathers, a few march breakers and their coolers but not too crowded.
Back in the truck and continue on our trip. It’s getting time for dinner so let’s give them an eating treat and go to Lamberts. The lot is full and we have to park at the back – not a good sign of an early seating. We are informed that there is a 60 minute wait. What the hell, where do we have to go and it is an eating event here so lets go! We finally get a table and the experience begins; buns buzzing all around us, food getting slapped down on paper towels and the wait staff spilling food and drink on us – oh, pretending to spill on us is what I meant to say. You just need to raise your hand and a bun is thrown at you from wherever the bun waiter is, across the room or from the end of an aisle. Once your food order is served, you immediately realize that there is more than you can possibly eat and will require a ‘doggy bag’! The 4 of us required help getting to our feet after dinner and then collapsed back home for the night.
Sunday’s tour was to attend the Spring Bird Banding Station. It is best viewed early in the morning so we had an early start and made the 45 minute trip to Ft Morgan It is very interesting what they do and how they do it. Terri & Mark got to hold and release birds that were caught in the nets, then banded, measured, documented, fed and then released. There were a couple of stations set up. The bird nets are strung out along pathways etc to catch the birds as they fly in from the gulf on their way north. The nets are almost invisible and very delicate. The banders know exactly how to remove the birds and hold them without causing harm or injury. They very patiently teach anyone that wants to know, how to hold and release a bird. It was an extraordinary event that we all enjoyed.
After lots of pictures and learning, we head back up toward the campground and over to the Pitcher Plant Bog. This is a very unique area down here and one of our favorite little walks we enjoy.
As we follow the boardwalk out to the Fish River overlook, we meet up with several SKP friends from the plantation. The boardwalk is not very long – about 1/2 mile but perfect through tall pines. We met up with another Blue Tailed Skink along the way. On our return, we met more friends from the park, it’s a popular place. We also found a Red Bellied Woodpecker digging for lunch at the top of one of the dead pines. We loaded back up into the truck and headed back to the Magnolia for more chit chat and the accompanying beverages. As dark approached, we took off for dinner at Lulu’s. As we came into the parking lot, the attendant informed us that it is a 2 hour wait for dinner – then he said that’s the Lulu’s experience! We went in anyway because what did we otherwise have to do? We sat at the outdoor beach bar (Lulus is at least 5 miles away from the beach) and listened to the music and watched the other customers waiting also. After a couple of drinks, we closed our tab and miraculously, our table was ready! Can you say they plan it that way? Anyway, we had a table on the rail overlooking the Intercoastal Waterway, in our shorts, having a great time so how good is that?
Before you know it the weekend is over and on Monday Terri and Mark fly out. We had a leisurely morning and drove them out to the airport for their 1:30 pm flight. They had a bottle of red wine with them but the security folks would not allow them to take it with them on the plane so it was dropped into the trash bin. After they passed through security, they found out their plane was delayed and decided to have lunch so they went back to security and retrieved their wine and sat at the local restaurant and had lunch and drank their wine. A perfect ending to a terrific visit. Thanks guys for coming all the way down here.
Thanks to you for viewing and we hope all is well out there…..