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Monday, December 17, 2007

SWEET, we're HOME from ALABAMA

It's always nice to be home. Jim was in Mobile, Alabama since last Monday and I flew in on Friday. It was my first time to Alabama. I flew through Houston and discovered that a 45 minute layover is not enough time in the HUGE Houston airport especially when your two terminals are as far away from each other as they can get and you are sitting in the very last row of the arriving plane! I had to jog through the airport to arrive at my little puddle jumper of a plane on time! The man I sat next to in this very small plane, I think was being transported to another hospital as he had about 10 hospital braclets on and sounded like he was going to cough up a lung the whole time - Hope I don't come down with some dread disease!!

The Mobile airport is rather small - especially for a city of 800,000! Arriving there less than an hour before your flight is no problem, in fact the security guards take their time and have great discussions over each persons driver's license as they examine it - learned lots about some of the different state's driver's licenses as I waited and waited and listened in - guess there's not much to do at the Mobile Alabama airport! (this was on the way home)

Jim met me at the airport and we headed into town - stopping for lunch we began our culinary tour of the deep south. For lunch I had my first fried pickles - now I do not even like pickles but they were actually good! I decided you could eat just about anything if it was deep fried. Jim had a plate of wings - another southern tradition.














We dr0ve around historic downtown Mobile for a while and saw some beautiful old, huge southern homes as well as an old Revolutionary Fort and the USS Alabama on the bay. Surprisingly the downtown is rather small. We also saw TONS of churchs everywhere we went - lots of Baptist, Methodist, Episcopal but not one Mormon church. That evening we went to a party at Jim's bosses home and met many of the people Jim works with. I had my first taste of Alabama BBQ and it is smoky! Jim and his group had eaten there the night before and brought back leftovers. The pork had been smoked for 36 hours and Jim's clothes smelled like he had been smoked for that long too!! I didn't take pictures of the food at the party because I didn't want them to think Jim was married to some picture taking freak!

Saturday we had the day to drive around and tour. We went to the Mardi Gras museum -Mardi Gras actually started in Mobile not in New Orleans and is a HUGE tradition there. It is two weeks of non stop parades, balls and major partying. The museum was fascinating though - it displayed many of the incredibly ornate gowns and trains the kings and queens wear during the balls. The queen of Mardi Gras' daddy will spend up to 200-250,000 on the dress and train! The queen is selected from whoever's daddy has the deepest pockets. Mobile is deep in tradition! There are many "mystic" organizations and such that all have their own parades and balls during Mardi Gras - you must know someone or be family to be asked to join the organization. Jim's boss is from "old" Mobile money and in fact the house the museum was in was donated by his family and he had been one of the Mardi Gras kings at one time and his outfit was in the museum. At the museum they also gave us our first "Moon Pie" A chocolate covered cake with marshmellow in the morning - not too impressed.








After the museum we drove down the coast of Mobile Bay to Gulf Shores which is on the Gulf Of Mexico. We experienced lots of different Alabama weather. When I left Portland it was 34 and freezing fog. I arrive to 75 degrees in Mobile. Saturday a storm blew in and it rained - and I mean RAINED , a torrential downpour for a couple of hours and then in cleared up - Sunday we woke up to 40 degrees!

We stopped for lunch in Gulf Shores at a fun restaurant called LuLu's which sits on the canal. Jim enjoyed their speciality a Crab Melt and for dessert we had to have the traditional Key Lime Pie - yum!

On the way back to Mobile we drove through a fun little town - Fairhope - quaint little village atmosphere. We walked the streets and did a little shopping. We arrived back in time for the Daily Access Christmas party at one of the local country clubs. They had food, music, DJ and dancing (we even danced a bit!) Another Southern tradition was tasted - Gumbo.

Sunday morning we packed up and checked out of the hotel and decided to try another southern tradition for breakfast - the Waffle House - a local chain of greasy spoons! It was fascinating to sit at the counter and watch how hard those ladies worked behind the counter. We had a pecan waffle and some of their famous hashbrowns. From there we drove down to Bellingrath Gardens - a beautiful home and garden that once belonged to a man who made his fortune bottling cocoa-cola. We toured the gardens and home. On the way back to the airport we couldn't resist stopping at a roadside stand advertising "Hot Boiled Peanuts" We bought a bag and gave them a try - now these peanuts are boiled in a huge vat of water and onion for 15 hours. They taste nothing like a peanut but get rather mealy like a lima bean - Leigh Anne ate one and Jim a couple and we left the rest behind!


We flew home through Houston and arrived home to the girls Sunday at about 9:30. All was well - Cali had some type of stomach bug so had stayed home from church.


She had a wild week with play auditions - singing and dancing. (Acting auditions are today) and she had had a couple of field trips for choir and an evening peformance at the Grotto on Wednesday which we all went to. The Thespian's had a skating party on Friday night and then she did some more caroling with the National Honor Society on Saturday so she was pretty worn out. Both girls babysat Saturday night. Tessa had another busy ballet week with lots of extra rehearsals for the Holiday Ballet - think she will be glad when it is over - the performances are all next weekend - 6 shows plus a couple of extra for some schools!

The boys seem busy trying to prepare for finals. The girl Clark has been dating went home already (she goes to UVSC) so he just hung around all weekend studying and going out to dinner with roomates. Shayla and Logan went to SLC for a wedding reception of one of Logan's old ward friends and then to the Melting Pot for dessert - yum. Logan helped DJ at a dance on Saturday night We are glad to be home and we are so excited for the boys to come home on Thursday!

1 comment:

Ashley -cutestblogontheblock said...

Hi again Leigh Anne!

I got your comment about personalizing pages. Yes I love to do that. I do blog facelifts for $15. As far as wordpress goes, I haven't worked with that program in the past, but I'm sure if I spend some time on it I could figure it out. If you would like, send me an email to huntsnlove@hotmail.com and we can talk it over some more.

Thanks,

PS: with the background you are using, you might want to do a white bold font. It seems to show better on the green background.

Ashley
cutestblogontheblock