Had me a real good time…

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Ain’t She Sweet

We were in Mobile for a quick get-a-way and to join our youngest for a Parents Weekend Celebration. It’s amazing how much stuff you can do in a day or two if you put your mind to it…

We left late and hit two major tie-ups on the drive down, so our 6 hour travel time was drawn out to 9.  When that happens, there is nothing left to do but eat…

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Hoover’s Best BBQ

We pulled off to get some coffee and spied The Golden Rule BBQ restaurant across the way. I had the world’s tiniest (and tastiest) BLT while hog butts slowly cured in the background. Sated and stocked with fresh caffeine, we got back on 65 and headed south, finally getting into Mobile at 7…

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Mardi Gras Comics

We made it to our 7:30 dinner at the Mobile Carnival Museum with minutes to spare. Afterward, we had plenty of time to wander the three stories of displays featuring the Kings, Queens, and comics of past Mobile Mardi Gras.  I grew up in Philly with the Mummers (with a dad who was in a fancy brigade when he was young) so I’m all about pageantry and ornate costuming…

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A 75th celebration cape

Mardi Gras has been celebrated in Mobile since 1703 and seems to continually evolve.  In 1872 Mobile’s First Royal Court was formed and was reigned over by first king of Carnival, aka: Emperor Felix I. The museum showcases many of the costumes and relics associated with subsequent Felix’s and their queens and courts.

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King Felix III and Queen Isabelle
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Cape and suit detail
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So many crowns
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One of Joe Cain’s Mistresses, Old Slackabamorinico himself, and his Merry Widow

I am just a little bit fascinated by Joe Cain.  He is credited with reviving Mobile’s Mardi Gras tradition after the Civil War, by parading around town dressed as fictional Chickasaw Chief Slackabamorinico and a wagon full of his ‘Indian’ friends. Today, he lies buried in Mobile’s Church Street graveyard and each year the Joe Cain Day Parade (aka The People’s Parade) ends with revelers, including his Merry Widows, dancing on his grave…

After we had our fill of Mobile Mardi Gras history we headed to our Airbnb rental for the night.  We stayed at Sweet Caroline, a lovely home in the Garden District situated very close to all of the downtown attractions (including the Carnival Museum)…

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Living Room Ambiance
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Sweet Caroline by day

It was our first time using Airbnb (we typically rent through VRBO ).  While we found it unsettling to wake up surrounded by a stranger’s personal belongings (with all of their things in the kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms) this house was a gem, with its mix of antiques, funky art, an updated kitchen and a great front porch complete with chairs for relaxing and catching up…

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Lucky 13 – and my favorite colors

I always like to walk around any neighborhood I am staying in so I can check out the vibe. The Mobile Garden District homes reminded me of New Orleans’ Garden District (where we stayed earlier this summer) minus the never-ending parade of drunken tourists.

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A grey beauty
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Welcome to the neighborhood

I worked up an appetite after my walk so we headed back downtown for an outdoor breakfast at Spot of Tea on Dauphin Street.  Nothing like starting the day by watching the world stroll by while eating tasty food with great company. (I would have taken some pictures but I left my camera AND my phone at the house in a moment of hunger-driven forgetfulness)…

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Chasing a scrum ball
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On the run

 

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Holding on

We spent the rest of the afternoon watching a rugby game (SHC vs LSE-Alexandria) and then had our family photo taken (the first in 15+ years – woohoo!)

After dinner at our favorite Mobile restaurant, Half Shell Oyster House the kids headed back to campus for a party and the adults headed downtown for a GulfCoast Haunted Duck Boat ride.  Think Splash Mountain meets tourist jitney but on a much larger scale.  We rode back and forth across the Mobile River and tooled around town while being regaled with Mobile ghost stories including the Malaga Inn Room 007 Lady in White, the Battle House Bride, and the Boyington Oak Tree of Innocence.

We hit the road early the next morning for the long drive north, exhausted by our whirlwind 36 hours in Mobile. We anticipate spending a lot of time  in Mobile over the next four years and would love to know your recommendations for authentic oyster shacks, local restaurants, good beaches and the like that we could check out the next time(s) we’re in town…

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Had me a real good time…

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