Monday, June 25, 2007

Mobile Run-Away

Last weekend Jack and I ran away to Mobile. The week before Jack started thinking about taking Friday off, so I started looking for some place close by to go. After ruling out a few places, we settled on Mobile. This is a place that we go every Easter weekend for Leadership Training for Christ convention. That weekend is a "working" weekend though without time for any sightseeing. So we decided it may be a fun, relaxing place to go.

We left Thursday after Jack got off of work. It wasn't too late when we got over there and checked into our hotel - The Radisson - Admiral Semmes. This is a hotel that is on the National Hotel Register, so it is old, but it was nice. It was also far enough from the railroad tracks that we didn't hear the trains come through, yet close enough to downtown.

Friday morning we headed over to Dauphin Island. I have read about the Estuarium there and wanted to check it out. There was a little boardwalk outside and then a nice little aquarium on the inside. We enjoyed looking at the turtles and jelly fish in particular. It is a nice area for kids to explore and learn in. Across the street from the Estuarium is Fort Gaines. We took the tour of it too and decided that those soldiers had to be miserable serving time there. The ocean view is nice, but it was a little warm to say the least.

After our tours, we ate lunch at the Lighthouse Bakery. The smell of cinnamon rolls was so strong when we walked in that we had to have one for desert. Very tasty. We drove around the island after lunch and then headed back to Mobile.

Mobile has a museum, the Exploreum, that the kids that go to LTC love. I have never had a chance to go there, so we headed over there. The current exhibit is Reptiles - so we got to see lizards and snakes. YUK! We walked through the hands on part and decided it was great for kids, but a little loud for old folks like us. The main reason we went to the Exploreum was to watch the IMAX movie - "Hurricane on the Bayou" Of course this movie featured Louisiana and Hurricane Katrina. It is very well done and I found myself tearing up at times.

We decided to try an Italian restaurant for dinner. We had read some about Bilotti's, so we checked it out. It was a nice little restaurant. The food was good and the atmosphere was nice. We drove in the area for a while and then went to Starbucks for coffee. (When there's no CC's you have to take what's there.)

The next morning we headed out to Bellingrath Gardens. This was a beautiful place. We toured the gardens, the house and took a ride on the Fowl River. This is a place where the gardens were planned and planted first and then the house was built. The house is huge, but fits so well in the landscape that you don't realize how big it is. The furnishings in the house are all original which was a nice touch. In some of the rooms they have old photographs for comparison to how it was then, and how it is now. The land also has several artesian wells that are used as water features in the landscape. All in all, a very impressive area.

We headed back to Mobile for a late lunch and ate at Butch Cassidy's. This is a hole in the wall in midtown that has delicious hamburgers. It's one of those places that you wonder about when you drive up, but it was really good.

Our last Mobile treat was that night when we ate at Felix's Fish Camp. This is along a stretch of road that I always thought was undeveloped. We drove down it and there are several restaurants. They are along the bay and are all raised. Felix's has a playground in the sand under part of the building for the kids - as I'm sure several of them do. That is a nice touch. We had called for Friday night reservations and could not get in. They had an available time Saturday at 8:00 - which is late for Jack and me, but we took it. It was worth the wait and even going so late. I had some delicious crab cakes with fried green tomatoes and Jack had a wonderful steak. We were seated at a table by the window overlooking the bay. It was a nice view and a wonderful meal.

Sunday we headed back to Baton Rouge....back to the real world. All in all, it was a wonderful little runaway.