Returning to Gulf Coast Alabama one last time

I’m writing this about 20 minutes before Will and I have to leave for the airport to go back to Detroit while sitting on the patio of my parents’ condo, and it occurs to me that this is pretty much the first time on this trip where it’s been even remotely warm enough to sit outside for any amount of time.  Jeesh.

Will was off school this week and because I’m teaching online (and thus a little more flexible in my whereabouts) and because we didn’t spend as much time with my parents at Christmas as we probably should have, Will and I came down here for a few days.  Annette, unfortunately, still was teaching/working, and (even more unfortunate) watching over a kinda sick dog.

It’s been a pleasant enough visit. The highlight clearly was Mardi Gras, which was a much bigger deal down here in Southern Alabama than I thought.  We didn’t make it into Mobile for the big parades, which was a shame since they claim to be “the original” Mardi Gras (take that, copy-cat New Orleans!), but the local parade through Gulf Shores was a lot of fun. Here’s a link to some picts; here’s my favorite chunks of video, me catching one of the things commonly thrown from the floats, moon pies:

Will and I also spent a very cool afternoon climbing around the battleship USS Alabama and the submarine USS Drum while my parents stayed back and read.  At first, I thought my parents were being party-poopers, but once I got on board, I understood:  it was a lot of fun, but the chutes and ladders and tiny doors mean it’s a little like climbing around in the tubes at Chuck E. Cheese.

And we saw an old fort, and we were at a thing where they shot off an old canon… wow, very military themed, I guess.  I “ran”/walked one day on the beach, which was pretty good exercise albeit kind of cold.

All in all, a nice enough visit, though I don’t know if I’ll be back anytime soon.  My parents are talking about going someplace different next year, and to be honest, I have a hard time making seeing me and Annette making our own vacation kind of trip here. But the moon pies are good.

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