Saturday, May 08, 2010

Around Mobile

They tell us that part of exploring a new area is to try the local foods. We started doing that here in Mobile on Thursday when we visited Felix's Fish Camp, a restaurant near the USS Alabama Memorial Park.

The strip of highway east of the Alabama is lined with very popular fish restaurants. A friend had recommended Felix's and we were not disappointed. We enjoyed the fish platter with sides of hush puppies and fried green tomatoes. We assumed Felix was the owner. That is, until Friday when we learned Felix is probably King Felix III, king of Mardi Gras in Mobile. See this information

Friday we visited downtown Mobile. We parked near Bienville Square

an oasis in the middle of town. That day there was a caterer serving food under the glorious live oak trees. The square, which is named after Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville a colonizer, born in Montreal, Quebec and an early, repeated governor of French Louisiana, appointed 4 separate times during 1701-1743. It also includes this ornate band stand.

Many of the downtown buildings had these balconies.

They must be a Southern thing. In Colorado we deal with wind chill. It may be 30 degrees outside, but a wind will make it feel like 22. Earlier this week the weather forecast here said the high would be 86 but feel like it was in the 90s. when I woke up this morning at 6 am it was 75 outside. Can you imagine that? With no air conditioning, people in these old buildings would need balconies so they could cool off.

We visited the Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

Look at the wonderful ceiling.

We also stopped by the Fort Conde Museum. It is a replica of the original 1720s French Fort Condé at the site, also known as Fort Carlota (under Spanish rule) and also Fort Charlotte (under British or American rule). During the American Revolution the French sided with the American revolutionaries and helped defeat the British, who held Mobile at that time.

The museum also had a wonderful exhibit of historic photos of African Americans in Alabama over the years. It was moving and very interesting, maybe the high point of our visit to downtown.

Downtown Mobile is interesting and a lot of work is being done to make it vibrant again. There are a lot of beautiful old buildings. And a few very modern new buildings. I found the contrast of the old and new a bit jarring.

Before coming back to the RV, we drove on Scenic 98 along the Eastern Shore, a beautiful area of homes on tree-lined streets along the eastern edge of Mobile Bay. What a treat to see this area! We turned around at the Fly Creek Restaurant and Marina. There we saw this forest of sailing ship masts

and this fishing boat going out into the Bay. It may not be able to go very far into the Gulf of Mexico if the oil slick comes this way.

Today we ate lunch at The Brick Pit,

a barbecue restaurant in Mobile that has been featured on the Food Network, where they won the Best Tailgating competition, and on the Travel Channel. We enjoyed the pulled pork plate. The restaurant's slogan is

and over the years they have invited patrons to write on the walls.

It is quite a place.

After lunch we went to see Art in the Park at the nearby town of Foley. We saw a large collection of artist booths in a nice small town. Look at the great flower baskets hanging from the light poles.

We didn't buy anything except a bottle of water and an apple fritter. But we saw lot of paintings, jewelry, pottery and glass work and clothing. These whirly-gigs were especially fun.

Foley also has a great model train set-up.

How is this for a booth where the local radio station was broadcasting?

1 comment:

  1. You found some great stuff in Mobile. I really liked the pretty little town of Fairhope on the east side of Mobile bay, but you're probably long gone by now.