Mobile, Alabama… if you want to see the Deep South, Mobile is the city. Hanging moss draped over big oak trees, homes dating back to the 1800s. Then there are the Museums, Mobile Carnival Museum, Mobile Museum of Arts and the 1850 Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception with intricate German stained glass windows. More Modern day attractions exist… the USS Alabama, a WWII Battleship decorated for its performance in the Pacific, and the Mobile Botanical Gardens.
To welcome the runners to Mobile, The Mobile Azalea Trail Maids were present in Southern Belle beauty. These high school ladies do a number of events throughout Mobile as hospitality representatives. Each girl had grace and presence as they greeted each of us with a welcoming smile. Never one to turn down an opportunity to be surrounded by Southern Charm… they were glad to pose for a picture, as they did for many many others! The Maids number about 50 and are ambassadors for the city at a wide range of venues and events. At the Mobile Marathon, we got to see 10 to 12 of these High School seniors, both at the start line and the finish line. Check out the organization at http://mobileazaleatrailmaids.com
We got into Mobile Saturday afternoon and had time for a little touring. For Bullie and myself that usually means finding a local Brewery and we found two! And, it isn’t a party unless Jennifer is there!
First stop was Serda Brewing Co, which we just happened upon and thought this was as good of a place as any to start. They had a good variety and of course, Jennifer and I got a flight each of 4 oz beers to sample. Jennifer likes the stouts and porters while I tend to lean toward IPAs. Bullie struck up a conversation with a tall slender local beauty with a long neck. Love at first sight! However, the Bartender, acting in a fatherly manner, frowned upon Bullie’s flirtatious antics. It was time to leave!!
A quick Google search had us heading down the street for Iron Hand Brewing. Again, being true to the cause… we had a flight of beer each, all different selections. All were delicious! But the most delicious thing there was the Cheese Bread. I am telling you, I have never had Cheese Bread this good. The Owner/Brewmaster/Chef is very talented. All the food on the menu is prepared by him. House made bread drowned in butter, olive oil and garlic, topped with fennel, herbs, Parmesan and mozzarella cheese! The party was on! Bullie had a beer with a Raven and the raven said to Bullie, Nevermore! A pirate, evidently a MS State fan in days past, had to ring the bell!
How do you end a perfect Saturday? Dinner at Wintzell’s and a celebration of a good run in Pensacola and the promise of a better run Sunday in Mobile.
We headed to Malaga Inn, a quaint old hotel in the middle of town, within walking distance of the start line. This was the same hotel where Jennifer and I stayed on our way to Disney World 41 years ago… our honeymoon!
Early to rise, we headed to the start line. Pictures with the 50 State Half Marathon Club and the Belles, seeing old friends with the Half Fanatics and seeing my two newest friends from Arkansas. Carol Earles and Teal Clark. Not sure now who is stalking who! The race started with a bang… a cannon manned by the MCHD Cannon team lead by Dr. Bernard H Eichold II! Mobile County Health Department… yep… only in the South! These guys were great!
Bullie wanted to fire the cannon but a picture was all he could get… Bullie wasn’t certified and these guys are serious! The Lyle Line-Throwing Cannon, which has a 2.5-inch-diameter barrel, was manufactured in the early 1900s by Coston. It is not a replica, reproduction or toy. The cannon was designed to fire a projectile attached to a rope to a boat or a victim in distress. Now it used to inspire those seeking a healthier lifestyle. https://www.facebook.com/ILOVEMCHD/
All along the course, there was great crowd support, beautiful scenery, music and great aid stations (both kinds!! If you know what I mean!) Bullie got to DJ some at Mile 8, encouraging on the runners! Jennifer’s partners in crime, the Mississippi Fem Fatales, Jennifer Sloan Ziegler and Pam Slay Pitts displayed the medals… hand painted wooden finisher awards made by some very special people at L’Arche Mobile. They are the charity that the Mobile Marathon raises money for. L’Arche discovers and makes known the gifts of people with intellectual disabilities, revealed through mutually transforming relationship. The medals are an expression of their talents.
The end of the race everyone was greeted once again by the Azalea Trail Maids. So, off to get a beer, because after all, I am “Just Here for the Beer” Before I knew it, Bullie was in love once again! This time he met a real Mississippi State University cheerleader!!! Go Dawgs!
Had a delicious meal at the Ruby Slipper and then headed back to the car, passing some interesting windows! No comments!!
Another wonderful weekend! Coming up, a profile of two people, Kathleen and Joey Willis, involving young single girls to have a better life with the center piece being healthy through running, Girls On The Run. Stay tune!!