Sheila: "Would it be okay if we didn't have yogurt this morning and eat one of the donuts instead?" Me: "Sure!" Okay, some clarification here ... Our normal routine consists of waking up and having the first cup of coffee in bed while watching the morning news, followed by a yogurt before we get the day going. Also, when you're in a relationship where your sig other is several steps above your pay grade, you just agree to everything and hope she never goes in for her vision check. And, let's get serious, am I going to turn down a donut?
Especially when the donuts are from the Sugar Rush Donut Company in Mobile, Alabama, the location of our most recent road trip. These donuts are waayyy up on the list of greatness, getting very close to Gibson's Donuts in Memphis, TN or The Donut Hole in Destin, FL ... Actually, Sheila doesn't think The Donut Hole is THE best, since she believes we were being swayed by the general beauty of Destin (I think Shauna and James, Sheila's daughter and SIL, might argue that point) (I should have brought some Sugar Rush back home for them, now that I think about it) (hopefully they won't read this blog post), but these Sugar Rush babies are, indeed, tasty!
Sheila, cont'd: "Can we split the chocolate covered coconut sprinkled one? I don't want to have the apple fritter, that's too healthy and I feel like cheating today". TOO HEALTHY??? The apple fritter weighs about 2 pounds and has so much sugar glaze on top that it looks like an ice sculpture! But, hey, who am I to disagree (see relationship positioning details, above), and the chocolate coconut donut is equally amazing. Me: "Sure!" (I'm a verbose character, aren't I?) Point of reference, a pic of the "health food" fritter ....
So, another chance to spend time with Sheila while she has an out-of-town audit for work, and after all, I am now fully unemployed … err, uh, hmm … retired, yeah, that’s it, retired (sometimes it feels like unemployed, especially when Friday comes and there is no paycheck in the direct deposit) (hey, you say, that’s what you wanted, right?) (yes, it is, but still … no paycheck). Seriously, it’s one of the greatest things about this retirement deal, being able to spend this time with Sheila; it helps keep her off the planes and lets her relax on these small journeys.
Mobile is about 5 ½ hours from home, an easy drive using two primary interstates, I-85 and I-65. This is where the new car (a Lexus RX350 for those who haven’t been paying attention) is a real blessing. I’m not a big car buff, and honestly, never gave two darns about any car, but this Lexus is a thing of beauty. It’s the first car that I ever looked forward to driving, both for the comfort of the ride as well as the amenities that come along with it. Sheila loves the seat warmer, even when its warm outside … she likes keeping some stuff warm while her face is cool from the A/C. She is basically always cold, even when its hot outside, which is good for me since I’m always warm and that lets me get away with more, uh, contact than I should be allowed to have.
|F. Scott Fitzgerald Home - Montgomery, AL|
On the way down to Mobile, we stopped in Montgomery to visit the F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald home. The Fitzgerald's only lived there for about a year, but they rarely stayed anywhere for more than a few months so 1 year is quite the accomplishment. Of course, they were both, umm, whack jobs that led completely unstable lives, yet were loaded with talents for writing and art so the tour of their home was fascinating for both of us. Well worth the visit if you are in the area.
|The Admiral Hotel, Mobile|
Sheila had booked us a room at the historic Admiral Hotel, right in downtown Mobile. It's been quite a while since I had been in Mobile, and certainly never in this rarified level of comfort and style ... The Admiral Hotel is just loaded with Art Deco design and has a bunch of cool features that would make it worth the while for another visit at some point in the future. And it was within walking distance of the Mobile St Patrick's Day parade. They have valet parking, definitely a necessity here in Mobile, especially when they have an event in town … The Price Is Right was filming a show in Mobile and apparently, this is a big deal! Who knew? So, valet parking it is. And no, we didn’t see Drew Carey.
While Sheila was doing her audit at the client on Friday, I took the time to seek out local music shops in Mobile. I'm always, unrealistically, hopeful that I'll find some rare bass for el-cheapo cash at these little shops, but once again, it was to no avail. I did stumble across the St. Patrick's Day parade, which was small, sweet and very well attended by many locals all decked out in green and having a great time! Because Mobile is a Mardi Gras town, bead-tossing is the custom at these events. I was busy catching plastic strands flung in my direction, doing my best to not be blinded by flying plastic shards and trying to keep the little girl next to me from getting cold-cocked. But it was fun to be a part of it and I did keep some of the beads for Sheila ... not that she needs them, she is a Mardi Gras girl from way back in time!
We got lucky and Sheila finished her audit a bit earlier than expected, giving us time to head to Fairhope, Alabama for a massive art and craft festival. Fairhope is a beach type community along the Mobile Bay, a pretty town that gets consumed with this art festival every March. It’s reported that there are 230 exhibitors spread out in the center of town, but walking that thing made it feel like 2000 … it was quite the jaunt, especially after I walked a couple of miles in Mobile earlier that day and Sheila walked through most of her audit. According to my ever-trusty iPhone health app, I walked a total of 3.8 miles that day and I’d have to guess Sheila was right in that same neighborhood. So why does she look all skinny bones and I still look out of shape?
After many, many years with Bunny exhibiting at these shows, it was quite different visiting as an observer. I felt myself examining booth construction and design, thinking about what a PITA it must be to pack up at the end of that show. But it was great to just walk and look at the wonderful stuff these folks were selling.We had just about reached the end of our walking ability when Sheila said, “I really want a donut when we get back to the car.” How can you not love a good looking woman who loves donuts, too!