Monday, March 11th – Wednesday, March 13th, 2013
It was a rainy drive out of Birmingham the next morning. We made a brief pit stop at Montgomery, AL right as the rain stopped, and checked out the Riverfront. We wandered by the amphitheater in the park, but had to seek shelter afterwards since it began to rain again. We ran back towards the van and decided to dry off inside The Deli at Alley Station for lunch before leaving Montgomery.
We grabbed gas at the Poarch Creek Indian Reservation, which is a gambling hub in Alabama (it’s illegal to do so in the rest of the state), before arriving at Mobile, AL to visit another of Trevor’s cousins, Pam, her husband Robby, and the kids. I struggled to pronounce the name of their city correctly, and kept wanting to pronounce it “Moh-bull” instead of, “Moh-beel.” I eventually managed to cease slaughtering the pronunciation.
They lived in the Crichton neighborhood where the notorious (and fictitious), “Mobile Leprechaun” lives. The tale of the leprechaun was made internet famous after a local new station did a report on it. If you haven’t seen it, you should. It’s hysterical!
Robby’s mother and her husband, who are both equally as sweet, came over for dinner. They were so generous as to offer the two of us, and Trevor’s parents who were arriving later, a whole house (which they called “T2”) to stay at during our visit. Before heading to T2, we ate a delicious dinner made by Robby. The guy can cook!
I woke up feeling afflicted. I was struggling with my transition from homebody to nomad, and I usually handle stress by drinking, which was one thing I wasn’t allowing myself to do for at least a year. I had quit a little over 2 months prior and wasn’t planning on giving in so easily. I needed a distractions, so decided to ride my bicycle around the neighborhood with Trevor, then read in the backyard in the sunshine for a while.
When we decided to head downtown to explore, we realized that the van had been leaking power steering fluid (again). We drove to the gas station down the street to top off the fluid, and as Trevor hopped out of the van, he dropped his phone and shattered the screen. The day was off to a rough start.
We drove around and discovered it was still leaking fluid at a rapid rate. We stopped at a McDonald’s to use their Wi-Fi and to figure out the source of the problem. We found the location of the leak and noticed a screw was loose, so we tightened it and hoped that that was the the source of the problem. Before returning to Pam’s, a little girl was asking us for ice cream in the parking lot. Apparently, she thought we were driving an ice cream truck. Given all the stickers (however, none of them being of ice cream), I can understand why at first glance she would get so excited. Sorry kid, no chocolate eclairs, push pops, or Ninja Turtles for you. I’d imagine we were feeling equally disappointed as she was.
We returned to T2 and Robby’s family swung by the house to see how we were doing. His mother brought some Utz potato chips (a Maryland staple, although they’re from Pennsylvania), and she adorably kept pronouncing them “OOOts” instead of “UHts.” At least I wasn’t the only one mispronouncing things around here, although when she did it she sounded cute. I just sounded simple. After they left, we went back to focusing on not focusing in an attempt to wind down.
The van was still leaking! It was leaking slower than before, but the power steering fluid tank was practically empty. We drove to Pam’s, left the van there, then headed out with them to Mobile’s historic district.
The architecture was beautiful and reminded me a little of New Orleans’ French Quarter. Pam mentioned that around Christmas time, a tornado tore through the other side of town. She drove us passed the damaged buildings covered in tarps. We ate at one of Robby’s favorite local restaurants called Callaghan’s (if you’re in search of good food in the south, Robby is your guy)! He insisted we go there since it was Wednesday, which meant it was L.A. Burger day. To the locals, the L.A. is not to be confused with Los Angeles, or neighboring state Louisiana (postal code: LA), but actually stands for Lower Alabama. The food was great, and we would eat more good food later on in the day when we went out with their family and friends to R&R Seafood where we enjoyed crawfish and various types of po’boys.
We planned on getting the van fixed the next day. The first place recommended by his cousin made Trevor a bit nervous as the guy was in the process of scrapping metal and we were informed he charged a lot. We decided to wait until the morning to look into the second option since Trevor’s parents were just arriving after a long drive from Fort Myers.
The next day, we would go on several excursions, one of those being to one of my favorite cities in the country, New Orleans, LA!
Jump Back to Part 03: Bama, Butt Cheeks & Great Eats
Jump Ahead to Part 05: Battleships, Godzilla & Snoochie Boochies