Waiting for the Airbag Part to arrive for the bus, we took full advantage. New Year’s eve we drove the Clown Car to Mobile. There we spent the afternoon at Battleship park. The centerpiece is the Battleship USS Alabama, which is open and there is a self-guided tour…really excellent. There is also an Airplane museum with some pretty interesting stuff. Unlike most such museums, you can get close enough to touch…and really appreciate some really interesting aircraft. Such as an AR-12 (CIA version of the SR-71 Blackbird). A Mig-17 was on display along with an F86 Saber, F105, A4, F4, A6 – all aircraft it would have faced in Korea and Vietnam.
After the museum, we drove to downtown Mobile. There we had a couple local beers and watched ‘Bama Football on TV. ROLL TIDE. (When in Rome…). While downtown, we learned some really interesting things:
- There is NOTHING going on in downtown Mobile when ‘Bama is playing football.
- Mobile INVENTED Mardi Gras (or so they say). They are already preparing for it.
- Mobile’s version of Times Square’s Crystal ball is a MOONPIE DROP. From the top of the tallest building in Mobile. We would have stayed to watch, except biblical rains were forecast.
- There is a Moonpie General Store…where you can buy Moonpies of many flavors and sizes.
So, WHAT THE HECK IS A Moonpie? I can best describe it as the Southern Equivalent of a Hostess Twinkie. It is a Sandwich. The traditional Moonpie is about 4” in diameter and about 1” thick. A thin layer of chocolate, covering soggy graham crackers with a filling of Marshmallow. These are available at any 7-11 equivalent south of the Mason Dixon Line.
Apparently, Moonpies are traditionally enjoyed at Mobile’s Mardis Gras. At least according to the waitress in the bar. Of course, she admitted to being from California and hating Moonpies. We bought and sampled several at the Moonpie General Store. Let’s just say there are other ways to enjoy Mardis Gras (I hope).
We are still on track to get the bus fixed Tuesday. In the meantime, though the weather is intermittently rainy, we have managed a bunch of bike rides. We also took a walk (in shorts!) on the beach. The beach is fairly deserted because it is WINTER here. That means temperatures in the low 70s.