Also in February, I took a long weekend trip to Alabama. Everyone asks me, why Alabama?? Well, the answer might be lame but I have to say that it's completely because of the show 'Hart of Dixie'. The show was really cute and I wanted to see if Alabama was anything like how they portrayed it in the show... it really wasn't, but I wasn't expecting it to be exactly the same. I was originally planning on visiting a bit later in the month, or in March, but at Christmas my Grandma asked where my next trip was going to be. I told her Alabama and she said her and my Grandpa were going down for Mardi Gras and I was welcome to join them, so that's what I did!
Saturday, February 10th
I was at the airport bright and early at 6am, it was snowy and cold. I had a layover in Nashville where it was rainy. Then I landed in Pensacola where it was warm and sunny. I like how the weather changed for the better! On this trip I rented my first rental car! The under age fees were a bit outrageous but I'm glad I could still get a car and go where I wanted to go. My grandparents hotel was in Orange Beach, Alabama so I drove over there from Pensacola. It was only about 30 miles but it took an hour to get there. For some reason, the average speed down there is about 40mph. I kept catching myself speeding and had to slow down, it drove me crazy. Once I got to the hotel, I hung out with my grandparents a bit and took a nap before dinner. Yes, I take naps, a lot... We went to dinner at a place called Lambert's. My grandparents raved about it. They come around and serve appetizers to you individually and they throw hot rolls at you. I ended up getting sick at the restaurant and didn't eat much but what I did eat was good. The hospitality down south is amazing, everyone is so friendly. As soon as we got back to the hotel, I went to bed because I wasn't feeling well.
Sunday, February 11th
Unfortunately, I was still not feeling well all day Sunday. I went out to breakfast and had an amazing waffle with southern fruit jam on it at BuzzCatz Coffee and Sweets. But as soon as I finished eating, I felt like I was going to throw up again so I went back to the hotel. I ended up staying in the room all day, to stay close to the bathroom, and worked on homework for college all day. I wrote a five page research paper out on the patio of the room, overlooking the beach, listening to the waves and rain. The rain was another reason why I didn't go out and do anything, it poured all day and everything I wanted to see was outside.
Monday, February 12th
I woke up Monday still not feeling the best but I made myself get out and do things. I was on vacation and I didn't want to spend my whole trip at the hotel, I wanted to see at least a couple things. I drove an hour up to see the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park. For some odd reason, my phone charger quit working on the drive up there and my phone was at 5% battery while I was touring the ship, so I couldn't take many pictures. Along with the USS Alabama battleship, there was also an aircraft pavilion with planes from a lot of different wars and the USS Drum submarine. If you don't know me, you should know that I absolutely love the Navy. When I board any Navy ship, I automatically get in an amazing mood, it's like my heart is smiling while I'm touring them.
I actually met a local while I was down there, his name is Kris, I hooked him with knowledge of my Buckeyes and my hatred for the Alabama football team. He told me about a nighttime Mardi Gras parade happening in the town of Fairhope. I knew that there was going to be a big parade in Mobile that night but decided since I wasn't feeling well, I shouldn't surround myself with an excessive amount of people. So we met up at the parade and it was really nice. I would describe Fairhope as a town like Bexley or Upper Arlington in Ohio, they are a richer town and there's even an article in a local paper down there with a title of "There's No Pushing in Fairhope." I was expecting small floats and it to be like the parades in Sunbury or Westerville back home, but it was not like that at all! The floats are extravagant and amazing. Most of them had multiple platforms that the people could stand on and the decorations were astonishing. Each float was throwing beaded necklaces, stuffed animals, toys, cups, Moon Pies, and so much more. It was crazy and so much fun!
Tuesday, February 13th
Mardi Gras! I woke up feeling somewhat better on Tuesday. It was also the first day that it didn't rain. I have started doing yoga recently and I thought it would be really cool to do yoga on the beach so I went down and did it! Doing it while the waves were breaking was so relaxing. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
Right after I finished yoga, I went out front of the hotel to the road and saw a daytime Mardi Gras parade. The floats were amazing at this parade too! I wonder how long it takes them to make them.... I got about a grocery bag full of beads from the nighttime parade so I was letting other people get the necklaces at this parade. I definitely would say that the night parade was my favorite out of the two.
The parade ended and I went back up to the room, packed up my stuff, said goodbye to my grandparents, and headed back to Pensacola to fly home. I didn't wait long enough for the parade to go by so I got stuck driving behind it for a long time but I still made it to the airport on time!
In conclusion, Alabama was nice. I really wish that I didn't get sick and could have explored more but I'm really thankful for my grandparents inviting me to stay with them. I am also happy that I met a local and he could show me and tell me more about how it's like to live in Alabama. I don't know that I'll go back to explore more, but I'm glad I did it once. That's just one more state marked off my list! :D