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We’re a Little Bit Country, We’re a Little Bit Rock and Roll!

This blog title might seem a bit odd in regard to travel but, in this entry, we are in Mobile, Alabama. I had visited Mobile a few times before, but it was always for concerts at the Mobile Civic Center with my Mom and Aunt, or Grandma.

My very first concert was in Mobile and it was Donny and Marie Osmond. I was so excited for us to drive into Mobile and see the Mobile Civic Center still standing and I am sure that Duffy really was excited to hear all about that experience every time we drove past it.

In addition to Donny and Marie, I also saw Neil Diamond here. I’m sure my coolness meter is off the charts.

I was eager to get to see the city with Duffy as I had not really toured it before. We were not really sure what to expect, but we were pleasantly surprised. Our first stop was at a highly recommended Irish pub in the Oakleigh Garden District named Callaghans. This is a pub that has been in existence since 1946 and was rated as having one of the best hamburgers in Alabama.

Since we were there during Sunday brunch, we skipped the burgers and went straight for breakfast. It is an intimate little pub and the breakfast was outstanding, but the walk around the Oakleigh Garden District was even better than the food. It was a gorgeous fall day and we couldn’t get over the huge, old Oak trees all around the beautiful neighborhood.

While the weather stayed so nice, we decided to take the day and tour the USS Alabama. The Alabama is a WWII-era ship that was key in some Pacific campaigns. The ship is in excellent condition and it was a beautiful day to tour it. We took a few hours and walked all over it. It always amazes me that hundreds of men lived, worked, slept, and fought in quarters like that.

USS Alabama

The gorgeous weather afforded us a nice view at dinner with a sunset over Mobile Bay with the USS Alabama in the background. Little did we know the weather wasn’t going to stay nice.

Dinner at Felix’s Fish Camp

The next morning we started hearing rumblings from the weather forecasters of severe thunderstorms coming through Mobile. We typically try to take a day off between sightseeing adventures to take care of things around camp, so we just made sure things were secure and enjoyed a down day.

That night we turned in, figuring our weather alert radio would notify us of issues. Sure enough, around 2:30 a.m., we were woken up by our radio notifying us of a tornado watch, so we turned on the TV and started to watch local coverage. As we watched, they were tracking the severe weather and tornado activity and started to reference the area we were staying in.

At about the same time as they reported it, both our radio and phones went off with all sorts of alerts about a tornado warning. Not wasting any time, we donned our rain jackets and grabbed the dog, and hoofed it rapidly to a bathhouse in the campground, braving the heavy rain and wind and lightning all around.

As we waited, we were joined in the bathroom by our RV neighbors and we had a few minutes to chat and compare RV stories while we waited for the storm to pass. Fortunately, we only had to shelter for about fifteen minutes, but the storms went on to damage other areas. We were relieved to have dodged a bullet.

Our tornado shelter

As the weather turned colder from the front moving through, we spent a chilly day touring the National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico. This museum is a tribute to the Gulf of Mexico and its maritime history and culture and it is very unique in that it is shaped like a ship headed into Mobile Bay. The interactive exhibits kept us entertained for a few hours and the top deck afforded a great view of the shipping channel to see all that we had learned about in action.

The rest of our time in the Mobile area was spent walking our RV park and enjoying the gorgeous views over the bay each morning and evening. We were pleasantly surprised by Mobile and will not hesitate to visit again and see more that it has to offer.

Sunset over Meaher State Park in Spanish Fort, AL
Route for this leg of the trip

Miles driven this leg: 247

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