We took a whirlwind trip to Mobile, Alabama last weekend. It was our last Family Weekend at Spring Hill College–Emily will graduate in May. For the last four Octobers we’ve made (or some of us have, depending on who was available–I’m the only one who’s made all four) the 500 mile drive to spend some time with Emily, have fun at the events on campus, and explore a little bit of Mobile.
I’ve written about my family connection to Mobile before–it had kind of a mythical allure to me growing up, that place we came from. My great-grandmother was born there, then migrated to Tennessee with her husband (whose family was from Kentucky). My grandmother made frequent visits throughout her life, spending summers at the family home on the bay with cousins, bringing her own children for visits, and even into her later years heading down to see family and coming home with crabmeat to make gumbo. So we were thrilled that Emily chose to go to school there, and welcomed the opportunity to get to know the area a little more on each of our visits.
This time around, besides enjoying seafood at Wintzell’s Oyster House and the Mariner (my favorite, that Emily and I discovered on my first visit there with her), out in the middle of nowhere (William loves it because of all the cats that live outside, fed by the owners on leftover seafood!), we went to see the USS Alabama. This is something John had been wanting to do from our first visit. I would never have thought of doing it myself, but WOW.
We wandered the whole ship, above and below decks, and William especially was enthralled.
Afterwards, we had to make a stop at Magnolia Cemetery. My great-great-great grandfather, a Confederate General, is buried there, and Emily wanted to recap the picture I took of her there four years ago. Plus we all just love cemeteries, and this is a pretty cool one.
Our trip did not have the best ending, what with our car starting to shake as though possessed, necessitating $500 worth of repairs and a six hour delay in leaving on Sunday while those were effected, but since we’ve had somewhat worse endings to vacations in the past, I’ll take it.