(I apologize in advance for the photo overload. I had difficulty deciding on which photos to post.)
Mother Nature has been toying with us. Amongst all the cold temperatures we’ve been experiencing daily, the old gal tucked in 3 days in a row with temps in the 70’s, albeit one of those days was rainy. We’ll take whatever we can get at this point. Ah, glorious warmth! Ah, glorious sunshine! How we missed thee. We put everything else aside just so we could bask in the glory of it.
We spent the first of the three days at camp. Don was able to sit outside working on his music. That always attracts passerbys who stop and visit for awhile. They often make a request for a favorite song or two and Don is always happy to oblige if he knows it. Sometimes he just wings it if he doesn’t. I relaxed alongside of him, reading and being serenaded by his music. Later we took a long stroll with Tucker through the pines and all around Rainbow Plantation. While walking, Tucker’s hind paw began to bleed again. He’s been having an ongoing issue with a growth connected to one of his pads. He has seen a vet twice since Christmas but the treatment hasn’t improved the paw’s condition much. We were warned on his last visit that he may need to have the growth removed. Well to make a long story short, Tucker’s surgery is scheduled for February 15th.
On our second glorious Springlike day we headed to the beach. Apparently others had the same idea. It was foggy when we arrived. Don set up our chairs, we kicked off our sandals and took a long walk along the coastline to the pier. The water was cold at first but once our feet were numbed we no longer noticed the cold. Then back to our seats to people watch and take a quick snooze.
Just as we were leaving this stately looking heron landed right behind the truck. He patiently tolerated me while I snapped a couple of pictures. Back at the Suite Pea we capped off our day with pork chops on the grill.
The ensuing day was still warm but it rained off and on. We felt it would be a good day to make the 40 minute drive over to Pensacola, Florida. Tucker was needing his prescription dog food restocked and the only place we can purchase it is at a Pet Smart that also has a Banifield veterinary clinic in it. There is one in Pensacola. As a bonus I was able to schedule him for a grooming appointment too. We could leave him with the groomer while we ran some other errands.
A quick stop at Beall’s department store to exchange a previous purchase. (I am not a shopper by any means, never have been, but I do love shopping at Beall’s with all of their bright tropical prints.) Next, a stop at Joe Patti’s which no visit to Pensacola is complete without. We made our usual seafood and grouper purchases but this time we also included a loaf of fresh baked sourdough bread and a loaf of cranberry walnut.
Since Tucker still wasn’t ready for us to pick up, we headed to McGuire’s for lunch. Don had heard about this restaurant from a fellow musician and had been wanting to try their fish and chips. I was on board.
I can tell you this. McGuire’s is a must do! The service was excellent. The fish and chips was perfection. Note this, I am not a big fish eater. I am very picky about the type of fish, the freshness of the fish, where it was caught, and how it is prepared. That said, McGuire’s was A-one in my book. The fish was lightly breaded and the seasoning they use was delicious. But what really makes this place special is the atmosphere. All dark wood, polished brass and Tiffany-style light fixtures, just what an American might envision an authentic Irish pub to look like. Authentic Irish tunes are piped in too just for good measure. And yet none of this is the highlight at McGuire’s Irish Pub. Nope. Uh-uh! It’s the money! Lots of money! Like approximately 1.5 million dollars worth of one dollar bills kind of money!
McGuire’s opened in 1977 as a small neighborhood pub in a shopping center. Back then McGuire was the cook and bartender and Molly waited on the tables. The story goes that when Molly made her first tip-a one dollar bill-she tacked it to the wall over the bar for good luck. The next day friends offered to add to the collection, and a tradition was born. In 1982 the pub moved into what was originally the Pensacola Fire Department’s 1927 built firehouse and obviously took the tradition with it. Today there is over 1.5 million signed dollar bills hanging from the ceiling and rafters. The pub treats them as an asset. They are counted yearly by an accounting firm and taxes are paid on them. Over the years the money has proven to be too much of a temptation for a few folks, leading to their arrests.
Don and I added our signed one dollar bill to the assemblage. Shortly after lunch the groomer called to say Tucker was ready. We picked our boy up, called it a day in Pensacola and made our way home via the coastline roads.
Friday night in downtown Mobile was the Crewe of Columbus parade. This society was formed in 1921, hosting their first parade the following year. It began as a group open only to Knights of Columbus members but has since expanded to include non members. The mainstays of their floats are the Nina, Pinta and the Santa Maria. Perhaps the most popular float is the Mighty Isabella-the three headed sea serpent. They chose Just Google It! as this year’s theme.
Saturday night found us back downtown. For this parade we thought we’d try a different location to see if I could capture the floats in their entirety. Once again we left 2 hours early to secure a spot as the Mystics of Time is listed as number three on the most attendees list.
Mystics of Time host their parade on the Saturday preceding Mardi Gras. It’s the smoke breathing dragons that make this one of the most popular parades.
The MOT was founded in 1948. 19 floats depicted this year’s selected theme of Time Elemental.
In a future post I hope to include info and photos of 2 of Mobile’s more unusual Mardi Gras parades. Until then,
…….here’s lookin’ at you kid.