‘What are we up to today?” one of the Doha reunion visitors asked as we sat around the breakfast table at the Shiny Diner.
“I was thinking a drive into Alabama,” I threw out, “Or is there anything you have heard of you would like to visit, or re-visit?”
“I’ve never been in Alabama before!” one guest enthused. “I could cross it off my list!”
We dropped one friend off at the airport, said our farewells, and headed into Alabama. For those of you who are thinking it might be a long trip, Pensacola is close to the border; 20 minutes later we were in Alabama.
“Where are we going?” the remaining two visitors asked.
“I’m thinking Fairhope,” I responded, “it’s cute, and there are walks, and shopping, and cute restaurants.”
While we are not world-class shoppers, Fairhope is enticing, with it’s small boutiques and specialty shops. It’s not like the same-old same-old in every mall and strip-mall.
As we walked along the Fairhope Pier, we guessed how long it was. We saw several people doing laps of the pier – what a great place to walk, all that fresh air, the view of the Mobile skyline, the wind and the water. One of the walkers strolled along with us and told us the pier was exactly 1/4 mile, so if you walk out and back, you have walked 1/2 mile. She also gave us a recommendation for a place to eat, in Fairhope’s French Quarter, Panini Pete’s. “Be sure to eat outside,” she counseled us.
We found Panini Pete’s, and snagged a place in the gazebo, which I thought was ‘outside’.
It was a lovely location. My friends had the Reuben sandwiches with special homemade chips:
I had the house salad with grilled chicken:
We spent a lovely time dining, only to discover that we were not outside; this is what ‘outside’ is:
I did not take a photo of dessert – we shared an order of beignet. These were the big round fluffy beignets, covered with powdered sugar. So yummy!
It was a great visit, even though we never found an Alabama Starbucks cup for our visiting friend, she did get to spend time in Alabama. Next reunion, maybe we will check off Louisiana and Mississippi, the only other states she has not visited.
The last of my Doha friends left yesterday, not without moments of hilarity. We had a great time together, and all my concerns about visiting Pensacola in the coldest month of the year were for naught. The weather, every single day, was in the 70’s, and one of the days it almost hit 80. One friend was flying straight into severe weather, and I wonder how it affected her day – if she even got home.
We had one lovely evening when our son and his wife and little happy toddler came over, laughing and talking, and our sweet daughter in law introduced all my friends to a Pensacola specialty, Sin in a Tin. Our last stop on their last day was the market where they could stock up on it to take back with them!
I am keeping my own eye on this ‘slow moving weather front’ because it is headed our way. If you’ve seen the devastation in Dallas, you’ll know – hurricane level destruction, 90 mph winds – high winds and lots of rain, and flooding.
When I checked Weather Underground this morning, this is what it looks like heading towards Pensacola:
Scary looking, hmmm?