Mobile 3/24/2018 - 3/27/2018
PrologueIt has now been over 12 years since the passing of our dear friend Frank Brown. In the intervening years, we have become close with his daughter, Karmilla Ali. She is a professional jazz singer, and we have been wanting to go to a gig and see her in her element. We have also kept in touch with Frank's sister Eloise, who is now 87 years old. We hadn't seen either of them since we went to Mobile for Frank's funeral in 2005.
We decided that a visit is long overdue. When Karmilla told us that she would be singing at the Gulf City Lodge as part of the Mystic Order of the Jazz Obsessed (MOJO) Jazz Jambalaya at the end of March, we decided to seize the opportunity for a reunion.
Saturday 3/24/18 - Arrival in MobileWe took the 10 a.m. Logan Express Shuttle to the airport. When we got there, we noticed that our printed boarding passes didn't indicate TSA Pre-Check. We have pretty much been forced into getting Global Entry, due to the fact that Craig would always get detained for extra interviews when we entered the country. Global Entry is a paid program, but in addition to the easy border entry, another perk is that you get TSA Pre-Check. With Craig's MS, it makes things much easier if he doesn't have to remove his shoes to walk through security. So this is a benefit that we enjoy. After all, we paid for it!
We were turned away from the TSA Pre-Check line, even when I tried to show our Global Entry ID's. The guy said that it had to be printed on the boarding pass, no exceptions. He suggested that we check in at the counter and have our boarding passes reprinted. The non Pre-Check security line was long, but there wasn't a line at the check in counter. So we decided that it was worth it to check in again at the counter. We were issued new boarding passes, this time with the Pre-Check designation, which meant that we were allowed in the expedited lane.
We had lunch at Au Bon Pain and then went to the gate. Although our flights were not super cheap, the fare class (unbeknownst to us) meant that we were only allowed one carry-on item. No checked baggage and no access to the overhead bin; the item must fit under the seat in front of you.We had never even heard of such a thing before. So we had packed light and each only had a small backpack with us.
We were seated together on this flight. We stopped in Charlotte, NC. We were not seated together on the next flight on a small regional jet, but a woman kindly offered to switch with me so that we could indeed sit together.
We arrived in Mobile and picked up our rental car from Thrifty; a gray Nissan Sentra with Texas plates. We drove to the Mobile Marriott and checked in to room 1211. The decor of the lobby and rooms had been updated since our last visit.
We called Karmilla, but it turned out that she was doing a gig in Mississippi tonight and wouldn't be home until late. So we searched the internet to find a place to eat dinner. On Airport Boulevard, most restaurants are franchises housed in strip malls. You could be in any Amweican city. We wanted something that wasn't just a generic nationwide chain. We chose Moe's Original Bar-B-Que. Although it is technically a chain, at least it originated in Alabama. It definitely had a local feel.
We enjoyed our dinner there very much. Craig had pulled pork with cornbread and I had fried catfish with hush puppies. We each had house-made potato chips and mac and cheese as sides. Craig had an iced tea and I had root beer, and the drinks were unlimited. My meal reminded us of Frank, as he had ordered fried catfish and hush puppies when we had taken him to eat at Redbone's in Somerville.
Observation: many nice muscle cars on the roads here...something we don’t see often at home. Sometimes they drag race on Airport Boulevard.
After dinner, we went back to the hotel and went to sleep.
Moe's Original Bar-B-Que, West Mobile
Moe's Original Bar-B-Que
Craig had pulled pork with cornbread, house-made potato chips, and mac and cheese, with iced tea to drink at Moe's Original Bar-B-Que
I had fried catfish, hush puppies, house-made potato chips, and mac and cheese, with iced tea to drink at Moe's Original Bar-B-Que. Yum!