Mobile 3/24/2018 - 3/27/2018

Sunday 3/25/18 - Reuniting with Karmilla

We slept in a bit today. We woke up and Craig prepared coffee in the room, and then we each took a shower. Karmilla called us shortly before 11 o'clock. She had been babysitting two of her grandsons (ages 7 and 4) and had to drive them home. She asked what our plans were for the day. We told her than we had tentative plans with Frank's sister Eloise for today or tomorrow, but there had been no answer when we tried to call her.

She said that she would call us later after dropping off her grandson. If we weren't seeing Eloise today, we might end up getting together with Karmilla.

We decided to eat a late breakfast at Waffle House, which was literally across Airport Boulevard from our hotel. We were seated in a booth and soaked up the diner-like ambiance. I could see our hotel through the window behind Craig. We knew we were in the South when the jukebox advertised a whole category of college fight songs.

Craig ordered scrambled eggs, hash browns with chili, toast, biscuits and sausage gravy, orange juice, and coffee. I ordered hash browns with cheese and onions, biscuits and sausage gravy, coffee, and orange juice. It was tasty, inexpensive, and satisfying.

We went back to the hotel and tried to call Eloise again but got no answer. We hadn't heard back from Karmilla, either, so we wondered if we should just head downtown to do some sightseeing. The U.S.S. Alabama looked interesting.

As we got into the elevator, my phone rang and it was Karmilla. She was dropping off the kids now and would then stop by the hotel to meet us.

We sat in the hotel lobby. Apparently there was a real estate seminar going on in the ballroom on the second floor. People from all walks of life arrived. We became the welcome wagon, saying hello as people entered and directing them upstairs. It was also kind of like Candid Camera. The way the side door of the hotel is situated, there is a little glassed-in area which you must enter before entering the hotel. It is not obvious where the door to the glassed in area is. Almost every single person (ourselves included the first time we entered) assumed that the door was to the right, but when they walked over there, they found that it had actually been on the left.

Karmilla arrived, and it was great to be reunited with her. She looked fantastic. She is about to turn 70 years old in would never guess it. We love this lady; she has a great heart and a great spirit. We enjoyed chatting with her, reminiscing about her dad Frank and learning about her life. She spoke of her seven children, and how she traveled internationally with them when they were young. She talked about living in New York for over 50 years, and then moving back to Mobile to be near family. She told us that Frank's allergies and asthma prevented him from living down here, and that she and her kids suffer from it as well.

We talked a lot about the Patriots; we know that she is a big fan of Brady and Belichick. We brought her a Brady shirt, and she was so excited and said that she couldn't wait to wear it to the sports bar. She says that she has lost Facebook friends over the Patriots, but she is stalwart in her fandom despite the grief she gets from her friends. She reminisced about Rutherford, N.J. in the NFL off-season when she would hang out with Bill Parcells and Little Anthony ("he wasn't with the Imperials then...")

We told her we were very excited to see her perform tomorrow night. After a couple of hours, she had to leave to rehearse with other bandmembers. We said that we would check in with one another later on to see if we'd be able to get dinner together.

We went back to our room and tried to contact Eloise again. Still no answer. We browsed the web and I read my book for a while. Karmilla had thought that her rehearsal would get out at around 6:30. She texted us at 7:00 saying that she was still tied up. Since the performance was tomorrow night, this was the last chance to work out kinks, and obviously she didn't know how long it would take.

Many of the nearby restaurants close early on Sunday night, so Craig and I decided to find a place to eat, and then Karmilla could meet us there if she had time after rehearsal.

We chose B.J.'s Brewhouse. Although it is a chain, we had never been to one before. The atmosphere was fun, and our server Cebron ("Breezy") was fantastic. Talk about Southern hospitality!

Craig got a glass of BJ's PM Porter. Being allergic to beer, breweries normally don't have very much to offer me by way of drinks, but they had a BJ's Berry Burst hard cider which was delicious! We texted Karmilla but she was tired after a long rehearsal and didn't end up joining us. We would catch up with her tomorrow.

The menu was nearly overwhelming, but when a photo of their deep dish baked ziti literally made my mouth water, I knew that I had to get that. It was served with a small knot of garlic bread. Craig got the weekend special: Caesar salad, prime rib, cheesy mashed potatoes, and garlic green beans.

I usually order dessert, and Craig will eat a couple bites. This time around, Craig's meal came with a dessert: a cookie in a skillet known as a "pizookie" and served with ice cream. Normally, this would be the perfect item to share...but I had seen the dessert menu and had become enchanted by the fresh beignet served with strawberries, vanilla ice cream, and whipped cream. Craig was on his own with the pizookie, and he ordered the cookies and cream variety. The beignet was delicious - light and fluffy and dusted with cinnamon ande sugar...with macerated strawberries, whipped cream, and vanilla ice cream. Craig's pizookie was delicious as well, but he wasn't able to eat it all. I tried a couple bites but then had absoluetly no more room left.

It was a very enjoyable meal. They had cool beer coasters for their custom brews. Craig asked for an extra as a souvenir, and Breezy hooked us up.

With our stomachs full, we headed back to the hotel.

BJ's Brewhouse
Breakfast at Waffle House

Breakfast at Waffle House

Reunited with Karmilla

Reunited with Karmilla

Dinner at BJ's Brewhouse

Dinner at BJ's Brewhouse

See all photos from March 25, 2018

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