My Trip around the country in 2001 with Halley

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Leg 4: Orlando, FL to Mobile, AL

We had another day in Orlando that involved some walks, some relaxing, some good food, and then got to bed early as we had to head to Mobile, Alabama to see my Cousin Lee and his wife Ruth. They are my dad's cousin's really, so while I look at them as Uncle/Aunt, they were really cousins. Lee is Jane’s sister, so I was hitting the trifecta of Tertrault's between my graduation party and this road trip (cousin Ward lives up in Connecticut and stopped by the party with his wife Jo).

Leg 4: 520 Miles

Per usual, we didn’t get in until late, and although Ruth and Lee were pushing 70 were a bit older, they were up late waiting for us. And just as rumored, Lee was drinking a can of Milwaukee's Best Ice, likely the last of the day. Retired from The Coast Guard and content in his ways, Lee had a routine that was admirable in many ways. After years of seeing the country through his post-retirement phase, he settled back to his house in Mobile with Rush and had a penchant for the blues and beer.  The routine for Lee each day was wake up, have a breakfast of either fruit or fried eggs and toast, then crack the first beer. He would then rotate a 12-pack of cans he had in the freezer from the night before and put it in the fridge. Later in the day, he would get a 12 pack from the garage and put it in the freezer for later usage. For lunch each day, he had a bologna sandwich one white with mayo and pickles, the latter keeping his cholesterol low, or so he said. Dinner was something fried in lard and delicious as fuck. All 3 days we were blessed with genuine southern home cooking. We sauntered off to bed upstairs as I had a moment of deja vu - I had stayed at Ruth and Lee's when I was about 12 years old and was staying in the same room, except this time instead of 2 brothers  in the room with me, I had my girlfriend. It was a nice feeling having grown up to that point.


The next morning we ventured outside and found the weather to be just like Orlando, plus, Halley had found that there was another puppy there! Her name was Maggie and she was smaller and a bit more protective of her property that Halley was accustomed to. If Halley wanted to sniff something, well she sniffed it and satisfied her curiosity. But the two of them got along. Maggie followed Halley everywhere she went, making it clear when she could and couldn’t go in the house before Ruth told her to let Halley be.

While in town, we visited my cousin Camilla at her Old Dutch Ice Cream Parlor which had some amazing ice cream and steady business while we stepped in with Halley for a banana split and a cup of vanilla ice cream on the house for the pup. We drove around town and checked out Mobile here and there and wound up back at Ruth and Lee's after each trip. The heavy part of the trip was coming later and there was no reason to be incredibly exhausted at this point by doing too much. So we took it easy.

My cousin Melinda stopped by to bring us out one night, as she was the cousin I knew the best in Mobile. Added bonus - she was in college and a year younger than me, so we were able to hang out and bond with Lee and Ruth (her grandparents). All three of us went to a bar in Mobile, got drunk and danced. If there was more to recall from the night, I'd share, but that is all there is. It was a great night of drinking, one of the best of the trip. 

            On the 4th of July we left Halley at Lee and Ruth's for the night and went to hang out with Melinda's parents and her sisters, Sara and Cynthia. We had some beers on the back porch of a family friend's house and went to watched the fireworks. Halley had to stay behind because of the loud noises resulting from the fireworks, so instead she was likely soothed by Lee's old-old school blues records. We got back to the house, retreated upstairs with Halley once inside and went to bed, having a long drive to the west coast ahead of us for the next few days.

Cousin Melinda, Hill, Me, Cousin Cynthia
              When we awoke, he had a breakfast of fresh fruit and toast and I made the decision to play for Lee some of my brand of blues music - Phish covering Son Seals' 'Funky Bitch'. I presumed that Lee would know who Son Seals was, but instead of getting an answer, I was told that this 'noise' wasn't blues at all. Phish lasted all of a minute on Lee's stereo, but at least I got to share it with him.

1 comment:

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