As Wayne and I "dress" so seldom, we wanted to take advantage of his fresh beard trim and my application of lipstick and earrings (at the same time) to have a photography session. It's time to order new personal cards and we want a new family picture for them. I urged our friends to sit for picture taking too and here is the result.
|Upper Left: Pam and Ernie, without their cat, Jasmine.|
Lower Left: Charlie and Joyce, without their cat Diva
Right: Wayne, Antoinette, Lexie and Ozzie
|Pam and Joyce|
Two weeks before Thanksgiving we made a reservation at Shipps Harbor Grill and our choice was a good one. The meal started with oysters and crab claws. Dinner was every bit as wonderful as we could have hoped. A perfectly sunny and warm day, good friends, nice restaurant, no cooking, no leftovers and no dishes to wash. Joyce, Charlie, Pam, Ernie and I had traditional turkey, dressing and trimmings. Wayne ordered the absolutely Divine Grouper Pontchartrain. No one was disappointed and no one left hungry.
|Wayne's plate of Grouper Pontchartrain|
|Foreground: Pam and Joyce|
Background: Charlie and Wayne
|Pam in the foreground, Ernie on the walkway in the background.|
Bellingrath Gardens, Theodore, AlabamaThe end of our time at Gulf Shores was drawing near and we had not seen Bellingrath Gardens. Joyce and Pam really wanted to go, the men didn't want to go and I was wishy washy at best, so I teamed with my girlfriends and "split decisions" always go to the wives.
With Thanksgiving in the books, Bellingrath's Magic Christmas in Lights display would be in place and we had been told a visit was well worth the effort it would take to get to Theodore from Gulf Shores. And it did take a certain amount of effort. Theodore is on the other side of Mobile Bay and accessible by ferry or driving around the bay. We made a plan.
The six of us loaded into two vehicles and we drove to Fort Morgan to take the ferry to Dauphin Island. From there, we'd drive north to Theodore. I forget the rate but it probably was a bit more expensive than the fuel it would take to drive around the bay. Notwithstanding cost, being on a ferry is enjoyable and worth the difference and it saved time. The Mobile Bay Ferry does not run after dark so we would take the long route back in the evening.
|Our truck with Lexie and Ozzie (front console) inside.|
I took this picture of Wayne, Pam Ernie (back), Charlie (back) and Joyce.
|The Porto Leoni from the ferry|
|Near the entry, the bridge draped in blooms caused another photo op.|
Bellingrath advertises itself as 65 acres of year-round floral pageantry in a Southern estate garden. It is the property and home of Walter Duncan and Bessie Bellingrath who came to Mobile after buying the Coca-Cola Bottling Company there in March 1903.
The property was placed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage in 1977 and on the National Register of Historic Places in October 1982.
The first Magic Christmas in Lights at Bellingrath Gardens was in 1996. Here are some interesting event statistics:
- Bellingrath staff begin work on Magic Christmas in Lights in September each year.
- The show has 3 million lights and 1,000 set pieces that are hand-made and installed by Bellingrath's staff.
- There are 14 scenes, each designed specifically for Bellingrath Gardens and Home.
- The light show includes 14,000 strings of lights, 377,000 replacement bulbs, 5 miles of steel bar, 7,700 extension cords and 100,000 plastic twist ties.
|On the Grotto Terrace|
|Pam and Joyce at the River Pavilion|
|My favorite of the Boehm Porcelain pieces on display at the Delchamps Gallery at Bellingrath.|
It was the most delicate porcelain work I've ever seen.
|Formerly a garage, now the Delchamps Gallery of Boehm Porcelain|
|Joyce, Pam and me at The Dwight Harrigan/Exxon Mobil Bayou Boardwalk at Bellingrath|
|In the rose garden|
|The great lawn|