Have you ever had one of those nights that you thought morning would never arrive? We had made the mistake of falling asleep entirely too early and then woke up again only to be wide awake until 3am. I sure don't like those nights when I feel like I have worked harder trying to get some sleep, than I had worked all day. I was afraid that this was going to be the beginning stretch of "getting our nights and day's" mixed up. How wrong I was...thank you very much!
Yesterday was Bob and my 5th anniversary and all week Bob kept asking me..."What day is it".... ? He wanted to be sure that we did something special for our anniversary. Folks, the man still has romance, even post-stroke. We could not have had a more perfect day.
It takes us the better part of the morning to get going, however the sun was shining and by 11am it was already 65 degrees. We headed out to see the USS Alabama in Mobile AL. It is definitely on the ...do not miss list. The ship is permanently docked in Mobile Bay with very easy access even for the largest of rigs.
Admission to the park is 12.00 and in my opinion is the best value for an ENTIRE day's entertainment. I had no idea that the park was home to not only the battleship, but also a submarine, many military artifacts, jeeps, aircraft, tanks, and memorials
honoring the service men and women for their duty to this country. Speaking for myself, and have never even served in the military, there is a feeling of pride that came with walking the decks of this landmark. As we were taking in all of the tour, I noticed a gentleman on the ship wearing a veteran of WWII hat and a huge smile. I can only imagine his pride!
As I may have said in one of my very early Blogs in our travels, I should have paid more attention in History class in school. I am certain that I had learned about all of the things that I am now seeing in real life, yet it meant little to me until now, 45 years later. I am thankful to be experiencing and seeing things that many folks of today take for granted. It is never too late and I wish that my history teachers only knew that their dedication was not going to waste after all.
This battleship housed 2200 - 2500 enlisted personnel, 150 officers, and could accurately shoot 22 miles. During it's service, it downed 22 Japanese aircraft during WWII. (We noticed that it was commissioned on August 16, 1942 ten days before Bob was born, to which Bob's comment was WOW!)
Can you imagine the weight of the links of the anchor?
We were only capable of scratching the surface of this monument. Our only wish is that we had allowed more time. One could easily spend days seeing and touching all the park has to offer. Big Band music was being broadcast throughout the ship, just like it was in the 40's... taking you back in time....aah wonderful when suddenly, came a voice "Now hear this, Now hear this, Paul Johnson please pick up line 3 for a message"....WHAT ???? How can that be....nearly 70 years of time ...fast forward in one message. Incredible!
I found it interesting how the duty roster operated. As an officer, if you were on duty, you found the place of your name plaque, turned the knob..and you were officially on the clock. Being an officer had it's privileges. The dining room even showcased silver service used on the ship, and the hall was quite spacious.
The stateroom's for the officers consisted of a space possibly 8' x 10' and was furnished with a bunk for two. The rooms were quite dark with no outside light. You will have to take my word for how interesting it was, as my camera would not take a decent picture to share. I do know that yesterday's tour gave me a real appreciation for the spaciousness of our (non-slide) coach.
By late afternoon, it had been a long day and lots of exercise on board the ship for us. Time for a late lunch. This is where our perfect day became even more special. We stopped at a restaurant named "Felix Fish Camp". Do NOT pass up this gem if ever in Mobile. It is situated right on scenic Mobile Bay. As luck would have it, we arrived when it was not busy and had a front row seat right by the gigantic windows that overlook the bay and coastal grasses. Pelican's were sunning themselves right outside the window and fishing boats slowly making their way out into the bay. The restaurant prides themselves on service and I must admit it is a rare occasion to have service like that. The Crab Soup and Bloody Mary's are to die for !!! In honor of our special day, it is customary to offer a complimentary dessert. What an ending to a perfect day.
We had the bonus of not only a special outing but also were treated to a front row seat for another spectacular sunset. Life is good !