Scott Conant Can Eat My Shrimp and Blue Cheese!

Friday was supposed to be an intentionally easy day. We were hoping for smoother seas than on Thursday seeing as we planned a ferry ride to Dauphin Island. However, the sun arose and as we headed to the ferry terminal we passed a sign that said the ferry wasn’t operating.  We called to verify — making the drive adds 100 miles — but the sign was right — the ferry was out of service.


So, we drove around, using the added mileage as a good excuse to stop at Waffle House for breakfast.  Ya know — they aren’t fancy — for those who live in Milwaukee they’re a lot like a breakfast version of George Webbs. But they sell basic american breakfast items at a very reasonable price, they always seem to want your business, and they do a good, maybe even a great job, at what they do.  We walked out the door with our tummies more than full for $15.00 including a generous tip.  By contrast we had thought to stop at IHOP, but we walked in the door there and the phone was ringing, and kept ringing while a manager came from someplace in back to answer the phone after a good 40 seconds of ringing, and not even a smile to acknowledge we were there. While he was on the phone a very un-ambitious wait person came to the counter, stared at her seating chart, ignored us, and turned around an left.  We were silly enough to wait to be seated — but when we were we looked at their new and improved menu (since our last visit to an IHOP with Debbie and Delbert) and decided we weren’t going to eat there.

20130118123558011We made the long drive around Mobile Bay without much to look at or any reason to stop.  Dauphin Island was a much better idea from the Ferry than driving  — but we wanted to see it, and the Audubon Bird center so we kept after it and it was a nice enough visit. I’m not sure what makes Dauphin Island the Birdiest community, but hey — that’s advertising!

Audubon Bird Center

The center was underwhelming.  After the Audubon center in Naples with a huge visitors center, this was pretty plain.  No visitors center, a few interpretive display boards at the start of the boardwalk, several paths to take — but few bird songs to be heard and virtually no birds to be seen this brisk January morning.

The boat here is the one that WASN’T running today.  And I love the sign.  More of these should be used.  LOOK before crossing the intersection!

I guess I don’t get beach resorts


Peg and I have never been ones to just lay around on the beach. We have done vacations where we went to resorts, but not very many of them, and we generally kept plenty busy in the area doing other things than beach bumming it.

I have no idea what I’d do here for longer than a few hours of days.  We don’t boat.  I could see that would be an attraction but it’s not something we do. We don’t fish — again I could see that as an attraction, but it’s not us.  I was curious to observe the beach houses here.  I didn’t see any solar installations, nor did I see anyone saving rainwater for home use.  In an area surrounded by saltwater I’m surprised that there isn’t awareness of the things that could be done to make themselves a little more secure and less dependent on the mainland. That’s just me though…. I admit to having control issues. 🙂

We stopped at the Mississippi Welcome Center on the way over to the Mississippi Sandhill Crane Wildlife Refuge.  At the Welcome Center they have some really beautiful wood carvings — in part celebrating the Mississippi Sandhill Cranes, but also other of the migratory species that pass through the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  

Mellow Mushroom Rules

Do you watch Chopped on the Food Channel?  If so, you know who Scott Conant is.  He’s the program judge and an chef specializing in italian food who makes a fuss anytime a chef mixes seafood with cheese.  At our house it’s almost a joke that comes up anytime we see/hear about a meal or recipe that contains both. Well, tonight we ate at the Mellow Mushroom.  Based on their name, I wasn’t sure what we were getting into, but they are a multi-state chain (yeah — I know, Me, eating at a chain restaurant).

Let me be clear:

  • they have great crust: yeasty, not too thick, crispy without being a cracker.
  • this is not about Chicago Style
  • this is not about New York Style
  • good pizza, fresh ingredients, variety, and decent accompaniments.

On the menu from my iPhone I saw a Blue Bayou Pizza.  Blue cheese, shrimp, andouille sausage, mozzarella, olive oil, garlic.  Simple. Elegant.  Absolutely smashing. I’d eat this any day, and almost everyday.  It’s that good.  So, when we arrived it had to be Blue Bayou Pizza and something else.  We added an Educated Spinach salad to our repertoire of good food for the evening (spinach, dried cherries, feta cheese, candied pecans, diced apples with a balsamic vinaigrette.  Also smashing.    I really like this ‘Za!

Time to walk off the Calories

After dinner we knew we’d eaten our full, so a nice little walk was in order.  And when you’re only blocks from the Gulf of Mexico why not walk along the coast?


And finally, I love Live Oaks — they are just so unique and when allowed to grow, so massive.  Here are two beauts!

20130118164953028 20130118163338020 

And that looks like the end of what I have for tonight.

We’ll make a trip to the Sandhill Crane refuge — but I don’t know how long we’ll stay.  they have a tram tour on Saturday, but it’s full.  We might be able to get on if there’s a cancellation (or not).  There are other choices for the day — or we might just cool our jets for the day and snoop around the local area.

Talk to you tomorrow.

rallytylt_sqrd_iphone_5_case_1Completely unrelated to the trip, I’ve been having good luck miscellaneos finding things I’ve been looking for.

When I got my iPhone I bought a protective cover from the Verizon people who sold me the phone.  It never fit quite right but I’ve been living with it. The problem is that the slot for the charger was so small that I had to take the bottom of the protective case off in order to charge the phone.  But I finally found one that fit precisely.  And I’m happy over simple things; it’s so nice to charge the phone without fighting with the plastic case.  I also replaced the belt holster because the old was was torn at the belt hook.  Don’t wanna lose my phone.  Just 2 days ago we returned a phone to another hotel guest who had misplaced theirs!!!!!!

teva-sandals-shoesAlso, I’ve been looking for replacement pair of sandals.  The ones I have now have lived a good life and are smooshed out.  We stopped at a mall today in Destin where I found Teva’s at a good price.  I’ve had Teva sandals before and when I bought my last pair I couldn’t find Teva’s in any of the stores I looked at.  So, the new ones I found today were like my feet coming back home.  Happy feet, happy feet.


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