Saturday, February 20, 2016

Day six in Fairhope, Alabama

SunsetIt's been a very leisurely visit so far.  We usually take a walk in the morning, perhaps to do a little sightseeing, and then another walk in the afternoon.  My fitbit has been registering over 8,000 steps with no difficulty at all.  We have tried a lot of restaurants and usually just have had breakfast in our very comfortable apartment in the heart of downtown.  The apartment is perfect - one bedroom with amenities - and fronts onto a city parking lot and park, so it's quiet at night.   The temperature?  A lovely 65 or so most days, even a little warmer.  Wish I had brought more short sleeved things, but I can roll/push up most long sleeves.  Last year, it was chilly, so I wasn't as optimistic as I should have been when packing.

Tuesday we went to a book review at the public library which is huge and  wonderful.  The speaker, Dean Mosher, is a local artist and historian whose paintings hang in the Smithsonian, the Univ. of Alabama, and the local history museum.  We also visited the art center which we will visit again today for a gallery talk by a local watercolorist.  She wrote a book designed to stimulate creativity in watercolor, but it seems to me to be useful in other media (such as quilting).  I'm curious to hear her.  Wednesday (or was it Thursday?) we went up to Daphne to see the movie Hail, Caesar! which was quite funny.  But we realized how easily we have slipped into the quiet, slow-paced, walk everywhere life here.  The traffic was awful!  I don't know if we'll even try going up to Mobile since we are so content here.

I'm doing a little laundry and will be getting out my Atlantic Crossing wallhanging to quilt soon.  My Kindle has been really useful on this trip, and I've read several books - The Return of Captain John Emmett, A Murder of Magpies, and another mystery whose title escapes me.  I started a book by Jodi Picoult but set it aside in favor of something less heavy.  This is vacation after all.  Paul is reading Go Set a Watchman and says it's quite good. 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Alabama adventure

We saw an amazing quilt over the weekend in the Alabama History Museum.  It was folded up and tucked into the back of a display on everyday life in "the olden days."  I was blown away by the quilting.  The above is a photo of a copy of the quilt.  Most of the clamshells in the original were worn, and because it was folded I didn't see the outer borders.  I looked in the gift shop for a pattern or postcard, but the volunteer there told me that none exist so far.  She did say that a woman had made a smaller copy of the original and also that the original will be in a special exhibit in the coming year at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.  I love the combination of blue and brown the quilter used, and those clamshells are really something.

We arrived in Montgomery Friday evening, after stops in Wilkes-Barre, PA; Roanoke, VA; and Kennesaw, GA.  The first three days were just driving and I was reminded how big our country really is.   Friday morning we visited a Civil War museum and also a battlefield in Kennesaw.  Both were fascinating, but it is sobering how brutal war is.  On Saturday, in Montgomery, Paul's brother Jim took us to the history museum in the morning, a fried green tomato buffet (yum) for lunch, and then the museum of fine arts.  It was a lovely day. 

We left Montgomery yesterday morning for Fairhope, a small town on the east side of Mobile Bay.  Our apartment is small and efficient, and we can walk everywhere.  It's so nice not to need a jacket!  Bulbs are blooming!  And we're reminded that it has been below zero back home.  It's raining and quite windy this afternoon, so I'm going back to reading and will try to do a few more rounds on the sock I'm knitting. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Ready to roll!

We take off tomorrow on a month's journey through the Mid-Atlantic and Southern states, with our ultimate destination Fairhope, AL.   I have been piling stuff up for days, and thank goodness I have plenty of tote bags.  I like to take a couple of pillows when we stay in motels since sometimes the ones they supply aren't all that fluffy.  The bag on the right has shoes - 3 pair for me, 1 for Paul - and the one next to it has towels and sheets.  Lest you think I am picky (even though I am a little), I don't know what we'll find at the apartment we've rented.  Better to take too much than not enough.

The cat bag on top has my projects - a wallhanging to quilt, socks to knit, and a block to applique.  That should be plenty for the time we'll be away, especially since there's a bag of books on the floor that you can't see.  My Kindle is also loaded with a few items.  We voted absentee this morning, and this afternoon we'll take our compost to the recycling depot.  Our suitcases are being filled, bird feeders are filled, and plants are watered.  Our neighbor has a key.  Chris will stop by when he has laundry to do.  After a good night's sleep, it's on to our first night's stop, Wilkes-Barre, PA.  Hoping for good weather!