Tuesday, January 8, 2008

I Love LA (Lower Alabama)

WHEN? Tuesday · January 8

WHERE? South Baldwin County, Alabama · find us on the map

One of the first things we noticed when we stopped at the Alabama Welcome Center was the Mardi Gras tree – the first one either of us had ever seen. As we neared the Mobile area, we noticed even more preparation for this upcoming holiday. Mardi Gras is evidently a big celebration on Alabama's gulf coast – and folks begin decorating for it shortly after Christmas.

Welcome to Alabama ... and Happy Mardi Gras!

See more Mardi Gras in Alabama photos on flickr

Having lived in Jackson, Mississippi for 25+ years, we have vacationed in the Redneck Riviera a number of times. This is our first January visit though, and it's so nice to be here for an extended period. Since we intend to remain in LA for over a month, I expect this photo album to grow and encourage you to check back for photo-album updates between now and March.

Christmas should definitely be over and a new year begun, don’t you think? After all, the 12 Days of Christmas are definitely over – been over for 10 days now. Right?

Not necessarily ...
The official Christmas season is only half over for those who follow the liturgical Christian calendar. They celebrate Christmas on January 7th and observe Epiphany or Theophany on January 19th:

The Eastern Orthodox Twelve Days of Christmas

Which in some cultures includes
a Mardi Gras King's Cake

So maybe we aren’t as far behind as I thought. Maybe I’m just operating on a different calendar.


  1. This early-decorating scenario compares to the retailers pushing Christmas even before Halloween's over with.

    Besides, the Alabama Mardi Gras groupies didn't forget about Valentines Day. They just realize it's a blah holiday.

  2. Seems like the first time I ever heard of a King Cake was, of all places, Bloomington, Illinois. Some had one sent to the Investment Department where I worked at Illinois Farm Bureau.

  3. I've never seen a Mardi Gras tree either.

  4. Looked at your pictures. Didn't Flora-Bama have to be totally rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina? The campground you are in - how was it affected by Hurricane Katrina?

  5. What a beautiful Mardi Gras tree! I just love your blog, what a great way to share your travels with old and new friends. I love LA too. The beautiful white sands, soothing waves of the gulf and friendly people make the Redneck Riveria a paradise on earth!

  6. People oftentimes assume that Katrina brought the Flora-Bama down in 2005, but credit actually goes to 2004's Hurricane Ivan ... and yes, it's at least partly rebuilt. Their webmaster evidently thinks that photos of the recovery process are posted on this difficult-to-read icky-looking yellow-on-white Ivan recovery progress webpage.

    Whew, I think I've just surpassed my own record for hyphenated descriptive phrases in a single sentence!