Saturday, March 28, 2009

Almost rained out

Welcome to the Elberta Sausage Festival

WHEN? Saturday · March 28

WHERE? Elberta, Alabama · find us on the map

We wanted to go to the Sausage Festival in Elberta again this year, but the weather was a problem. We felt bad for all those who had booths to sell their wares because the attendance was way down from last year's since it rained up until 9 A.M. But it was reasonably good weather when we arrived. Of course the grounds were soggy from the rain we'd had for the last few days.

We managed to enjoy ourselves inspite of the situation, but we might have stayed longer if the weather had been more cooperative.

Sausage Festival 2009Rules, SchmulesSausage Festival 2009
Sausage Festival whiskey band

Before returning home, we enjoyed hamburgers and fries at Rusty's in Foley.

Check out our Flickr photos at:
Elberta Sausage Festival

We also attended this event last year:
Oom-Pa-Pa 3/29/2008

Sunday, March 22, 2009

LA Entertainment

WHEN? Saturday · March 21

WHERE? Fairhope, Alabama · find us on the map

Fairhope Arts & Crafts Festival

Last year we heard about this festival from our neighbors, but we were just too involved in getting settled into our Lower Alabama home to take the time to attend it. This year, we chose Saturday to attend. As I'm posting this, things are underway for the thirda and final day of Fairhope's 57th annual Arts & Crafts Festival.

The weather could not have been more beautiful for this event, and today looks like that trend will continue. We followed a bus to the Big Lots shopping area and took it to downtown Fairhope to attend the festival. It's big, so we certainly got in our walking exercise yesterday.

Admission is free. We each paid a buck for the bus going and coming back, and I'm proud to say I only purchased one bargain item for three bucks. This may leave the impression that our total cost was only $7.00. That's not the true picture, because we ducked into the Ravenite Pizzeria for lunch. It was less than $20 for more pizza than we could eat and a cool brew to go with it.

Our photos do not reveal how big this was, but this event offered over 200 exhibitors from throughout the nation. Live entertainment is included as well as many food and refreshments booths. All of this takes place on the streets of beautiful downtown Fairhope.

Where we lunched looked like they had a place up front for live entertainment. They told us that occurred on Friday nights and BEGAN at 10 PM. There's not much chance we'll be attending that because we're getting our ZZZZZZZ's most nights by that time.

We left the festival in a mood to continue enjoying ourselves and stopped three places before we called it a day. We were both happily exhausted and slept like babies.

Here's the unusual assortment of photos we have to share with you from yesterday.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Exotic armchair travel

WHEN? Probably never except by armchair

WHERE? Pamukkale, Denizli, Turkey

My cousin, Billy Walton, sent me a PowerPoint slideshow about Pamukkal. It was the first time I had heard of it. The show said that perhaps it should be considered the 8th Wonder of the World.

Since I have no idea I can ever travel to Turkey to see this spectacular natural site, I am happy I am able to share this video with you as I armchair travel.

I was disappointed to find this note in my internet research:

Pamukkale has mineral springs that have been in use for thousands of years. Calcium-rich waters spilling from a hilltop spring are responsible for creating white stone basins. The "cotton castle's" terraced basins hold in the 102ยบF water, and up until the 1990's you could just walk up and jump in. No more. Hotel development and irresponsible tourism around the springs choked the water source and the basins reverted to a dry, dingy gray. Although their luster has since returned, visitors can only walk on carefully laid out paths around the site.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Wales West Bluegrass Festival

WHEN? Saturday and Sunday · March 7 and 8

WHERE? Silverhill, Alabama · find us on the map

This is the 4th year that Wales West RV Resort has held their THANK YOU SNOWBIRDS BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL. The show takes place on both days of the weekend with eight musical groups participating. It's pretty much non-stop music from 10:30 AM to 5:00 PM each day with a half-hour break for lunch, during which sweet rolls, popcorn, chips, candy bars, cookies, ice cream, soft drinks, water, coffee, brats and hot dogs are available for sale at very reasonable prices. Also during the festival, train rides on the railroad were half price at $3.00.

Cottontail Express (changes names seasonally)

It could not have been more convenient to attend this unless we were staying in the park itself because it is located just a few miles from where we live. The weather cooperated completely, beautiful, spring-like and sunshiny.

We tried to capture for you what the RV resort looks like where this festival took place. The owners, Ken Sr., Ken Jr., and Ann Zadnichek, have a really nice piece of property and seem to be continually improving on it.

Having been fulltime RVers, it was somewhat of a joke for us to realize that this park, along with most others in Lower Alabama, don't have the usual problem of having train tracks nearby to serenade the RVers all the time, night and day. So what did they do? They built the only authentic Welsh Victorian two-foot narrow gauge railway in the Americas right in their park. The good part is, this railroad only runs when they schedule it themselves.

Wales West RV ResortSouthern Sounds bluegrass bandPark architecture

Check out our Flickr photos at:
Wales West Bluegrass Festival

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Rest of the Story*

WHEN? Monday · March 2

WHERE? Hattiesburg, Mississippi · find us on the map

WHY? Lunchtime ... once again, we were hongry

Last September we put up a post on Robert St. John's Restaurants after we stopped in Hattiesburg and ate at the Crescent City Bar & Grill. We agreed to have today's lunch at the Purple Parrot Cafe on our way back to Alabama. Both restaurants are owned by Robert St. John.Dual restaurant sign
The Purple Parrot didn't seem to be as large and was decorated with colorful abstract art. I'm no more an art critic than I am a food critic, but I do know that I like anything filled with many colors. That was true for my food that I selected on the basis of wanting to know what black-eyed pea gravy was. I also knew that I like pork tenderloin (peppercorn encrusted), mashed potatoes and green beans. The portion was a little bit more than I could handle, but I did my best. Wendell chose the pecan encrusted catfish, which also had some black-eyed peas with it, I think. I’ll have to say I was concentrating so much on my own meal that I don’t remember what else he had.

Certain things the servers and staff did were interesting to me. I don’t frequently dine in restaurants of this class, but I do appreciate the service when I do, such as help with my chair as I'm seated.

Here’s something neat: Have you ever dined in a nice restaurant with cloth napkins that are white and come out with lint all over a dark colored outfit? Because I had on black, they switched out my white napkin for a black one. At least that was my take on it.

The other thing that set this restaurant apart for me were various quotes written on the hallway walls. Two favorites:

“Sex is good, but not as good as fresh sweet corn.”
~ Garrison Keillor

“Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.”
~ Mae West
*An aside:

Paul Harvey passed away very recently on February 28 of 2009 at the age of 90. What an icon he was and will remain so because of all the memories of the many years he did what he loved while his fans enjoyed it. I’m one of those fans. I thought it was interesting that my first thought for a title for this post probably brought Paul Harvey to your mind just like it did mine.