Saturday, November 28, 2015

Last Notes on Mobile, Alabama

After we had finished the Carnival Museum we had a little time left in our day before the sun sank below the horizon.  We drove over to the Geri Moulton Children's Park near USA Children's and Women Hospital.  In a beautiful wooded setting there are more than 50 life size bronze sculptures depicting children and families.
The statue above has the title Puppy Love- "Our Children Are Our Future".  It is dedicated to the faculty and staff of the University of Alabama College of Nursing.  Some of the statues, commissioned by individual families, are dedicated to children who have died.  The park brought back bittersweet memories of my years as a pediatric nurse at St.Louis Children's Hospital in St. Louis.
Pictured above is an oyster sculpture called LoDa (this is what the Lower Dauphin Street shopping area is called).  Mobile, Alabama has been called, "The Big Oyster".  There are dozens of giant oysters around the downtown area, made of fiberglass.  On the backside of them there is information about the economic and ecological benefit oysters provide for the Mobile Bay and the Mississippi Sound.  We discovered some of the oysters while on our downtown walk.
One of Mobile's nicknames is also the Azalea City.  No, you are right in thinking that the flower above is not an azalea.  John and I were just here at the wrong time of the year for azaleas and we will perhaps remember the town for the many beautiful camellias which are blooming now.  We visited Mobile's Botanical Garden Wednesday and learned that the greatest concentration of outstanding camellia introductions in the world originated along the central Gulf Coast.  No where else can such a broad spectrum of camellias be grown as in the Mobile area.  According to park information, 600 new camellias composed of 400 new cultivators are planted along the paths of the garden.  Equally beautiful this time of the year are the Japanese maple trees in the garden at this time of the year.  What a beautiful display of autumnal color!
Next to the Botanical Garden is the Mobile Museum of art which we also visited.  I especially enjoyed its collection of American Art dating from the Revolutionary War to more recent times.  The museum is one of the Gulf Coast's largest art exhibits.  It has a permanent collection of more than 6,000 works spanning 2,000 years of cultural history.  We spent another day this past week touring the USS Alabama and the submarine USS Drum, both World War II vessels.  I have done postings on other battleships in the past, so will not write on that experience.  All I will note here about the USS Alabama is that it is very large- it was able to provide a home and work place for 2,500 troops. 
That was our week in Mobile, we were kept busy touring the city nearly every day we were here, and still we did not see all that it has to offer.  Friday we moved on into Florida.

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