FL – Bright Spot Goes Italian! (from early Dec.)

   ***Apologies to Vinny and Johnny for this post being 2 and a half months late!  For the first time in almost 2 years, I lost my BRIGHT SPOT notebook!!!  I didn’t want to just make up the story, so I didn’t post anything!  I FOUND IT!!!  LOL     I was craving a really super colossal fabulous pizza before we got on the road from Myakka State Park, so I went ‘Google crazy’ reading reviews of all the spots in Sarasota that had pizza.  Over and over again, this place kept showing up with top notch comments, but itRead More

AL – Final – USS Alabama Battleship and a Tribute to Selfless Love

  The front (bow)  The rear (stern)  I was shocked at the sheer size of this ship…the USS Alabama.  My reaction to it was similar to the first time  I stood next to a cruise ship.  It’s incomprehensible unless you experience it in person. This battleship was commissioned November 1, 1941.  It’s a little over 680 feet long and is registered at 35,000 tons!!!  Under battle conditions…45,000 tons (90 million pounds).  During WWII, she earned 9 Battle Stars and shot down 22 enemy planes.      The tour was extensive.  There were rooms for every possible physical need from eatingRead More

AL – Mobile…Mardi Gras…Fat Tuesday Parade Plus!

   MARDI GRAS!!!  So much fun!  Beads galore!  Moon pies!  Toys!  Streamers!  Stuffed animals!  Carl even caught a teddy bear for me that looks so much like my ‘Frazzle Fur” bear that I’ve had forever!  Some people had small rakes that they were using to pull items to them from the other side of the railing!  Others had butterfly nets trying to catch things in the air!  The floats were great and of course the school bands and dancers were wonderful as well!  The pics include a pre-Mardi Gras parade the weekend before and a few shots of the town.Read More

AL – The Mobile Carnival Museum

         I had no idea how far back Carnival and Mardi Gras went!  The celebration in Mobile, AL is the oldest in the country.  It started here in 1703, 15 years before New Orleans was founded.  Originally, Carnival (carnevale, in Italian…meaning “put away the meat”) began as a celebration of life that involved costumes and masks and much feasting for Catholics who were preparing for Lent when no meat could be consumed.  The concept spread to other Catholic European countries until finally the French brought it to America.  The rest, as they say, is history.    InRead More

AL – Mobile – Beauty by the Hand of Nature and Human

   The Mobile Carnival Museum – WOW!   We weren’t sure exactly what to expect, but we were pleasantly surprised as we walked through the halls and up and down the stairs of the Carnival Museum  gazing awestruck at the ridiculously gorgeous costumes worn by past kings and queens of Mardi Gras!!!  The workmanship, detail of design and overall ingenuity of the long, long, long capes was nothing short of extremely impressive!!!  There were so many.  I got pics of quite a few, but just a sampling of the total.  Go…whomever had the creativity, skill and patience to whip upRead More

AL – Hank Williams, Sr. – Boyhood Home & Museum

   127 Rose St. in Georgiana, Alabama…where a young boy and his $3.50 guitar began his journey to becoming a country music legend.  I was never a huge Hank Williams fan, but respected his work and the impact he had on the music world.  It is pretty impressive how much he accomplished in his short life of 29 years.  The guide at the museum shared that his positive connection to music and the joy he got from playing his guitar early on was oftentimes his way of escaping from the hard times his family experienced.    One of the guitarsRead More

AL – Ave Maria Grotto at St. Bernard Abbey

     This grotto consists of a landscaped hillside studded with 125 small stone and cement structures…some religious and some non religious.  These amazing miniatures were created by Brother Joseph, a monk at the Abbey.  He has been called a ‘creative genius.’  His work began in 1912 and his final miniature of Lourdes Basilica Church was constructed in 1958 when Brother Joseph was 80 years old.  The majority of the miniatures are made of stone and concrete.  All the materials used for embellishment were donated…things like broken plates, costume jewelry, ceramic tile, beads, marbles, seashells, etc.  The pictures I tookRead More

AL – The Clarkson Covered Bridge

    Covered bridges intrigue me.  I was fortunate enough to have visited a few last year.  This one was the longest one I’ve seen and there was a waterfall on the property…what a great bonus!  Getting a little information on its original use was great too!  When we walked across the planks imagining those olden days when farmers and travelers had only this bridge to cross the Crooked Creek, we gained an appreciation for its value.  This bridge has great historical significance to the people in Cullman County.  It was partially wiped out by a flood and its salvagedRead More

AL – An OOPS!!! in Greenville

   The OOPS happened in Greenville!  We were driving through the narrow little town looking for the High Horse Gallery that sounded fabulous on the Internet and was way up on the list of things to check out!  We were almost there, turned our last corner and saw a RR overpass just ahead with a 10′ clearance.  Carl and I looked at each other with a touch of panic in our eyes.  Well, we were involuntarily committed at that point…there’s no backing up a hill with a car in tow!!!  So we crept on under the bridge until we heardRead More

AL – A Pair of Waterfall Wonders

   I’m back on my original waterfall search…gotta see at least 1 in each state we go to!!! Here in William Bankhead National Forest, we found 2!!!!  Oh, yeah!!!  The weather was perfect and there had been a plethora of rain allowing for a fabulous flow!!! Day 1 Restaurant where we ate after the waterfall It overlooked the Sipsey  River… Golddiggers at the Lakeside Inn The adult beverages were fabulous…yummy! Day 1-Path to the falls- not too steep Day 1 Day 1-One and a half waterfalls!!!! Day 1-Silly Carl trying not to get wet…what a sport!!! Day 1-Ecstatic me… thereRead More