Greetings from Foley, Alabama... Huh? Where? Alabama — you mean you actually went there on purpose? Well, yes...
Foley is a little town adjacent to Gulf Shores, a major resort area on what's come to be known as the "Redneck Riviera." That's the beachfront strip along the Gulf of Mexico that runs from about Panama City, Florida, to somewhere near Biloxi, Mississippi. It's actually quite nice here.
Dee, Bryce and I are visiting some family and taking some well-deserved R&R after the election, and right on its heels, publication of the December issue of the KItsap Peninsula Business Journal and the Winter issue of WestSound Home & Garden. It seems we escaped just in time to miss all the bad weather, snow, flooding, etc. I'll be going from here to Scottsdale, Arizona where we have a condo, and attending two automotive test drive events.
I'll be doing an intro event for the restyled 2009 Nissan Murano on Wednesday and Thursday, and going from the resort where we'll be staying, to the condo for four days, and then off to another resort for Mitsubishi's Introduction of the 2009 Lancer Evo, which we'll driving on the road race course at Phoenix Firebird Raceway. Yeah, I know this is tough duty, but someone has to do this. Might as well be me :)
Some observations on the difference between attitudes here, and at home...
It began on the airplane, before we left Seattle. We were flying on Delta Airlines, which is based in Atlanta. The flight attendant, before doing the inane demonstration of how to buckle your seat belt, made an announcement saying, "We want to thank all of the members of the United State's military that we have on board today for your service to our country. We sincerely appreciate all you do, and we are honored to have you as our guests."
That announcement was met with a hearty round of applause that went on for well over a minute. That same announcement took place on the connecting flight to Pensacola, and received the same kind of response. I was also on a Delta Flight to Memphis and back just recently, via Atlanta, and the same thing took place. On flights on other airlines, such as Alaska and Northwest, I've not witnessed anything like that. But it made me smile and be proud I had a small part in saying "Thank You" to the men and women of our military.
When we arrived in both Atlanta and Pensacola, the first thing we noticed were Christmas Trees — not "Holiday Trees." The words "Merry Christmas" appear everywhere — in the airports, in stores, on TV, billboards and readerboards. No one is afraid to say "Merry Christmas."
There are American flags everywhere. On our way from the airport, we came into a town called Robertsdale. Lining the streets for literally miles, were what seemed to be a couple thousand people. We stopped to ask them what was going on, and someone answered, "The Big Christmas Parade." I couldn't help but notice it wasn't the "Holiday Parade."
On the lighter side, we went to dinner at a local seafood house, and on the tables, were stand-up cards saying "We proudly fry with Crisco Professional." I defy you to find something that anywhere in the politically correct Northwest. Also, one of the local papers, which is the equivalent of the Seattle Weekly or The Stranger, is called the Mullet Wrapper.
And of course no visit to the south would be complete without visiting that renowned fine dining establishment, The Waffle House. If you've ever been to one, you know exactly what I mean. And as usual, the show was every bit as good as the food, but that's another story for another time...