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Friday, August 5, 2011

Of Babies, Rainbows and Low Country Boil

This past weekend we hauled everything over to Mobile to catch Baby Nolan's birfday.

I'm officially a real-deal, legit UNCLE now.  (I'll be signing autographs in the lobby afterward.)  Baby and mommy and daddy are all okay, and everybody has the requisite number of toes and fingers and ears and nostrils and whatever, last I checked.  Was a very good time.  Some observations:

Traditions are good.  And odd traditions are even better.  Bebe and Poppa have this great custom of trolling for blueberry pancakes (or is it waffles?) every time they have a grandbaby.  I'm told I actually witnessed the first installment of this back in 2008, but I have absolutely no memory of it.  None.  I mean, zero.  How messed up was I?!  Anyway, seeing Bebe crush a full on, buttered up slab of blueberry deliciousness is like watching a star go supernova:  it's just not something you see everyday.

Celebratory dinners are relative.  Before we left the hospital on Tuesday night, the staff brought in the "celebratory meal" for the new padres.  The choices were either a piece of fried fish or a sandwich, and let's just face it, nobody celebrates with cold cuts.  Doesn't happen.  Anyway, the fried fishyfish and hushpuppies actually looked pretty darn good.  (Okay, I was still too distracted by the electric blue frosting on the Celebratory Cupcakes to notice much else.)  After a long while, everybody started talking about how good it sounded to go get fried fish or heck, just fried something-er-other, period.  Enter Wintzell's Oyster House down on Dauphin Street.

Somehow I've been patrolling Mobile for almost 13 years without shoehorning myself into Wintzell's.  This is the place where certain (anonymous) members of the family tauntingly email me pictures of huge fresh oyster platters.  Total cheap shot.  Anyway, we proceeded to annihilate one of the all-time best family dinners, well, ever.  Crab claws.  Buttered bread.  Fresh oysters.  Low country boil.  Gumbo.  Shrimp and grits.  Bread pudding.  (Lotsa) bourbon sauce.  It was stupid good.  Stupid, I tell you.  Jack notched firsts in several categories.

Explaining how to eat crab claws to a two year old can be complex.

No, these aren't all about eating.  Okay, okay, here you go.

Baby experiences are dependent on a huge array of variables.  (See?  Not about food.)  The difference in cities/cultures/doctors/hospitals is insane.  Not to trash on Mobile at all - I'm sure it's fairly typical of places its size - but I was very glad we had Jack in a larger city.  It just fit us conservahippies better.  Mobile makes Houston look like - and I can't believe I'm making this comparison - San Francisco.  Hilarious example:  A (Mobile) doctor actually told Jay and Emily, "Don't bring a doula [with you to the hospital]."  Er, yeah.  Right, doc.  Then you'll know what a digitus tertius is. 

The State of Louisiana shuts down Interstate highways arbitrarily, and too often.  Maybe it's the Cajun/English language barrier.  "ONE LANE?!  No, you idiots!  I said TRES BIEN!"

Almost forgot:  Jack saw his first rainbow just after starting the drive to Alabama.  And no, it hasn't rained a lot here.  Check it out!

We're approaching Jack's third birthday.  Stay tuned for all sorts of frosting-slathered details.  Majesty asked him what he wanted for his birthday this year.  With a big smile he said simply, "A big red birfday cake!"  Simple (and permanently staining) pleasures, I guess.

And on an administrative note, we've officially hit our third year of CJMP.  You poor, poor people.  Well, heck, you've hung in there this long...

What's a few more wasted years?

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