In previous posts, we have talked about how different North Alabama is from most of the state. It is mostly topography. The culture is the same with more Alabama fans west of I-65 and Auburn fans east of I-65. That’s how we measure culture down here. Since we are staying still as caretakers for a fellow RVer’s farm, we decided to immerse ourselves in the local area.
Due to poor planning on my part some 30 years ago, January and February bring about our Anniversary, Pattie’s birthday, and Valentine’s Day. OK, two out of three I didn’t have much choice in the matter. The chocolate investment alone can break the bank. We have been good on our diet and joined a local gym where we workout 5-6 times a week, so some celebration was in order. For Pattie’s birthday she had her heart set on a specific dessert sold at P.F. Chang’s called the “Great Wall of Chocolate.” We made the short trip to Huntsville for dinner and she brought the slice of cake home and ate on it for a week.
There are many fine dining opportunities in the Huntsville area and the old downtown area is really coming to life. The Vaugh Braun Center downtown hosts attractions all year. Pattie wanted to go see the Chinese ballet Shen Yun, so we got tickets and enjoyed the show.
Not to be left out, I selected a spot to celebrate Valentine’s Day. A local roadside café southeast of Huntsville on Hwy 431 called Galen’s offers a real country breakfast. Nothing says I love you like biscuits, grits, and bacon.
You may recall that last August, Pattie had a bad accident on some bike trails in Maine and we have been wondering if her ten-year-old 17-inch frame Trek was the right size for her. Apparently it is not. She needed a 13-inch frame bike to ride comfortable and control it. So, we came home with a new ladies bike for her birthday. Our first ride was about 7 miles and she said the experience was much better. We stopped by the local Wal-Mart and bought a 65 inch BBQ grill cover to put over the bikes since they live on the back of The Bus. We will see how that works out.
I tried it with a couple racks of ribs and we had a couple we know from our college days come over to help us eat them. A few days later I tried some salmon. Both meals came out edible and the grill works great.
This local semi-stray dog named Maggie was ever present as the grill was going. I have never seen any creature as happy to just be as this dog. The world is her toy and every moment is made for fun.
|Maggie says, "If it ain't fun, don't do it."|
|Hiking Dismals Canyon with Laura and Bruce|
Our Samsung Blue Ray/surround sound receiver began shutting itself off flashing a FAN NGO warning. I pulled it out of the confined cabinet where it lives on top of the DISH receiver and tried it our on the kitchen cabinet. It worked fine there. Suspecting it was shutting down due to excessive heat, I purchased four aluminum electrical outlet boxes to use as spacers to separate the components and disperse the heat. I padded the boxes with anti-slip pads so they will not move around in transit. The receiver stays on for now. A friend of mine suggested a USB driven fan to move air through the cabinet. I ordered a couple installed them to further improve cooling. No issues so far.
When preparing to stay in one place for a long time, we put these covers over the mirrors and windshield wipers. Why? Because we found them in a cabinet of the coach when we bought it. I suppose the ones over the wipers will help keep the rubber from deteriorating as quickly. The ones over the mirrors keep them clean from bird droppings. (A blue bird has shown up delineating his territory and he "fights" the bird in the mirrors- hence the droppings.) I’m not sure I would have run out and bought them, but since we have them, why not?