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Welcome to my cyber neighborhood coffee shop! Grab a mug of your favorite
beverage and a cozy chair to read and comment a bit. Be sure to try a piece of

black forest cake or the tiramisu. Try both; cyber-cake is calorie free!

Contact Nani at chroniclesofnani@gmail.com
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Monday, April 5, 2010

(The Best of) Monday Mug Shot

We got back from our railfan vacation in Florida and surrounding states just this afternoon, in time to have kitty birthday cake for Baggle with the kids, turn on the ball game and for David to get ready for work after we unpacked the car. I think my pecans are still in the back seat, but the oranges and grapefruits are in the house!

I’ll tell a little more about vacation later, but just before I post the best of mug shot, I want to know, why is that when I vacation in the southeast, things rumble in California??


Monday Mug Shot
Originally posted at Yahoo on 7/30/07

Ave Maria Grotto
Cullman, Alabama

I went to Ave Maria Grotto with my Mom on our trip south for 2 weeks in 1989. I’d never been south of Florence, Kentucky before that trip, so it was full of new sights to see! It was also a great female bonding trip, lots of talk, lots of desserts and lots of shopping! That was the trip where I started to collect coffee mugs as souvenirs, with the hope that I’d eventually have a wall with mugs on it.

It was during the World Series between San Francisco and Oakland. Neither of them are one of my teams, but I had a passing interest because Brett Butler, a player I enjoyed, was on the Giants that year. After a crazy day that had us believing that Birmingham was a city that ate Yankees, spit them out and swallowed them again for fun because we kept ending up passing another “Welcome to Birmingham” sign every time we’d thought we’d gotten OUT, a fierce afternoon rain that had me thinking something had happened to my car (Only to have a mechanic laugh at me because I had “those good Yankee snow tires” throwing water on the un-crowned road at the bottom of my car) and a much later than expected arrival in Cullman after a stop at one of the chain in the new restaurant we’d discovered in Kentucky, Cracker Barrel, for diner, we didn’t even turn the TV on. We went right to sleep after checking in to the hotel. I figured I’d get the score for game three in the morning.

That was October 17, 1989 and of course, the next morning, there was no score. Just eye witness accounts about the earthquake, horrific shots from the pancaked highway bridge and a few sound bites from the Candlestick Park, which was evacuated and the World Series put on hold pending a structural inspection of the ball park after search and rescue efforts were complete. The news from San Francisco made it a late start to the day for us, but somehow going to a Catholic Shrine for our first stop of the touring day had become quite appropriate.

Ave Maria Grotto, in Cullman, Alabama is the work of a Benedictine Monk in the early 20th century. It is places of spiritual significance and world landmarks done in miniature sculptures in an outdoor garden setting near to the Abbey Brother Zoetti called home. Now, that’s a switch from my usual attraction to larger-than-life sculptures, but it was an incredible place! The detail in the tiny sculptures just brought the far-off places to enchanted life! If I get back to that part of Alabama, I definitely want to go again...just no earthquakes this time!

1 comment:

Edna B said...

Good to hear your vacation was nice. I hope you came home to some warm, sunny weather.

How about those Red Sox!! This was a great way to start the season!! I love it!!! (Gosh, can you tell I'm a Red Sox fan?)

Yesterday's weather was heaven sent. It's a little cooler today, only supposed to be about 69 degrees. Hope it's nice in Ohio too.

Time to start my day now. You have a great day. Hugs, Edna B.