Mobile, Alabama! We randomly selected this town for an overnight because it was almost exactly halfway between St. George Island and New Orleans, and it felt like the most true-blue Southern city we visited. On our way there we saw a couple of horrifying bumper stickers: "I'd Rather Be Shooting Yankees" (yelp), and "Don't Blame Me, I Voted for the Old White Guy" (ugh). When we arrived at our hotel there was a young girl all dolled up (Toddlers and Tiaras-style) in the parking lot, having her picture taken by a couple of middle-aged women with reflecting screens. We didn't think too much of it, but when we went out later there was yet another glamour shot session going on, and a giant Hummer was parked outside with peppy pink paint all over it, wishing "Little Bit" good luck in the Adorable Miss Gulf Coast pageant (we were nosy so of course we Googled, and realized that it was happening at our hotel). This sort of thing doesn't happen in Vermont (as far as I know, I guess...).
We basically just spent the whole afternoon doing the historic walking tour of downtown Mobile. It was remarkable how run-down and abandoned the city looked, like it had been hit hard by the economy over and over again since the beginning of time and was teetering between ghost town and functional community. It was fun to explore and photograph the historically beautiful old buildings, and even though it was kind of sad how it looked so forgotten, it was also interesting to get a sense of a Southern city that wasn't completely corrupted by the tourism trade.The next morning we felt it was appropriate to enjoy a classic American fast-food breakfast at the Waffle House, where my waffle was so sweet it practically burned (but was still delicious for the first several bites), before heading on to New Orleans!