January is prime time for making lists, it seems. Often these lists focus on resolutions, but one of those resolutions could be to make a bucket list or to mark things off one we have already created in case we do kick it before we are quite ready.
A couple of weeks ago, a friend and I were talking about the Flora-Bama’s Polar Bear Dip, and I said, “Oh that’s on my Mobile bucket list.”
She asked what that was and what else was on it, so I filled her in.
My Mobile bucket list is different than my personal bucket list.
The personal one includes typical pie-in-the-sky things (as it should), such as writing a novel, spending the summer in Greece and/or the South of France and attending all of the grand slams of tennis (preferably in some sort of royal box but the nosebleeds will get the job done, too).
But my Mobile list includes things I want or think I should do as a citizen of the Port City. Obviously, some of these things do not take place within the city limits, so perhaps it’s more of a Gulf Coast bucket list, but, in any case, I think of them all as things you should do if you consider yourself a true card-carrying Mobilian or Gulf Coastian (Gulf Coastie?).
Below, I have included some I items I have already marked off my own list, and some I would still like to do. And this is really only a partial list due to space constraints, but I would love to hear what is your own Mobile bucket list as well. So shoot me an email at email@example.com.
Polar Bear Dip
As previously mentioned, this one is still on my list. Every New Year’s Day, the Flora-Bama hosts a “dip,” right out in front of the legendary establishment, so the brave, willing, drunk and/or insane can baptize themselves in the salty waters of the Gulf of Mexico. What better way to start the new year?
Since our winter weather is so unpredictable, you never know if it will be freezing or pretty comfortable, so perhaps it should be the Bi-Polar Dip? A dip is a dip is a dip, but I do believe the colder it is, the more credit you should get for doing this. (I am not sure who extends this credit, but you know what I mean.)
Of course, you could probably do this yourself by jumping in any body of water on January 1, but to do it with a bunch of costumed crazies in front of the Flora-Bama seems to be the correct and only way to truly mark this one off the list.
Then, of course, have a Bloody Mary and a dozen raw oysters immediately following to really ratchet up the Gulf Coastie-ness of it all.
Mobile Marathon, Azalea Trail Run, Grandman Triathlon
I did the fun run in the Mobile Marathon back when it was still called First Light, and I managed to finish the full 10K Azalea Trail Run one year. But I think the true trifecta is to complete the full Mobile Marathon, the 10K Azalea Trail and the full Grandman Triathlon. Relax, not all in one year, just in your lifetime.
But the older I get, the more this seems like it may stay on the list, as I am not running long distances anymore (or even short ones) and I am a mediocre swimmer at best and I am terrified a camper with large rear-view mirrors is going to decapitate me if I ride a bike on a roadway, sooooooo we’ll see about this one. But you never know.
Ride on a Mardi Gras float/March in the Joe Cain Procession
Mobile’s signature celebration is, of course, Mardi Gras. And we are fortunate that during the darkest, dreariest time of the year we get to congregate together behind barricades with friends and strangers alike to hear the sounds of sirens and marching bands and catch MoonPies, beads, dirty stuffed animals and other really random crap from beautifully decorated floats. And I love every minute of it.
But occasionally I get the urge to want to throw said crap off of a float, just once. But that urge never is strong enough to make me want to join a parading society, so this one may stay on the list, too. But marching in the Joe Cain Procession one year may be enough to scratch that itch and is a lot more doable. And really, could anything be more Mobile?
Dauphin Island Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo
I have been to Dauphin Island on rodeo weekend and watched anglers bring their catch in, but I have never personally been on a competing vessel, and that seems like it would be exciting. Though last time I went red snapper fishing, every muscle in my upper body ached for a week, so maybe I should just leave this to the professionals.
Dauphin Island Regatta
I have always had this very romantic view of sailing. This fantasy involves the captain being a handsome, tanned man with perfect teeth and longish hair, donning an oatmeal-colored, cable-knit sweater. He pulls on a few ropes and talks about the sea like he’s Ernest Hemingway, as he also effortlessly serves his passengers wine, cheese, grapes and caviar, which no one ever spills on the boat — even on the choppiest of days.
Something tells me it’s probably a little less romantic and involves a lot more work, especially if you are participating in a regatta, but this romantic image I have in mind still compels me to want to mark this one off the list one day.
Cold Hole at Magnolia Springs
Luckily, we had friends who introduced us and have taken us on subsequent trips to the Cold Hole in Magnolia Springs, so I can die happy knowing I have marked this one off my list. But this one is important and should definitely be on everyone’s Mobile bucket list, so I feel it is my duty to spread the good word.
You can get there by land or sea (if you are in a small boat or kayak), but by water is best, as you will be greeted by dolphins on your way and see horses grazing on the banks leading up to the “cold hole,” which is the coldest water you will ever feel, and I swear it is even healing. There really couldn’t be a better “Mobile” way to spend an August day.
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