26. December 2011 · Comments Off on Alabama Discoveries 1: The Santa Train and Zoo Lights! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , , , ,

We had a fun couple days sightseeing and enjoying some of the local holiday traditions.  Dave’s finally getting his “travel legs” back after his surgery and on Friday withstood about 4 hours in the car, to and from the Foley, Alabama area.

We live about 1 1/2 hours from the Wales West RV Park…and Tourist Railroad.  Yes, if you can imagine the two businesses coexisting, that’s what we have.  It’s tucked deep in a rural town in Alabama, east of Mobile….

Okay, an aside here: I’m not sure what you officially call that part of Alabama that’s due west of the Florida Panhandle and has the Gulf of Mexico as its southern border.  I always thought of it as a “stem”.  I did some cursory research and determined it could be either “South Alabama” or “Lower Alabama”.  Wikipedia didn’t offer too much help.

…anyway, this RV Park offers Welsh Narrow Gauge train rides on weekends, and in December they had an adorable Santa Train experience.

After dark, the train takes riders throughout the extensive RV park, which is brilliantly lit up.  You ride to the far eastern side of the park, where you’re dropped off: Santa Claus is waiting for the kids in his “North Pole” workshop.  The kids meet Santa, photographs are free, and Santa gives each child a wooden toy train to decorate in a craft section at the workshop.  What a wonderful way to meet Santa!

After returning to the main train station on the west side of the RV park, the riders get cocoa, cookies and entertainment.  There were a traveling petting zoo on hand, and a snack bar/gift shop area.

The facilities were well-kept and the holiday decorations were beautiful!

After the train, we headed over to Foley, AL to a touristy restaurant called Lambert’s Cafe.  They advertise that they’re the “Home of Thrown [sic] Rolls”…and that’s precisely what they do: fling the HUGE yeast rolls across the dining room to customers.  The boys enjoyed catching them for us!  Sadly, I tried and tried to get a picture of the young man just as the roll was leaving his hands.

The menu is “comfort food”, like what you would expect at Cracker Barrel, and the portions were ENORMOUS!  Dave and I should have share something!

The kid was too fast for me to catch the roll flying through the air.
Look at the size of these rolls!  Still warm, too!
There’s a paper towel with fried okra in front of me.  Servers came around with “pass arounds” all throughout the meal.

On Saturday evening, after Christmas Eve church services, we headed to the Gulf Breeze Zoo for the “Zoo Lights” event.  We had a nice time seeing the lights, and even got a sneak peek at many of the animals at night!

Unfortunately, I left the good camera at home and most of my iPhone pictures were pretty lousy.  This one was nice, though.  The kids were being silly in the foreground.