Saturday, August 13, 2011

Mugs & Motors; Art & Barbeque

At Cream & Sugar
The August edition of the South Alabama British Car Club's Mugs & Motors was once again well attended with 17 intrepid members braving the summer heat to enjoy coffee and conversation for motoring enthusiasts.

We met at the delightful Cream and Sugar, a neighborhood coffee house in located in the historic Oakleigh Garden District of downtown Mobile. The proprietors reserved the upstairs portion of the shop for our event and it was certainly intimate with its low ceilings and limited seating. The gang got their coffees and sweet treats and did what the group enjoys most - the company of good friends with similar interests. 
Small Room - Big Cups

After refills of coffee and an extra something from the baked goods case, we wandered downstairs and mounted up for trip to Langan Park and the Mobile Museum of Art. Cream and Sugar's porch was then populated with the members of cycling club and they had questions and comments aplenty about the classic British cars parked at the curb. It was a pleasure to talk to the group about the cars and British car hobby.
Parked at the Museum
Our original plan called for the group to caravan out to the museum on Old Shell Road. However, water main construction closed a section of the road so Jack Ross volunteered to lead the group on the Springhill Avenue route. Traffic was minimal and the old oak trees lining the avenue provided some much-appreciated shade from the late summer sun. I was in the newly-fettled MGB and it ran flawlessly, even in the stop-and-go traffic encountered along part of the route.

On arrival at the art museum, we did our best to find some shade to park our cars under, but there was none to be seen. We stepped into the spacious reception area of the museum and were greeted by a gorgeous view of the lake through the wall of windows the made up one side of the circular space.

Group Photo at the Museum
We paid our admission fee and got a quick group photo made in the reception hall. These would be the last photos made in the building as there was a very-clearly posted notice that cameras were not allowed in the galleries. Being literate adults, we knew and understood this, however we were told about this policy two more times before we could get our shot and get the cameras locked up in the cars. When we returned to start our tour, I noticed that each gallery entrance, exit and balcony were occupied by none-too-friendly looking individuals openly scowling at us. Speaking for myself, I felt as though I was being sized up as a potential threat to the security and sanctity of the space. Again, speaking for myself, I was deeply disappointed in the treatment the staff subjected us to in the beginning. 

The museum's collections are very well rounded, with an extensive glass and sculpture collection as well as two dimensional works. For me, the highlight of my visit was viewing the painting depicting the CSS Alabama arbitration tribunal in Geneva, Switzerland. 

Great Barbeque
We spent a leisurely two-plus hours at the lovely facility, but our stomachs told us it was time to find lunch and find it we did at the British Car Festival class sponsor, The Shed Barbeque on Old Shell Road not far from the museum site. The group chowed down on delicious smoked meats while we were serenaded by their extensive blues collection. 

It came time to go our separate ways and I took the Springhill Avenue route home. This time, however, I was drenched by a sudden downpour that hit near the Springhill-Moffatt split and continued all the way to the Mobile Infirmary area. Thankfully, both me and the 'B are quick drying and I kept the pace up to outrun the showers to Spanish Fort. 

Thanks to everyone who participated!     

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