Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m.
Afternoon: Program Registration, 4:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, other important information, and to learn when and where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
Dinner: At a local hotel restaurant, we will enjoy a plated meal, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: We will continue getting to know your fellow participants, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.
Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach. Limited walking on this day.
Breakfast: At the hotel, we will enjoy a buffet meal, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Morning: Enjoy a downtown walking tour to visit historic sites such as The Battlehouse, Cathedral, and points of interest on Dauphin and Government Streets.
Lunch: Lunch will be at the Hampton Inn & Suites.
Afternoon: After lunch we will board a motorcoach with our local expert for a field trip to view historic Mobile landmarks, beautiful 18th- and 19th-century homes, and majestic live oaks. We’ll drive by the city’s port area and learn more about its important role in Mobile’s economy. Afterwards, we will return to the hotel before our dinner out.
Dinner: At a local hotel, we will enjoy a plated meal, with coffee, tea, water included. Beverages available for purchase.
Evening: At the Hampton, an architectural historian will discuss the structural design of Mobile’s historic houses. We will trace changes in styles and details with trends of the time.
Activity note: Walking Bellingrath over some uneven/unpaved terrain.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: This morning, in the hotel meeting room, we will learn more about the history of Mobile and Bellingrath Gardens and Home in preparation for our field trip. Mrs. Bellingrath had a keen interest in antiques and collected from New Orleans to New York. These began to fill the 15-room house they had built on the property in 1935. Their home opened to the public in 1956, after the Bellingrath-Morse Foundation was created to oversee and maintain the house and gardens. The Bellingraths were both civic minded and generous. We’ll also learn about their philanthropies and many charitable acts. After a break, we will depart by motorcoach for Bellingrath Gardens, where we’ll learn more about our amazing history and culture from our historian, who will discuss Reconstruction, late 19th-century economic developments, World War I, the Roaring ‘20s, World War II, and modern Mobile.
Lunch: At Bellingrath Gardens, we will enjoy a plated lunch, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Afternoon: After lunch, we will explore an “American Castle” in Bellingrath Gardens and Home. The curator will give a presentation to our group that will orient us to the house and gardens, followed by time to explore on our own and see what interests you most. The magnificent 15-room mansion showcases its original collection of treasured antiques collected by Mrs. Bellingrath including furniture, silver, china, crystal, and cut glass. The exterior features handmade brick and ironwork salvaged from demolish 19th-century Mobile hotels. Nestled among beautiful live oaks, Spanish moss, and scenic Fowl River, the 65-acre gardens boast blooms every day of the year. During spring, admire the beauty of azaleas, tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, pansies, camellias, Japanese magnolias, ornamental kale and cabbage, foxglove, delphinium, violas, and poppies.
Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. Lots of great restaurants are within walking distance of the hotel, or take a short drive to the causeway for delicious seafood restaurant options.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach. Walking 2 blocks board pontoon boat at convention center.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: We will have a guided tour of the Mardi Gras Museum, featuring gowns, costumes and trains from past Mardi Gras Kings and Queens. Little known facts about Mardi Gras and its origins and resurgence after the Civil War will be revealed.
Lunch: At a local restaurant in the historic district, we will enjoy a plated lunch from a select menu featuring seafood and more, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Afternoon: After lunch, we will sit back and relax on a pontoon boat ride into Mobile's harbor, seeing the city from a different viewpoint. We’ll explore this important port with a local expert, from imports and exports to ship building and ship repair. After our ride, we will return to the hotel by motorcoach.
Dinner: At a popular local restaurant, we will enjoy a plated meal, with coffee, tea, water included. Beverages available for purchase.
Evening: At the hotel, we will discover the history, fun, and ambiance of Mardi Gras with a local expert, who will help us gain an understanding and appreciation for the true meaning behind the carnival season and where it originated.
Activity note: Walking at Richards DAR Home which includes some uneven, unpaved terrain.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: This morning, we will visit the Richards Daughters of the American Revolution House by motorcoach. Built in 1860, this handsome town house, with its lavish “iron lace” exterior decoration, is an exceptional example of Italianate style. The superb architectural details inside the house recall fashionable life during Mobile’s affluent ante-bellum days. It is operated, furnished, and maintained by the city’s DAR chapters, with period antiques and artifacts dating back to 1870. After a docent-led presentation, we’ll also enjoy a taste of Southern hospitality with tea and cookies.
Lunch: On your own to enjoy local fare.
Afternoon: Free Afternoon. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You might like to visit a nearby beach, explore picturesque Fairhope, go in search of more delicious seafood, visit the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, or simply relax.
Dinner: At a local restaurant, we will enjoy a plated meal, with coffee, tea, water included. Other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: For our final evening, we will enjoy a special presentation on Mobile’s famous Azalea Trail Maids and the history of the city with some of the maids themselves. These young women from area high schools wear traditional hooped antebellum dresses with pantaloons, gloves, and dainty umbrellas. The Azalea Trail Maids are true ambassadors of the city and exemplify Mobile’s southern charm.
Activity note: Hotel check-out by 12:00 Noon.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: After breakfast, we will walk to the History Museum of Mobile. We’ll have a presentation and overview of the museum, followed by time to explore independently and see Mobile as the first Americans saw it. Choose to relive the passage on an African slave ship, or listen to the stories of Civil War soldiers, and feel the power of nature’s raging storm, the hurricane. The Discovery Room provides a chance to get our hands on history as an interactive gallery for the young and young at heart. Following this trip, we will return to the hotel. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!