This year has seen more than the usual amount of travel for the RT. Not only has the RT spent time in København in 2017, late summer brought an opportunity to spend a week in Flora-Bama.
Where The Heck Is Flora-Bama?
Now, you may be asking: “Just where in the heck is Flora-Bama?” And that’s a good question, for the RT had never heard of it himself before this trip.
It seems that the southeast corner of the ‘Bama panhandle intermingles with the western tip of the Flor’a panhandle. The state lines in this particular part of the world criss-cross back and forth so often that you need a navigator just to keep up with which state you’re in. Along the way, some enterprising fellow set up a bar right on the state line, named it Flora-Bama and history was made.
How To Get There
To get to Flora-Bama, one must go through one or both of Mississippi and Louisiana. Even if you live in Miami, Florida, your route would inevitably take you through Mississippi and/or Louisiana. Both are delightful places, filled with lovely people with names like Cooter, Bubba and Boudreaux.
And the RT’s travels through the area proved an adage he’s known to be true for a long time: “If a place advertises ‘Clean Restrooms’, it doesn’t have them, or much anything else, for that matter.”
The first thing you need to know is that wherever you may be in the Flora-Bama area, you are either in or very close to Alabama. And that ought to tell you something, right there.
It’s as if Lynyrd Skynyrd is always there, looking over your shoulder. The widespread availability of shotglasses, refrigerator magnets and license plate frames emblazoned with “Sweet Home Alabama” can leave you misty-eyed. And the pickup truck flying four full-sized Confederate flags (one of which carried the banner “Heritage, not Hate”) provided another helpful reminder.
So, even if you’re on the Flor’a side of the Flora-Bama line, feel free to let the chorus of “Free Bird” rip. Preferably from the windows of a late ‘70s Trans-Am.
The cuisine in Flora-Bama is superb, because they use a very special seasoning in the area: Fried
You’ll find it applied to chicken, catfish, shrimp, pies and pickles. The Family RT was able to isolate the essence in the bottom of a basket of fried pickles in the clumps of “fried” that contained no pickles. Very heady stuff.
They also eat many sea creatures in Flora-Bama, again with significant amounts of “fried” applied: shrimp, crab, fish and okra. OK, okra is not a sea creature, but the RT almost had you.
When going to the beach, be sure to leave the majority of your clothes behind. This requirement seems to apply equally to men and women. The better to see your tattoos, we guess.
When going to the beach, you must not forget the number one beach accessory. It’s not sunscreen, or a beach chair, or an umbrella, or flip-flops, or a beach towel. Each of these is important in its own right, but each places a distant second to the really important thing: BEER
Never – repeat, NEVER – go to the beach without BEER. This could result in a fine or possible bodily harm. The only time that bullies kick sand in your face is when you are not brandishing BEER. Have one at 8am and at 8:15am and another at 8:30am. Just keep ‘em coming.
Don’t fret about finding the right craft beer, pale ale or Belgian wheat. Nope, just pick up a case or three of Milwaukee’s Best or Schlitz or PBR. That’s all you need in Flora-Bama.
And after you’ve downed a six (or two), you won’t care about chairs, sunglasses or sunscreen. You’ll can just lay there like a beached whale. Don’t worry, when you come to well after dark, you can find your way back to the condo using the glow from your fiercely-sunburned skin.
One of the popular spots in Flora-Bama is Orange Beach. Maybe he missed something, but the only thing the RT saw in Orange Beach were the folks that had spent a little too much time at the spray tanning facility. Other than that, it seemed like a pretty regular beach.
When you go to Flora-Baja, you’ll want to pick up some souvenirs. Make sure you get the really good stuff: shot glasses, bells, refrigerator magnets, bottle openers, pickled/preserved baby sharks (I did not make that up), baby alligator jaws, beer hats, wife-beater t-shirts, and anything that has “Sweet Home Alabama” on it.
With these in hand, you can impress your friends with trinkets from your classy vacation.
No, not the Miami Dolphins. The RT wouldn’t be caught dead in Miami.
The RT is talkin’ about the Real McCoy in the dolphin world. Those graceful and adorable aquatic creatures that pop up from the water when you least expect them. The Family RT took a private sunset dolphin cruise and had a great time. The RT recommends that you do the same when you are in Flora-Bama.
In case you are wondering, the RT couldn’t tell the difference between the Flor’a dolphins and the ‘Bama dolphins. They were all chattering “Free Bird” as they went past.
The RT hopes that you, dear reader, are not disappointed by the brevity of this travel guide. It’s not that there was a lack of things to write about. Au contrare, mon ami! There was an overabundance of material, from the first visit to a Flor’a WalMart to the final stop at a C-store in Louisiana.
Perhaps another day, my friend.
Best, The Rambling Texan