Last night we were in Mobile, Alabama to cover the crippled Carnival Triumph.
We had the opportunity to speak with a number of passengers who were stranded at sea for five days. Even though they had no power and limited access to toilets, many they came off that ship not just relieved but actually grateful for the unforgettable time with family and friends.
But in addition to meeting a lot of interesting people as a journalist, you also get the chance to visit and experience places you might never otherwise see. And yesterday I learned what a great city Mobile, Alabama is.
It's the state's major port, a major shipbuilding hub and, now, an airplane manufacturing hub. Airbus' first U.S.-based production facility is being built in Mobile and, beginning in 2015, will produce between 40 and 50 aircraft annually.
That is huge.
Now, Airbus referred to Mobile's "rich southern tradition, beauty and charm" in its release describing why it picked the city for such a major investment.
And Airbus is right – despite being an industrial hub, it's also very pretty. America's first Mardi Gras ever was held in Mobile in 1704. The drive from the airport, even past the strip malls every town has, was truly pretty. Lots of huge trees with giant trunks arching over the roads, with Spanish moss draped romantically across the boughs, and lots of beautiful old buildings.
America is so full of great cities, and here's to beautiful Mobile.