Today we visited the
Ave Maria Grotto.
Bonnie and Pastor Di from Bay St. Louis had suggested we see this.
It is called "Jerusalem in Miniature" and it has scenes from around the
world constructed years ago by one of the monks, which died in 1961.
It has representations of Jerusalem, Rome, missions including several
in California, and many other things. One of the scenes is the grotto
itself. Grotto means cave, and there is a small cave roughly 27 feet
high, 27 feet wide, and 27 feet deep, with a statue of Mary holding
the Christ child, and many angels surrounding her. There must be hundreds
of figures in the cave.
We tried to find the Cast Iron store we missed a few days ago. I thought
it was in the same town as an Unclaimed Baggage store. The UB store was
like a big overpriced Goodwill store, but interesting in its way. There
were lots of older digital cameras and Palm pilots. Sunglasses, computers,
sports equipment, and lots of clothes. We didn't buy anything. Turns
out the cast iron store was still farther up the road and the wrong
direction, so we gave up on it.
Headed instead toward Boaz, Billed as the largest outlet shopping paradise
in the south. Turns out most of the stores were vacant, and those occupied
were stores we'd never heard of. However, we did find a Bible Outlet, not
the same chain as we visited in Missouri, but a single family-owned store.
The store owner has a son who is about to graduate from high school and go
into the service (hasn't decided what branch yet), and Mary was able to
encourage him with a lot of what she has learned as a Marine Mom. Mary
felt this was a divine appointment and God brought us to this store.
After we left there, we also found a scrapbook store where Mary bought a
We started heading for our next destination, Atlanta, but I ran out of
steam real quick and we stopped in Anniston, Alabama. We had a nice meal
at Ruby Tuesday and brought leftovers back to our room, But because the
refrigerator was not plugged in, all the leftover spoiled. The wireless
didn't work either, so we had no internet access. Remind me not to stay
in Travelodge again. Oh, well, there were tracts in the front so maybe
he was a Christian?