On a whim we left work for Carrabbas around 3:10. We took 98 and it went pretty well, though it's a long drive no matter how you slice it. As we got into Gulf Shores we hit major backup on the bridge. Some giant SUV was having "trouble". It was so lame.
And while we're on the SUV subject, who are these people that drive giant SUVs with giant travel cases strapped to the roof? It's well-documented that that saps fuel economy a good 2-3 mpg, and given the low mpg of SUVs to begin with, it boils down to a fantastic case of American excess.
I need to meet one of these families, need to rummage through their belongings. Given that many European families go on holiday for nearly a month with nothing more than a suitcase, I have a feeling their SUV must look like our old hamster's house (she filled it full of tissue and food to the point it lifted off the ground).
Back to dinner. It was awesome, we still beat the major crowds and got everything fast, fresh, and plentiful. We did almost get hit by an older couple while we were walking into the restaurant though. The guy was extremely focused on pulling into his spot (and craning his head to the right to see it) that he didn't even see us approaching on his left (which was odd because we were technically already in the road).
One way to have fun with a situation like this is to jump on the guy's car. He'll flip out, you can hop off, dust yourself, motion "I'm good! It's okay! Let's eat!" with a smile, and walk off. I briefly debated this, and a glimmer in Michelle's eye suggested she had something similar in mind (can you imagine if he thought he hit two people, as if we were raining out of the sky).
While we waited for our food we overhead the waitress behind us explaining very basic things to the people sitting back there, who had apparently never been to a restaurant. She'd be like "water is this clear thing we have, and we can put lemon in it" and "spaghetti is this creation of noodles and sauce".
Afterward we engaged in even more traffic to get over the bridges on I-10. So, basically it took 4 hours to get over there, eat, walk around for a short time, then drive home. Not optimal, but very good still.