Saturday, September 19, 2009

Tupelo Honey & Sweet Home Alabama

After leaving Graceland yesterday, we had two long days of driving ahead of us to look forward to. As we stop less and drive more, it’s amazing how much longer the drive seems. Maybe it’s that we’re heading home. The days fly in the beginning when it seems like you have all the time in the world. But when have a deadline – like say, a plane to catch – it’s like you’re being chased by the Devil himself.

Or maybe the girls are just eager to get me back to my own corner of the country.

As long as we're paying homage to the Elvis ... we made a pit stop in Tupelo, Mississippi, to see his birthplace. It is almost impossible to imagine a family living in this house. It's about as big as my living room -- if that.

And though it’s dark when we arrive, we also stopped off in Birmingham, Alabama, to drive by the 16th Street Church. I know Elvis’ Memphis palace was supposed to be the final hurrah, hence the “Mermaids to Graceland” moniker, but it wasn't the last planned destination on the list.

Somehow, “Mermaids to Civil Rights Trail” didn't have the same ring to it.

They look like they are having a dinner at the church when we arrived. I considered knocking on the door and asking to see the inside, but Flat Stanley was feeling a little shy. We settled for snapping a few pictures of the outside. It’s just past anniversary of the bombing that killed four girls in the basement of the church 46 years ago. It was an attack that helped to galvanize the civil rights movement.

As we headed to Montgomery, debris started hitting the car. I couldn't figure out what it was, but notice the a car pulling a boat in front of us start to swerve. The guy behind us was riding my ass and there was another car next to us. The girls are yelling as we realize the boat trailer has blown a tire, and the rubber is bouncing toward us on the road. It was pretty scary, but we pulled through unscathed.

We arrived in the Montgomery area, stopping just shy of the city to book a hotel and head to Olive Garden for dinner. Mom and I made a mad dash through TJ Maxx before they closed. She got a ring and I a bag for the trip home and a new dress. Pretty good for 15 minutes.

Our server at dinner, Shantanna, is studying to become a trauma surgeon and looking at Johns Hopkins once she graduates this year. I told her how much I love the area and encourage her to at least come out for a visit. She said she was born and raised in the South and isn't sure she'll like it. I remind her that the DC area is still south of the Mason-Dixon line, and if when you order tea, it will DEFINITELY be sweet.

Unfortunately, that's the only thing I DON'T like about my city -- except maybe the drivers.

But as I've recently discovered they're much worse in Alabama.


  1. i thought i was the only one who could purchase two items at the maxx within fifteen minutes time. you are impressive in so many ways.

  2. Bunny yer ol' Texas frenSeptember 20, 2009 at 4:21 PM

    It's such a bummer when your favorite book, movie, TV show or blog comes to an end. {sniff} I've certainly enjoyed following along with you on your epic journey. I can't begin to tell you how much of a treat it was for me to have the "mermaids" include Austin/Round Rock, TX...and me...on your itinerary. You are all welcome back with open arms anytime. Thanks again and BTW, when’s the next trip?