Monday, July 30, 2018

Alabama



We've just gotten back from a family (my side) beach vacation to the beautiful white sands of the Gulf Coast in Florida.  We left a day before everyone else so that we could visit Alabama (checked it off and now we only have 6 more to go!).  We flew into Atlanta, on a very early flight, and drove straight to Birmingham, Alabama- but first we found some breakfast.  We stopped at a Chick-Fil-A and were delighted to discover that it was the original one!


Once we got to Birmingham, we tried to hit the highlights as best we could.  This day seemed to stretch out forever due to our early, early flight and the time change.  We joked all day that it was the longest day ever!  We started by visiting the Vulcan statue, which is the worlds largest cast iron statue.  Birmingham began as an industrial town with its roots in the iron and steel industry and the Vulcan statue is a symbol of Birmingham's past.  There's also a great view of the skyline!





After we checked into our hotel, we set out on foot to tour some of downtown.  We found the town to be so interesting and.... hot!  We forgot just how hot and humid the south is.


We ended up at the Civil Rights Institute which we all found incredibly interesting.  Right across the street from the institute was the 16th Street Baptist Church which was an active and critical point for the movement and where four little girls were killed by a bomb.



Afterward, we walked over to the Railroad Park where we sat and watched the world go by (and also tried to cool off!).  The next morning, after a delicious biscuit and egg sandwich, we checked out of the hotel and headed for the beach.




On our way through Montgomery, we stopped at The National Memorial for Peace and Justice.  I really wanted to see this Memorial and though it was hard and heartbreaking, I'm so glad we stopped.  The Memorial doesn't sugar coat the atrocities that happened to people of color and the full weight of our history is a hard one to bear.  It's such a shameful part of our history but one that I think we must acknowledge and learn about in order to heal and move forward as one.







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