Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Birmingham, Alabama

We love a good road trip. This is excellent, since a little travel has been necessary in our relationship. Road trips for us are a chance to connect, yes, but also a chance to play music really loud, sleep (me. always.), read aloud, and sometimes just take in what's passing by our windows. 

Carson had a conference in Nashville this past weekend, and since it was also my birthday weekend, I went with him. Because we don't like being on the road ALL DAY, we left at 5am (this was an hour later than I'd left for work the previous morning). There were several routes up to Nashville, and one of them was through Birmingham. It was our most successful road trip to date, thanks to Google maps and a little planning ahead. In just a few short days, we saw four cities and ate some really tasty food!

Neither of us have been to Alabama, even though it's the state right next to us and really not that far away at all, so we thought "Hey, why not?". And for the trip back home, we decided to take a different route, so we went in sort of a diamond shape and got to see parts of the south we (particularly Carson) have never seen before! 

Also pretty great was the sky. The moon was big and beautiful for a lot of our drive (and also hard to photograph), and then we watched the sun rise. 

I thought that there might be a touristy street or something for us to check out, but nothing popped up on my quick google search. Instead, I saw a place that overlooked the city. Great view of a city we wouldn't get to REALLY explore? Okay, sure. Even better was that when I put the address into Google Maps for a search, it was 8 minutes away. Excellent.

Here's the view. Not too shabby, huh? It may not appear this way, but it was 14 degrees outside. Beautiful and sunny, but 14 degrees and breezy is pretty darn chilly.

On top of this little mountain is the world's largest cast iron statue. It's of Vulcan, the Roman god of fire and forge. This is an homage to Birmingham's roots in the iron and steel industry and was made for the World's Fair. It's 110 years old, and the statue itself is 56 feet tall. The stand it rests on is much taller, which makes for a pretty impressive representative of the city.
There's a museum and park around the statue, but we arrived about thirty minutes before its 10am opening, so we just read the plaques and had the place to ourselves.

Carson was confident that if we just went through the city, we'd eventually find our way back to the freeway, so we took the scenic route (and then turned the GPS on, because a little guidance doesn't hurt). Here are some things we saw on our short drive.

Back on the freeway, we passed Huntsville, Alabama, and this statue on the side of the road which I believe is a rocket ship. It was fun.

Carson pointed this out to me too. People clearly support the Crimson Tide in Alabama. 

It was another three hours (I think) to Nashville, and that post is already written and ready to go, but I thought I'd shorten it to one Nashville post for the amount of pictures.

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