My first day of driving, I thought would never end. Why did I pick such a long first day drive? In all, it was about ten hours of driving with a brief stop for some peach cobbler for lunch. By the time I reached my Airbnb, all I wanted to do was shower and hop into bed. Which I did.
The next morning found me up early at about 6 A.M. I dressed and heard my host’s dog rumbling in the hallway wanting attention. Buddy is a tan wired haired, medium size mutt with the most adorable eyes. He stole my heart immediately.
Christine, my host in Montgomery, Alabama lives in a beautiful house in the Garden District. She met me in the hallway where Buddy and I were having a grand time getting to know one another. She offered to make coffee, and we sat at her dinning table getting to know one another.
The best thing about staying in a home with a host is simply connecting with people that you’d never have met if you’d stayed in a hotel or a house by yourself. When I pick my homes to stay in; first, I consider the price and second, I choose a home that calls out to me. Most importantly, I read the reviews of the host. Most hosts will gladly engage with their guest. I love that about them.
Christine was lovely and enjoys reading. She is married and has a grown son. We drank our coffee talking about foster kids, the education system, and how large Texas was. She had been to San Antonio and then had driven through Texas on her way to Colorado. It was a lovely way to start my morning. She headed to work and I set off for the breakfast cafe that she recommended. I will see her again because on the return trip, I’m staying at her home.
The Vintage Cafe was an old drive through bank branch that had been turned into a coffee/breakfast sandwich place. Very smart to use the teller window as a drive through! I had a croissant and took a fresh baked cinnamon roll to go.
Montgomery, Alabama is of course where Rosa Parks started the Civil Rights Movement with her refusal to give up her seat to white people, so my first place was to the Rosa Parks Museum. It did not disappoint. I learned so much about her background that I didn’t know.
While I was there a group of elderly black people came in from the nursing home to take a tour. It was interesting listening to their conversation about that time. The rest of the group was a mix of young and old who were obviously tourists like me. The museum starts with a ‘Time Machine’ bus that explains way before the civil war and the abolitionists efforts. I had heard the name Dred Scott, but had no idea of the significance of the Supreme Court ruling. I found out where the term ‘Jim Crow’ came from.
The second part of the museum was in the form of a video of what happened on the bus being seen from the outside of the bus, while the movie was projected in the bus. It was very cool! The rest of the museum was self-guided and was full of information. Did you know that Rosa Parks only rode about two blocks on the bus before she was arrested? White people coming out of a theater started filling the bus on the stop after she got on. That’s when she politely refused the bus driver’s command to stand and let a white person take her seat.
While the bus boycott was happening, people that supported the boycott organized cars to help get people to their destination. I wasn’t supposed to take pictures, but I took a few before I saw the sign.
After walking a bit on Montgomery Street, I drove to the Martin Luther King Jr. church. It wasn’t open, but I could imagine the meeting there after going to the museum.
I still had to drive through the rest of Alabama and Georgia. My next destination was spending a couple of days in Aiken, South Carolina. Why there? It was a town Southern Magazine suggested a visit to. From there, I can explore some towns in the upper part of SC.
My plan when taking a road trip is never to take an interstate. Yes, it adds time, but it also takes me to out of way places that I wouldn’t think to see. So down curvy, country roads I drive, meandering through small towns. Sometimes, I come across small treasures like today seeing someone’s lovely effort to make an old mill site pretty and relaxing.
My second rule of road tripping is never to eat in a chain restaurant, so I have to find local places to eat. Today, I found 82 West in Union Spring, Alabama. If there are a lot of cars outside of it, then I know the locals love it. It did not disappoint. I had the ‘Today’s Special’ with fried pork chop, turnip greens, mashed potatoes, and fried cornbread. It included peach cobbler and a drink for $10.99. The waitress’ mom was the cook and it was delicious!
Georgia seemed very long to drive through today. Rain showers slowed me down and I didn’t reach my second home until 9:30. I forgot there was an hour time change. I’m now in an eastern time zone.
I wanted to get this down before I went to sleep, while my brain remembered the details. It may be boring to read, but for me…it is a written memory.
Tomorrow exploring begins again.