We were away for two week and then spent the past week catching up on laundry, groceries, housework, blocks of the month/week. We had a great time, drove through 9 states or about 3,000 miles, saw a lot, and escaped the frigid temperatures for a while. It was around 30 below zero here while we were experiencing temperatures in the 40s in Alabama. That was quite a break for us.
Our destination was the Gulf of Mexico, with stops in Montgomery, AL, to visit Paul's brother Jim; Euphaula, AL, which I had heard was very cute; and Monroeville, AL, home of Harper Lee. We saw quite a bit of rural Alabama which was quite interesting. I didn't realize timber and beef make up large parts of the economy. The pecan groves we passed were beautiful, too, so orderly. Wish I could see those stately trees leafed out.
We visited a wildlife refuge but luckily didn't see anything but a group of wild pigs and a beautiful red bird. There were buzzards along the highway, and I don't think I'd ever seen one before. And, of course, we were happy to see the grass greening up and early flowers - pansies, daffodils, even the occasional tulip - blooming here and there.
We visited the Hank Williams Museum and the F. Scott/Zelda Fitzgerald house in Montgomery, and Jim gave us a true taste of southern life with stops at places known for their fried chicken and BBQ. We were happy to visit him for a change; he is usually the one visiting us. Although we were dsappointed that the old county courthouse museum in Monroeville is closed on Mondays, we did enjoy walking around the sweet little town. We discovered a great local history museum in Fairhope, near the Gulf, on Mobile Bay. They had a special exhibit about the ironclads' battle on the Bay during the Civil War, which helped explain a lot when we visited Fort Morgan at the entrance to the Bay. We really like Fairhope - could it offer an escape for future winters?