Okay, we’re out. Well, not completely, but we are on the move again. Cautiously we are approaching the world we love. Still, we are a little gun shy, feeling at times, like turtles coming out of hibernation, cautiously scouring the horizon for looming predators.
Bravely, we pick up our masks and go. After months of isolation, we have people to see, places to go and things to do.
Planning our first escape seemed overwhelming, yearning to catch up with everything at once. How to prioritize? We quickly settled on “people first, places second”. That meant a venture across I-20 to Alabama, home of the Roll Tide, and our son and daughter-in-law whom, by the way, we had not seen for 19 months.
The next day we arrived in Wetumpka, Alabama, a sleepy little town northwest of Montgomery, capital of Alabama. Wetumpka is situated along the Coosa river. It is a clean suburb of nice homes, oversized lots, treed streets without curbs, and a slow quiet that we associate with the south. A bedroom to the capital.
Wetumpka is also home to the first episodes of HGTV Hometown Makeover, and we were itching to see the progress that had been made.
As we arrived, we found our son and his lovely wife on the porch, smoking pork butt and waiting for our arrival. Those of you who are parents will understand the euphoria of that first hug and the sound of their grown child’s voice in person, not over zoom.
We sat down beside them and found ourselves reliving memories, telling stories, exchanging laughter, and remembering the joy of being with family. It was a perfect weekend that ended much too soon.
Oh, and that Hometown Makeover. We became lost in time, and too soon it was time for us to leave. Exploring the changes to downtown Wetumpka was reduced to a simple drive through. Noting the new outside dining, lights strung over the alleyways, fresh storefronts, and fun boutique shops we are provided with one more reason to return soon.
Getting There: I-20 East to Alabama Highway 80 South.
Along the way:
We love travelling slow and making stops at small towns and historical locations. The extra time provides opportunities to learn the history and unique nature of otherwise unknown places. We usually make new acquaintances, learn some history, and if we are lucky, we find that which the locals are most proud of.
Bridge over the Mississippi
Driving East on Interstate 20 is a very enchanting drive. As you near the Louisiana/Mississippi borders, you see the bridge spanning the Mississippi River in the distance. As you approach gleaming steel structure you find yourself straining to see the river itself. To the North sits the abandoned truss bridge from yesteryear. You can picture Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn walking across the bridge to meet up with Jim and taking their raft down the river.
Vicksburg: The Battlefield
As you cross the Mississippi and enter Vicksburg, your imagination goes into overdrive.
Vicksburg is the home to an important Civil War battle. The battlefield is preserved and is open for touring. We recommend taking the guided tour. The guides will point out and explain the nuances and the brutal carnage of the battle between US Grant and his 35,000 Yankee troops and John Pemberton and his 18,000 Rebel army.
Selma Alabama: Edmund Pettus Bridge
Just outside of Montgomery, Alabama, we passed through Selma, crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge. This bridge became a rallying cry during the Civil Rights movement in the 60’s.
In 1965, Rev. Martin Luther King and his following marched from Selma to the state capitol in Montgomery in support of the Civil Rights movement. The march started at this bridge in Selma.
For us, #OpeningUp means reuniting with loved ones and giving in to the call to travel. What is your Opening up?