Thursday, May 10, 2012

Why go to Alabama? Why not?

I just got back from a great road trip to Alabama to visit my friend Abigail.  This trip was perfect timing because I have been unable to relax with all of the beading that I have to do, but driving by myself and visiting for limited periods with friends literally forced me to not bead. 

When I was trying to decide on whether I should fly or drive to the Deep South I took a look at the cost.  $550 and up for a flight, or pay for gas.  I figured with my car and gas prices it'd be, max, $300 in gas and potentially a hotel room if I was in a pinch.  Only slightly cheaper than a flight, but hey, I haven't been on a road trip all alone in years and it was time.  I ended up taking my husband's car instead which is a 2011 Chevy Cruze Eco and gets amazing gas mileage (and it's a manual which was super fun to be driving!).  My gas bill at the end of the trip only totalled $175 and I never had to get a hotel room. Win.

When telling my Michigan friends that I was taking a trip to Alabama, they all wondered why the heck am I going to Alabama.  Well, I've never been.  No one asks why you're going to California, or Colorado or New York.  These are "normal destinations."  I think that every part of our country has something new and it's important to get a taste of all of it.  Also, the great thing about having the flexibility of a road trip is I can pop in on people that I haven't seen in a while.  I have friends from high school and college spattered all over the US.

On my way down I visited Lani who lives in Indianapolis with her family.  She made an awesome dinner of stuffed peppers and I finally got to see her house in person!  I realized that I had some time as I left Indianapolis and contacted Shaina who is in Bloomington, IN.  I have 2 friends in Bloomington actually, but I hadn't seen Shaina in 3 years and Jeremy just stayed at our place recently on his visit to East Lansing, so sorry Jeremy! I only had an hour to say hi, but it was a great visit.

Crawdads Before

Crawdads After

I made it to Prattville Alabama at about 6:00am.  I think the total drive was 14 hours and making stops really helps keep me going.  I tried to nap while Abigail went to work, but 3 5-hour energy drinks doesn't allow for much napping. Over the weekend I learned that 2.5 days is not long enough to spend in Alabama.  I dined on as much crawfish and other southern deliciousness as possible, we discovered Snake Handler IPA (by Good People Brewing Company) while watching live bluegrass.  We went to a crawfish boil that was also a huge concert where we saw a Seattle band called The Head and The Heart, Megadeth (which was, to my surprise, a really great show), Lupe Fiasco (who wasn't very good live) and had to decide whether we stay for Snoop Dogg or hit up the actual Good People Brewery before they closed.  We went to see Good People and try to get some Snake Handler, unfortunately, it wasn't hitting the stores until today, and I couldn't stick around Alabama that long. Abigail is promising to bring me some next time she's up this way!

I'm in love with Dave Mustaine's hair (Megadeth)

Good People Brewing Co. Logo Truck

Pizza in Purgatory (those are poached eggs, yum!) at Sa Za

I headed back toward home on Monday, this time heading toward Ohio.  I stopped into Louisville for a quick hi and a hug from Rachel, on to Cincinnati to see Amy M. (both friends from High School), and on to Dayton to hang out with my roommate from college, Amy and crash on her couch before I headed the rest of the way home on Tuesday.

Looking back, it was quite the whirlwind trip, but I'm so glad I got to see everyone that I saw.  Driving isn't bad at all if you have the time and can make stops along the way.  I also discovered a love for Alabama, especially all that great southern cooking, and some new music (although Megadeth is not new, it's new to me, I missed that whole Metal phase.....)

Now, back to the beading for me!


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