Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tourin' the South Part 4

(Last summer my mom and I went on a road trip through the South. I wrote this recap on a different blog last year. I thought I'd write it up again, add photos, and share the trip with new readers. Enjoy!)

Day 8 - Tuesday, July 6th - Monroeville, AL to Auburn, AL
What a day! We woke up early to get to the City courthouse in Monroeville, site of the historical museum and gift shop. Whew. What a time for both of us. Harper Lee grew up in this town, her father was a lawyer, and if you know the story of To Kill a Mockingbird, you know the story is about a lawyer fighting for justice in a small Alabama town. While her story is made up of composite sketches of characters, it's all based around her own small town experiences. Harper Lee grew up around the courthouse, her father being a lawyer, and when they made the movie of To Kill a Mockingbird, the set designer came to Monroeville and went back to Hollywood and duplicated the courthouse almost exactly. It was a real moment to stand in that courtroom. Don't worry - I have my kleenex handy for whenever I think about it. This year celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first printing of the book.
(By the way - I met a really nice lady in the gift shop who was from around there, who said, upon finding out that we were from so far away, "Well I wish I would've known y'all were comin', I would've had my house ready!").

In the afternoon we made it to Tuskegee, Alabama (which I continue to have difficulty saying), and the Tuskegee Institute - the university that Booker T. Washington started. I was mostly taken with George Washington Carver. I had never really known anything about him, but as a scientist and naturalist, he continued to experiment and teach his entire life. That night we stayed in Auburn, Alabama.

Day 9 - Wednesday, July 7th - Auburn, AL to Savannah, GA
We skedaddled out of town, on our way to Georgia. We were beginning to think we kinda liked Alabama- we were there so long! Our next stop was Plains, Georgia, home of Jimmy Carter. We visited his old school, which they've turned into a little museum. What a breath of fresh air Jimmy Carter is! A homegrown boy from tiny little Plains, Georgia, who goes on to become President of the United States, and when he retires: moves right back to Plains! He and his wife live right there in town, and he still teaches Sunday School at their church. My kinda guy.
The Carter compound, right next to the main road. Those are security buildings.

We continued on through Georgia and made it to Savannah! What a gorgeous city. So beautiful, so well kept. In fact, Savannah was (and is) so beautiful, that Sherman decided to spare it during the Civil War. I learned during fifth grade social studies this year that during the Civil War they used the "total war" tactic - basically destroying what they came across, so having a whole city spared was quite uncommon. Sherman then gave Savannah as a Christmas present to President Lincoln :) Lincoln should have been overjoyed because Savannah is gorgeous.
And hot. Incredibly hot. But we'll talk about that tomorrow. We settled in at our great hotel right in downtown Savannah, on the river, excited about the next day.

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