A road trip to the deep south | Part 2: the road to Alabama and Georgia.
As I find my bearing and buried myself in mental preparation for the many miles ahead- I turned on the local radio listening to an opening piano piece and ensemble of wind and brass as it picks up to my acceleration and foot pedal hitting a smooth 70 mph on the freeway crossing the Mississippi River. Sips of coffee and I’m off to a good start. We are Mississippi bound- Ella Fitzgerald on the background.
Mississippi- the birthplace of America’s music. Our first stop- the short 90 miles to the City of Biloxi from New Orleans to where we take a short 2 day rest. Biloxi is known for its casinos and its lighthouse that stands next to the Biloxi beach on the Mississippi sound. Here we recharged and soaked in the hotel’s amenities.
The beach faces the gulf of Mexico where it catches the calm breeze carving small indentations of wind trails on the water surface and the white sandy beach absorbing the beautiful orange horizon as it catches the setting sun. The kids buried toes into the soft sandy shoreline and transition into the hot tub while meeting new friends along the way makes this for one of the most relaxing welcome to our road trip. Late breakfast, a little yoga stretch bearing balance in the sand, a final coffee mix and we are off to our next destination. Birmingham, Alabama.
We took our first exit at the welcome center/rest stop and snapped a family photo of the welcome sign- sweet home Alabama. Not very from from the two bordering states is a small city of Mobile. We chose to stop at this small city to explore the beautiful squares known for its oldest Mardi Gras celebration. The tradition is celebrated each year in lively fashion. Here you will find beautiful German stained glass in the cathedral as you take a nice stroll in the park. This is where you will also find the historical site of the Colonial Fort Conde made into a museum. Colonial Mobile was the first lasting French settlement in the gulf states where it was later occupied by the British, Spanish and the Americans.
We continued on our journey to Birmingham about a 250 mile stretch from Mobile. Long beam bridges reinforced with arches, old structured building of flaking bright red and yellow paint, beautiful open roads and flyovers along swamps and cypress trees makes for a geographical welcome to the south. I made sure I stopped at the many convenient drive through Dunkin’ Donuts for my coffee fix as I put on an upbeat synth music for the kids during these long trips in between their waking and sleep hours in the car. Up to this day my daughter who is now 4 and a half year old will request her two most favorite songs ‘New York City’, ‘Cinematic’ by the band Owl City on any of our roads trips.
A four hour trip from mobile to Birmingham with few stops for a to go dinner and we made it to our hotel for a nights rest.
The next day we visited the Civil Rights District of Birmingham. Sunny blue skies and blooming trees with flowers budding on a spring day- an incredible ground of the Kelly Ingram park where it stood a monument of the great Martin Luther King Jr., sculptures and scenes from the movement, and the 6th avenue Baptist church in the backdrop made for a breathtaking experience and an exceptionally lovely day with the family.
“To enlighten our pathways to the future by exploring our past and remembering the great personal sacrifices of those who sought liberty and justice for all”
We took the kids in the Civil Rights Institute where we learned about the revolution, civil rights movement and the protest. An incredible replica of Rosa Parks sitting on a bus bench occupies a large corner of the building and is dramatically portrayed as the light cast a shadow of tense emotion as to how that day unfolded many years ago. I had one very important discussion with my son that day as he expressed curiosity and interest in the topic. I hope I will continue to instill in his mind a great respect and undiscriminated view in his young age towards the people he will meet in his lifetime.
Our next few days of travel, covering about 200 miles, took us to down town Atlanta where we explored places like the Piedmont Park, Centennial Olympic Park, World of Coca-cola Museum, Margaret Mitchell House, and most importantly Auburn Avenue in the Auburn historic district where Martin Luther King Jr. was born and resided for the first 12 years of his life. I couldn’t express fully the magnitude and gravity of the place where we were to my children in their young age. But I made sure I explained to them the simplest form I could. Relaxing, enjoying the sunny Atlanta day, on those long inviting and generous wooden balcony bench- I’m sure the little Martin had fond of during his sweet summer days with his own family and friends.
Our next leg of the trip will continue on to the beautiful Savannah Georgia and into Florida as I continue to recall a sweet summer trip with the family in the deep south. Thank you for your continued support!
“Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else”.
The series ‘A road trip to the deep south’ | Louisiana | Alabama- Georgia | Savannah | Florida |
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