Thursday, February 10, 2011

I have officially been to the "South"!
It's always fun to travel to new places, take in your surroundings,
marvel at tree houses not quite built to spec.
Welcome to Alabama and Georgia Colleen!
How was it? I had a blast~ I didn't have to see the bigger attractions/cities to enjoy myself.
If you look around you, there is always something to be fascinated about.
My favorite shake your head in amazement/can't look away/ are we coming up on it yet? was, yep, the "tree house".
Oh My. I know you love us all Lord, but where were these people when you were handing out common sense?
"Ima gonna cut that tree down in the front yard. You know, the one up aginst the driveway? Then I am gonna paint it white with blue and pink polka dots, make it purty. Then Ima gonna put a piece of plywood ( I'm sure it's waterproof) ontopa it. Hand me that little tykes doll house, will ya? Up she goes! Tah Dah! Oh, hold up, I need a ladder for the stairs. There. Good to go."
True story folks. I found myself looking for it every time we drove by,kinda like an accident.
You don't want to look, you just have to.
Secretly, I wanted to see kids climbing up the ladder....

Now I have been in military installations for the first 18 years of my life and I have never seen one as big as Fort Benning. It was pretty cool. I especially loved the military museum that is there.
Danny was telling me there was an IMax theatre inside of it...I thought he was trying to see if I would believe that. He was right. ( he was right a lot of this trip....hate that) And a restaurant upstairs. But I loved how they showcased the wars with memorabilia from those times. In the center of it, in glass room,( this place was huge) they showcased medal of honor recipients.
Yeah, I read every placard inside that glass walk in display. I found it very moving to read of the heroics and sacrifices these men made. Made me cry. But, history with details ( mens names make it personal to me, I don't know why) always puts me "there", and the tears always follow.
(I don't think my face was ever dry when I was in Normandy ,France , at the American Cemetery.)
After hearing all the amenities this base provides, I want to speak to someone at Fort Lewis and ask them why they don't offer the same things~Not like they don't have the land, sheesh.

I discovered football in the south is a whole nother animal. Another watch in amazement moment. Now, remember, I grew up moving around but when we settled, we settled here. In the Northwest. That being said.....
I have never seen so much football paraphernalia in my life! On cars, homes, mailboxes, clothing, cars, homes, mailboxes, is a religion. Don't get me wrong. I don't mean to imply that it's wrong.
Not at all. I am just not used to seeing it all the time, every day, in such abundance. I was thinking at first it was because I was in ( or close to) Auburn country, but no, I don't think so.
These people are serious about their football! I kinda like it. Camaraderie is great!

Next stop: The wildlife Safari~
It was about 40 minutes away from where Danny and Breanne live. But you have to look for this place, it is not easily identifiable and/or marked. If I owned it, I would have gigantic signs on the freeway telling you not to miss it!
Because it was a blast. We rented a zebra striped van they provide ( where else would I find one?) because you just don't want these animals freely rushing your vehicle.
And rush your vehicle, they do. Continually.
Which I loved. I mean, come one, how many times does an elk ( a "tirty point buck") stick his head into your car? Or a zebra? Or a Bison?
You wouldn't think it, but these guys have it down to a fine art, sticking their heads in as far as they can for that tasty pellet you have to offer! We bought two big bags of food pellets. I thought we might need only a large cup per person. Wrong. ( another "you were right" moment for Danny and Breanne)
We had two bags, four bags each inside those, filled with food. These pellets were about the size of your thumb. So, do the math....500 animals to feed, with Breanne and Colleen in the car. Yeah, your on the right track...EVERY animal must get some! No favorites! Feed them all!
Wait! There's a deer back there, who's pellet bounced off his head, he still needs one!!!!
So...deer, zebra, bison, elk, longhorn cattle ( very impressive rack...yeah, I said it) pigs, emus, ostriches, rheas ( look it up) mules, assorted cattle/gnu like beasts all wanting to be fed.
Good times. Altho, they did ask you not to feed the horses and ostriches/emus/rheas. Said they were aggressive. Which we had no doubt of ,when one gave Danny the evil eye at a slow trot past the van, very up close and personal. He got it in video.
In the back of my mind, I kept holding onto this thought: "Headlines! Couple mauled at safari park!" Danny would be feeding an extra large elk, whose whole face was blocking out Danny's. While Breanne was marveling at this, a zebra stuck his whole head in on her side of the van wanting to know where his food was. These things are BIG and it was a little scary at first.
But we got over it.
So if your ever in the area...go there. Experience the fun!

Real estate: A lot of inexpensive smaller homes, in the area where we were. Found myself wondering what the price was on a couple of them! I noticed a majority of the homes do not have garages. The newer built ones do. But not many, unless your in a development. Lots of brick homes, which I love. But more importantly, land. Lots of land. The "I need a riding lawnmower" kind of yards.
Weather: I never want to hear another Pacific Northwester complain about rain again.
Our rain is gentle ( with the exception of the occasional storms) and constant.
Their rain is......brutal and continual for a day. Then it stops. And then, like in a movie, the birds come out and sing, the skies are blue and clear. And all signs of the gulleywasher the night before are gone. The small creek in Breannes front yard was about 4 feet across, at it's widest. When it rained, it grew to about 25-30 feet across. After the rain stopped, the water receded and all that's left is a beach. Woohoo, beach front property Breanne!!
Vultures: hmmm, they SAY they have them...I never saw one. They SAY their always around the roadkill....I never saw one.
Ponds: Lots of them! Everywhere~ Some folks have a pond for their front yard, complete with dock and chairs. ( Are there alligators in Alabama?)

I recall Cint's father telling us we talked fast and to slow it done a tad when we got to the South. So I tried to remember that when we were shopping and around employees. Sometimes I forgot to and would get caught up in a conversation with Breanne and then notice the person at the cash register looking at us in, well......, looking at us. For the most part, I don't think I weirded too many people out with my hundred mile an hour speech impediment. But I did find it extremely easy to speak with a twang...even when I wasn't even hearing it! What's up with that?

Summing it up, I leave you with these choice words to explain my trip:

Treehouse, vultures, bar-be-que, Cracker Barrel , carports, Opelika, Fort Benning, 73 degrees, RAIN!, football, Big lots ( complete with furniture!) Wedding registry, dining out, safari, Chatahoochee river, the dam, BMW, areas largest bridal store, UFC on pay for view, superbowl and good food. Especially Rogers Bar-be-que in Hogansville, GA (Do not miss that store!)
And yes, I am looking forward to going back!!

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