Sweet Home Alabama

Published January 21, 2014 by thinkinbout

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Alabama is the name of a Native American tribe. I only learned that in the last few years, as I learned that Mississippi and Miami are also Native American words. And it is a GREAT state! My family visited for the first (and probably only) time last summer. We were also visiting Tennessee so we had a pretty limited time for AL.  In fact, we were only there for maybe two or three days, and we were only in the northern part of the state. Being from Northern VA, it was a nice change of pace (and attitude!).  We found that the people of AL were always very polite and ready to help.  At least three times we had to stop and ask directions to some place or another even though we had a GPS, but there were so many road closures that we were constantly getting lost.  I’ve never met such happy, easy-going and helpful people; it was quite a welcome change from the fast pace of where we live. 

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Our first stop was in Gadsden, AL. We arrived in the early evening and stayed in a nice motel overlooking the Coosa River. Across the river were large and lovely homes that reminded me of Florida for some reason. The next day we went to Noccalula Falls Park. It was so hot and humid and UNCOMFORTABLE, but the zoo (part of the park) offered open air train rides which helped cool us off. It was a fun little place with many of the animals roaming around freely, much like this deer I’m petting (below). They also have a pioneer village and a covered bridge. I’m a history major so even if my family didn’t care so much about the buildings, to me they were little treasures.

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After the zoo we went to the waterfalls. The actual falls were gated off, but we were close enough to at least feel the spray of the water (another relief from the awful humidity). Above the falls stands a bronze statue of an Cherokee maiden named Noccalula. Legend has it that she jumped to her death at that spot above the falls rather than marry a man she did not love as ordered by her father.  According to wikipedia, the statue was made out of pennies collected by school children in the 1960s! It’s pretty big too.

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I know this is rather abrupt, but I will finish this Alabama blog at a later time. Gotta run!

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