Anne and I decided to structure the morning of Day Six pretty much the same as we had the morning of Day Two. Whereas the latter was spent walking around downtown Birmingham, this time we’d try doing the same with the state capital of Montgomery. One major Alabama city kind of looked like the other on our maps, so we expected a simple, breezy morning of walking from the hotel to the Alabama State Capitol.
We erred in failing to account for scale and structure. If only we’d known that Montgomery’s city blocks are five times as large as Birmingham’s, and if only we’d known Montgomery somehow abolished all forms of cool, relaxing shade from within city limits, we might’ve taken a different exploratory approach. Say, driving around the city instead of walking its miles and nearly killing ourselves. Advantage: Birmingham.
Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:
This year’s trip began as a simple idea: visit ostensibly scenic New Orleans. Indianapolis to New Orleans is a fourteen-hour drive. Between our workplace demands and other assorted personal needs, we negotiated a narrow seven-day time frame to travel there and back again. We researched numerous possible routes, cities, and towns to visit along the way in Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi. We came up with a long, deep list of potential stops, but tried to leave room for improvisation…
After a few blocks of walking east from our hotel, that’s how far we still had to go. Besides the aforementioned civil rights sites and tributes, other places and things dotted the path along the way. Not many people, though. Even though this was around 10-11 a.m. on a Wednesday, people and cars were few and far between. If we’d known, we would’ve retreated to the hotel, fetched the rental car, and driven from spot to spot with all the parking we wanted. But no, we were stubborn and we trudged on with our bottled waters and our fervent, nearly feverish hopes that we wouldn’t die on the sidewalk.
Dozens of degrees later…there we were. The Alabama State Capitol.
Naturally there’re your mandatory government law deliberation rooms…
…but the Capitol also contains a considerable amount of art and decorative flourishes. Small sample:
During our research, Anne thought she’d seen a website reference a statue of Martin Luther King somewhere inside the Capitol, complete with photo. We searched all the public areas (we think) but saw no sign of it. We asked a docent, who was very polite and accommodating and tried for a long 10-15 minutes to check with his people, call around, and see if there was anything to this alleged King sighting on state grounds. We would’ve been ready to drop it after about the first minute, but he was really, really, really persistent in his attempt at customer courtesy. Alas, no such statue was to be found.
Perhaps it had been moved. Or had never existed. Or had been taken off display because it clashed thematically with numerous other items we found all over the place, inside and out.
More about those next time. To be continued!
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