We walked around Charleston a bit and then headed to Savannah, Georgia. I loved Savannah! It was so quaint and the people are so hospitable.
We stood in line for hours to get a reservation at Lady and Sons (Paula Deen's restaurant)
It was some of the best food I have ever eaten. Must be all the butter and cream she uses!
Then we got on the road again and drove through Atlanta to Birmingham, Alabama. Sunday morning we went to church at the 16th Street Church where the KKK killed four girls by throwing a bomb through the window. The church service was probably one of the highlights of the trip. They were so welcoming and asked where we were from. (It was obvious that we were from out of town because we were the only white people there.) I have never had so much fun! Hallelujah!
After church we went to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute which is across the street from the church. I was very impressed. The exhibit really drove home how brutal and unjust the conditions of segregation were. There was a man by the name of Mr. James Armstrong who was a foot soldier during the civil rights movement and he volunteers at the institute. He shared his experiences with us and talked about taking his children to an integrated school and the persecution they endured. He is 80 years old and still owns his barber shop and cuts hair. When Martin Luther King, Jr was in Birmingham Mr. Armstrong was his barber. It was so touching to talk with him and hear his experiences.
From Birmingham we drove through Mississippi and ended our day in Memphis, Tennessee. We went down to the Mississippi River and then people watched on Beale Street while we ate the best BBQ ribs I have ever had. Beale St was a lot of fun with street performers, live blues music, food, and tons of people.
On Monday we paid homage to The King. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Elvis still very much alive! Graceland is pretty incredible and Elvis Presley was quite the artist/ performer. I had no idea just how successful he really was. There were rooms and rooms filled with gold records and albums. And the jumpsuits! We had a great time touring the mansion and the Lisa Marie airplane (which is basically Graceland in the air.) After partying with The King of Rock and Roll and some of his very devoted fans, we drove to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
It was pretty amazing to see the country change as we drove through the South and headed into the Midwest. The terrain, the cars, the accents all changed as we headed west. OKC was filled with nothing but trucks and people wearing Wranglers. We went to the Oklahoma City National Memorial and I was so touched. The memorial itself and the museum next to it are so powerful. It really brought that tragedy to a very personal level. The victims were ordinary people like you and me and it was just another day for them that ended in tragedy. I highly reccommend visiting it. It was very moving and makes you appreciate each day you have with those you love. We then visited the stockyards and took pictures of all the piggies and then had lunch at Cattlemen's Cafe (reccommended to us by 1000 Places to See Before You Die) We had their famous dish, lamb fries. Lamb fries are young lamb testicles sliced and fried. Yummy! They actually weren't that bad but the thought of what we were eating made me kind of sick.
After lunch Peter took me to the airport and I headed back to DC. It was such a fun trip. I saw so many people and places. There were times I felt like I was in a different country. Y'all, it was fantastic!