ANNIVERSARY TRIP, DAY 48 – TUESDAY, JULY 31, 2007 – to Huntsville, Alabama

As of about 10 AM on Tuesday John and I still had no idea of what we were going to do. You see, this is the unplanned part of the trip – the part where we throw caution to the wind and venture out without hotel reservations or a plan for the day. After today I have reconfirmed my faith in planning. I don’t mind a little planned spontaneity but this moseying around without a place to stay is NOT A GOOD PLAN!

Anyway, there were good parts to the day and less good parts (better known as worse.) The good parts happened in Tennessee and the worse parts in Alabama. As we left Friendsville, we were trying to decide should we go up to Oak Ridge and see atomic stuff or over to Nashville and see the Grand Old Opry or down into Alabama where neither of us had been before. Alabama won because the U.S. Space and Rocket Center is there.

First, though, we stopped at the Ft. Loudon Dam, a TVA project. Started during the Depression, the TVA project harnessed the Tennessee River which had a bad reputation for flooding. John has always wanted to see one of these dams so we stopped and looked at the vista, read the informational placard and John posed next to a giant turbine.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen we went on a tour of the Mayfield Dairy in Athens, TN. They make milk and ice cream products. We had some ice cream and took the tour. Mostly it was about packaging but it was all interesting. We took some pictures of John standing next to Maggie, the Mayfield cow and went on our way.

Maggie, the Mayfield Cow
Maggie, the Mayfield Cow

We ended up in Huntsville around 5 PM. We had stopped to call the Carlson Country Suites for a reservation. When we went up to the room it was not the one we thought we had reserved and it was not really clean. So we bailed out of that and tried the Courtyard by Marriott where we ended up getting a double/double with no wireless internet and dirty besides. We went to the Lonestar Steakhouse and had terrible service – so much for Southern hospitality. Actually just about everyone we interacted with was unpleasant, a first for our trip. So we can check off Alabama as a state that we’ve been to and a state we won’t go back to.

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