Got to Atlanta Monday night very tired. It was an exhausting 4 days but also fun. Determined to leave Friday and we did. Had some late night help getting it done. Thanks Khadija! Finally left town around 2:30am and only made it to the Springs. Got up Saturday and went through New Mexico, to Oklahoma, and finally Dad's in Texas. The smell of oil all around and nothing else in sight. Pulled into Dad's little town on old Route 66 around 6 pm. Hung out for a couple hours which was really nice. I learned something new about his town. It was started by a guy who died on the Titanic. Interesting.
Left with the intention of getting to Little Rock, Arkansas but didn't quite make it. Went through Oklahoma and stopped off at the Federal Building Memorial that my Dad told us to stop and see in Oklahoma City. It was around midnight when we got there so nice and quiet. Sad to see but they've done a real nice job making the memorial. A pool of water that is actually about a centimeter deep though it looks deeper, and empty lit up chairs along a hill that symbolizes those who died that day. Small chairs for kids, and larger ones for adults. On each end of the "pool" of water are two structures with the times 9:01 and 9:03 - the bombing between them. Left with sadness and anger that there are so many innocent people who have to die for a cause they had nothing to do with. When will innocent people stop dying at the hands of evil?
A link to the memorial...though I liked it at night better
Oklahoma City is a pretty happening town. We didn't stay though. Headed East some more and got into the Roadkill state of Arkansas for sleep.
The next day drove through Arkansas and Tennessee and I've never seen so much roadkill in my life. Sheesh. Stopped in Memphis, a very different type of city. Very happening with blues blaring out onto the streets and lots of pig signs advertising all kinds of pork BBQ. We started off by visiting Graceland, home of Elvis. Pretty cool. We didn't tour it or anything, just took a picture along that famous fence and headed to the downtown area just as tornado sirens began to sound. No one was running or doing anything so we decided to ignore it too. Had some dinner and waited out the storm. Good seating - the window. Rain and wind tore through the town with two tornadoes in the air. The tornadoes finally left and we followed suit. One couple was too freaked out and they left the restaurant without even eating. It wasn't really scary. Well kinda, but everyone was so relaxed, it was hard to be scared. Eating while tornado sirens are going off was a first for me though.
Here's a picture of near where we were....without the storm...
Drove along the storm's route towards Nashville. Pouring rain and wind the whole way. Made it pretty close to it before stopping for the night. Got there the next morning and what a cool little quirky town. Very Country and Western but with style. The Southwest Bell building was cool and the downtown area with Printer's Alley, BBQ Joints, and Music Halls was pretty cool.
Here's Printer's Alley (Nashville was a big printing and furniture hub before the prohibition when it became music and bars.)
and the Nashville skyline:
Definitely a different flavor down here. Had some lunch and walked and drove around a bit then headed out towards Chattanooga. Pretty drive along the way. Chattahoochee River looks like fun and Chattanooga was a cool little town. Loved it. Small big town. I liked the names of their coffee shops: one was the Perky Piruana and the other was called Badass Coffee Co. I would like to spend a weekend here sometime.
From there we drove towards the scenic "mountain" route. This made me cry. Yeah I know, what a baby. But I was expecting the Appalachians to be big mountains similar to the Rockies and what I found out is that there is nothing like the Rockies. :-( I started crying entering Georgia. No more Rockies, my friends are back in Colorado, and a wave of sadness hit me. My nieces aren't just down the street any more, Masooma isn't there to go geocaching or hiking with, Leila's not there for me to just drop by on, all my friends are so far away now. I felt yucky and realized that it was no longer a road trip, this was now home. Drove around to switch moods and it worked. It won't be so bad, but I am going to miss doing outdoorsy things. What they call mountains here are hills in Colorado. I'm gonna miss my hiking, and camping and stuff but maybe higher up in these mountains there will be something I consider mountains. Insh'Allah.