Moving around so much means that making friends on the road can be tough. When we choose our next campground there is always a randomness factor. Who will our new neighbors be? It is our hope that we get no neighbors or cool neighbors, but at least quiet neighbors. Never the neighbors with the “cute Christmas jingle” that plays every time they open their door.
Luckily for us our Thanksgiving campground destination happened to have some great neighbors. At Minooka Park, half way between Birmingham and Montgomery, we discovered a really great place to stay. It is an ATV park with RV campsites many of which have full hook-ups. The ATV riders were all very considerate in the campground and the trails are out of the way so noise is not bad. We loved it and made some new friends too!
Our neighbor at Minooka Park was one of the county commissioners, Jim Hardee. He invited us to spend Thanksgiving with him and his family. Sharing a wonderful meal with some great company made it a very nice holiday on the road. He also arranged for us to get a more personal tour of the capitol when he found out we are visiting all of them. We were very thankful to find making friends on the road is possible, especially when those friends are so awesome.
Driving to every capitol in America has been an adventure.
It is still an adventure visiting these places because every one of them is different and they all give us a new perspective. Montgomery Alabama was the first time we have had a special tour arranged for us. It was different, we got to see where the House and Senate meet now. The capitol is more of a museum, both were fun. We learned that Jefferson Davis gave his inaugural address on the front steps of that building, something we had not known before. Always something new.
The First White House of the Confederacy is across the street so we thought we would check it out. Plus it’s free! The house is small and looks very plain from the outside. It has quite a bit about Jefferson Davis and the time period inside. The volunteer was very knowledgeable and friendly. It is bigger than it looks on the inside, but it doesn’t take long to see. It is worth stopping in if you visit the capitol.
We might not always be successful making friends on the road, but the friends we have made are spectacular.
We love to visit places that are educational, an added bonus is when they are also free. The MOOseum, part of the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association, was free, educational and is also located within walking distance of the capitol. Parking was free too, so we just parked and walked from there. The small museum was really fun. It isn’t very big with only three rooms to explore. This worked for us because we were able to see it, the First White House, and the capitol all in one day.
Out front they have the cattle van with the cow on top showing where the different cuts of meat are. Inside they have two rooms with many
informative displays about the cattle industry. We had no idea there were so many different types of cows or that cattle was such a big industry for Alabama. The last room was for the kids. There were dress-up clothes, a large kitchen to prepare meals, and a cattle pen complete with cow. It was fun and we learned something new.
If we had not been open to making friends on the road, we many not have met the Hardee family. Our experience in Montgomery may have been different. We are thankful that we have been able to meet so many great people all over the country. It isn’t always easy making friends on the road, but it is part of the adventure.
Although we go with the flow and often go where life leads us, it isn’t possible to see it all.
There are always tons of things to do when we visit a new place. We get many suggestions from the people we meet on what to do. Sometimes these people do not understand that we are not exactly on vacation. We do not have the means to do every cool thing available. The free stuff is what we look for first. However we are always open to ideas.
We got several great suggestions about the Montgomery/Birmingham area, but they were a little out of our price range. So we took our trusted ASTC membership and went to the McWane Science Center in Birmingham. It was a great place to visit.
As always we explored the place just about all day. They had a small lunch area where we had our sandwiches and took a small break. The kids loved the zip line they had set up , it was something they hadn’t done before. There was also a small train set up for Christmas they enjoyed. Our favorite thing was the pin wall, it was fun trying to make something before someone else pushed it all back!
It is always cool when they have a variety of experiences like they did at McWane Science Center. The underwater area was pretty cool. They had a sting ray tank where the kids could touch the rays. We got to watch some of the fish being fed too. In one room they have activities going on throughout the day. The kids got to do an experiment with meal worms and touch a bearded dragon. It was an educational day of fun.
Our second Thanksgiving on the road was even better than the first. We made some great new friends, explored two amazing cities in Alabama, and found a nice family campground. Starting out on this adventure I did not think much about meeting people. I knew we would of course, but I had no idea that it might lead to making friends on the road. It turns out that it is the best part. I really am grateful to have met so many wonderful people. Thanks for reading.
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Us at Minooka Park