Friday, June 14, 2013

East to West: Day One Recap

I know that a Day One recap seems a little silly since what can really happen in one day? (Here is the initial check-in)

Well, this was the itinerary for my first day:
Leave Columbia, SC at 5:30am
Stop at Sublime Doughnuts at 8:30am
Go to World of Coca-Cola at 9:00am
Leave WCC at 10:00am and head to Birmingham, AL
Stop at Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and take the tour
Drive from Birmingham to Tupelo, MS
Stay the night in Tupelo

That would be four states in one day, two of which were brand new to me. Remember from this post that I first track out my route and then try to find things that are of interest and not too far off the asphalt path.I had to be selective in what I stopped to see because this trip was a lot longer in mileage than my first trip across the country and I was also on a budget. I decided on World of Coca-Cola because it was only $16 and seemed like something fun to break-up the long drive. It also just happened to be not too far from the very popular Sublime Doughnuts that I saw on Food Network and in "Best Doughnut" listings. Who could pass up that opportunity? Not this girl.

 Sublime Doughnuts

World of Coca-Cola 

The tour was great! There were a ton of school groups which could be annoying but really, seeing the kids excited over all of the characters and the chance to taste an unlimited amount of soda is really fun to watch. This could have easily taken several hours to get through if you wanted to really take your time. I was on a schedule so took about an hour from start to finish including shopping in the huge store at the end of the tour.

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute 

This was a gorgeous exhibit and really broke down what the emotions are surrounding the civil rights movement and the progress we have made as a country but also how far we still have to go. They do not allow pictures to be taken within the institute but I cannot express how well done everything is. To start the tour, you watch a short video and then the screen lifts to allow you into the actual museum. There are videos, art, examples of white vs. black living conditions, and also timelines of what was happening in the world versus events at home. There is also a great gift shop with books, videos, and memorabilia to continue your own education.

Tupelo, Mississippi

Lastly, Mississippi! I actually was incredibly excited to get to MS since it meant that I was close to my first stop for the trip. The hotel I booked, Courtyard Tupelo, was gorgeous and far exceeded my expectations. I also made sure to order Chinese delivery since that is what I have historically done at least once on every road trip. Bonus: MS has a beautiful visitor's center!

The next day: more doughnuts! the King! family sighting!

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