Wednesday 25 May 2011

Dixieland - Part 1......

Our tour of Dixieland was a fulfilled dream for me, a trip we wanted to do over ten years ago to celebrate our Silver Wedding Anniversary but couldn't because at that time I was crippled by arthritis in my knee and couldn't face touring anywhere on a bus for 12 days.  Of course it wasn't a problem now because my knee joint is now metal and perfectly pain free and sound, so we set off on our long awaited, dream trip.

Our flight out of Manchester (UK) was on time at 10.10 a.m.and uneventful, getting through customs and security at Atlanta was  an eyeopener - having collected our luggage we had to put the duty free items we bought in the UK inside and check the luggage in again before proceeding through customs then get on a train to get to baggage claim again to collect our bags. LOL

click on photos to biggify

Our tour director, Alice, was waiting for us at baggage claim to welcome us to Atlanta.


Once all our party were assembled we made our way to the motor coach where we met our driver for the tour, Jerome,


who took us to our first stop on the tour, The Hotel Midtown Atlanta for our first night in Dixieland.

Me outside Hotel Midtown Atlanta on second day of tour.

After breakfast the following morning we left the hotel for a brief tour of Atlanta including the CNN building

and the Centenial Olympic Park, where the Coca Cola 125th Anniversary celebrations were taking place that day.

Our next stop on the city tour was a very emotional and unexpected visit to Dr. Martin Luther King's memorial site.

We took some photographs of Atlanta's impressive skyline.

Departing Atlanta we passed through Montgomery, a primary site in the African-American Civil Rights Movement, and remembered the very brave Rosa Parks, who's act of defiance in refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white person instigated the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Selma to Montgomery marches, which eventually resulted in victory for the black people of the deep south of America .   It was interesting to learn that when the bus boycott was over, Rosa once again boarded the bus to go to work only to find that the bus driver was the same one who'd had her arrested for refusing to give up her seat.  That must have been a sweet victory for her indeed.

Montgomery was also the place where Jefferson Davis was sworn in as the first and only President of the Confederacy.

We also had a short stop in Montgomery to see a statue of Hank Williams, the country music singer/songwriter, who's career began at the age of 14 by winning a talent show at the empire Theatre in Montgomery in 1937.

Statue of Hank Williams, Montgomery, Alabama

Our journey proceeded to Mobile, Alabama, where we were to spend the night at the Holiday Inn Mobile West.   We arrived about 4.30 p.m. after a tiring but interesting journey from Atlanta with just enough time to freshen up before getting on the bus again to visit Felix's Fish Camp, located on Battleship Parkway, for a great meal with our fellow travellers.

On the way to Felix's we passed Mobile Bay's shore where we saw the USS Alabama Battleship and the Gulf of Mexico.  Apparently boy scouts and such groups occasionally stay overnight on the battleship.   Good fun and a unique experience for them.

After a delicious meal we returned to the hotel for a much needed sleep before embarking on day 3 of our Southern Music and Dixieland Tour.  Oh yes, we gained an hour on the journey as we had to put our watches back when we crossed a time zone!

Hope you enjoyed Part 1 of our tour, join me for Dixieland - Part 2 coming soon.


Valerie said...

I thoroughly enjoyed the tour and the slideshows were simply fabulous. I say, you couldn't miss the CNN building, could you? Eagerly awaiting the next instalment.

Commander Zaius said...

Did you all stop and see the Georgia Aquarium which is right beside the Coca Cola building across from Centinenal park?

They have two Whale Sharks already with room for a total of six adults.

Great pictures! Looking forward to more.

tony said...

Looking Forward To Your Dixieland Report.Hank Williams & MLK Sound particulary good.Yes, US Airport Security I remember as being a wee bit scary (& overweight!).But,otherwise, ENJOY!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'd heard of Rosa Parks but knew very little about her until I clicked your link. Thanks for that. What an inspiring lady. Very brave.

Loved the photos, too, and looking forward to reading more about this trip :)

G-Man said...

I'm so glad you had a Great Time.
I've been to all of those places, and I know you loved them.
See ya Friday!

MorningAJ said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time. Glad you enjoyed your adventure.

Anonymous said...

OMG what a beautiful tour this was. The photos are so nice and you can tell what a good time you all had. How wonderful. Mahalo for sharing.

Finding Pam said...

I am glad that you had a great time on your visit to the USA. Folks are so friendly in the South.

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

i love the south with all it's warts and think it's the greatest place on earth!

smiles, bee

Ron said...

Yaaaaaaaaaaaay! I've been waiting to see and hear all about your trip! These photos are faaaaaaabulous!

Can you believe in all the time I lived in Florida (which is so close to Altanta), I've never been there? The photos of Atlanta's skyline are AWESOME! And I heard the shopping is brilliant!

"getting through customs and security at Atlanta was an eyeopener "

HA! Yes, isn't airport security here SUCH an eyeopener? This is why I very rarely fly.

Wonderful tour, m'dear! And I so look forward to your upcoming posts!


Akelamalu said...

The CNN building was awesome Valerie!

We didn't have time to go into the Aquarium, unfortunately, Beach, but we certainly saw it and it looks really impressive.

Mmmmm airport security getting into Atlanta was confusing but getting out was a breeze! The whole tour was wonderful Tony, I hope you come back to read about the rest of it. :)

Actually seeing where Rosa Parks made history was very moving Sharon, she was an incredibly brave woman. Glad you followed the link to read about her. :)

I did indeed love all the places we visited G, shame we didn't get to where you live. x

Oh yes we did indeed AJ :)

It's my pleasure entirely sharing this tour Thom, we had such a great time.

They are indeed friendly and helpful Pam.

I agree with you Bee!

Unfortunately we didn't have time to shop in Atlanta Ron but we did a little shopping elsewhere. :)

Daryl said...

Sounds like you got to see/do a lot in a short amount of time ... it is lucky your knee is 'fixed' ... did you get to see the Atlanta Underground? If not, Google it.

I'd never heard of the Civil Rights Movement ref'd to as the African-American Civil Rights Movement before .... interesting.

Anonymous said...

I just wrote a long comment and it's disappeared! Sod. Anyway, sounds like a great trip and I enjoyed reading the menus of Felix's Fish Camp. I'm now seriously hungry!

A Lady's Life said...

Wow! Sounds like you had a great time. Nice to walk in history's path and imagine all that went on there.

CrystalChick said...

Looks and sounds like a really awesome trip! I'm so glad you got to do this finally. I've been to Georgia a few times, visiting family. We didn't get to do any tours.
We have the Battleship New Jersey not too far away and they have the scout troops and other groups stay overnight too. And all the time it's been here and I've been in NJ I've never taken a tour of it. I must do that sometime!

Looking forward to seeing and reading more of your trip!

katie eggeman said...

Hi, I am glad you're back and that you had a great time in the South. Great pictures as usual, and fine writing. I have always wanted to visit the MLK site and once we move out of California we plan to travel around the US. I still have to take Mr Bankerchick to the UK as well.

Maude Lynn said...

I would absolutely love to visit the CNN building! I'm such a nerd.

Akelamalu said...

We didn't see the Atlanta underground as we didn't have much time there Daryl. Is the African-American Civil Rights Movement not the correct term?

I've had touble with commenting too Dumdad. Felix's food was superb - we had the crabcakes on fried green tomatoes - yummy!

Oh yes that was a really interesting part of our trip Lady's Life.

It's always the case that the closer one lives the less chance there is that one will see something isn't it CrystalChick?

I hope you get to see the MLK site Bankerchick and the UK too. x

The CNN building is magnificent Mama Zen!

San said...

Thank you for the tour. You look beautiful--Dixieland becomes you.

I lived for a year in Montgomery and taught at a college there. And I've been to Mobile too. You bring back the memories for me.

Akelamalu said...

Why thankyou San. We so enjoyed Montgomery and Mobile. I hope you'll tune in for the rest of the tour. :)

Julia Phillips Smith said...

That was fun! I was wondering whether you'd bump into any of the Mississippi flooding during your tour - seems like you avoided it.


Akelamalu said...

Glad you enjoyed Part 1 Julia. We were lucky we didn't experience any flooding where we were.

Cloudia said...

how exciting!
Atlanta is a great town - been once, including church at Ebenezer!

Enjoy, Sis!!

Aloha from Honolulu

Comfort Spiral




Spiky Zora Jones said...

Oh yes...I enjoyed it. I was unable to see some of the photos...I'll visit you again later at home where my computer there will.

How interesting that all is. I've never been to Atlanta. And some of th things you mentioned I did not know.

can't wait for part 2..woohoo.

Thanks sweetie. xxx

Linda said...

I love the fact that you're touring places in my own country that I've never had the chance to get to but might like to someday! The only time I've ever been to Atlanta is on layovers at the airport or driving through on my way back to Mississippi once but that was it so thank you for sharing!

Looking forward to Part 2!

Akelamalu said...

Atlanta is a great city Cloudia, I wish we'd had more time to explore it.

I'm so pleased you enjoyed this Spiky. I hope you managed to see the photos eventually. :)

There are lots of places in the UK that's I've never seen Linda and it's a LOT smaller than the US! LOL I'm so pleased you enjoyed this post. x

Mimi Lenox said...

I love it! You look beautiful! And the slideshows are a treasure for us all.

Atlanta airport is a hub of confusion, yes. Glad you made it out alive. (smile)

The MLK tribute was great. I have never been to the Memorial. Now I want to drive down and go. I should have known the history lessons would be forthcoming after your trip. You got so much in while in Atlanta. Wow, they keep you hopping on those tours!

Tell me you ate grits. Somewhere, somehow, sometime, I hope you ate grits.
You cannot go to the South without eating grits.

Waiting for part 2.

Akelamalu said...

Thanks Mimi. x They did indeed keep us hopping on the tour but it was so worth it, we saw things we never expected. I did try grits but honestly I didn't like it, but at least I tried it. :)

Travis Cody said...

Very cool!