November 19, 2009

Small Town America Tour

We had the best time on our little back road tour.     This was planned as a very relaxing trip, no special places to stop unless we saw something interesting.    Of course, food was always at the top of our itinerary!     

We started out around 9:00 a.m. on Thursday morning  hitting I-65 heading north.     We planned on getting off in Clanton and traveling on Highway 31 as far as we could.

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Just outside of Montgomery looking toward Prattville

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Sons of the Confederacy flag

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Heading into downtown Clanton and some pretty scenery along the way

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This old antebellum home was behind a fast food place where we stopped.   Unfortunately, it was in pretty bad shape.

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From Clanton we arrived in Birmingham on Highway 31.    Hwy. 31 is also known as the Old Montgomery Highway or the Birmingham Highway.    It just happens to run by the Riverchase Galleria (as well as Old Time Pottery – and yes, we stopped there for a little Christmas shopping).

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Skyline of downtown Birmingham

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Just outside of Birmingham we next came to Warrior, Alabama where I snapped this old car.     My dad and mom had one just like it when I was a little girl!

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This looked like a great place to stop to eat some good old fashioned barbeque and it was soooo good!

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Here’s Big Daddy himself!

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Continuing on Hwy. 31 we headed to Cullman, Alabama.

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Cullman is home to the Ava Maria Grotto.    A monk who lived on the grounds of  a Catholic mission carved all of this work at the Grotto!    It is stunning to see his work!

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Looking down the path at the beginning of the tour of the grotto.

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Back to the town on Friday we discovered that Cullman was going to host their annual Christmas tour the next day.     All the shops were decked out for Christmas.


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Years ago when my mom and I visited relatives in Cullman, I discovered this place called Southern Architecture and Accents.    Outside the shop was this huge urn planed with a fern.   Let’s go inside and check it out….

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This place is unbelievable!    It stretches on forever with one-of-a-kind architectural pieces.    Most would be for a big home and a large pocketbook!

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Way out of my price range but just gorgeous….

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I actually saw this piece in their workshop.    Loved the color and I got a little sample of the wood to bring home to use in the future.

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We saw this store around the corner and it turned out to be my favorite place.    

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Lots of hand painted harlequins throughout the store.     One of the rooms was full of nothing but lamps and lamp shades.     I can’t believe I didn’t take a picture of all those lamps…

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This large picture was so pretty

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I would love to have a cozy spot like this to read or watch TV.     Again, more harlequins!

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These were paper maiche (sp?) Christmas ornaments and only about $12 each!

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More pretties…

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Another wall painted with creme and gold

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Then we started driving around the historical home district.     This was just a little building next to the one below

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According to the sign outside of this cute little cottage, this was the first home built in Cullman


cullman and decatur trip 152  I had to take this of these chairs in the side yard of this home.    I just got two chairs and a table like this from the lady who held my mom’s estate sale.    She had them painted red but I’m going to paint them white next spring

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Look at that tree in the yard with the chairs….took my breath away!

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I loved this little house and especially the front door.    This is the door I want on the front of my home which looks a lot like this one (painted brick, etc)

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There were lots of planted window boxes which made me want to come home and plant something in mine

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Moving on the next day to Decatur, Alabama.    This first house I fell in love with.    It’s hard to tell from the pictures but it was so darling.     I’m sure the lady living here thought we were stalking her…she was working in her yard and I made hubby go around the block several times so I could just drool over this cottage.    Wait till you see what I spotted around back on her porch!

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Look at her pumpkins and gourds all piled up cute.

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And her windowbox….to die for!

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But look here!    Drop cloths on her porch!     I had already planned to do a drop cloth treatment on the frame of my gazebo in the back next year but isn’t this stunning?

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  Cotton fields of Alabama!

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Our hotel was in the downtown historic district, right across the street from antique and speciality shops

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Pretty little tablescape in this window

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Looking down the street at the shopping area.    You can see the hotel where we stayed in the far right corner

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Lobby in our hotel 

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  More windowboxes!

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And finally heading home! decatur trip 043


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We had a wonderful time.     We even stopped at a yard sale Saturday morning in Decatur where I scooped up a rusty-looking candlestick for $1.00 and a huge rattan thing-y for my front door for 5.00.    

Yesterday (Wednesday) I had the pleasure of meeting a lady who had made a comment on my blog when I posted about Taylor and the Christmas on the Coosa pageant.     She works downtown close to me so we met for lunch.     I think it’s the beginning of a great friendship!    Hi Michelle!

Also, on Monday I’ll be giving ya’ll some great recipes using Bryan sausages and Little Smokies.      More on that soon……until then, stay safe!


Alicia said...

Love all your pictures! What a great vacation!!

Lou Cinda said...

Don't we just LOVE the South!?! Beautiful pictures!! I love all those window boxes too!!

I live in Gadsden so Cullman is just north of me. I am going to go shopping there!!

Thanks for sharing and so glad you had a great time!

Lou Cinda :)

Michelle "chaos caretaker" said...

I have heard of the that shop in Cullman and never been. It is now on my must do list. Thanks for meeting me for lunch. It was great fun! Can't wait for our thrift store shopping trip!

Stephanie@BarefeetOntheFrontPorch said...

It looks like you had a great time! I never knew all that existed in Cullman. However, I DO love shopping at the Galleria. Now you have me wanting to take a road trip AND build window boxes. Too bad my windows are all floor-to-ceiling. I'm not sure they would look right. :(

Renee said...

Judy, it sounds like you had a wonderful trip. Your pictures are just gorgeous!

Sweet TN Biscuits said...

I am giving out " sassy southern " blog awards and you are on the list !I think your blog is a southern treasure. I hope you can come by my blog and check out your award. @sweettnbiscuits

Pippa said...

First let me say I love your blog! Very envious of your little getaway - would love to just jump in the car and go where the road takes me. Actually gasped out loud when I saw you went to Cullman. My dad is from there and we went there every summer and Christmas'. Brought tears to my eyes actually becuase I always loved it there and would love to live there - isn't it beautiful! Thanks for sharing your great pictures and highlights from your trip.

lkjatl said...

So enjoyed the photos, wish I could have tagged along!

I DO DECLARE said...

I just love small towns in the South - thanks for all the great photos!

Bama Belle said...

I wish that I had known you were coming to Birmingham! I would have met you some where. Next time OK! Promise? Just send me an email and let me know you are headed this way!

Melissa's Thoughts said...

Thank you for sharing your visit with us. I just love little country towns. It makes me want to get out and share my little town with everyone.

Anonymous said...

I just ran across your blog for the first time. My husband and children moved to the Northeast in May and I miss the south dearly.What a great pick me up for a southern girl who is homesick for the south. How ironic that we plan to spend Christmas with my parents in where else.... Cullman, AL. Great job on the blog.

Cynthia @An Accomplished Woman said...

How pretty... Hope you had a good time.. The houses are gorgeous.


amanda said...

Oh my gosh i am so in love with the South, thank you for showing me the most gorgeous houses, i am from Aust. and i really really hope to visit the South one day, i didn't realise how much time has stood still in the small towns, and that house!!!! Almost like Tara........
Thankyou amanda

rarely David usually Lisa said...

Oh, what a trip -- virtually, that is. Thanks for sharing the pictures! I am from the south as well. It makes me homesick. There are some people who know how to spice up their gorgeous homes. I am a big fan of the white house with Old Glory hanging out front.

Sherri @ Design2Shine said...

Love all the photos! I'm not far from all of that. May have to take a drive over myself. Love all the old buildings and store fronts.

Melanie said...

I love the window boxes, the pear picture, and the food. I love the bbq restuarant. I would want to eat there in a second.

racheld said...

What a rompin' stompin' RIDE!!! I can't imagine how long it took just to POST THOSE PICTURES!

I do love views of "back home" and you CAN get on 31 down on the coast, drive past our house in Alabama, come all the way up here and pass OUR HOUSE IN INDIANA, then on up into Canada, I think.

We want to do the whole two-lane-and-all sometime when we go back to visit.

And I could do it today, just for that Big Daddy's sandwich.

Pat said...

I love seeing all the cottages and the lawns, gardens & window boxes. Thanks so much for sharing!

The DIY Show Off said...

Thank you so much for sharing the photos of your trip! It's just the type of tour I love. ;)

Enjoy the weekend!


Southern Lady said...

I loved seeing the pictures of your road trip, Judy. Alabama is a beautiful state and I'd like to see more of it "off the beaten path." Cullman looks like a beautiful little town. I enjoyed seeing all those pretty houses, especially the one you "stalked" to get the pictures ... I laughed out loud when I read that, because I've "been there, done that" ... lol

Best wishes to you and your family for the best Thanksgiving celebration ever!



The Trot Line said...

I've been going through your site for about an hour now! I love it. Most of us at The Trot Line went to school in small town USA. I went to school in Milledgeville, GA and loved it! Great post.

Pinkiegirl said...

Hi Judy - thanks for sharing all your trip and home pictures here. I have the same tastes in things so I am loving the opportunity to see your trips and homes and basically everything you post! I think I must really be Southern girl who was born in Wisconsin by mistake!

We took a tour of Charleston not long ago while on a cruise and I felt so "at home" there and just loved soaking up the atmosphere, while my honey commented that "the tour was ok...mostly a lot of old houses." Hmmmm! Can't wait to get back down south and tour around some of the other charmin' towns down there!

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