Tuesday, February 15, 2011

ABEL RAISES CAIN's Alabama adventure (cont'd)

My dad and I had no idea that we were about to discover paradise just a few short miles from the Piggly Wiggly. It was our second free day while on tour and so I had booked us a room at a bed and breakfast I found online. I knew right away that I had picked a gem as soon as we drove down the windy road to the Quaint on Brooklyn Bed & Breakfast.


Taking in the sight of this idyllic inn perched on a hilltop overlooking a beautiful farm, we were greeted by a funny little dog, named Burt, followed by his owner, Don.


Well, Burt was just the opening number as we would soon meet the rest of the animal cast, consisting of peacocks, bunnies, horses, and ducks. It was magical. When I described the place to my friends, they thought that I was either severely dehydrated and lacking fluids or hallucinating.


From the front porch the following morning, I watched the sunrise and soaked in the sight and sounds of the farm animals waking up. The haunting cry of peacocks rose above the clucking hens and muted clamor of the ducks while Burt barked at the resident horses.


Now I've never been a horse person. But on that particular morning, with the mist rising, all alone on the farm with just the animals and me, I felt like I was dreaming when I wandered over to an open grassy area in my pajamas and two beautiful honey-colored horses galloped toward me. Startled at first because there was no fence separating us, my instinct was to "play dead." And so I stood still as they took turns sniffing me, their giant fluttering nostrils tickling my hands. I soon relaxed into the newfound friendship with a giddy glee. The sense of trust was mutual. And from that moment on, my life would never be the same.


On the road again, it was hard to leave paradise. My dad and I were already reminiscing about the delicious home-cooked dinner Don and Carmen made for us the night before. What memorable folks, and what a cool place. Definitely worth a return trip to Alabama!


Although we were on a tight time crunch, this didn't stop me from pulling over to snap a photo of an old cafe sign, rusting but still standing proud along the desolate Alabama state road.



My dad was watching the clock and getting nervous. We didn't want to keep the crowd at the Jules Collins Smith Museum waiting.


It turned out to be a fun screening, attended by students and older folks alike. Special thanks to Scott Bishop and Debbie for hosting us. And to the eager and inquisitive bunch of students I had the pleasure of meeting afterwards, you guys were an inspiration and truly made my night!


Waking up the next morning, I peered out the window through blurry eyes. The view from our hotel room of the Auburn University campus was a continuation of the dreamlike experience I seemed to be having while exploring the South. In my half-sleep state, all I could see was a beckoning castle amidst the clouds at dawn.
Tupelo, MS was our next stop, marking the halfway point of the tour. Was Mississippi ready for the weird world of Alan Abel and the man himself? We would soon find out.
Location:Auburn, AL