Two weeks ago, I’d never been to Alabama.
Actually, the furthest south I’ve been in the US prior to Alabama (Florida doesn’t count) was… DC.
Which isn’t really all that far south. And I now know that “true” Southerners will fight you on whether or not DC is part of “the South.” (Hint: most don’t think it is.)
I was sent to Anniston in northeast Alabama for two weeks by my work. I flew to Atlanta and then hopped on a two hour bus ride to cross the state border and arrived in Alabama equal parts weary and excited by my first trip to the South.
The first thing I learned was that there isn’t very much to do in Anniston.
There’s a strip mall. A Wal-Mart, a Target. A movie theater. Another mall, an indoor one, which apparently has been in its dying stages ever since the aforementioned strip mall opened.
Historic Noble Street was what I was most intrigued by because the term “historic” in front of a street name implies there is something worth seeing, But even that didn’t have much to offer by way of things to do. It didn’t help that everything closed at 5 p.m., or when I was done with work each day.
I saw a giant office chair that apparently held the Guinness Book of World Records title for largest chair in 1982.
I fought the urge to yell “Roll Tide!” everywhere I went, as if I knew anything about college football or Crimson Tide. (Shoutout to my friend Laura for advising me to shout that phrase if I ever were to encounter trouble in Alabama.)
I ate at Waffle House for the first time and ordered the hash browns, just like Clem advised. They were delicious but I was still grateful for the fact that there aren’t any Waffle Houses within my vicinity back home because I can’t handle food that greasy on a regular basis.
I enjoyed a fantastic fried chicken sandwich at Zaxby’s and wondered why this franchise couldn’t be found in DC.
I went to Sonic for the first time and had one of the best shakes of my life.
And when I had just about exhausted all of my options in Anniston, I retreated to my temporary digs and made peace with the solitude I was given in Alabama.
I read a lot.
I watched the Harry Potter marathon that ABC Family hosted all weekend.
I fought with the temperamental Internet too many times to count.
I started writing a few things, some of which may have the potential to turn into something good.
I planned future travel adventures.
I saved (some) money by virtue of the fact that there were no happy hours or brunches for me to go to.
(I missed my friends in DC.)
And I left Anniston with the sense that I saw all this town had to offer and a newfound desire to see more of the South if given the chance.
Check out my Instagram for the photos I’ve shared during my time in Alabama. I wanted to include them in this post but unfortunately the internet wasn’t cooperating!