Relaxing, Appointment & Sight-Seeing in B’ham

Posted by on September 7, 2012

Yesterday was a nice, quiet day.  We stayed home most of the day other than taking a short drive to explore a road that we’d seen the day before which turned out to be just a short road to a BMX track.  We also drove down a road that was marked ‘cabin’ road.  It was just that…a road with 10 cabins (although they were quite large for cabins) on a lake.

Most of the day was spent relaxing – reading our Kindles outside or watching TV inside.

The view from our patio

Michael removed our water pump in preparation to send it to Shur-Flo so that they can look at it and find out what the problem is this time.  This is our 2nd pump in 16 months with our coach.  They replaced the original about a year ago and now this one is leaking (quite badly).  We use the pump very seldom but when we got back to Montgomery we had some water in the fresh tank that Michael wanted to empty out.  He turned the pump on the evening we arrived and by mid-day the next day the basement was full of water and we had water coming out of the underbelly.  We are both quite tired of water leaks!  They will either repair the pump or send us a replacement.

Today Michael had his final follow-up appointment for an ear surgery that he had done in May of 2011 to close up a hole in his ear drum.  The appointment was at 9:45 am so we left about 8:45 am.  When Michael checked in he was told that his appointment had been cancelled and that Dr. McGrew wasn’t even in the office today.  We had received no notification.  Thankfully, another of the EENT’s in the clinic agreed to see him…however he would have to be worked into her schedule.  At 11:30 am we were finally called back into a room and at 12:20 the doctor finally came into the room.  We waited 2.5 hours and were with the doctor for about 5 minutes.  Kind of typical at UAB – I’m glad it was our last appointment there.

Today we received a wonderful gift from our children!  Airline tickets to Portland, Oregon for Christmas!  Our oldest son, Zack, and his family live in Vancouver, Washington which is just across the river from Portland.  We’ll be with them for 2 weeks and our youngest son, Dan, and his family will be joining us for a week of that time.  We are very blessed.

After Michael’s appointment we headed down the street to Los Juane’s Mexican restaurant for lunch.  It was very good (I had a chicken nachos & Michael had a chimichanga).  From there we did a few touristy things…the first was to visit Kelly Ingram Park, which was the site of demonstrations during the civil rights movement.   There are several sculptures/statues throughout this very small park .  It’s a very pretty park but the presence of many homeless and/or people asking for hand-outs kind of takes away from the ‘feel’ for the park.  We were stopped twice, in the 15 minutes we were there, by people wanting money and a third time in another area.

A sculpture depicting the water cannons that were used against civil rights protestors

Sculpture of snarling police dogs

From the park we drove to the Sloss Furnaces.  Michael was especially intrigued with this visit and I thought it was a great photo opportunity!  The furnaces operated from 1882 to 1971, producing iron.  In 1981, it was reopened to the public as a historic landmark.  There is a self-guiding walking tour and it was quite interesting to walk among the gigantic furnaces, boilers and buildings with everything so well-preserved and actually rather clean & tidy.  On the other hand it was almost eerie too!  We just love this kind of thing…and when it’s free…it’s even better!

Sloss Furnace Complex

Michael in front of some of the huge boilers

The large ‘towers’ are hot blast stoves & the narrower ‘tower’s are smoke stacks for the many boilers.

The Power House, built in 1929, generated electricity for the plant.

Michael in front of Furnace No. 1. (There were 2 furnaces at Sloss – No. 2 is now home to a Metal Arts program)

Our last stop of the day was at the Boy Scouts of America Headquarters (or next door to it to be exact) on the east side of Birmingham.  There is a 36 foot tall replica of the Statue of Liberty that looks down over interstate 459.  It was originally built in France for an insurance company and sat atop of the downtown B’ham building from 1958 to 1989 when it was moved to its current location.  We tried to ‘trick’ our kids into thinking we were in New York…but darn it if they were wise to our shenanigans!

Not to be confused with the real ‘Lady’ – a must see if ever in New York City!

All of our sites today were one’s that I, once again, found on  Check it out!


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