Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Alabama off the beaten path...

Sorry for the infrequent posts in the last weeks but my finger is still not completely healed (typing with my middle finger sucks!) and the girls are down with the stomach flu, so I have been busy in the last days. Before all the vomiting started we got lucky to enjoy a wonderful day trip in sunshine on Saturday. The trip was originally inspired by Southern Accents Architectural Salvage, a store that I came across online. Alex and I love browsing through antique shops and we are playing with the thought of taking an antique fireplace mantel with us. So we consulted our guide book and decide to make a day trip to Cullman, Alabama out of it.

We started with a visit to Ave Maria Grotto, a really unique place. It is set on the grounds of St. Bernard Abbey and consists of 125 miniature reproductions of some of the most famous religious structures of the world. They were all handmade by one person: Brother Joseph Zoettl, a Benedictine monk of St. Bernard's, originally from Germany. His building materials ranged from discarded building supplies, bricks, marbles, tiles and pipes to sea shells, marbles (our girls loved them the most - "soooo shiny";) plastic animals, costume jewelry, toilet bowl floats and cold cream jars.

The girls enjoyed walking around in the sunshine, exploring. We had a picnic at the grounds and drove to downtown Cullman afterwards for coffee and antique exploring. We did not buy anything at Southern Accents, but it was fun to explore. Cullmann is overall not a spectacular town, but people were really friendly and we ran into a few people with German heritage who chatted us up as they heard us speak German.

And we made it home right in time before the vomiting started, so we got lucky. :)

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