Downtown

After Space Camp today, I took Linda and the big kids downtown for a tour of the Courthouse Square, Big Spring Park and the Twickenham historic district. It all began like this…

Linda – to me: “I really want to go to… uh… the hardware store…”

Me: “You want to go to Lowes?!?”

Gracious. She wanted to go to Harrison Brothers downtown – a hardware store that’s been on the square since 1897. I am clearly an ace tour guide.

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I managed to recall a few fun facts about Huntsville, like how it was the original capital of Alabama and the state constitution was signed here (even pointed in the general direction of the building). I also started to say how staggeringly wealthy Huntsville was before the Civil War, something I am learning about through a fascinating collection of letters between a girl at school in Paris and her family back in Huntsville in the 1840s: An Alabama School Girl in Paris.

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As we were strolling the courthouse square, the United Methodist Church bell tower began chiming the entire hymn “Oh How I Love Jesus” and I thought, Yup, we’re in Alabama!  I mean, forget chiming five times for five o’clock. We are nothing if not a city of over-achievers. Ha! Huntsville is a funny city – it’s such a melting pot of people from all over the country and all over the world – but I swear they all pick up the best of the South when they move here. They find God and monograms and college football and barbecued pulled pork and they embrace it. Am I wrong?!

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We walked through Big Spring Park, grabbed Pellegrinos by the art museum, and then stopped by the children’s museum long enough for the kids to get completely drenched in the fountain. All the while, we got cryptic information about Space Camp.

Mom: “So, what happened at Space Camp today?”

Kid: “We got free popcorn and Sprite!!”

Mom: “What did you learn about Space?

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Invariably, the kids answer our questions about Space Camp by telling us what they ate. The menu today included “monkey brains” and Leah was not sure if they were kidding so she got the pizza option.

After a little prodding, we found out they learned about the Hubble telescope today and saw  film about it in an IMAX dome theater. Also, they get ice cream at lunch every day! Haha!

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After strolling downtown, we drove through the Twickenham historic district to covet look at gorgeous antebellum homes. We made ourselves feel better thinking about the expense of heating and cooling an old house – and the maintenance. <wink>

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