Which, by the way, is NOT all that interesting. I think Starkville has about as much to offer by way of fun downtown buildings and shopping. We had planned to find a parking place and then wander around town, but when it didn't really catch our interest we just kept going. The road we were on dead ended into the visitor parking lot for the campus of the University of Northern Alabama, which looked kinda interesting so we decided to walk around and check it out. From the paw prints on the road way to the statues lining the side walk, it didn't take us too long to deduce the UNA mascot.
|Meet Una and Leo III. The real live mascots for UNA. SO COOL!|
|Leo III, I love the wrinkles in his face!|
|This park had another great fountain that Erik splashed in for a while.|
|Florence is the home of W.C. Handy, "Father of the Blues"|
|Any "Big Bang" fans out there? If so, you'll understand why we had to get a picture in front of the comic book store!|
|This is how Erik spent most of his time in the stroller. He refused to sit up straight, even after his fingers got run over.|
We finally decided it was time to figure out where to stay for the night. We remembered reading about a city park that had cheap camping, so we started driving around trying to find it. When we were totally lost, we finally admitted that we needed to find some internet and look up directions. We saw signs for tourist info and figured that they'd have maps and maybe even internet, so we followed the signs and wound up at the welcome center. Which happens to be located at the base of the Renaissance Tower, a huge tower that goes up 200+ feet above the tourist center and has a fancy rotating restaurant inside. Being the dorks that we are, we jumped in the elevator in our grungy travel-wrinkled clothes and headed up to check it out. (There was a menu at the bottom of the elevator and there was NO WAY we could pay to eat there, we just wanted to look out the windows.) The doors opened right into the restaurant, and the host greeted us and kindly (though not without a glance at his watch to see if he could afford the risk of having the dinner rush see us) allowed us to step inside to look around. It was breathtaking! The sun was just setting directly over the river on one side, and there was a lock and dam on the other side. You could see the city sprawled out beneath you, and it was just amazing. It was also a little trippy to watch the dining area spinning around us as we stood in the middle.