TRAVEL THERE: A STEEL CITY LANDMARK
So my boss had just arrived back in the States from someplace else that I can’t tell you about to join us at the thing I can’t tell you about. At the end of the second day after a meal provided by the thing I can’t tell you about, there was supposed to be a worship and praise service, but the boss needed a change of scenery. One more large meeting room filled with people and he was a goner, so we escaped.
Hannah Beth Helps Us Play Hooky
Since the meal we’d been provided was lukewarm hot dogs and stale potato chips (no offense intended, but that’s what it was), we wished we’d decided to play hooky about 30 minute previous to our boss’ confession of meeting room fatigue. A nice dinner would have been a treat. Still, we weren’t going to waste an opportunity for some team building activities outside the meeting room. So Hannah Beth took us on a tour.
Now I know young folks to things differently than I do, so this is not meant as criticism, but merely an observation. While Hannah Beth has been to Birmingham several times and has the inside scoop on what to do, she depends on GPS for directions. Her modus operandi is to take off in the direction which she thinks something is and then use voice commands to tell her phone to find the way. This means she has one hand fully on the wheel, while she holds both the wheel and the phone in the other – all the while chatting up everyone in the car.
Yep, I’m a Nervous Nellie, so the entire time we were driving in Birmingham, I’m in the backseat praying we actually get to the place we’re headed. Since I’m here to tell the tale, you know my prayers were answered in the affirmative, but while we were playing hooky from a praise and worship ceremony, I felt a little guilty about praying for protection. Proves God listens all the time, I guess.
Vulcan Tower on Red Mountain
According to the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau:
“Vulcan is the largest cast iron statue in the world and Birmingham’s unofficial city symbol. Standing high atop Red Mountain, the 56-foot-high statue has an observation balcony on its pedestal for a panoramic view of the city. Vulcan is patterned after the mythical Roman god of the forge, a nod to the city’s powerful position in the iron and steel industry in the first part of the 20th century. The statue was created as Birmingham’s exhibit in the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis and won the exposition’s grand prize. The museum at Vulcan has interactive exhibits and displays that portray the region’s history and progress. Museum open Monday- Saturday, 10am- 6pm; Sunday, 1pm- 6pm. Observation balcony open Monday- Saturday, 10am- 10pm; Sunday, 1pm- 10pm. Admission.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself, but you can learn more on the actual Vulcan Park website.
Our boss covered the entrance fee which was just a dollar or two and we climbed the stairs to the top of the hill. Someone who will remain nameless desperately needed to visit the rest room. Even though the sign said the museum was open, it wasn’t and that’s where the restroom was. In desperation, the drain in an unlocked utility room sufficed as a toilet. That’s all I’m going to say about it, but as tired as we were, that was just the crowning glory of the day and we got a serious fit of the giggles.
Above It All
Though the tower is lovely and the park is very nice, the real draw to visiting the Vulcan Tower is that you can climb up in it. So we did, still giggling like fools. Now yours truly is has a slight case of acrophobia. OK, so maybe a large case, but as we took the elevator up I was distracted by the giggling. We walked across a steel grate which was a bridge to the steel grate which was the balcony around the tower. There was also a fence, but all the ground around us was visible from our vantage point.
At first I just looked out toward the horizon and enjoyed the scenery (see picture from previous post). Then I looked down. MISTAKE. I tried to be cool. I tried standing away from the rail and looking toward the tower. Didn’t work. I started getting lightheaded and broke out in a cold sweat. It was time to go.
On the way back to the hotel we stopped at a grocery store, to get some necessities. That list might have included individual bottles of screw top wine, but if it did, I’m not telling. As much fun as this adventure was, the best is yet to come, so make you way back here next week.