Sunday, September 4, 2011


On August 11, 2011, we left  Florida Grande Motor Coach Resort (FGMCR)  in Webster, FL, and spent several enjoyable days in Green Cove Springs, FL with family before traveling to the Atlanta area and staying 10 days in Flowery Branch, GA at one of our favorite Army Corps Of Engineer Campgrounds, Old Federal.  We definitely had cause to celebrate when it was announced the  NFL football strike had been resolved.  Our daughter, Lauren, and son-in-law, Chris, were equally as happy since he is employed by the Atlanta Falcons.

We stopped for the next eleven days at beautiful post-card scenic Lake Guntersville, in Marshall County, AL.  We spent some time visiting Lake Guntersville State Park, a 6,000 acre jewel in Alabama, and it was here we realized the severity of the damage caused by tornadoes in April, 2011.  Although their beautiful lodge is open, the campground remains closed for repairs after the tornadoes. 

Several facts about Marshall County you may not know are:
  • The largest concentration of American Bald Eagles in Alabama are here.
  • Lake Guntersville is the largest of the four reservoirs in North AL created when the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) built dams along the Tennessee River in the 1930s.
  • Lake Guntersville has a maximum width of 2.5 miles, 962 miles of shoreline with 69,100 acres of water.
Catfish dinner?!  At the suggestion of several knowledgeable friends, we tried Top O' The River Restaurant, in Lake Guntersville.  The appetizer was also a treat....greens, cornbread (prepared in an iron skillet), and pickled onions.  But the catfish may have been the best ever anywhere!  This restaurant is rated #1 by Trip Advisor of restaurants in Lake Guntersville.

We enjoyed a day trip to Huntsville, AL, and since we had already visited the Space Camp and Rocket Center, we spent a good part of our visit touring Twickenham, a beautiful completely renovated neighborhood full of historical significance and close to downtown Huntsville.  Did you know Huntsville was the home of Talullah Bankhead?!

Alabama boasts a "Halleleujah Trail" (which is a driving tour of 32 historic churches).  Each church is at least 100 years old, on its original site, and is still holding services today.  There are two churches in Huntsville that meet this criteria:  the exquisite Episcopal Church Of The Nativity and the Temple B'Nai Shalom (the only congregation affiliated with the Reform Jewish Movement in Northern Alabama.

On April 27, 2011, you may have read about the day of the tornadoes in Cullman, AL as well as many other cities like Tuscaloosa, Arab and Lake Guntersville.  We spent an afternoon in Cullman, and the damage was so extensive you still see it wherever you drive.  There are parts of the country where there's nothing but debris - and not just in Cullman.  These communities lived through a nightmare.

By accident we found a fantastic little restaurant, Rumors Deli, which may have made the best muffelata sandwich we've ever had!  They are featured in "Southern Living .. Off The Eaten Path" "Favorite Southern Dives and 150 Recipes that Made Them Famous".  It isn't that far to Cullman - maybe we can get back there before we leave! 

We're on our way to a Labor Day Fish Fry on the shores of Lake Guntersville in Civitan Park. This is the 41st year that St. Catherine's Catholic Church has sponsored this tremendous annual event.

 Blog at you later!  

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