Sunday, July 8, 2012

{Vacation Day Two} Who needs Alabama anyway?

Our plan today was to hit Shiloh Civil War Battlefield this morning (about an hour and a half from where we stayed last night) then attempt to get to Montgomery, AL and stay the night. Well, we got to Montgomery around 4:30 p.m. so Tim had a great idea to just keep heading down to the coast, so we did! The Henderson Park Inn was booked up so we just rented a room at the Quality Inn Bayside in Fort Walton Beach just across the bridge from Destin. We arrived at 7:40 p.m. We figured McGuire's on the bay sounded much better than McDonald's in Montgomery for dinner. The drive went by relatively quickly, but we were on small two-lane roads almost the whole drive. So thankful there wasn't a lot of traffic!

Reading the descriptions to prepare ourselves for the self-guided driving tour. Blue signs on the tour represented the US Army of the Tennessee. Red represented Mississippi and yellow was for Ohio. 
It really is such a small world.  Right when we got to the visitors center we overheard these guys talking about Tim's shirt and said, "I wonder if that is Parkview, in Springfield." Of course we said sure enough it is. Turns out the guy on the right went to Jarrett! Then we got stuck hearing all about their lives and other battlefields they've visited, but still. Small, small world.
Memorial built to represent the Confederate troops. It was big and looked brand new, until we got up close and saw the date on the memorial...
It was built almost 100 years ago. I couldn't believe it.

Tim was really excited to see The Hornets' Nest. This is a huge part of the Battle at Shiloh and Tim teaches this in his class.

He said it was different than he expected. He thought (based on what he had read) that the Sunken Road, which you are looking at, was surrounded on both sides by forrest. Not a field and a forrest. He said it would change the way he teaches his class now that he has seen it in person.
More of the Sunken Road

The field at The Hornets' Nest

1,700 Confederate Troops are buried in this trench. So spooky.
This is the location of the first tent hospital of the Civil War. They started using these all over and drastically decreased the death count of the war.

General Johnston ended up dying in the trench just a couple yard behind the tree where he was found. Tim said he got shot in the back of the leg and didn't think it was that bad and sent his medic to tend to a prisoner. He bled out not very long after.
The tree where he was found.

During the battle this pond was stained red b/c so many wounded men (from both sides) crawled to this pond for water. 
The Confederate Troops had won the first day of battle pushing the Union Troops all of the way back to the river banks. The next morning the Union Troops were saved by a new fleet of troops coming to back them up right here on this landing. The Union overtook the Confederate Army and ended up winning the Battle at Shiloh.

Can you guess which way we needed to go? And apparently everyone else traveling on this road.
We realized at 2:38 p.m. we hadn't listened to music all day.
No staying in Alabama for us. We are in Florida!
After getting checked in we went to dinner at one of our favorite Destin restaurants McGuire's Pub.
Guests write their name and a message on their dollar bills and staple thems all over the restaurant.

Tim tried their hefeweizen beer at the bar while we were waiting for our table.

Um... how to choose? So many looked yummy. I went for the upper right option, Smoked Gouda Cheese.
I'm usually not a very adventurous eater but we were in an Irish joint so decided to try the Irish Boxty's. Basically fried mashed potato balls. They were awesome!
Lovely Hubby
Our Irish Boxty's
After dinner we went across the main road and down to the harbor. They have this awesome new area called the Harborwalk Village with shops, restaurants, boats, bars and more. There was live music everywhere. We just walked the boardwalk to check it all out, but plan to go back for dinner, drinks and music sometime later this week. 

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