Wednesday, March 07, 2007

On the way to Birmingham with Boiled Peanuts and Sweet Tea

I got to Birmingham last night and it occurred to me that I haven't really written about what the daily pleasures have been while riding down South. Later this week I look forward to writing all about my experience in the great town of Birmingham which I can't wait to explore today, but in the meantime, here's a glimpse of life on the road.

First off. Let's talk about sweet tea. In Seattle, we don't have sweet tea. Sweet tea is akin to maple syrup with ice that you would drink for lunch, throughout the afternoon and into the evening all over the South. It can be found in any restaurant. I have actually built up the taste buds for straight sweet tea. When I first started my bike trip in Savannah, I had to ask for half and half tea-- that's half sweet and half unsweetened tea. In Seattle when we go to a restaurant and ask for tea, we get a hot cup of herbal or caffeinated tea. That's not the case here.

Next: Boiled Peanuts. Why, you might ask, would you boil peanuts? Well, dear reader-- they taste REALLY good! I had a bad batch of these in Savannah, so I wasn't going to mention it on the blog, but then I gave it another shot on the way up to Birmingham a couple days ago and WOW! It's good stuff, dear reader! I find stands for boiled peanuts every few miles along the road-- especially at fruit stands. So now I will make it a daily stop.

Bad news: there are no shoulders in Alabama. No silly, I'm not talking about people's shoulders, I'm talking about a place for a bicyclist to ride on the road. I've been riding as far to the right as I can and drivers have been very kind-- passing to the left to give me room--- knock on wood. But I have to admit, I miss the shoulders of Georgia, and I wonder what I might find in Mississippi and Louisiana over the next several weeks.

So now I am in Birmingham staying with friends of my friends Lynn and Tammy-- Drew, Tamara, and their two very cute little boys. I'm going to explore the town today and tell you all about it in the next post. Cheers!!

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