Still, I wanted to update you about my wonderful weekend at the Alabama Historical Association (AHA) meeting. Donna (our editor) and I left on Thursday morning. We have no problems traveling together, as we are great friends as well as great coworkers. The AHA meeting was in Huntsville, Alabama, a place that I haven't spent longer than a day in since I was thirteen and attended "Space Academy" at the Space Center there. (I wasn't a fan of Space Academy, but that is a story for another time.)
NOTE: Most of these photos belong to Donna!
Before leaving town, Donna fed her Diet Coke addiction and I had my very first Sonic experience! I had a watermelon slush (without cream) and loved it! Those drinks fueled us to Birmingham, where we stopped for a quick lunch and an entertaining encounter with a very strange individual. From there we ended up in Huntsville, after many expressions of undying love towards the GPS on my phone. (The hotel was a little hard to locate.)
We had about three hours until the evening event, so Donna and I went off to our respective rooms and relaxed and cleaned up before the evening reception at Constitution Village. We met downstairs around 5:45 and walked several blocks to the site, and we had a lovely time meeting people and nibbling on finger foods. This was my first experience at AHA, so it was lovely to finally meet so many people that I previously communicated with only by email!
Some of the first people we came across were the current AHA president, who I already know, and Mr. Kirkland, who often helps me with photo research!
(Kirkland on left; Steve Murray, AHA president, on right)
We had a lovely time and the weather was perfect. I have often heard of Constitution Village, and I was so happy to finally have an opportunity to visit it--even if I only spent time on the outside! After the reception, there was a walking tour, but I was freezing (the darkness brought on the chill!) and Donna needed to get off of her feet (she is having foot issues). We headed back for an early night, and I indulged in a rare opportunity to watch TCM. :)
On Friday, we attended morning paper sessions and meeting sessions. All of the presentations that I heard were great. It is a misconception that one needs to be a scholar to attend AHA. In fact, anyone can and should join. It is a great time, and I learned so much! For example, I found out about some fascinating new technology to find hidden cemeteries. It was fascinating to see potential grave sites show up on imaging when you can't see anything on the surface. I also learned about interior design from the 1920s! See? You can find out all kinds of things! Here are some photos from that day...
(My boss and I during a break.)
(Me with one of my favorite people, Valerie Burnes at the University of West Alabama. She is doing an incredible job at the Center for the Study of the Blackbelt.)
(Me, my boss, and a colleague.)
After all of the morning sessions and lunch, we had the option to go on several independent tours. Donna and I chose to go to the new Historical Marker unveiling at a site where Andrew Jackson's troops camped during the War of 1812, which was complete with a reenactment group and treats provided by the Daughters of the War of 1812. Here is a shot or two...
After attending this ceremony, we headed over to the King house, featured in our new issue. We had a great time touring the property and meeting the author of the article. Also fantastic: we met the man who lives in the house, Mr. King.
Friday evening, however, was simply AMAZING. We went to the new Davidson Center for Space Exploration (at the U. S. Space and Rocket Center) for our evening banquet. Oh. My. This place is amazing.
And we had dinner under the Saturn V replica...the largest rocket ever launched. (And, yes...the replica is an EXACT replica!) The company, food, and speeches were wonderful, and I will remember that night for a long time!
(Here I am under one section of the rocket! Note: Pose per request from Donna. LOL)
(Prepping for "Take Off" in the interactive exhibit.)
(Standing under another section.)
And, just because it was too good to pass up:
(I'm on the left. My boss is on the right.)
We returned to the hotel around 9:30 that night, and I was still excited!