Our Fantastic Journey – Day 5

Day 5: Enterprise, AL

Cait’s class was the only class at Enterprise High School to never have had a physical building for a school. Enterprise High School was destroyed by an EF4 tornado in 2007.

They had attended some classes at the Community College and other classes elsewhere. It’s remarkable that so many opted to continue with Enterprise High when they could have attended other schools who had been unaffected by the storm. These kids had to have a real drive and showed a sense of community that is rare in this day and age. Appropriately, they were the last class to be allowed to hold their graduation ceremonies in “The Hole.” The Hole is the stadium of the previous school. Since it was a dug-out stadium, the tornado had not destroyed it other than tearing some of the metal seat stripping out and depositing in the trees. Those trees still standing, still have pieces of the school and the stadium stuck in them. It’s an eerie sight.

There were all kinds of nasty storms in the area the day of graduation, but it cleared out and was beautiful by 6:00 p.m. on Thursday for the graduation. Again, I think it was only appropriate that these kids were allowed by the system AND by Mother Nature to graduate in their old stadium. The next class will graduate in the new stadium at the newly-built school which is a few miles from the destroyed school.

Our Fantastic Journey – Day 4

Days 4: Nashville to Enterprise, AL

Our last stop in Nashville on the way out of town was the Pancake Pantry! This place had gotten terrific reviews in Urbanspoon, and Rachel Ray had gone there in one of her shows. We’d been warned that there are always huge lines, so we planned to get there just after they opened. We hoped that getting there early on a Tuesday after a Monday holiday would be the trick to not having much of a wait. We were right. We had absolutely NO wait. We were seated immediately and the place was virtually empty. It surely had to be the timing, because it wasn’t their food. The pancakes were delicious and enormous. Pancake Pantry isn’t inexpensive, but it was worth a visit.

We got right back on the freeway and headed south. Next stop…Enterprise, AL!

I guess at this point, I should mention that Caitlin didn’t know that we were coming down for her graduation. She had told her parents that she really wanted us there, but understood that we both work and that it’s an awfully long way from Michigan to Lower Alabama. What she didn’t know is that we’d been planning this for a very long time and that there was no way we would miss her high school graduation. This became extra important when she was invited to attend the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. We knew that it would be even more difficult to spend time with her once she headed off to the Academy.

Our hotel in the area (the Jameson Inn) was actually in Ozark, AL which was about 25 or 30 miles from my brother’s house. Naturally, Cait’s grandmother, Molly (Megan’s mom), would be staying at their house so we found the closest AVAILABLE hotel. Normally, it would have been much closer, but this was also the week-end of Bama Jam, and almost everything was sold out. The hotel was fine. What was exceptionally good was the staff. The front desk was amazingly helpful and housekeeping was exceedingly friendly and conscientious.

Bama Jam is a modern-day, country-music Woodstock. (We’d never heard of it – go figure.) Apparently, this started out as a rather small deal a few years ago in Enterprise that grew like kudzu into a huge affair. People come from all over the country and the world for the music. Acts are the Who’s Who of current country music (such as Hank Williams, Jr.).

When we arrived at the Hubers’, Caitlin was surprised. She was also very happy. I don’t know how on earth we managed to keep her in the dark, but we’re so glad it worked out that way. We had such a lovely visit with everyone. The first night, we were the only out-of-town relatives to have arrived. All of Megan’s family was due the next day. We enjoyed our entire visit.