Christian Bionat Blog: Day 5

Christian Bionat
November 13, 2011

It’s our fifth and last day of the Savannah trip, which has been a fantastic adventure through the Deep South of the United States.  Today, I’ll list my favorites of the trip.

Favorite Food/Restaurants

Honorable Mention: For honorable mention, I awarded this to City Market Cafe in Macon, Georgia for their onion rings. These were the best onion rings I have ever had. There were not any particular seasonings or spices added it was I believe, the way in which they were cooked that made them so good: simply crispy, crunchy, and delicious.

Third: Placing third was Tomatino’s Pizza and Bake Shop located in Montgomery, Alabama for their Bianca Pizza. The Bianca pizza was a Mediterranean styled pizza with Canadian bacon and feta cheese. The design of the restaurant offered a nice cozy feel to go along with the surprisingly tasty pizza.
Second: The second place award in the food category belongs to Collin’s Deam Kitchen in Jackson, MS for their Turkey Legs. They were slow cooked and topped with country gravy and seasoned with home-styled ingredients. I had this meal with corn, green beans, and a side of corn bread. The sweet iced tea topped the delicious home-styled southern meal.

Collins Dream Kitchen: Turkey Wings, Corn, and Green Beans

And don’t forget the art work at this soul food restaurant!

Christ on the Cross in Collins Dream Kitchen

First: And first place in the food category belongs to…Oceana Grill in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana for their Cajun Jambalaya Pasta and the Alligator Sausage. These dishes highlighted the Cajun style we all expected, with a splash of spice.

Favorite Capitol Building

We only went to three state capitols (Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi), so I am going to simply list my favorite.

First:  The Louisiana State Capitol easily won this award. We visited the Louisiana State Capitol the first day, which set the bar for state capitols high (literally). The Art Deco styled building was beautiful and was complemented with the observation deck feature that the other capitols lacked. In addition, a monument for Huey Long was within the capitol grounds adding to the historic nature of the building.

Favorite City

I evaluated the cities on building design, history, and overall tourist experience.

Third: Taking third place for my favorite city was Vicksburg in Mississippi. We toured Vicksburg on the fifth day of our journey and visited the Civil War Battlefield Museum and the murals on the levee. This historic city was the site of a major battle during the civil war which gave the Union complete control of the Mississippi River. The designs of many of the homes were classical and aesthetically pleasing while enhancing the overall historic theme of the city.

Second: Montgomery, Alabama took second place. This city was beautiful and historically amazing to visit. There were many civil rights monuments and ironically confederate historical markers as well throughout the city.

Capitol at Night

First: Savannah, Georgia earns the first place finish boasting the historical architecture of city as well as its history. I instantly fell in love with the Spanish Mossy Oak that surrounds the Savannah region as well. The statues at each square, the famous Mercer-Williams house, Forrest Gump, The Waving Girl, and Forsyth Park put Savannah on top. Not to mention having access to Tybee Island only 15 minutes away. If I was not in Texas, I would be in Savannah. This city has made me feel at home more than any other place I have visited. I would recommend everyone to visit Savannah, Georgia.

Favorite Statues/Memorials

The following are my top three picks of statues and memorials from our trip.

Third: The Civil War Battle of Vicksburg earns third place honors. We visited the battlefield on day five of our trip and the 16 mile national park created a wondrous memorial to the lives lost during the Vicksburg campaign both on the confederate and union sides.

Confederate Monument in Montgomery

Two: The Flame of Freedom in Montgomery, Alabama marked the memorial for all the Alabama war veterans. Although a relatively small memorial compared to other sites we visited, the eternal flame was sentimentally special to me. The Flame of Freedom takes home second place.

First: I awarded the Vulcan Statue from Birmingham, Alabama first place in the statue and memorial category. The Vulcan Statue represented the Birmingham industry and was built on a hill that overlooks the city. The monument evoked signs of power, strength, and industry. The shear height and design put this statue as one of my favorite places and the symbolism launches it to first place.

The Vulcan

Favorite Musician Memorials

During our trip we had visited several musician memorials such as the Johnny Mercer statue, Hank Williams statue, Jimmie Rodgers’ home, and Otis Redding memorial. However, I will only name my top choice.

First: The Otis Redding memorial in Macon, Georgia takes home the top honor. Redding’s number one hit, “Sitting at the Dock by the Bay” is a classic that my father introduced to me. His memorial was near the entrance of a park with his songs playing from an in-ground speaker. Macon, Georgia has really memorialized Redding and his music.

Otis Redding and the Junior Fellows

Favorite Height Sites:

It seemed that a lot of the sites we saw reached to the sky.  In fact, we did see a lot of sky-scraping sites.  Below are my favorite:

Third: Biloxi Lighthouse in Biloxi, Mississippi takes home third place. The lighthouse illumined the night sky for sea dwellers as well and stood as a symbol of hope after Hurricane Katrina.

Second: The Vulcan Statue placed second in my favorite heights category. The monument stood 123 feet tall including its pedestal. The view overlooked the city of Birmingham and its observation deck, made of grated steel, provided some excitement to the height.

First: Tybee Lighthouse finished first overall in the heights category. The lighthouse, located on Tybee Island near Savannah, was the site of a military fortification. However, the lighthouse, standing 154 feet tall, allowed for tourist and visitors to see for miles around. The height and view of Tybee Lighthouse was just breath-taking. I would love to have vacationed at Tybee and the lighthouse adds to the beauty of the island.

Favorite Blooper

This category depicts my favorite mishap during our Deep South tour.

1. My favorite blooper of the trip took place in Birmingham, Alabama. After pulling out from a parking lot following our dinner, we came to the intersection where our vehicle could jump onto the main road. And at this 4-way intersection, there was a stop sign. Now the odd part of the stop sign was that there was also a traffic light to tell us when to go. We all found this quite interesting to have a stop sign and a traffic light at the same intersection.

We're So Confused! An Intersection with a green light and stop sign.

Thanks to all our readers and we hope you stay tuned for our next adventure from the Sam Houston State University Political Science Junior Fellows! Until next time….

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