On the road to Destin, Cigar Man and I decided to take our time, make some stops and smell the roses along the way. You know, there are some interesting places to see off that long dull paved road called an interstate!
One of the most interesting stops we took was in Cullman, Alabama at St. Bernard’s Abbey. I’ll have to say, a monk’s abbey is not a typical stop for us and may not be for you either, but it was well worth the visit!
Walking through this miniature village called the Ave Maria Grotto, we couldn’t keep our jaws from dropping to the ground! The Grotto, stretching across a two-block pathway, consists of a landscaped hillside of 125 small stone and cement structures built over a lifetime by Brother Joseph Zoetl, affectionately called “Brother Joe” by the clerk at the visitors center. I can truly say, I’ve never seen anything like it!
We were told the story of “Brother Joe” by a friendly man at the visitor’s center. It seems he came to America to be a monk at the newly founded St. Bernard Abbey from Landshut, Bavaria in 1892. Soon after arriving, he was in an accident that resulted in existing in an iron cast. He lived in pain much of the rest of his life, but was still able to create all of these elaborate replicas from all over the world.
With the calico cat and me in the pic,
you can get an idea of the actual size of the structures.
(After seeing this pic, these are not my favorite pants - just saying.)
I would really recommend this hidden treasure
off that long dull paved road called an interstate any day!
The friendly man I mentioned also told us about a restaurant in Cullman called
The story goes, at its origin in 1934, it was supposed to be called
All Steak Hamburgers but the owner ran out of money.
(You can’t make this stuff up.)
(Well, we were pretty much hungry through the whole trip. LOL! )
Fried tilapia, fresh squash, and purple hull peas! YUM!
They’re brought to you at the end of your meal.
As you can see, we tore into ours!
Going on down the road, one more stop I want to tell you about is…
They have peaches, of course, and all kinds of locally grown veggies and fruits and the best country kitchen with all kinds of “tried and true” goodies.
What do we stop for?
FRIED PEACH PIES!
They are to die for!
In fact, we stopped on the way back and brought a couple home.
Listen…I think I hear one calling me from the frig now.
Stop by later. I’ve got more pics and tales from our ROAD TRIP.
Linking to Susan’s Outdoor Wednesday.