Ten Reasons To Be Thankful You Live In Tuscaloosa
Known as the ‘Druid City’, Tuscaloosa is home to beautiful water oaks, interesting people and feels large enough to enjoy diversity but small enough to feel like you know everyone. T-Town isn’t free from minor aggravations experienced in any community.
Frankly, we can’t drive. During any typical commute down McFarland Boulevard, it’s not unusual for someone to pass you while traveling backwards 4 miles per hour with a kitchen table and air conditioning unit strapped to the roof with a bungee cord.
But for all the frustration, the ‘City of Champions’ feels like a secret kept from those who snicker from outside her borders. We smile indulgently while the uneducated drag the horse out once more to beat it with jokes we haven’t heard one-thousand times before about matrimony and cousins.
If they knew everything that makes Tuscaloosa and Northport the two best places on earth they may be tempted to move and frankly, my brother-husband and I like our neighborhood just fine.
Here’s a few reasons, but feel free to add your own.
The University of Alabama
Boasting one of the South’s most beautiful educational facilities, the University of Alabama is a ‘creative, nurturing campus environment where our students can become the best individuals possible’. Students who attend Alabama can become artists, lawyers or brilliant by dropping all classes to devote more time to being a fan for the best football team in the GALAXY.
This reservoir of meat and three goodness has been a staple in downtown Northport since 1931. Meatloaf, fried chicken and mac and cheese are most in demand, but their breakfast will bring a tear to the eye as well.
At City Cafe, to-go cups of sweet tea aren't in white Styrofoam cups, they're in gallon jugs.
Tailgating On The Quad
You haven’t lived until you’ve spent a crisp Fall day weaving your way through the pop-up tents, Corn Hole enthusiasts with questionable skill and large brand-name inflatables that rise above a sea of God’s Crimson-clad children as landmarks.
The food is delicious, the hospitality warm, and atmosphere electric, and nothing sounds as sweet as the Million Dollar Band gearing up to escort the faithful home.
Intimate enough to feel you’re in the artist’s living room, yet distant enough to resist the urge hurl your unmentionables at the stage, the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater is a lovely outdoor facility.
Opened in 2012, the venue has hosted many entertaining opportunities for families, runners, music lovers and even the Budweiser Clydesdale horses.
Although not yet included on the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater Wikipedia page, it’s also where Monk and I received an invitation to the movies with Brad Paisley.
You’re never more than 15 minutes away from everything. If you’re tempted to complain about the size of our city, remind yourself that a typical two-hour commute in larger cities carry on average, an 87% chance of dismemberment.
Lake Lurleen State Park
Named in honor of Alabama’s first female governor, Lurleen Wallace, the 1,625-acre park is a scenic lakeside retreat. Facilities include a modern campground, banquet room, picnic area, play area, pavilions, beach with bathhouse, fishing piers, boat rentals and boat-launch areas.
They also employ alert State Park employees who will ask you to pull your car to the side of the road and open your cheap skate friend who was hiding in the trunk to avoid paying the $3 fee to enter. Not that I would do anything like that.
Have you ever wondered what image might emerge if God were to scoop up the most perfect piece of terra firma, build an amazing concrete structure on top while 101,821 of His children gathered inside?
Tuscaloosa's population increase resulted in the demand for more drinking water. The reservoir was created by damming North River and construction was completed in 1970 at just over $7,725,000. The lake spans over nine square miles and has 177 miles of shore length, 150 of which is covered up with Pontoon boats hauling coolers during summer months.
Nestled along the banks (I’ve always wanted to write that) of the Black Warrior River, River Walk makes for a beautiful stroll along a walking path and bike trail.
You can also enjoy a leisurely jaunt from your car to one of the many shops which offers it's own peace and serenity.
Come early on Saturday mornings to pick from tables overflowing with fresh fruits and vegetables or catch a glance while you hammer down to reach McDonald's before they shut breakfast down.
“The strongest steel is forged by the fires of hell...”
On that day in April, Tuscaloosa found herself facing Mother Nature’s angry wrath and as the footage of our broken city emerged, many thought we’d lost that battle.
How wrong they were.
The world has forgotten and moved on and at times, we want to as well. But when I find myself turning away from reminders of that time, I remember it was our city’s brightest moment. I
I can count about 93,000 reasons to be thankful I live in Tuscaloosa.