Tuesday, October 29th, 2013
- McWane Science Center, Birmingham, AL – ChargePoint Station
Before leaving Jackson and heading on to Birmingham, I took a few minutes to enjoy the serenity of the rooftop deck of the Old Capitol Inn.
Today again was a peaceful, beautiful drive through the South. Long gone were the rocky plateaus and cactus of the Southwest and the arid plains of central Texas. Here, the roads were lined with lush trees and green grass, reflecting the onshore flow of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.
Before starting this day’s drive, I pulled up the phone number for McWane Science Center in Birmingham, as that was where I was hoping to charge up overnight. I called and was directed through several folks until I was given the number of the person in charge of managing the Science Center’s parking facility. I left a message with him explaining my trip and that I would like to charge my car in their garage overnight if possible. About a half hour later, I received a call from him and he was more than happy to have me charge up there. “Sure, I’m just glad someone’s going to use it!”, he said.
I arrived around 4 PM, checked into The Redmont Hotel and unloaded my bags for the evening. With that done, I drove to the Science Center and quickly found the charging station. I swiped my ChargePoint card, plugged in and started charging. With the car charging, I was off to find some dinner. As I walked around, I asked a security guard at one of the buildings if there was a good local restaurant he could recommend. He pointed me down the street and said all of the restaurants were down just a few blocks that way and I would find lots of options. So, I headed down and found John’s City Diner, which turned out to be great. If you’re looking for great comfort food and superb beer, do yourself a favor and stop in here. Being from the Northwest, I consider myself a beer aficionado of sorts, and the selection here was quite good. I started off with Widmer Brothers Bourbon Barrel Aged Ale, which was strong like a scotch ale, but darker like a porter. Delicious.
Since it was still relatively early (5:15) the kitchen wasn’t quite open for dinner yet. So I sat with my beer and being the only person in the place told the bartender my story, to which she was fascinated. Or maybe she was just killing time. Who knows. Anyway, we talked for about 45 minutes until the kitchen opened at which point I ordered their classic Chicken and Waffles… and another beer. This time it was Clown Shoes “Sombrero” Mexican Chocolate Stout, a chocolate stout infused with chilies for an added bit of spice, smoke, and just a hint of heat. Dinner was delicious and with my appetite satisfied, I took a leisurely stroll back to the hotel in the warm fall twilight.