Doing Birmingham Alone

Railroad Park

EH204 took a ride on Birmingham’s public buses Friday morning from right outside Birmingham Southern to downtown Birmingham. I didn’t.

Now when I woke up, the plan for the day was to take the bus downtown with my class but of course, life got in the way. Right as I was speeding up to the campus gate to park and join my class, my heart sank. Lined up like little ducks were my classmate’s boarding the 9:15 bus. I was too late.

I knew the plan was to spend the morning at Railroad Park, so off I went on my solo adventure. After a few wrong turns, I found the park and a parking spot. After struggling for a few minutes to parallel park my tiny car, I was parked and ready to meet up with my class. If you’re facing the railroad tracks, the closest bus stop is to the right. So I sat down facing that direction expecting to see them walking towards me in the next few minutes. This was at 9:23.

At 10 AM, multiple thoughts raced through my mind. Did the bus break down? Is Birmingham being attacked by zombies? Or did plans change? Of course zombies didn’t attack. Nor did the bus break down. Instead my class went to the Lyric Theater and then onto the Peanut Depot. I found out through a classmate’s tweet.

I’m in the process of creating an individualized major and recently transferred as a Junior from Alabama to Birmingham Southern, so doing things to the beat of my own drum isn’t a new thing. But being in charge of my own little spur of the moment field trip? That wasn’t something I ever expected to do, let alone on a Friday morning in the middle of downtown Birmingham.

So here’s how my field trip went:

I sat at Railroad Park for about 45 minutes watching the train pass and the leaves slowly fall from the colorful trees. There were some security system employees working on some kind of security system on the public restrooms. They kept giving me curious glances, but I don’t exactly look like a security threat. Once I realized that I was on my own until 11 AM, I got back in my car and did a little driving tour of downtown.

I picked up some Chick-Fil-A breakfast from the 5-points location and enjoyed my solitary feast. Then I drove down to the Lyric hoping to run into my class but I was just destined to be alone. They were no where to be seen. Instead, all I saw were unfamiliar faces and no BSC logo to be found. It was probably about 10:45 by this point.

It was time for me to venture back to campus. Instead of turning on my handy GPS, I decided to make it an adventure. Off I went driving down familiar and unfamiliar streets just hoping my gut and inner directional sense would lead me to the right place safely. Soon enough I was on I65 driving along at 50 MPH back to BSC.

My solo adventure was over. Pop2K and 20’s on 20 on SiriusXM had been my tour guides throughout the morning which helped the time pass quickly. I also made sure to take an “artsy” picture thanks to instagram to document my time at Railroad Park.

I actually had fun on my unexpected journey. While it may not have gone as planned, I don’t think I would have wanted it to go any other way.

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