You can’t stop on the bridge over the Mississippi River to take your picture by this state line sign, so here’s the shots Heidi got as we drove across.
After visiting the grotto we meandered through downtown and headed over to Mud Island River Park.
Crystal Shrine Grotto in Memphis, TN was built by artist Dionicio Rodriquez in the 1930s, and was completed around 1938. On the National Register of Historic Places, this handmade cave of Bible scenes is a cool escape from the summer sun.
You walk through a hole in a large concrete tree stump Abraham’s Oak named for “the founder of the Hebrew Nation.” A plaque says that ” Rodriquez, a descendant of the artistic Aztec race of Mexico, has reproduced this historic stump entirely of concrete reinforced with steel and copper bar so as to ensure its existence for many centuries to come.”
The grotto cavern is constructed of rock quartz crystal and semiprecious stones. It illustrates “Christ’s Journey on the Earth from Birth to Resurrection.” The scenes are a mix of strange abstractions and more traditional religious dioramas.
This is the only graveyard of its kind in the world. Only coon hounds are allowed to be buried at this spot in northern Alabama. Troop was the first dog laid to rest on September 4, 1937.
I read about this place on the internet. It is out in the middle of NO WHERE. But definitely worth going out of our way to see. I wish Buster was a coon dog so we could bury him here. This place is too cool.
We ate our continental breakfast (oh so yummy), swiped enough bananas to get through the day, and took off at 7AM. Being Sunday there is NOBODY on the road. Easy driving. After taking our state line photos I made a friend who wanted to tag along to California (see photos).
Our friends Matthew Threadgill and Lauren Gibson were married on Saturday, June 19 at United Snellville Methodist Church. I had the honor of being one of Matthew’s groomsmen and Heidi and I were also the videographers of the occasion.
We arrived in Snellville Friday afternoon and after checking into our hotel we went to the wedding rehearsal. After running through things and scoping out how we were going to video the ceremony, we went to a nearby City park where the Rehearsal Dinner was held. The dinner was catered by Matthew’s uncle’s barbecue business. Amazingly good and scrumptious.
Saturday was a long day. Heidi was at Lauren’s at 8:30 to film her putting on makeup, hair, and the dress. I joined the groomsmen at 11:30 to get ready. We videoed everyone getting ready and the ceremony began at 2:30pm.
The one thing that went wrong was that the AC in the church didn’t work. We were all sweating like pigs up on stage. The bride kept wiping the groom’s face with a kerchief during the ceremony. The audiece was a sea of programs-turned-fans waving back and forth.
We all survived the heat though, and the wedding was beautiful. The video looks like it turned out well, so I will be busy editing it over the next couple weeks.
I guess we’ll try and do the “photo at every state sign” thing. Only 17 more to go.
Heidi has finished her first year of medical school and is now enjoying her last vacation for a very long time. To celebrate her success and to fulfill a lifelong dream, we will drive to California and back. We plan on camping in National Parks most of the time with a couple stops at friends’ homes and hotels. Please pray for our safety on the long journey (praying for a drop in gas prices wouldn’t hurt us either).