Our Alabama Trip

According to Google Maps, we traveled 488 miles, and drove for 9 hours and 16 minutes during our week in Alabama.

Each state we visit, we will choose at least one point of interest from each of the following categories: Famous Person, Famous Food, Road Side Attraction, State Capitol & State Museum, National Park, Historic Location, Can't Miss Attraction, and Made in the USA Tour. Some of the categories may have more than one selection, and sometimes a category will be vacant due to the lack of a candidate. Please click on the links below for the corresponding blog related our experiences in Alabama the past week.

Famous Person: George Washington Carver

Famous Food: Fried Green Tomatoes

Roadside Attraction: Dothan's Peanuts Around Town

State Capitol/Museum: Montgomery

National Park: Tuskegee Airman National Historic Site

Historic Location: The site of Rosa Parks Arrest

Can't miss attraction: Unclaimed Bagged Center (To be visited while in TN)

Made in the USA tour: Sloss Furnace National Historic Site

Please view our previous blog posts for further explanations of our experiences in Alabama over the past week.

A breakdown of our expenses of the past week are as follows:

Gas $ 105.00

$ 2.13 gal. in Birmingham, AL was the lowest price paid.

$ 2.19 gal. in Montgomery, AL was highest price paid.


We did great in this category!

Groceries: $126.00

Walmart $72.00

Costco $41.00

Trader Joes $13.00


We spent more at Walmart than usual due to a lack of Costco’s in the state.

Dining $62.00

Starbucks $5.00 (Tea x2 in exchange for free WIFI)

Irondale Café $8.00 (Budgeted, Fried Green Tomatoes)

Costco $7.00 (Unbudgeted, 3 slices average pizza)

CiCi $13.00 (Unbudgeted, buffet pizza on the go)

Island Delight $29.00 (Budgeted, delicious vegan meal)


We did great in this category!

Entertainment: $2.00

Redbox $2.00 (Movies x1)


We did great in this category!

Lodging: $72.00

Walmart $0.00 (Slept in parking lot x6 nights)

Hotel $72.00 (Budgeted hotel night once every 6 weeks)


We did great in this category!

Miscellaneous: $0.00

Parking $0.00


Of course we did great in this category!

Alabama Expenses Grand Total: $367.00

(Our expense list does not include re-occurring expenses such as insurance and cellphone etc. )

Is Alabama Our New Home State?

Here are the rules:

Below are the 5 categories that are important to us in choosing our new home state. Each category is rated from 1 to 10 based on our personal experience in no particular order. 1 is the lowest and 10 is the highest for each category. Each category will receive 2 scores; 1 from Lori and 1 from Nate. The average of these two scores will determine the final score for each category. To determine a state’s final score, we will average the total score of each category. If a state’s final score is less than 8, then that state is eliminated from consideration. At the end of our year long cross country trip, the states that scored 8 or higher will be subject to further consideration. In addition, Lori and I each have 1 wild card option, which allows a state that otherwise would have been eliminated, to be considered as our new home state.


Nate: 8

“Aerospace, education, healthcare, banking, automobile manufacturing, mineral extraction, steel production and agriculture all contribute to a well-diversified state economy. It is not surprising Alabama has an unemployment rate of 3.5% well below the national average”.

Lori: 6

“Alabama’s constitution requires a balanced state budget as it should. With a median household income of $44,765, Alabama ranks 47th in the nation. It appears only the large corporations are benefiting from the states economy”.

Economy score: 7

Cost of Living:

Nate: 6

“With an income tax of 5.00% and a sales tax of 8.45% after local surcharges, Alabama is not that attractive when it comes to taxes. Making matters worse, food is taxed as high as 9.75%! On the bright side, Alabama has the 2nd lowest property taxes in the nation.”

Lori: 5

“Compared to the national average: food is on par, gas 10% cheaper and 5th lowest in nation, and housing is 30% cheaper in Alabama.”

Cost of living score: 5.5

Quality of life:

Nate: 4

“According to a 2014 survey by NBC, Alabama ranks 7th in the nation for risk of natural disasters with tornado, and hurricanes being the biggest threat. Alabama has a humid subtropical climate with an average yearly temperature of 64 degrees.”

Lori: 6

“With a violent crime rate of 5.32, Alabama is 40% higher than the national average, and in 2016 the state had the 3rd highest homicide rate in the nation! Totally unacceptable!!!”

Quality of life score: 5


Nate: 8

“Football, baseball, racing, golfing, cooking, music, and eating peanuts are among the activities enjoyed by Alabamians. Huntsville in the North is the Rocket Capital of the US. Montgomery in the state's center is the birthplace of the civil rights movement, and Mobile on the states Southern shore offers breathtaking Gulf Coast beaches”

Lori: 3

“Alabama scored dead last in the nation for sourcing clean energy. To make matters even worse, Smoking, obesity, and a lack of physical activity, makes Alabama the 4th least healthy state in America. I cringe to think about what my health insurance premiums would be if Alabama was my new home”

Culture Score: 5.5


Nate: 6

“The roads were well maintained, and I encountered little traffic. However, I did not find the Alabama overly beautiful, and I encountered very few national and state parks during my week in the state”

Lori: 7

“Alabama had its cities evenly spread out throughout the state making good and services readily accessible.”

Environment Score: 6.5

The verdict is in:

The final score for Alabama was 5.9, and it will NOT be our new home. Nate already used his wild card, and Lori chose not to use her wild card on this state

Below are the current standings:

Colorado 9.2

Michigan 8.3

Oregon 8.2

Ohio 7.6

Indiana 7.4

Texas 7.3 (NATE’S WILD CARD)

South Dakota 7.1

North Dakota 6.9

Washington 6.9

Georgia 6.8

Virginia 6.6

Wyoming 6.5

Arizona 6.5

Pennsylvania 6.5

Florida 6.2

Idaho 6.1

West Virginia 6.0

California 5.9

Alabama 5.9

Nevada 5.8

Nebraska 5.7

South Carolina 5.4

Utah 5.0

Kentucky 4.9

Wisconsin 4.5

New Mexico 4.5

Louisiana 4.3

Minnesota 4.2

Montana 4.1

Missouri 3.5

Iowa 3.3

Illinois 1.9