House of the Week: Victorian Gothic in Tuscaloosa, Alabama

For the first time since the levees failed in 2005, John and I decided to evacuate. After sticking it out through other hurricanes, we thought it would be nice to avoid a week (or weeks) without power, and more specifically air conditioning, in the depths of a sweltering New Orleans summer. We’re not rich by any definition. We were going to vacation for my 50th birthday, but decided against it as the Delta variant cast a black cloud over our sunny plans.

Our “evacuvacation” was aimed westward, towards Austin, Texas, but those aims went sorely awry. We completely forgot how crappy traffic is in Baton Rouge, throw hurricane evacuation on top of that and you’re looking at the most hellacious traffic jam ever. After sitting practically still for 6 hours (and after the 2 hours it took us just to get out of the Greater New Orleans Area), we took advantage of the I-12 interchange to head east. Six hours later we arrived, both tense and exhausted in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Our eyes were grainy, our bodies sore from tension, and we could drive no further on I-20, which I am now convinced is the “Highway to Hell” Angus Young was screeching about.

No stop signs
Speed limit
Nobody’s gonna slow me down!


Not that Tuscaloosa is hell by any stretch of the imagination. It’s a cute college town with lots of shopping, super nice people, and the air always seems to carry the alluring aroma of BBQ. As distracting as new surroundings might be, I still feel like I’m in limbo. My apartment in New Orleans is thankfully intact, but until the power comes back up, we need to stay in a place where John and I can still work, but living out of a hotel room (a super crappy hotel, I might add) just plain sucks.

Since regular TV makes me bonkers, (How many drug commercials can you watch in one day?) I started surfing around for older homes for sale right here in Tuscaloosa and would you look at what I found? Originally built in 1887, this gorgeous Victorian Gothic sports over 10,000 sq. ft. of living space, a wrap-around porch, hardwood floors, wainscoting, transoms, stained glass, pocket doors inset with glass, French doors and stunningly updated kitchen and bathrooms. At just under $2 million, this house is far beyond my reach, but it’s still fun to daydream!

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