Monday, January 16, 2017

Birmingham, Alabama

Carl surprised me this weekend with a mini weekend getaway! I knew we were going somewhere, but he wouldn't tell me where until we were on the road. If you couldn't figure it out from the title of this post, our destination was Birmingham, Alabama!


Our first stop Saturday morning was the Barber Motorsports Museum.  They have so many motorcycles, they don't even have enough space to display them all! There was an extension to the museum opening Fall 2016, but it hadn't opened yet which was disappointing.  Anywho, the museum was full of motorcycles from when motors were just attached to bicycles until now, from a variety of makers.  We definitely plan to go back once the exhibit expansion is complete.



There is a large racetrack outside the museum, but you have to be a member of a racing club to get into it.  We cheated the system however, and sat on the lawn outside the fence of the track and enjoyed a picnic of sour gummy worms as we watched the cars zoom by.  It was interesting to watch because of the variety of cars.  Motorists drove everything from race cars to Toyota street cars!

Our next stop was SAW's Juke Joint for lunch. It was in the ritzy part of town (a part that, we later found out, is one of the richest areas in the country).  We ordered fried pickles for an appetizer as I had never eaten them before and it seemed like a southern thing to do.  Carl had a smoked chicken sandwich with homemade chips and I had a loaded "stuffed tater."  And when I say loaded, I mean loaded!  It came with the normal "stuff"- green onions, cheese, sour cream, but also came TOPPED with bacon, pork, chicken, and BBQ sauce.  I don't even think I managed to eat 1/3  of it.  It was delicious though!

After lunch we headed to meet the host of our first Airbnb experience!  Thirty-four year old Antoine lived in a two bedroom apartment down the street a ways from our lunch restaurant.  Not going to lie, I was a little apprehensive about staying with some random person, but for the sake of adventure I went with it.

The experience turned out to be a great one! Antoine was so accommodating.  When we got there he chatted our ear off for a good hour or so about everything from good places to eat to his childhood.  His apartment was adorned with photos from his own travels and adventures which were pretty impressive!  His twin sister even stopped by for a short while and talked with us as well.

In the afternoon we headed down to Railroad Park for a walk.  It was 75 degrees out and apparently everyone else had the same idea as we did as the park was packed with people!  Kids were playing, teenagers were skateboarding, college kids were walking their dogs..heck, there was even ice skating! We had finished walking around the park but were enjoying the nice day so we headed down some side streets and walked towards the University to enjoy the fresh air a little longer.



It wasn't quite dinner time, but since we knew where we wanted to eat we headed that way anyway.  We found a little brewery (Trim Tab Brewing) where Carl got a beer and I had a Mello Yellow (I'll like beer someday, I swear!) It was the perfect weather for sitting outside and discussing future travel plans ;)



For dinner we went to a taco place called Babalu Tacos and Tapas.  It was pretty good.  Our waiter accidentally gave us extra tacos, not that we were complaining!  Carl and I are definitely taco fiends; we make a point to try a taco place whenever we go somewhere.

Of course you can't go out to dinner on a trip without having dessert, so we went to a local place called Mountain Brook Creamery.  I was so excited to see that they had Superman Ice Cream, but was let down when it turned out to be just colored vanilla ice cream. We walked around the area and admired the nice store fronts and window displays before we headed to the movies.

We went and saw the movie Live by Night, which was definitely better than the ratings that Rotten Tomatoes gave it!  By the time it was over, we were both exhausted and headed back to Antoine's.  Luckily, he wasn't home (or he probably would have talked our ears off), so we went right to bed.

Sunday morning we headed home right away.  The weather was so nice we wanted to get some yard work done.  However, we both agreed that we definitely want to go back and visit B-ham again, especially since it is less than an hour and a half drive away!

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