Feb 20, 2014

Birmingham - Snow and the Last Trip

Last week we set out for Birmingham. Amid ice and snow predictions and against my weatherman's suggestions we left early in the morning hoping to get ahead of the mess. Memphis was a smidge icy when we left, but by the time we got out of town everything was alright. The best part was that there was zero traffic on the road!

Bryan saw one account late that morning and then we went to lunch at the Little Donkey around the corner.

I over-ordered. As usual.

Bryan attended Samford University in Birmingham so he is much more familiar with the city than I am (who has only ever driven through on the way to the beach). He drove me around a bit and we stopped at his old stomping grounds.

Here he's pointing to his old room in the gym.

After checking into hotel we decided to get pre-dinner drinks at a new brewery, Trim Tab,  we saw when we got lost trying to find the hotel.

Just after we ordered our second beer it started snowing. Hard.

We finished up early to head over to dinner. I had made reservations at a nicer restaurant as our Valentine's meal/present to each other. They had called earlier to tell us they were still open - this was pre-snow. The snow was falling so fast that the roads were covered.

The restaurant was at the top of this hill to the right. We couldn't make it up in the car so I hopped out and ran up the hill. We decided to just get something to go because we worried about getting back to the hotel. Once I got inside and placed an order the restaurant called to let me know that they were closing. So much for my fancy dinner.

Driving in snow is kinda fun in a no-rules-apply kinda way. We were afraid to stop so if a car wasn't coming through an intersection we just went.

We made it back to the hotel and had a little snow ball fight before going inside. I think this might have been the first time we've ever seen this much snow together.

It was a fun adventure.

Thursday Bryan went to see an account and made it back to B'ham in time for us to find a late lunch. Unfortunately nearly every place we wanted to eat/try was closed either due to the weather or no lunch service. Miraculously we found this bar around the corner from where we had parked.

Inside it's a dimly lit bar and you can order a soup or sandwich at the kitchen. I ordered some potato soup that was so good I asked for a second cup. I wasn't sure if it was because I was starving or if it was just that good. The second cup was just as good as the first, so I'm going to go with "just that good."

That night we met up with Bryan's college friend, Ben, and his wife, Liz, so the guys could go for a run. Afterwards they were kind enough to have us over and fix us a feast!

Friday morning we ventured out to find some coffee and breakfast. Downtown Birmingham is so different from Downtown Memphis. There are a ton of buildings and in some ways feels bigger, but it also feels desolate. Nearly everything was closed Saturday morning and for lunch. After a nice Italian breakfast we walked over to the Auditorium where the expo was happening.

This expo was nice because we shipped our shoes in a few weeks early and they had them there for us in our space. All we had to do was provide a tablecloth and any other decorations.

We had the space ready in no time.

Friday night also happened to be Valentine's and we worried about where we could eat without facing a Valentine's rush. We were in no mood for it. What did people do before smart phones and food apps? Seriously.

I found The Collins Bar via UrbanSpoon. The bar tenders are well versed in cocktails to the extent that they don't have cocktail menus. We were asked what kind of liquor we liked followed by another question or two to get a sense of our taste. Then we were presented with tasty beverages. I got the Ward 8 which is my very favorite bourbon cocktail to date. I forget what Bryan got, but he liked it equally as well.

They had a small menu, but everything was wonderful. We ordered homemade tater tots to start. Then Bryan got the chicken and waffles (served with bacon and maple bourbon syrup!) and I had the meatloaf sliders. If you are ever in the Birmingham area and enjoy cocktails, GO THERE!

Sorry to yell at you. It's just how I feel.

Saturday we had another full day at the expo before driving back to Memphis.

This is our last trip together of the season. Bryan has one more overnight for an event, but this is it. The end of the season. I've enjoyed our first season working together. It's exhausting, but great flexibility and schedule. Plus I've gotten to see more of the South than I ever have before.

Hopefully this means more Memphis posts coming up as we dig our roots back into our hometown.

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