Monday, March 9, 2009

Birmingham, AL

I was in Birmingham the last few days. Tom had to attend a theatre conference. Tom found out at the last minute that he was going. Unfortunately, space was limited because not only was the conference in town but the Davis Cup was also being held this past weekend. The Sheraton was all booked up but luckily I found us a B&B on the other side of town to stay at. The B&B was called the Cobb Lane B&B and it was only 5 minutes from the convention center and close by the Five Points District, which has some shops and lots of restaurants. I promise pictures but Tom has the camera at work and I can't download them to this old laptop of mine because the poor thing can't handle it so I have to work on his Mac when I get a chance. Luckily, this laptop allows me to write the blog.

Here is the link if you are interested The B&B was quaint and clean and we ended up in the Country French suite and luckily someone had cancelled because we were going to only be there Wednesday and Thursday and then we would have had to go look for another hotel elsewhere. It would have been a pain. I would recommend the B&B because like I said it was nice and the innkeepers were great and it had parking and a great location. It also had free wireless and a TV. The bad part was that on the alley behind the B&B was a bar and restaurant so on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights it was noisy. Saturday was the worse. There was so much noise I really didn't sleep but then again, I don't really sleep anyway so I guess it didn't matter.

So Tom was pretty busy on all days. On Wednesday we checked in and then had some great BBQ for lunch. I went and helped him set up his booth and then we went to dinner. We found a Japanese Restaurant and gorged ourselves. Now for those who don't know, I live in a teeny tiny town. We have a good number of restaurants but we do not have Japanese. I don't even think there is a Japanese restaurant around unless you go into Asheville. So we took advantage. The food wasn't great but I had California rolls and dumplings. I am a dumpling fiend. I can eat dumplings every day all day for months without getting bored. OMG! Love them.

Thursday I dropped Tom off at the convention center. I went out driving around Birmingham and I really was surprised at how pretty it is. I just drove into the suburbs and found a great little town called Mountain Brook. Now it is obvious this was a more affluent area. But it had some really cute "English" village type areas with shops and restaurants. So that night we went and had some really good pizza. It was some of the best I have ever had.

I tell you that I would live in Birmingham. The neighborhoods (well the ones I saw) were beautiful and the houses were gorgeous. In the B&B area they had old Victorian houses and older cool craftman style houses. In the outer parts, they had stone houses and some really beautiful older homes. The city was clean and there was a good vibe. I really liked it.

Friday, Tom had the morning off so we went off to the Civil Rights Institute. Wow. It was great. It was a really well thought out place with so much info. It started out with a history of Birmingham and then went on to chronicle the struggle for civil rights by blacks not only in Birmingham but all over the country. They had displays, interactive areas, music, video, etc. Right across the street was the 16th Street church where the 4 little girls were killed. After we spent almost 2 hours at the Institute, we walked to the Church. I am all about historical stuff and it was sobering to be in a place where the bombing happened but, on the other hand, it was empowering to know that this was a spot where so much history happened. A place where MLK walked. It's amazing. It also made me sad. It's really amazing to think that in the 60's there was still segregation and so much hatred. It seems so far away now especially since we have a black president. But it really wasn't all that long ago and it's something we shouldn't forget. Anyway, we left there pretty awed.

The rest of the day, Tom went back to work. I went back to the B&B. I also went and walked around the area because they had a Starbucks there. OMG I love Starbucks but our little teeny tiny town does not have a Starbucks. So I went and sucked down a Mocha Frappacino with whipped cream, thank you very much. I did a little shopping and walking. But damn I am so out of shape I almost died walking back. Then I went and picked up Tom and he made me park the car and walk to dinner - UGH! I hate walking! But we had Japanese food again so it was worth it.

Saturday he was gone all day again and I went and sucked down another Frappacino and watched TV because I was tired. I went and picked up Tom but because the Davis Cup was in town, there were tons of people down at the five points district so we ended up at a Bar and Grill and it wasn't very good. But oh well.

Over all it was a great mini trip although Tom was working but it got me out of the house and somewhere I probably never would have gone. The drive is nice except the part where we go through Atlanta. Now I grew up in LA and I know traffic. I lived in Miami and there was traffic there. Santa Fe had very little traffic and here in Sylva there is no traffic. So now when we drive through any traffic it is freaky! I swear I tell Tom that if he ever decides to take another job it better not be in a big city because after living here, I don't think I could bear living in a big city again.

I do promise pictures. I don't have many because I hate taking pictures but we took a few of the church, the Institute and the B&B that I will share. Hopefully, I will have the camera tomorrow and can download them and post them.


  1. i live in suburban houston, and i'd fight the traffic any day to have starubucks and japaneese on every corner (which we do!)

  2. Sounds like a great mini vacation!

  3. I have heard that Birminghma is pretty but I haven't seen more than the airport!