We got a lot crossed off our list on our second day in Birmingham. Jillian and Wren stayed at the hotel because Wren wasn't feeling well, so the rest of us set out for the Saturday Farmer's Market at Pepper Place.
First, Emily used Jillian's stroller because it was already in my car, so we had to figure out how to get it going. As you can see, I just documented.
This was such a fun and colorful place! Lots of vendors and so much fresh produce. I could see us going here every weekend if we were local. Of course we aren't, so we just looked and admired the fresh veggies and bouquets of flowers.
It was sunny, so we tried to shield poor baby girl from the sun.
One place on lots of must-try Birmingham spots was Steel City Pops, a local Popsicle company that uses fresh ingredients. It may have been only 10 in the morning but it was HOT and in the name of vacation, Christina and I both indulged in strawberry lemonade Popsicles which tasted super fresh. Would recommend. Also at the market was a vendor for Big Spoon Creamery, which has homemade ice cream sandwiches that look divine. I wanted one before we got to Birmingham and planned to go back to get one at the market, but I forgot. Jillian wanted one too and tried to get one the next day, but they'd sold out. Next time!
A panorama which looks a little creepy if you zoom in... Some people have multiple heads because they wee moving. Sorry, strangers!
Since it was hot and Emily wanted some caffeine, we stopped inside Red Cat Coffee House, whose doors I took the panorama from. It was also on the list and it was a very cute place. We didn't have anywhere to be, which is good because we waited for probably 45 minutes before Emily got to order (she offered to find another place but again: nowhere to be + air conditioning). On a normal day, it's apparently not that much of a wait.
Emily rewarded herself with an Americano and a big cookie.
We moved a little further downtown to visit a sort of junk shop that had been listed as a neat place and that was on Emily's list of places to see. On the way from the car to the store, we passed this bar with the cutest decor outside and Emily made us take a picture.
The store, What's on Second, was junky but also fun. I bought an Alabama postcard.
They had this cheery warning inside.
And an Elvis bathroom.
We also found some funny parking meters decorated with cheery zip ties.
And on our walk back, I noticed that the bar had fun paper airplanes on this side.
This is St Peter's Cathedral, on the list of places to see, didn't appear to be open to just wander around.
Next we went to what is one of the strangest places I've been: Sloss Furnaces. It's a former steel factory that you can just walk around. I was skeptical though all research pointed to the fact that visiting this site wasn't actually trespassing. Turns out, it IS open to see and to explore with no supervision. There's a parking lot and empty concession stands because at Halloween there are apparently haunted events here... Definitely not sad we came too early in the year for that.
You could walk around machinery and down creepy stairs into dark places (we did not). There were people all over exploring like we were and we kept marveling that they allow this when I'm sure it would be so easy to make mischief and seriously get injured here.
As we left, we noticed that there was a wedding ceremony being set up with this place as the background. The white chairs and white arbor somehow looked out of place.
We were HUNGRY so our next goal was FOOD. We'd planned on going to Saw's Soul Kitchen, a highly recommended local barbecue place with several locations in the city (neither Christina nor I like BBQ, although it was served at both of our weddings, but a preview of the menu suggested other options we'd enjoy). The line was out the door with nowhere to sit, so we popped right next door to another highly recommended local place, Post Office Pies, where Christina and I split the white pizza. Yum. And the "plates" were little slices of brown wax paper which we thought was genius. The tables are long and so there was a fun family atmosphere inside, with football games playing in the corners. We kept glancing up to cheer for Carolina.
We headed back to the hotel for a little rest before going out to see the sunset that evening, which you'll see in the next post. I can't NOT include pictures (and I've already NOT shared so many already).