Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Nighttime in Birmingham (Part 3)

Part One HERE
Part Two HERE

After a day of exploring, it was nice to rest a little. Jillian, Wren, Christina and I ventured to Walmart for a few things while Emily tried to get Tirzah to nap. 
We returned and Wren and I took in the beautiful parking lot view we had from our room. She's only seven months old; she preferred standing and banging on the window to a great view. 

We went to the Vulcan for sunset gazing that night. Carson and I visited this statue on our barely-even-counts stop in Birmingham on our way to Nashville this year (see post here) and since it seems to be a "thing" to see, I thought seeing the sunset from here would be killing two birds with one stone (sunset and seeing this place). 

Not having babies that needed changes and such, Christina and I headed up first because the sun was going fast. There's a landing that overlooks the city, which Carson and I visited before. When we were here in March it was SUPER cold and early morning, so the museum and viewing deck weren't open. This time we were able to enjoy it without our teeth chattering. Quite the opposite; it was a pleasant evening.

We took an elevator up to what I believe to be the scariest viewing deck ever. I'm not really scared of heights, but being able to see the ground far, far below as we stood on a metal platform with slats on it? My hands are sweating as I type this thinking about it. We got used to it, but I'd skip this if heights aren't your thing because I'm certain it's solid, but it gives the illusion of being anything but. We took a foot picture to illustrate, and Wren's little toes made it in which was a very happy accident. 

It wasn't a magnificent sunset, but the view of the city was superb.

Can you believe we got the perfect picture of all of us up here? Everyone was looking! And in the platform looks much wider than it was; it was definitely less than my arm's width all the way around. 

A wedding reception was being held below, so the jazzy music wafted up and made it seem like we were doing something very elegant. 

A mother-daughter shot.

We saw some teenage girls taking this shot, so Jillian and Emily had to make it happen too. I tried to take the picture but couldn't figure out the angle. 

We got down as it was getting darker, so a squish picture of us with the statue wasn't gonna happen. I love this though. Look at Wren's face here and then at the next picture: victory!

Jillian's pick for dinner that night was Melt. It looked really tasty, but for whatever reason I wasn't hungry (or sick... Maybe lunch was just really really filling) so I didn't get anything. 

Christina and Emily got the burger which looked amazing and huge, and Jillian had the 3 Amigos, with chorizo and fried egg. It looked pretty great too. I tried a sampling of fries and they were terrific. I want you to take note of Tirzah here - not nursing, but covered up by a napkin so she could be held by momma like she wanted but not spilled on. 

The tired babies and their mothers went back to the hotel, but Christina and I wanted to see the color tunnels by Railroad Park, so we set off for that adventure. From far away, we were less than impressed, and surprised because in every picture I'd seen, they were actually the colors of the rainbow. That night, it was lit up in pinks, purples and blues. Very pretty, but more impressive in photos (saturation not edited in here) then real life. We're still glad we made this pit stop. We couldn't find an exact address anywhere, so I think it's possible that we missed the "real" one, and there's one out there that is all colorful. This was right next to Railroad Park though.

Railroad Park is right next to a baseball (or maybe softball?) field with this lit-up sign, so we captured that too. 

And then we walked back in the park to see the fountain from the day before lit up  in neon colors. They really like neon lights in Birmingham, I guess.  

Our evening concluded with a late night of talking with Emily and Jillian, before waking up for more adventures on Sunday!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

BHam (Part 2)

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).
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