Sweet Home Alabama

As I mentioned in my first post, I’ve moved around a lot. I’m a native Texan and will always be proud of that, but after spending 6 years in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (and with my parents now living in Birmingham) it feels more like home than anywhere else.

Being only a short two-ish hour drive from Atlanta, I don’t make it back nearly enough as I probably should. There are too many places to see, especially outside the South, but I love seeing Birmingham progressing rapidly every time I return. It really is a cool city now. When I was kind of living with my parents a little over 3 years ago, it wasn’t. Or wasn’t as much as it is now.

Railroad Park just opened (which is the urban park located downtown), and the minor league baseball team, the Birmingham Barons, (that Michael Jordan played for) moved their stadium to a beautiful, new park  — Regions Field. Conveniently, right across the street is a brewery – Good People. I’ve only been there once, but I really enjoyed their Coffee Oatmeal Stout and their taproom.

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View from Good People across the street to Regions Field.

 This trip, I arrived in Birmingham Thursday evening to attend an Eric Paslay concert at Tin Roof in the Lakeview area. It thought it was a nice spot for a small, outdoor show.

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Afterwards, a few of us ran over to Innisfree, which is also in Lakeview, and then The Collins on 2nd Avenue. I like to call this “fancy hipster”. The drinks were great and it has a classy atmosphere, but with a hipster twist which made it really unique. It’s definitely a bar I would frequent if I lived there. Here is also a link to Southern Living’s list of Birmingham’s best bars and cafes.

Every “element” was something local — like, Taylor Hicks, or Roll Tide. Anything that had to do with Alabama or Birmingham. Nice touch!

Friday, I met a few of my best friends from college for dinner at a Mexican-style restaurant downtown called El Barrio.  I had their seasonal watermelon margarita that was delicious. I highly reccommend it if you live in the area or find yourself there sometime soon. The food was good as well, but the best part was absolutely the company. I seriously cannot remember the last time I have laughed that hard and that much in the short amount of time we were together. We basically shut the place down! And thankfully, they didn’t seem to mind.

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 [Side note — I’ve realized through my posts that I always say something about my “best friends” and in all these different places, but they really are! I’ve been so blessed to find really awesome friendships. Anyway, back to travel talk…]

Saturday, I went to lunch with my parents in a cute area of Hoover called Preserve Park. It’s a charming, little neighborhood that houses two restaurants, a salon, and a hiking area called Moss Rock. We ate at The Boot which is mostly sandwiches and salads, but they have a bar and a fireplace in the back and outdoor seating.  Also, it recently voted Best New Restaurant by Birmingham Magazine! They have a side called “boot fries” which is a mixture of shoestring fries, sweet potato waffle fries, and fried green beans. That deserves a thumbs up for sure. Probably two. And a “Roll Tide”.

That evening, I went to see Ray LaMontagne in concert at the BJCC with a group of friends. Unfortunately, I haven’t listened to much of his new album, so I didn’t know many songs, but I liked most of what I heard. I have to say though that I don’t love it when an artist or band takes up the entire show time with all of their new music. I get that’s what tours are for, but it would be nice to hear the old stuff that they’re tired of playing at this point. As a fan, I also want to hear the older songs too. Anyway, all in all, I liked the show and the venue. I really enjoy smaller venues because even if you don’t have the best seats, you still feel like you’re in there with them. We sat in the third level, but were two rows back and center so they were actually decent seats.

 This turned into more of a music than a travel post, but Birmingham is awesome, y’all. Seriously. And there’s more to come in future posts.

If you want a taste of good food and true Southern charm, this city is the place to be.

 

 

 

 

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