I returned safely from my trip to Birmingham. And HOW COULD YOU NOT LOVE THOSE MOUNTAINS? They make you feel like you are being embraced by the earth all the time. It's delightful!
A quick run down of my trip:
Friday: I arrived, was picked up by Aunt Carmela & Uncle Steve at the airport. We went to lunch, went grocery shopping & went back to their house for a quiet evening at home. We ate gumbo, drank wine, laughed and debated, and stayed up late.
Saturday: We went to breakfast at the Homewood Diner, it was sublime. Seriously, if you live in the area EAT THERE. Then Carmela, Andrea (my cousin), and I went to Nana's house to go through boxes and share memories. That night we ate dinner at Joe's Italian, again YUM. (In case you couldn't tell a great deal of our family gatherings revolve around food).
Sunday: We ate muffins, drank coffee, and watched Nana's wedding video from 1946. And then I got into Nana's wedding dress. It involved the help of Andrea and a fair amount of sucking in. There are pictures. I haven't decided if I'll share them. That's the ONLY wedding dress I've ever been in. I got married in blue jeans. That afternoon my cousin Kelsey & I went to the Birmingham Museum of Art. We saw it all. In the process Kelsey & I decided I should work there*. As it happens, there are openings. I am applying! (The only failure is never to try) Then we went back to Steve & Carmela's where I made dinner: Maple-glazed pork chops, mashed sweet potatoes, corn, and a green salad. (Again with the food!)
Monday: Kelsey and I had lunch with our Grandma, then went shopping @ an art supply store and a second-hand store. We went to Aunt Jan's (Kelsey's mom) house for a bit--and picked figs fresh off the tree, then to Montevallo to see the campus--there is a family tie to that university on both my mom and dad's side. After that we went to dinner at Mizu, where we had our fill of sushi. Then it was back to Carmela's with our box of figs. Carmela & I sat in the kitchen eating figs and talking for quite a while.
Tuesday: Lunch at the Birmingham Museum of Art with Carmela & Steve. Afterwards we toured the museum, then drove over to Avondale to see Nana's mom's house, drove to see Nana's old house, made a stop at the Peanut Depot (boiled or salted--your choice), and drove me to the airport.
I got back home at 7:30. The kids got back Wednesday while I was at work. We have been getting back into the swing of things. Today we went to the Farmer's Market and stocked up on fruit and veg for the week. Tomorrow is Sunday Swim. And in 19 days the kids will start back to school....which is a mixed bag. 1 part joy for a routine, 1 part sad to see the end of the fluidity of summer.
*When I was in my early 20's I worked as an Americorps VISTA @ the Cherokee Heritage Center. When that was over, I volunteered at the Ft Sill Field Artillery Museum where I did inventory and catalogued incoming items. I enjoyed both of those experiences enough that I am ready to re-enter the museum world, if they'll have me.