Birmingham weekend - what really happened
Travel is always a bit unpredictable (sometimes a lot unpredicatable) & so when you add a baby in the mix, you've got one giant variable that can throw all kinds of loops into your itinerary. On the other hand, who wants to have a baby and then bunker down for ten years? I think the key is flexibility. Make plans, but don't worry if they get pushed back, changed or canceled all together. You might find a conversation over coffee just as nice as that killer restaurant you were supposed to try, but got waylaid when the baby fell asleep early. Or whatever.
With that said, here was our flexible itinerary for our short trip to Birmingham this past weekend. We stayed with my good friend Kelley & her adorable family and, if I may, knocked it out of the park. A HUGE thank you to Kel & family and here's how the weekend actually played out (with pictures) if you're interested in tagging along :)
Friday we had pizza from a local pizza place and then I let June splash around in a long bath. She traveled amazingly well. I just kept thinking, is there a baby back there? Then, when we hit monstrous traffic at the very end, I was the one throwing a silent temper tantrum while she continued to babble in the backseat. After dinner we had...guys, seriously...I know I'm given to hyperbole, but what can only be described as the best pound cake of my life. I'll post the recipe here once I get it from Kelley. She says the trick is to beat the batter a looong time. When it says five minutes, it means five whole minutes.
Behold. One small drawback to traveling with baby was the time change and so June was up both days between 4 & 4:30. The upside was that we snuck in some bites of this cake before everyone else woke up :)
Saturday early morning Kelley made us all Ebelskivers for breakfast. Have you ever heard of them? They are round, fluffy, filled pancakes and she made a few with blueberries, fruit jam & even one for me with chocolate hazelnut! Yum.
(check out June's wayward foot in the picture)
Later in the morning we took a quick trip to Costco and I stocked up on boring home goods. As a funny sidenote, they had this unbelievable deal on Cetaphil (the moisturizing cream I use) and so I had to call Summer and brag. Kelley & I laughed as I heard myself bragging about a good deal on moisturing lotion, but such is Costco. (Seriously it was amazing).
David, Kelley's husband, offered to stay with June as she napped at the house but when we came home he said she'd pretty much been awake the entire time and was happily crawling around on the floor in front of him.
Saturday late morning/afternoon we took a shopping trip up to The Summit, an outdoor shopping mall I love. They have great shops + good restaurants and we hit up JCrew where I found...bright pink date night pants! Check it:
Afterwards we had lunch at Urban Cookhouse, a small Birmingham chain that serves good sandwiches and salads. I was suffering from major blood sugar lows & so asked the guy behind the counter to order for me. He recommended the Cuban Sandwich which was awesome, and just what I needed. Gracie, Kelley's daughter, got a peanut butter + marshmallow fluff sandwich and demolished it. So cute.
Late afternoon we went back home for June's second nap which was fun because we made Irish coffees (more on that later), chatted about some of the gorgeous new designs at Kel's house (she hired Paula from twoellie to consult), and discussed frames, pictures and their plans for a play/craft room. (I get so much inspiration from sharing with friends - do you find that to be true, too?)
After that Kelley and Gracie ran up to the school where they were having family fun day. June finished up her nap and I took the opportunity to bring her by one of our old neighbors whom we hadn't seen since I was only a few weeks pregnant! It was especially touching because her name is Audrey June and her daughter's name is June :) I distinctly remember telling her if we had a girl we were considering the same name. We had a lovely chat & when we left I felt kind of wistful and sad for our old neighborhood, but so grateful for the chance to hang out and visit.
As for dinner. Well. Kelley had the genius plan (head slap!) to get June down first (David offered to stay home again, so nice) and then go to Ollie Irene.
We left the house around 6:30 (7:30 June's time) and met up with another girlfriend - Kendra - at the cozy, super cute restaurant. We got cocktails before being seated, after a short 10/15 minute wait, at a table covered in butcher paper (above picture). We ordered pub fries & roasted cauliflower for appetizers and then both Kelley & Kendra had the seafood stew. I didn't taste it because I'm allergic to shellfish, but they both raved that it was one of the best stews they'd ever had. I ordered the duck taglietelle - the pasta, along with just about everything else, is made in house - and it was fantastic. We finished our meal by sharing the sticky toffee pudding and (housemade) butter mints they serve with your check.
I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that was easily one of the best meals I've ever had. My cocktail - the Bond's Vesper - did not mess around, but I found myself enjoying the crisp, bitter flavor very much. And the toffee pudding? Forget about it. It is the best thing you will ever put in your mouth.
Sunday morning we met some other dear friends for breakfast at one of my old favorites, Over Easy, and then headed home to the boys. When I pulled into the driveway Truett came running out of the gate, shirtless, for a giant hug. It was the perfect end to one of the best weekends :) Thank you Kelley + Birmingham + old friends - I can't wait for our next visit!!
(Gracie's newest pet, a bearded dragon named Izzie. He's not exactly cuddly, but I found myself mesmerized as they fed him lettuce and meal worms).