So this weekend I finally discovered the surprise John had been taunting me with for several months.
All I knew until Friday was that we were going away for the weekend and that Saturday night we were staying in a hotel. I was told to bring one outfit each of "warm" "beach" "dressy" and "casual".
I deduced from the length we'd be gone that wherever we were going was in driving distance.
So Friday afternoon we headed out. Based on the route we traveled and the miles to our destination, I finally figured out we were going to Birmingham. I really enjoyed the scenery on the drive up as we traveled through the country a good bit.
We spent Friday evening with some wonderful friends of ours. Their son was John's best man and their granddaughter was our flower girl. We were unexpectedly treated to a great dinner in an area that reminded me of the little quaint mountain towns in Colorado.
Since I did not have a plan of the entire weekend as I packed, I managed to forget a very important item- jeans! My pants for the weekend. My only other options were shorts (too cold) and yoga pants (not appropriate). Well, I thought for sure I was about to have to buy another pair. But Mrs. "C" came through. I not only got some pants to wear, but about 10 other tops and bottoms along with 2 bracelets. Don't you just love getting new (to you) things for free? You know I do!
So once I had dinner-appropriate attire, we headed off to one of their favorite places, Stone's Throw.
|Bleu cheese chips, steak, seafood pasta, burger|
|Banana pudding, bread pudding, creme brulee|
|We sat at the Chef's table- with a view into the kitchen|
|The only half-decent photo of the bunch. I promise we were all having a good time!|
Everyone had a scrumptious dinner. I wimped out and had the burger. I just knew the steak would be too much food for me. Thankfully John had the steak and I did get to try it. Very very tasty! I do love a good steak.
Then we all had amazing dessert! I had banana pudding with a peanut butter crust. And the bananas were caramelized!
After getting home we were all full and tired, and headed off to bed. I still want to find out where Mrs "C" got her sheets. They were so so soft! I could not help but just skim my legs across them over and over.
Saturday morning we slept late, which was AMAZING. Then Mrs "C" made us all breakfast. We talked and caught up on life (over the last 2 years!) for several hours before finally getting out of our pajamas. I showered just in time for us to head over to the hotel (that was a fabulous, no "priceless" deal, thanks again to Mrs "C" the travel agent). We stayed at a Hyatt Place in Birmingham.
|A lazy rainy Saturday. Love.|
|I told you all I did was shower. No makeup. Waiting in the hotel lobby.|
Then John had us get in our nice clothes for dinner. We intended to eat at The Cheesecake Factory- but the wait was too long. Instead we went next door to California Pizza Kitchen. Also very tasty. We had some time to kill before the next surprise, so we walked around the shops that are in the same outdoor mall as the restaurant. The area is called "The Summit". It was on the peak of a hill and it was so nice. I did not realize how "happening" Birmingham is. There's lots of nice areas and fun things to do.
|These always turn out as our best photos on vacay. Lol|
|Wearing the fishnets that were my later downfall|
|In the car headed off to dinner|
|The kid who decided his arm should join us in our booth. John finally stretched his arm out and bumped his arm "accidentally". That was enough for him to get the message.|
My favorite store we went in was Anthropologie. Oh my. We don't have those back home. I'd only peeked in once once before. I was so in love. I could decorate my whole house from there. I managed not to drool. However, I was not in love with their prices. But if I was rich- that would be my store. The candles there smelled amazing. But not $30 amazing.
|Drool. I want the grey lamp shades. Too bad a pair would set me back $260.|
We also stopped in for some froyo at Pinkberry. I had the caramel and it was really good.
As we made our way back to the car (in the wind and drizzle) I realized that I indeed wore the wrong shoes. The "hurts-so-bad-they-put-you-in-a-bad-mood" kind of wrong shoes. Good thing I had another half mile of walking ahead of me. I did manage not to cry. The pain was exacerbated by my fish net stockings that were making the balls of my feet burn with their web-like pattern. Two days later that area is still sensitive. But I digress.
We headed downtown as it was the reason for our trip. John bought us tickets to see "Wicked: A New Musical." !!!!!! He knows how much I love this show! I've only seen one Broadway show, but I've now seen it six times! We've each seen it before, but never together. It was so nice to get all dressed up for a date. And even nicer to get away for the weekend.
The convention complex the theater was in was HUGE. And I don't know if closer parking was available, but we literally walked for 10-15 minutes to get to the theater from our car. I thought I was going to cry because of my feet. But John said "Please don't, or people will think this is a really bad date." Lol.
Once we finally made it to our seats, we were already huffing a bit. To make matters worse- it was like literally 75-80 degrees in our section. Mind you- it was like 40 degrees outside. So we were dressed warmly. Thank goodness for layers or I would have been sweating. Also, John thought we had floor seats, but as it turned out we were in the first balcony, about 4 rows from the top. So, a little further than he expected.
The show itself did not disappoint. I don't have any photos since any kind of recording is strictly prohibited. Since I've now seen about 5-6 different people play the leads, it's interesting to compare every actor's take on the character. Some really are better than others. Of course I've never seen the originals- Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth.
|At about midnight in the hotel lobby- just before finally taking off those wretched shoes!|
Side note- while placing the links to the names above, I got sidetracked for about 30 minutes reading bios of several women who've played the lead in Wicked. Sad but true. Sometimes I get a little starry-eyed. I think being a Broadway star would be one of the coolest and must fun things to do in life!
Sunday morning I slept the latest I've slept in a very long time. John proclaims the latest since we've been married. 9:49 am. I guess going to bed at 1:20 am had something to do with it. Anyway, we managed to catch the last few bites of the free breakfast, but just by a hair. I felt exceedingly relaxed the rest of the day.
On our way home, John had one last surprise for me. As a mid-trip break, we stopped at a local place called Priester's Pecans. It had a Cracker Barrel like atmosphere. And of course lots of pecans. I had some really wonderful pistachio almond ice cream and John had a coffee drink.
Once we arrived home and had our tongue-baths from the dogs, we settled in to watch another Harry Potter. Now we only have 1 left to go!
I hope you all had a good weekend too! But it being as exciting as mine is highly doubtful :)
If only I could get away like this once a month. Oh I do love traveling for pleasure!