My BFF Laura moved to Birmingham (or Bham as the cool kids call it) a few years ago to pursue her nursing degree. A nursing degree and nurse practitioner degree later, she is still loving Bham, even though I constantly beg her to move back to Atlanta! Over the years, Laura has come to visit me in Atlanta way more than I’ve gone to visit her in Bham. (#badfriend) In my defense, she has family in Atlanta, so she comes back quite a bit, so I’m not too terrible of a friend 🙂 Nonetheless, I was eager to make the visit to Bham at some point this summer.
When Brian was out of town one weekend, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to pack up Louie and take a weekend trip to visit. Laura’s puppy Cole has come to visit us before and he and Louie can play for hours! I left on a Friday after work and got stuck in some pretty nasty traffic, but there is a one hour time difference, so I arrived by 8pm – just in time to eat!
We left the dogs to play, and went to a cute little pizza place in downtown Homewood, a suburb of Bham where Laura lives. It reminded me a lot of the Virginia Highlands area in Atlanta, with cute little bungalow style houses, a nice big park, and a strip of restaurants and shops in walking distance.
After pizza and beer, we headed out to the World of Beer for a few drinks with some of her friends. Bham is quickly becoming a little mecca in the south for breweries, so I was eager to try some of the local brews.
Laura insisted I start out with one of her favorite local beer cocktails, which reminded me a little of the German Radler (beer with soda), but much stronger.
I couldn’t go to the World of Beer and not get a flight, so we shared a flight of the seasonal summer brews, which was the perfect nightcap. [Sidenote: Anyone know when the Midtown World of Beer is supposed to open?!]
The next day, we slept in a bit and moseyed over to the cute suburb of Mountain Brook for brunch at Another Broken Egg Café. (There is a location in Peachtree Hills right near my house, but I have never been because there is always such a long wait…) The beignets are a must even though they can feed a family of 5 easily. The coffee is really good, and so are the bloody Mary’s, mmmm.
After brunch I really wanted to walk around downtown Homewood and do a little shopping. There are some really cute shops with lots of local goods that I fell in love with. There was WAY TOO MUCH Auburn and Bama stuff though. I don’t know how Laura (a former DAWG) can put up with all that orange and hounds tooth!
I got some yummy spices at Penzey’s and learned that they have a location in Sandy Springs, so I can stock up whenever I want! Just walk into the store if you dare – you will not leave empty-handed! We also got some great vases and bowls at one of the shops that was having a 50% off sale – can’t beat that!
One of the most interesting stores is the white store – literally everything is white in the place. It’s a little creepy to be honest, and I was scared to touch anything in case it might break or get a stain. We did a quick walk-through and then bailed.
We capped off the day with a visit to the Avondale Brewery and brought the pups! Unfortunately, they had a gate open, so we didn’t want to let them off leash, but they still had a good time. The weather was just perfect for sitting on the patio enjoying some beers. More flights for me too! I loved their seasonal peach saison and the spring street saison brews the best.
The next morning, we got up early to see the view from the famous Birmingham Vulcan before I headed back. But, it was closed, wamp wamp. Apparently nothing in Bham really opens up until noon on Sundays (gotta love a church-going town!), so we took some pics around the base of the Vulcan and enjoyed the weather before it got too hot.
We may have also tried to buy beer at the Piggly Wiggly before noon…and then ask the clerk to hold it for us so we could wait in the car until 11:59 then go back in and buy it 🙂
Louie and I had a GREAT trip with Laura and Cole (and Laura’s new beau :)) exploring Bham and I can’t wait to go back! Maybe Brian and I will visit in the fall when the breweries have their fall brews on tap – cheers!