Friday, April 16, 2010

Playing Hostess in B'ham Part II

This weekend three of my best friends (really, they're like my sisters) came to visit me in the B'ham. Yay! You'd think after spending college away would make it easier to be separated again, but after spending the last half of '09 with them, it was really hard to not see them all the time.

But, we totally made up for it! To be able to host them in my own place was very fulfilling as well. Almost as if I am a grown up now -- wait, what?

The weather was beautiful on Saturday, so we ate lunch on the porch at Mudtown (I had the Monte Cristo again, yum!) and they really liked the food.

After, we headed downtown to explore Sloss Furnaces to explore. It's free to explore on your own, and Sloss provides a map to help you get around. There are eleven spots around the property with plaques that describe the work at Sloss during its heyday. We took a good amount of time to explore each spot, and we spent over an hour there.

I usually enjoy visiting places like this, but I have to say that a lot of Sloss creeped me out. There is something sad about the furnaces and dusty, grimy machines left behind.

I was especially uneasy in the blower room, and it the whole experience certainly makes me think hard about place, and how the people who lived and worked there have affected it.

Afterward, we headed to the Birmingham Botanical
and hit the biggest gardens. The azaleas, Lenten roses, honeysuckle and jasmine are in full bloom, and I'll be happy to go back and see the roses and hydrangeas when they bloom! I was very happy to see a small group of poppies in a side garden.

My favorite area is definitely the Japanese garden. There is a beautiful wooden bridge spanning a large pond. There are turtles, large koi, and a couple of geese. I think we spent twenty minutes on the bridge and watching the water!

By the time we wrapped up there, it was time for Cocina! Guen and I split the fish tacos -- so yummy. Oh, but we weren't done yet! I took the girls over to Vulcan and we braved the windy evening to view the city from the observation deck.

As you can see, it was worth it. Perhaps a little too thrilling (terrifying) end to our sightseeing, but I'm glad we took the time to go up there.

On the way home, we stopped at Yogurt Mountain, because really how else should you end a beautiful spring day?

We let our yogurt digest for a bit before primping and heading to Rare Martini downtown. Have to say, wasn't that great of a night, and I was disappointed at the entertainment. Ah, well.

The next morning we woke up late and made our way to Five Points South to have brunch at the Original Pancake House. I had the bacon and eggs (scrambled) which comes with three, perfectly sized pancakes. About half the size of normal restaurant pancakes, I could actually finish them and most of my eggs and bacon without feeling awful. The food was good, but I wouldn't say what I ate was better than IHOP. Sorry, die-hard Pancake House fans!

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