Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Birmingham and Heading Home - Day 5 & 6

My last full day in Birmingham was pretty laid back. After just being lazy around the house all morning, hunger finally necessitated us actually getting up and heading out for the day.

We went to a small local restaurant "Paw Paw Patch"... self-described as "Country Cooking". Anything sterotypically southern is here for your culinary enjoyment. I had some mighty tasty fried chicken, along with expanding my horizons with some fried green tomatoes and creamed corn. The corn looked like it was being eaten for a second time, but was surprisingly tasty. The fried green tomatoes looked fried and tasty, but I could live without them. Andrew got some fried okra, which I tried and found to be decidedly meh. But Southern it definitely was.

We then went over to the Birmingham Zoo, and I took advantage of my nearly-expired membership to the Woodland Park Zoo, which basically gives me reciprocal free admission at nearly every zoo in the country. I saved about $13.50, which made it almost worth it to buy a membership. Nice zoo, nothing too amazing, but definitely had some nice areas and the different climate actually yields some animals you wouldn't see at Woodland Park.

After heading home for a quick break, we went to see a movie at the dollar theatre. Andrew still hadn't seen National Treasure 2, so I saw that again for the second time in 4 days. However, seeing it on something a bit larger than a 12" screen made a huge difference. It was still worth $1.

It is now Tuesday and time to head home after a much relaxing and eventful vacation. After a nice quick flight from Birmingham, I'm now sitting here eating lunch in Charlotte on about a two-hour layover. Sitting here eating my lunch of a bacon burger at the faux airport Chili's, it was a bit surprising to glance up at the televion and see the right honourable senator from the state of Washington, Maria Cantwell, on CNN. Of course, there is no audio, nor captions, other than the byline stating something to do with oil, and furthermore I'm no lip reader, which is good too because I just now realized that Cantwell doesn't really have any lips (other than the ones she seems to draw on her face).

Another hour or so until my flight leaves, in addition to all of my pictures from this trip I've posted online, I realized that I've got several groups of pictures spanning as far back as Emily and Nathan's wedding nearly a year ago that I still haven't posted and labeled. Perhaps most of these will make their way up shortly as well.

O'Hare is the next stop on my journey home, and I highly doubt they provide free internet like the fine hospitality of the south provides. On a side note, this being my first venture to the Charlotte airport, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend being stuck on a layover here. Bright and airy, with plenty of space to relax and not feel like you're stuck in an airport. Admittedly, that might change if you were here for 4 or 5 hours, but for a 2-hour layover it's quite nice.

Back on United for the final two legs of my trip. I'm expecting less than luxurious coach accomodations. I'm also slightly disconcerted that my flight out of Charlotte still has no gate number assigned with just over an hour until departure. Seems a bit odd, but probably nothing to worry about. Along with that, it's already estimated to arrive in Chicago 7 minutes ahead of schedule. Somehow I doubt that.

The voyage home continues...

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