Wednesday, January 15, 2014

holidays in alabama

Kurt and I arrived in Alabama the day after Christmas. This was the first time ever I wasn't at home with my family on the day of and it was kind of weird. I missed our Christmas morning tradition of getting up and having a big waffle breakfast (and maybe some mimosas like last year) then opening presents while listening to Christmas music. I guess these are the sacrifices you make when splitting up the holidays. 

We still fit in lots of animal bonding time though! This is my parents cat, Pumpkin. He looks so much like Aubie but about twice the size. Soooooo fat!

My Dad recently retired from his job of 39 years, so he brought home all the stuff from his office. This picture of my sister and me was probably sitting on his desk for 20 years! Aren't we cute?!

My mother's highlight of our visit was her chance to make us "Bang Bang Shrimp", a knock-off recipe from a restaurant she and my dad like. Great job, Mom!

One day, Kurt and I set out for a drive around North Alabama. Our first stop was the Belle Chevre Creamery in Elkmont. It is the teensiest town but we were able to pick up some tasty goat cheese from the out of place cheese shop. Sometime I'd like to go back and take the creamery tour where you get to meet the goats!

Kurt and I had high hopes for our drive through Muscle Shoals because of its rock n roll past, but it was a terrible place of strip malls, fast food, and Wal-Mart. Avoid it until you record your next album at one of their famous studios. However, nearby Tuscumbia is cute and old and is the birthplace of Helen Keller. We drove by and got a shot of her house.

We finally made it to our destination of Florence, Alabama. We had lunch in the charming downtown before wandering around the campus of the University of North Alabama.

They have real lions on campus! Luckily we were there while their trainers were around so the animals were running around playing.

Of course we had to check out the football stadium.

Florence is also home to the only Frank Lloyd Wright house in Alabama. We swung by the Rosenbaum House and took some photos from the outside.

Check out that cantilever! 

It's not a trip to Alabama without a visit to Mellow Mushroom. We got some pizza and local beer for lunch before heading to a matinee showing of The Hobbit

One day while out shopping, my mom, Kurt, and I stopped into the brand new Huntsville Brewery for an afternoon drink. They have tons of beers on tap and lots of local options. They even plan to brew their own in the near future. Huntsville has certainly gotten much cooler since I left! Keep it up!

And pretty soon it was time to head back to NYC. Our flight out of Nashville was delayed which gave us just enough time to swing by Jeni's for some ice cream. It was so good, somebody might have even ordered seconds :)

Thanks for the great trip, Mom and Dad! Always fun but much too short!


  1. 1. Boxing Day is the day after Christmas
    2. Suburban Hell is the technical term for Muscle Shoals. The Black Keys were better off staying in Akron (see an earlier Gravytrain post from Memorial Day weekend on Akron, Ohio!).
    3. Nice timing to catch Cam on the tv.

  2. I always think about holiday traditions and how things change when you're with someone. I've been holding onto my Thanksgiving/Christmas time as much as I can, because I know that soon enough I'll have to spend that time with my boyfriend's family. I'm so happy you still got to head home and take in some local sights. :)

    The Rambling Fangirl

  3. pumpkin is so adorable, as are you and your sister :) so jealous your mom made bang bang shrimp - i wonder if their fave restaurant is bonefish grill. they have the best bang bang shrimp! one of very best friends used to live in huntsville - it's definitely a mix of awesome, upcoming stuff and, well, old-school alabama haha. glad you had such a nice trip home!


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