Thursday, March 7th – Sunday, March 10th, 2013
We took the van for a nice little cruise through the Talladega National Forest (which was beautiful), then returned to Oxford where we lingered around the mall. Of course, there was no shortage of University of Alabama and Auburn University apparel. If you aren’t familiar with the Crimson Tide/War Eagle rivalry, it’s serious down there! Most of Trevor’s relatives, with the exception of his aunt that we were visiting and his late uncle, were all Auburn alum. His uncle who has since passed away, was a die hard Alabama fan however, which happened to rub off on Trevor. When the two teams would play against each other, it was a house divided, quite down to the literal sense, as family members wouldn’t watch the game together in the same room.
It was great to see his Aunt Cheryl and she took us to a BBQ place called “The Rocket” which was heavenly! She then took us on a tour around Anniston, Oxford, and Saks, AL which we really enjoyed. She shared stories of old residents, former hangouts, schools, and workplaces of Trevor’s relatives. I really enjoyed her little tour a lot! She suggested next time we visit, to check out the Berman Museum of World History which included weapons and other devices used by former spies and other interesting historical pieces.
The three of us had a nice, slow, and very relaxing morning. We decided to eat a late lunch at a place called Garfredrick’s Café. The food was delicious! Trevor got the Blackened Redfish with grits, his Aunt got the Filet Mignon with smashed potatoes, and I went for the Pecan Encrusted Grouper with rice. None of us were disappointed! We waddled out of there pleasantly plump, packed our things up at the house, and relaxed for the evening.
Early the next morning, we said our goodbyes to Aunt Cheryl and headed to Talladega Speedway where we would be meeting Trevor’s cousin, Nina. Across the street from the race track, there was an obstacle race called, “Dirty Girl Race for Breast Cancer” which Nina was participating in with a couple of her friends. I thought about joining in, but it was $90 to sign up the day of the event, so I passed.
We cheered them on until they finished, and decided to return across the street to the race track to check out the museum before meeting her back at her home in Birmingham, AL.
I’m not into NASCAR, and my husband isn’t too engrossed in it either (although many of his former co-workers were quite fond of it), but we later found it to be a fun stop anyways. We took the bus tour to the track and saw Dale Jarrett and 2-3 other drivers doing practice runs. The track gets pretty steep and one section of it is actually about 4 stories tall according to the guide. We took the museum tour next and saw a lot of neat cars before driving to Birmingham.
We had fun with Nina as always, and she gave us the grand tour of her new place and her garden out back. There were still a few parts of the house that were under construction, and since Trevor had done electrical work in the past, he helped her out by pulling some wire before the night was through.
Nina and her husband at the time took us to downtown Birmingham. Our first stop was to see the Vulcan, a giant statue on top of the hill overlooking the city. Who can resist temptation to comment on his massive butt in all its glory? Not me! Go ahead! Check it out!
After that, we visited the Botanical Gardens which was lovely, especially the Japanese Garden!
Next we wandered around 5 Points, got coffee in the SOHO district, then grabbed some grub at Seafood and Chicken Box. I tried fried pickles for the first time, and they weren’t hateful! We returned to the house to mellow out, then headed to the van to crash, and listened to the wind and rain throughout the night. The next day we would head further south to Mobile, a name I butchered quite a bit in the beginning because, gosh darn it, I’m a Yankee.
Jump Ahead to Part 04: Leprechauns, Leaks & L.A. Burgers
Start Over at Part 01: The Blue Bubble, Freebies, and A Rude Awakening