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Now that I’m home, laundry has been done, pics are finally uploaded, and I’ve caught up on my sleep I thought I’d write a little about my trip.  First of all, I want to say that it took me a LONG time to really appreciate Birmingham, Alabama.  And although I love traveling and experiencing new places, going away always reminds me just how great this place is.  It’s such a perfect mix of small town and city life, cultured without losing the feel of the deep south… the pace is perfect, the traffic isn’t bad, and people are friendly..you can have lunch at a vegan cafe, browse through a vintage record store and yet be out in the country, surrounded by pastureland within 30 minutes!  And I’m so glad I’m at that place in life where I feel I’ve really found my niche here.  I love my home and my neighborhood, I’m settling into my career, I have a wonderful support system of friends and family, and someone very special to share it all with….I’m blessed!   Birmingham has it’s issues as we are all aware…but it’s home!

Moving on…NYC!  Here are some random observations and things I learned while on this trip…


1)  I very much love having a vehicle and am one of those people that will never be able to use mass public transportation as my only means of mobility.


2)  I can walk a very long way while carrying lots of heavy things and not die…not that I ever want to do it again.


3)  Some of the greatest stores do not have locations in the south nor do they have online shopping 😦


4)  I very much like brits.


5)  Running on a boardwalk is very different from pavement or a treadmill and does interesting things to your calves…furthermore, running for 5 miles on a perfectly flat surface takes some adjustment when you are used to running 5 miles of hills.


6)  People up north do not eat oysters with saltine crackers.


7)  The western on Highland Ave has a much better beer selection than ANY store I was in in NYC.


8)  Urbanspoon.com is one of the greatest things ever and is a lifesaver for people with restrictive diets traveling with picky eaters who hate vegetables.


9)  Adrenaline is a wonderful antedote for sleep deprivation.


10)  No one place or person or thing will ever make you happy….


11)  I love my DVR, my dishwasher, my washer and dryer, and my large closet and my sofa…I feel badly for people who have none of these things and pay more than I do for their living space.


12)  Old friends are the best friends!


13) A fast paced, big city like New York is NOT the place to try to learn your new DSLR…but I managed.  Thanks to Abby and Joey for allowing me to stop and take a zillion pictures over and over.


14)  When walking for hours while carrying heavy bags, spotting a Starbucks is like finding the oasis in the desert.  And for someone that never drinks coffee iced, I developed a fondness for Iced Americanos on this trip!


15)  The sun is definitely stronger here than up north…I know logic should tell me this but I put on very little sunscreen and didn’t get crap for sun. If I laid out for that length of time with that little sunscreen here, I’d be burned.  I might be wrong on this point (scientifically) but oh well.  I came back with no more of a tan than I left with so it makes sense to me 😀


16)  I mistook some native new york accents as foreign…as in…from another country.  Yeah.


17)  Coming from Birmingham, AL, it is very interesting to me to see what Joey refers to as a “ghetto” in New York.


18)  I’ve been told this ALOT by people who moved to Bama from up north but every time I go up there it seems more and more true… People in the south are more attractive.  Yes.  It is true.  I don’t know why, but it is true.  Perhaps it’s the humidity…it does wonderful things for our skin 🙂  I’m not saying there aren’t attractive people up north but, on average, there are more attractive people here.


19)  Nice cab drivers do exist.


20) THIS is one of the coolest fast food places I’ve ever been and someone would make a killin’ if they opened one here.  Please someone do it!


I know some of that might not make sense but…


Okay so pictures…


Here is the link to the entire album …please view and comment….and here are a few of my faves…



Overall it was a great trip.  There are a few things I would’ve done differently in terms of planning/navigating but that’s the OCD in me..  Let it go Katie.  I didn’t get in as much shopping as I wanted and didn’t get to spend as much time as I wanted on certain things…but we didn’t have alot of time in general.  Definitely have to set aside a few extra days next time.  OH, and Long Beach is really cool.  I think with the whole gulf oil spill crisis, I will focus my next few beach vacations for New England coastal towns.  I’m thinking another Boston trip is in order too…HUGE Little Italy there, tons of history……………  we shall see 🙂