B's parents came into town this weekend for a whirlwind visit to the city. They'd never seen Birmingham, so we decided to show them as much as we could in the 36 hours they'd be around. Translation: We'd eat our way through Birmingham.
They arrived Saturday morning, just in time for the sky to open up and the clouds to give a moving performance of Noah, The Remake. They kept calling all the way from Atlanta saying, "Sorry we're going to be late, it's pouring!" To which we'd scoff, "Good thing you're heading here, it's not raining at all!"
Apparently, there was one happy cloud over my apartment complex. Then that happy cloud got ticked off and left, leaving us with a soggy driving tour through the usually beautiful Homewood, Mountain Brook, and Highlands areas.
But drive we did. We took them to Bottletree for lunch, a great, Hippy-inspired joint that serves tofu-versions of everything and some seriously delicious salsas and sauces.
The rain stopped, so we continued the tour, seeing where B works and lots of the downtown area. He kept pointing out things and, truth be told, I was just as interested as his parents. I'm never downtown, so lots of it was news to me.
We dropped them off at their hotel and let them rest for an hour or so before dinner. Granted, it's hard to rest when the entire Hampton has been taken over by a family reunion. A family reunion in matching shirts, whose softball tournament had been rained out. Which explains why they set up the smoker in front of the hotel. Classic. And classy. Oh Alabama.
Dinner that night was at Hot and Hot, a fantastic, and somewhat famous, "fish club" that I'd been dying to go to. They're known for only using fresh, local ingredients. If they don't have good tomatoes, you don't have any in your salad. That kind of thing. We got shrimp and grits, tomato salads, and oh-so good doughnuts for dessert. It was so wonderful just sitting with his parents, sharing a bottle of wine and enjoying hearing all about what's going on with B's brothers and the rest of the family.
They came back to my apartment to hang out for a little bit after dinner. (Where do you take company "after hours" when no one's interested in a drink/cocktail/pub crawl?) Then put them to bed back at the Hampton.
Sunday was perfect. The sun was shining when we got out of church, and we were all smiling when we left City Hall Diner after lunch. We strolled through Mountain Brook, visited the creamery, then returned to my apartment to rest for a little while before having dinner at Rojo (more food! more food!). Sitting in the dim restaurant enjoying good, casual food was the perfect way to end their trip before they headed back to Atlanta.
I think my favorite part was hearing the happiness in B's voice as he showed his parents around town, like he was almost proud. I love that he loves Birmingham. Who knows what will happen for us, but it's nice to know that he could love this city, too.