I know Christmas has come and gone, but you know I need to back the truck up and start at the beginning.
Alabama not England, lest anyone is confused.
Also, was it really just a little over a week ago? Because it feels like forever since we greeted Daughter1 and our son-in-law coming down the escalator in the Birmingham airport. Forever since we watched them pull one heavy suitcase after another off the conveyor belt in baggage claim wondering how in the world all that luggage was going to fit in the car.
Daughter1 was a bridesmaid in her college roommate's wedding the week before Christmas, and we were invited too, which was the reason for our meet-up in sweet home Alabama. Why did I think Birmingham was flat? It's not. It's hilly and sprawling and let me just say, the weather was perfection.
Y'all know I'm all about the weather.
We hadn't seen the newlyweds since May so hubs and I were a teensy bit antsy waiting for them to arrive Friday evening. We drove over earlier in the day so we could be there to collect them from the airport. Their flight was slightly delayed, and Daughter1 missed the rehearsal, but we made a beeline for the hotel so they could quickly change before hopping back in the car to drive them downtown for the rehearsal dinner.
Hubs and I were beyond tired so we relaxed and enjoyed a delicious leisurely meal at Ruth's Chris conveniently located in the lobby of our hotel, before calling it a day. Adrenaline catches up with you eventually.
Saturday morning Daughter1 had to be at the church early, so hubs and I dropped her off with another bridesmaid and then headed to Vulcan Park to see the famous Birmingham landmark. Look at that sky! I'm obsessed.
The Vulcan statue is the largest cast iron statue in the world, and serves as a symbol of the city whose roots are in the steel and iron industry. Also, it is high. Whoa! It might not look all that high from the angle of my photo, but when you ride that elevator to the top and you step out onto an open grate footbridge and then you walk around the perimeter on an open grate platform, trust me-you are high. HIGH!! Even hubs thought so.
We made it back to terra firma and decided what we really needed was some good old fashioned Southern BBQ. The groom had recommended a place call SAW's, which is something of an institution in this town, so we picked up our son-in-law at the hotel and made our way into Homestead for lunch.
The restaurant was tiny and jam packed, signs of a truly great BBQ spot, and the food did not disappoint.
Did I mention the bright blue sky?
We dropped our son-in-law back at the hotel to watch some football and then hubs and I drove out to the nearby suburb of Homer to visit with a retired work friend and his wife. A really fun afternoon catching up, and then it was back to the hotel to dress for the wedding.
I just love a winter wedding. The bridesmaids wore elegant navy blue and the bride looked radiant in her chic gown and adorable little fur wrap. We even sent them off tossing a handful of 'snow' which made for a most perfect ending to a most perfect day.
The best part was seeing all these sweet girls again...
...my daughter's best friends, her college and post-grad roommates, sorority sisters, bridesmaids and guests at her wedding nearly one year ago.
I still remember meeting the bride for the very first time. She and Daughter1 were randomly matched as roommates by the university, and whatever sort of statistical equation they used to figure that out worked beautifully.
The bridesmaid on the left in this photo will become a mother in just a few short months. It wasn't all that long ago my hubs and her Daddy were installing carpet in their oddly shaped triple dorm room in 100 degree heat.
Time flies, doesn't it?
And girls they do grow up.
They get married and move many states away, but still...
...in the eyes of their father they are always and forever Daddy's little girl.
Sunday morning hubs solved the Rubik's Cube known as packing the car, and somehow-someway managed to squeeze all the luggage into our not large vehicle. Daughter1 and I were wedged into the back seat with a suitcase and coats between us, along with assorted shoe boxes and tote bags under our feet, but we made it. We were on our way to South Carolina...
Let the holidays begin!