Friday, March 13

9:00 PM–Arrive
If you fly from Dublin to Chicago and on to Atlanta, then drive to Birmingham, you can be visiting with friends a mere 20 hours after your departure. Even if you’re a bit bleary, it’s worth staying up a few more hours because your time with the Holts is precious!

Saturday, March 14

7:00AM–Orange Rolls
A great part of traveling west is that you can pretend you’re a morning person for a few days. Luckily your hosts will play along and wake up early to make orange rolls. You can enjoy several hours with your friends until they depart for their Spring Break trip to Disney World. Always good to see these folks, however brief.

12:30–In Search of Tacos
The rest of your Saturday will be spent in the company of the Ross Family, so head over to their house at the first opportunity. You’ll have heard about a taco truck on West Valley, so the two-car convoy takes off in the rain in search of tacos. What you find will thrill your soul and taste buds. It is such a treat to find Austin-type tacos in Birmingham. Some Al Pastor can fix much that is wrong. You’ll be near church;

the handy cafe tables in the common area are a great place to eat. And you can tour the space as well.

3:00–One word: Pie
Johnny Ray’s is always a must stop on any Birmingham trip. And even though the place is called Baby Ray’s now, the pie is the same. Lemon is a favorite, but to be fair, the table should order a selection including coconut and chocolate.

6:30–It’s all about the fries
Birmingham offers lots of tasty BBQ, but Jim N Nick’s stands out for its excellent hand-cut fries. Even if you come from the land of potatoes, these fries are a welcome treat, along with mounds of onion rings. Leave the Ross kids at the sitter, and meet up with Earl and meet a new friend, Laura for a relaxing dinner. The turkey sandwich has always been a favorite, and the BBQ salads are popular as well.

8:30–Nomad Supply
A shop owned by some cool people in Birmingham that occasionally hosts artist and music events. You might be too late and miss the singer you wanted to hear, but it’s cool just to see the shop which is born out of the amazing heart and vision of these friends.

9:30 PM–Coffee
In America coffee shops stay open past 6:00 PM, so happily take advantage of this fact. O’Henry’s is a cozy place in Homewood that has been serving Joe since before you left Birmingham in 1998.

Sunday, March 15

11:00AM–A Special Congregation
Shades Valley Community Church has always been a special place, so you definitely like to visit whenever possible. The renovations to the former Ice Lodge in Homewood are pretty amazing, and it’s always good to see familiar faces and lots of new ones too.

12:30 PM–Southern Goodness
Bogue’s has conveniently expanded with a location adjacent to church. It’s a handy spot to catch up with Scott and Renee and to dine on good ol’ Southern cookin’. If you’re not careful, you’ll linger over your refills of tea and diet coke until all the chairs are up on the other tables. Oops!

3:00 PM–Chatting away
A Sunday afternoon is a great time to stop by and see friends. It’s great to catch up with Marjorie and her family.

6:30 PM–A Burrito with Everything
Bring together all your relatives in the city for a visit over burritos. Moe’s is a favorite of both sides of the family, and it’s an easy place for everyone to get exactly what they want.

Monday, March 16

9:30 AM–On the Road Again
After a breakfast of homemade granola that your friend Renee made for you, hit the road for Huntsville. It was a great weekend–you saw lots of friends and family, and enjoyed everything on your Must Eat List. Til next time everyone!

Oh, if you want to stop for a Chick-fil-A biscuit on the way to Huntsville, that’s not a bad idea.

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