As I said in my previous post, I went to Birmingham this weekend for several different reasons: 1) Justin really wanted me to go to Thirsty Thursday 2) We wanted to go hiking in the Little River Canyon 3) Anderson turned 2 years old and 4) I got to get my favorite meal with my favorite Bama girls Carina and T and of course Johnny Cash. (Yes, his actual name is Jonathan Cash). The weekend started off with Thirsty Thursday. Justin and his roommate Rob were waiting on my flight to get in and we all were riding together to the Hoover Met. To their disappointment, my flight was delayed, which meant that they only got one good hour of $1 beers at the game. They were truly devastated, trust me! I got to briefly hang out with Katie and Lindsey, two of my best friends from high school. We tend to refer to ourselves as the "Fab 4". Lindsey and Lauren Owens and Katie Windham and I have been pretty much inseparable until we had to be. Katie moved to Ohio our Freshman year but then met back up with Lindsey and Lauren at Auburn University. I was the black sheep of the group and went to the University of Alabama so I didn't get to see them much. After college, Lauren got married and moved to Seattle and I moved to Nashville after grad school, so it is a VERY rare occacion for us to all be in the same place at the same time. Sometimes we get lucky with three of us. We missed you Lauren!
On Friday, Justin and I woke up at the crack of dawn to drive to Fort Payne, AL to go to Little River Canyon and Desoto State Park. Well, once we got to the exit to get off the interstate, Justin said "We're only an hour away from Chattanooga, let's go to Ruby Falls and Rock City". So very unexpectedly, we drove into Tennessee. Rock City was amazing! I've heard of it, but never had a desire to go there. I suggest it to everyone! I'm hoping to take Anderson there when he gets bigger if his mommy will let me. Here's some pics from Rock City:
We also went to Ruby Falls, which is a cave in Lookout Mountain. The entire time we were in Ruby Falls, Justin was telling me about going "caving" in Chattanooga. This is a new thing for me and I'm a little scared to do it, but apparently there's a cave in Chattanooga that you go into with small groups because you also crawl on your belly BACKWARDS into the cave. You have to crawl backwards because there's a four foot drop into some water at the end and you need to hit it feet first instead of head first. This makes me incredibly nervous....I'm a pretty adventurous person for a girl, but even I have my limits. I told him I would do it though. Here's a pic of Ruby Falls:
At Little River Canyon you can drive down what they call a "23 Mile Scenic Road". Justin and I drove down this road and stopped frequently to take pics at the overlooks into the canyon. We finally found a trail head on the road and pulled over to hike down it. FYI: hiking a canyon is totally different than a mountain. You hike up a mountain first and get all tired and then the hike down is much easier especially when your legs are tired. In a canyon, you hike downwards first, get all kinds of hot and tired, and THEN hike up the steep sucker!!! It really wasn't too bad though.
After leaving Little River Canyon, we headed to Desoto State Park. Another funny story here. We parked near a trail head and followed the trail through the woods. In total, the hike was suppose to be 3.2 miles roundtrip. The trail was marked by paint on the trees. The purpose of choosing this trail was to see 4 different waterfalls that was close to the trail. We didn't even get a mile in and the paint colors changed on us. We were slightly confused so we pulled out a "Hiking Alabama" book that Justin had and found out that paint colors did change throughout the trail, but also found out that we started where we were suppose to finish. We were doing the trail backwards so we had to be careful about forks in the road and paint changes in order to get out. We were doing a pretty good job until about 7:30ish (which by the way is about the time the sun goes down). I was walking behind Justin and I was looking down and all I heard was him say "YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME". I looked up and realized that the park was under construction and all the trees had been cut down. We didn't know where to go because the trees with paint on them had all been cut down and we were about 2 miles into the woods. We were losing daylight and we had no idea where we were. (Of course, if SOMEONE had brought the GPS it wouldn't have been a big deal...just kidding baby!). Luckily, a park ranger was walking around the construction area and was able to show us where the rest of the trail was. To top it all off, since there was no rain in the past few months, none of the waterfalls were "falling". Sad times. But we had some great laughs along the way so it was worth it.
The next day was the little man's big day. It was his 2nd birthday party!!! He was so adorable all day. It was a bug themed party since Anderson is all into bugs now-a-days. Lindsey had the cutest cake for him and "dirt" desserts for everyone that included crushed up oreos some creme pudding type thing topped with a gummi worm. It was pretty good. I am sure Lindsey will post more pictures of his party than the ones that I have, so feel free to go to her blog to see those pics. After the party Justin and I headed to my grandparents house in Moundville, AL to have some of that famous chicken casserole and then to my dad's to see my puppy Belle. Belle is a miniature schnauzer that I got from a breeder right when I moved to Nashville. I realized after a while that with my long work hours, I couldn't be there as much as a puppy needs so I gave her to my dad. After visiting with him and my step-mother for a few hours, we drove back to Tuscaloosa to have dinner and drinks with my BAMA BUDS!! T and Carina and Cash (we call him Cash, but his real name is Johnny Cash...weird, I know) met us at El Rincon, a mexican restaurant in the heart of UA. This place was literally me and Carina's favorite place to eat while in college. Justin was surrounded by Bama fans and it was killing him to be in Tuscaloosa, I could tell :) We stayed with them for a few hours before driving back to his house in Birmingham. The next morning we went to church and lunch with his parents and then he dropped me off at the airport to head back to Nashville. Definitely a full weekend, like every other weekend when I come home. My next adventure? Not sure at this point. Might be tomorrow if I find out that I'm going to Miami for work for a couple of weeks. If not, probably the week of July 4th when I go to Birmingham again. I'll be in town July 2nd through the 6th. All that we have planned so far is to go canoeing down the Cahaba River and spend a whole day in Tuscaloosa so I can have a longer visit with Anderson and actually go out with my bama friends. There also might be a Six Flags or White Water trip thrown in there somewhere....who knows :)