Thursday, August 26, 2010

A weekend in the dirty dirty

Before my hiking adventure on Monday, Chad and I spent the weekend in my hometown of Birmingham, Al. My friend Kalah was looking for a good home for her yorkie Chloe and my mom, always the yorkier lover, said she would take the dog. Since my mom's birthday was on Tuesday, I decided Chad and I could fly to Birmingham on Friday and bring my mom Chloe. I haven't spent my mom's birthday with her in a few years so I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to spend some time at home.

As always Chad and I flew standby out of Denver. He had to work all day so we planned on taking the 7:20pm flight. I was a little nervous traveling with the dog because I know that most airlines have strict rules on how many pets can be in the cabin of the airplane. Also since we were flying standby I didn't want to miss the flight and have to go back home and try for another weekend, thus keeping Chloe longer than planned. Fortunately everything worked out and we made it there and back at the times planned. Gotta love school being back in session and the summer travel loads lightening up.

Since my mom lives with my dad now, Chad and I have to stay at my dad's when we come in town. This isn't the most ideal situation because my dad is, to put it lightly, a pack rat. I'm an OCD cleaning freak so staying at my dad's gives me anxiety, let alone brining my husband there. My parents divorced a long time ago so I never had to deal with staying with my dad at his house until a year or so ago when, due to changes in my mom's housing situation, she had to come over there. My dad has a garage apartment on his property that needed a new roof and, instead of simply installing one, he began to build a whole other level to the house. The result is what we now call the treehouse. It has been a work in progress for several years now and I don't think my dad ever had any real motivation to finish the place until recently when myself and my siblings were coming in to town and needed a place to stay.

(picture of the treehouse)

(the downstairs which is still a work in progress)

(view from the upstairs window)
Chad and I actually really enjoy staying in the treehouse for several reasons. First it's quite; away from the early morning barking of my mom's Pomeranian Cody. Second it's got a lot of cool stuff in it to look at as well as it's own flat screen tv and hangout area. And third the mini fridge is always stocked with alcohol. Chad never understood before, but I think now he realizes, when dealing with my family it's better to have a few beers in your system. You'll care less about what's going on around you and the craziness of the situation at that point.

Of course arriving late on Friday night and leaving Sunday afternoon means we didn't have much time in Birmingham. I had plans to see some friends but that didn't happen given the time constraint and the main focus of being there for my mom's birthday. Saturday we ended up spending most of the day grilling out filet mignon and the afternoon shopping at some of the local stores.

(chad and my dad hard at work manning the grill)

For dinner we took my mom to the Summit, an outdoor mall area, and had mexican and margarita's at a place called Chuy's. The Summit has changed a lot since I have lived in Birmingham so it was fun to explore the different stores that are now up there. We use to have to drive to Atlanta to find any kind of decent shopping so I'm very impressed at how far Birmingham has come in the fashion department. After dinner at Chuy's we went to 32 degrees which is a yogurt bar next door. I have become obsessed with yogurt bars after visiting pinkberry in San Diego so I relish any chance I can get to have some tart yogurt. It was a fabulous way to celebrate my mom's birthday and I'm glad we could be there for her.

Since we stayed until Sunday afternoon we were able to enjoy some of my dad's amazing dry rub ribs on the smoker. If it's one thing my dad does well is cook and he always prepares more than necessary. It did give Chad and my dad a chance to bond though which I was glad for. Having your parents live out of state is tough because you feel that the person you are married too doesn't really have a chance to get to know your family. My dad is definitely in his element at his house and I think he's a lot more open and talkative when we come visit him this way.

Of course before the weekend even got started it seems like it was already over. My mom really appreciated us coming to visit and especially brining Chloe as her birthday present. I know ever since Smucker's, our last yorkie, disappeared my mom has wanted another yorkie so I know she'll take great care of Chloe. Kalah was sad to give her away after having her six years but rest assured she's in great care now! If all goes according to plan we can make another trip to the south in time for the Alabama/Auburn football game over Thanksgiving. Chad has never experienced an SEC football game and I know he will really enjoy the excitement. While I am sad sometimes to be away from home. I take comfort knowing that my job allows me to hop on a plane whenever I like, which is perhaps the best perk of all.

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