Thursday, January 16, 2014

My Hometown

Recently I was asked to co-write a blog post with the lovely and talented Kendra Thornton about what we love about our hometowns. As she is from a big city and I am not, obviously we are coming from two very different perspectives,  but there are plenty of things I love about Alabaster and the surrounding areas.

It should be no surprise that I love good food, and I'm very lucky to have a few really wonderful local restaurants nearby. The first is Joe's Italian. My current favorite is the Tortellini with Pesto Cream Sauce, but I love pretty much everything I've ever tried. And of course you have to save room for a piece of cake. I recommend the strawberry or neapolitan.
Next up is Los Angeles Burrito. A very small place with amazing, fresh mexican food. The best taco I've ever had in my life was at an open-air restaurant in Mexico and these taste almost exactly like those. Add a Mexican coke and you have an amazingly tasty lunch!
And if you feel like venturing down the road to Helena, check out Fox Valley Restaurant. I have previously proclaimed my love of this place and the only seafood dish I will eat - their crab cake!

Of course, there is more to life than food and there are other things I love about Alabaster. Ironically, one of the things is that it's a pretty quiet place. There isn't a ton of "stuff" to draw people here. Which means there are lots of "nothing to do" days. While Birmingham is not that far away, because I make that drive every day for work, I'm not always eager to do it on my off days!
One thing Alabaster does well is its parks, and I do enjoy walking at Veterans Park, especially when the weather is nice. There is also a great dog park there.

One thing nearby that I have never done but would absolutely love to do is visit American Village in Montevallo. I'm a big fan of history, and while I've seen many of these sites "for real" it's a beautiful place and I would love to spend some time there.
For the times that we want to getaway (but not really) we do enjoy camping at Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham. Obviously if you're an outdoorsy person there's plenty to do, but even for someone like me who isn't exactly wilderness Barbie, it's a great way to spend an afternoon or even a weekend!

And now, here is what Kendra had to say about Chicago -

Where to Go in Chicago
There are many places around the world that I like to visit. At times, I have visited places with my husband and children, but other times I like to be by myself. Either way, traveling truly excites me. When I meet people wherever I go, I like to direct them to a place they may not have been, and that is my town of Chicago.
1. Go to a Professional Game
One of the things that Chicago gets overlooked at is in terms of professional sports teams. The truth of the matter is that many cities across the United States are not hosts to four of the biggest professional sports teams in the country. Chicago has two professional baseball teams, with one being on the north side and the other being on the south side. Professional hockey is quite popular at this time, since the Chicago Blackhawks recently won the Stanley Cup. Going to a professional game, or at least to a place that features a game, is an excellent way to get immersed in the Chicago culture.
2. Go to New Heights
The Willis Tower, which is always known to some native Chicagoans as Sears Tower, has a place that people can truly experience what it means to go out on a limb. The SkyDeck, which is on floor 103, gives children and adults the opportunity to see the city and the surrounding area in a glass enclosure. The enclosure is made up of multiple layers of glass and it is extremely strong. Some people who have been on the SkyDeck describe it as floating on the air.
3. Go to Get Pampered
When I need to get away from all of my troubles, worries and stresses, I go to the Peninsula. This fancy hotel allows me to unwind exactly the way that I need to. Located on East Superior Street, the Peninsula has a fabulous spa and it gives me a number of options for what I want to have done. After my spa treatment, I have an exquisite meal at the restaurant in the hotel. At times, I may not stay a night, but I truly enjoy the pampering that I receive. Chicago does however offer a number of hotels new or historic for couples and families. Many of these hotels are within the city limits, making the various sites in walking distance.
4. Go to Eat
Chicago has plenty of wonderful diners throughout the town. One of my favorites is “Uncle Lou” by Lou Michell. This historic and terrific diner has delicious food that my children enjoy. The prices are quite decent. Besides this, children and women receive Milk Duds, which is a Chicago creation, when entering this memorable facility.
Chicago is a great city. With so many places in which to go, staying multiple days is the best thing to do. It is no surprise that people keep coming back and even choose to move here. I know I did.

No comments:

Post a Comment