Our trip to Chattanooga was a lot of fun. There was a sudden snow “storm” (a snow storm in the South is really almost any snowfall, but we’re always completely unprepared so it’s really a bad idea to drive around) that kept us to the downtown area most of the time but we did a lot of walking once the snow began to melt. We walked around the art district, downtown, and the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga campus.

We REALLY loved the downtown area. So many great shops and restaurants. We were especially delighted to find a Panera Bread and a Taziki’s because they’re two of our favorite places in Birmingham and we’d be sad to give them up. We stopped in the Hunter Art Museum and saw an amazing exhibition by Paul Stankard and then walked across the Walnut Street Bridge and a few of the park areas. It was absolutely beautiful and I hope we can visit again when it’s a little bit warmer.

It’s definitely on our list of places we’d love to live!

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Joey and I are heading to Chattanooga and Nashville soon to see how we like the cities. We’ve actually visited both cities several times before, but always for an event so we’ll be perusing a few neighborhoods and popping in a few local restaurants and coffee shops this time. I’m pretty excited about a chance to travel a bit. I haven’t been anywhere since I got home from London in July!

Nashville Skyline

Chattanooga Skyline

Coin Art

As many of you know, whenever you travel abroad you always come back with a bit of leftover foreign currency in your change purse. I’ve been pondering on what I should do with all my British coins and a couple of Euros that have been sitting on my nightstand since I got back from my study abroad. Of course Pinterest always has a solution for any crafty/organizing problems and I was brought to the Turning Stones blog with this quick and easy tutorial. I’ll need to save up a few more coins from my future travels, but I’ll definitely have one of these in my house one of these days!

Street Art

For our five-year anniversary, the hubby and I went to Austin, Texas for a few days. It was HOT (a lot like Alabama) but also really great. I loved that there were so many restaurants with locally grown, organic options and J was greatly impressed by all the sodas with actual sugar in them.

One thing I really loved was the street art. Birmingham doesn’t really have any, other than the short-lived “You Are Beautiful” which was painted on an overpass on Hwy280. Somehow the city had time to paint over it fairly promptly, but not fill the million pot holes in the same area. People were fairly upset that they made it their mission to cover up such a lovely message that greeted the harried commuters on the notorious Hwy280.

That being said, here are a few pictures of some of the street art that I loved:

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Tower Bridge

Before our buses departed from King’s College dorm, there was one last thing I had to do: walk across the Tower Bridge. I was really happy that I was able to do everything I wanted to do this trip to London. So note to future tourists, you’re going to need an entire month! Despite marking everything off my list, there are so many things I want to do again!

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Lions and Pie

After our morning with the Olympic Torch, we had some pasties and tea at the Pie Minister. I tried the asparagus and mushroom, which was pretty good! In Alabama we mostly eat pecan pie (and lots of it!), so it was interesting to try something a little bit different.


Then we traveled to Trafalgar Square one last time to touch the lions, which we had heard would ensure that we must return to England. I’ve already begun planning my next trip, hoping to spend more time in Scotland and Ireland next time.

After our outing we headed to the Thames for a riverboat cruise. There was an Irish band and “barbecue.” What they call barbecue, I call a cookout, so I was pretty disappointed when I got on board. This tells you how homesick I was for Southern food. The river boat cruise was lots of fun though and all the librarians attempted Irish jigs. It really was a great way to end our trip!