My business is ministry and that ministry targets Central Asia and the Middle East, so I can’t always be an open book about where I go and why. However, I can tell you I made a visit to Birmingham, Alabama for business at an unspecified time for an unspecified reason. While I can’t give you those details, I can tell you some of the stories related to the trip.
The Crack of Dawn
My traveling companion for this particular trip was my work buddy and good friend, Hannah Beth. I’m old enough to be her mother and she’s gracious enough to treat me as if I’m her age, and I love it. Our flight to Birmingham was ridiculously early and we had to bring along some signage, so both of us were concerned about getting there, getting checked in and getting on the flight. In our eagerness we got to the airport hours before we needed to. We were there so early I had plenty of time to walk around and take pictures of the mosaics on the floor.
We arrived in Birmingham in time for breakfast. While I’m used to being the tour guide pretty much anywhere I go, I was happy to turn the reins over to Hannah Beth on this trip. Her sister goes to school there, so she has the inside track. She proved that when she took us to Over Easy. She had a breakfast-something and I had lunch-something. Both were delicious.
The decor and atmosphere was very California: modernesque furniture and semi-hippie waitstaff. Because it was a late morning on a weekday, most of the clientele were students who didn’t have early classes and a few moms who’d dropped the older kids off at school.
We arrived at the restaurant via her sister’s campus. We Uber-ed there from the airport. I’m not a natural Uber-er, but Hannah Beth treats it like it’s her second car. We may work together like two peas in a pod, but we do come from opposite sides of the generation gap. At the campus, we picked up her sister’s car – another evidence of working in ministry. No rental cars or swanky hotels.
Speaking of the lack of swanky hotels, we stayed in a La Quinta. Don’t get me wrong. There was nothing wrong with the place. It was clean and convenient. The breakfast was good. It was a fine place to stay, but let’s face it two stars is not exactly plush.
So that’s the basics – an early morning flight, a little transportational shuffle, a hearty breakfast and an economy hotel. The rest of the meals were either breakfast at the hotel or something served to us at the thing I can’t tell you about. However, this was me and I had Hannah Beth with me. Adventures are in store. By the way, Birmingham is called the Steel City, because it used to be the home of most of the world’s steel mills. More about that next week, so please come back to visit.