Last Saturday morning, Anna June woke up at 5:55, so excited she couldn't stand it. It was her dad's 34th birthday.
After being asked repeatedly what he'd like to do that day, he decided that he just wanted to play it by ear.
We took him literally, and we got him a keyboard for his birthday gift.
We then got dressed and took him out to breakfast at Jack's. Who would have thought he'd order a sausage gravy biscuit, but my goodness they were good. AJ ate pancakes so buttery she didn't even use syrup.
We went home, rested, played music, and showered. Then, it was time for lunch.
We asked the birthday boy where he'd like to go, and we ended up at the best restaurant in the area, Rusty's. Mom, Beth and Rusty all happened to be there, and Beth brought us out red velvet cupcakes. They didn't have the whole crew come sing to him, much to his disappointment.
Then, we were off on an adventure. We went downtown to the Birmingham History Center. Ben and I both have a love of Birmingham history, and we happen to know a bunch of people who have been involved in this relatively new addition to our city's cultural offerings. It is a small place - just a few rooms. There are some absolutely wonderful items on display, though. There are two real historic buggies in the front of the museum, fully restored. It looks like you could just hitch them up and ride down to the opera house (pictured above, in a later incarnation) or church.
The rooms are filled with local memorabilia, and there are several interactive exhibits as well. My favorite seasonally appropriate piece was the hand-written sheet music to "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," penned by Birmingham's own Hugh Martin. A great article about the song and its author can be found here.
We hope the museum can expand its holdings soon, as the experience was slightly underwhelming. But they managed to cram the past century or so in a few small, significant objects: mining gear, medals from war heroes, bottles, and drawings. It's got a lot of potential.
We then took Anna June to my mom's house to help her and Grandma Hazel decorate the Christmas tree. We were glad to have a "date" afternoon, although, as usual, after a little while we ended up running errands. It was nice, though, to spend some relaxed time together.
Then, we were off to dinner, and we ended up at Chili's in Trussville. Yes, this is the famous Chili's where we contracted the stomach bug of doom back in 2008. We've finally forgiven them, and we enjoyed hanging out together.
It was a nice day, filled with love, laughter and music. Here's hoping the rest of year 34 will be just as good.
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