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Last week the girls and I were in Birmingham to visit my parents. Since Travis just started his job we were without the luxury of vacation time so he couldn’t go with us. It’s been such a long time since he’s been without vacation time that I had forgotten how spoiled we are by that. And since my mini van is making a funny noise, we took Trav’s car. Which meant that Daisy had to stay behind too. She’s a sweet, 55 pound, up-in-your-face, nervous-in-the-car sort of dog and doesn’t fit well in a normal car. I guess as long as we have kids and a dog I will be driving a mini van. I suppose I should give up on my dream of ever being cool again (wink).

So, Birmingham. Have you ever been there? It’s a city that I’ve visited since I was a kid because my grandparents moved there from Bradenton, FL. Which was the only time I ever lived within two hours of my grandparents. Our family was pretty spread out across the country all the way from central Florida to Seattle and several places in between. And though I hate that we’re so far away from most of our family- almost all of our relatives are in Florida- I’m thankful that my parents only live 3 hours away. Since I’m familiar with the Birmingham area I’m able to visit my favorite places on sort of a rotating basis. During this visit we visited, Bass Pro Shop in Leeds, because we always drag my Dad along on shopping trips and I like to look at the fish in the aquarium. Then we hit a new outdoor mall. Unfortunately I forgot my camera.

The big excursion for the week was to Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park. Try saying that 5 times fast. I’ve visited this park since I was a kid and the emphasis on the ironworks seems to be a recent development. We have always called it “Tannehill”. They’ve also started charging for their ironworks museum. It’s inexpensive but I wasn’t too keen on paying for something that used to be free. Plus, it wasn’t really something I thought was worth paying for. Once we got there though it was evident that they’d updated some things and was well worth the $4 admission fee.

This 2,000 pound hunk of brown iron ore was a new addition.

When we walked into the museum my Dad immediately went to the counter to pay-because it’s a race to the wallet when we’re together- and I was distracted. I’m not sure what he said to the lady at the counter but she let out a loud, “Well praise the Lord!” Which immediately made me smile and my Dad smirk. If you don’t know my Dad you wouldn’t know he’s a big prankster but he is. He immediately started asking her something along the lines of, “Are you one of those crazy Christian people?” So I rescued her and told her where my Dad went to church. Then she joined in the teasing. When I was a kid I was mortified by that kind of thing. I was also mortified when he would do his gorilla run through Disney World- if you’ve ever seen a gorilla run through a jungle that’s what it looked like. And also when he’d buy Bubba Teeth at a mall and then run up behind my Mom and kiss her neck and make her scream- loudly and in public. Ah, memories.

Halle loved this black and white scene. She pretended that she was about to get crushed by a horse drawn buggy.

Then she jumped out of the way!

Then she was going to be crushed by a giant log. Are you seeing a pattern here?

Chloe has hit the, “Please don’t take my picture” phase. Sad. Which would make her the complete opposite of Amanda. She never, ever hit that stage.

I got her to pose for a few photos though. Like this one in front of a saltpeter pot. She asked if there was also a pepperpeter pot. That girl is so much like her Dad.

We also found a mining car…which made us think of Mario Kart.

I was really trying to keep them interested. Unfortunately they’re just not as interested in reading everything like I am. So we headed out to the park to see everything else.  Unfortunately the train that goes around the park wasn’t running. We found an old mill and bubbling spring and saved a turtle though so the train wasn’t missed that much.

Spring water is *cold*!


If you’re ever in the Birmingham area and want to do something other than shop it would be worth your while to go to Tannehill. If you can’t tell, I just love this park.

Tomorrow I’ll be posting about the Upcycled Cans I’ve finished and if you’re posting about them too (since I’m too technologically challenged to set up a link party) just link up to it in the comments section.