Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Livin' it up in Dixie {stories, antiques, music & Christmas}




What: Stories Under the Stars

When: Thursday, July 27, 6:30-8:30pm (gates open at 5:30pm)
       
Where: Burritt on the Mountain, 3101 Burritt Drive, Huntsville, AL 35801

Cost: $10

Parking: free

Weather: mid 90's and clear

Website: click here


Enjoy a beautiful evening overlooking Huntsville as you listen to true stories from local storytellers.  There's even a "wildcard spot" if you have a story to share!  Bring your camp chairs and money for the food trucks.

_____________________________________


What: Genealogy Antique Roadshow

When: Thursday, July 27, 7-8pm
     
Where: Huntsville Main Public Library

Cost: free

Website: click here


A certified appraiser will be available to appraise one or two personal items.  Dr. Marchelos has some serious credentials so if you are eager to find out if those giant glass grapes from 1971 are worth anything (no way, Moma!) head down to the Library to find out!

_____________________________________


What: WC Handy Music Festival

When: Now through July 30
     
Where: Florence, AL

Cost: varies by event but lots of free options

Website: click here


For 36 years, Florence has celebrated the Father of the Blues, WC Handy. There are all kinds of competitions, concerts and meals you can be a part of.  Check out their website for a schedule of all the fun!  

_____________________________________

What: Historic Mooresville Christmas Home Tour & Progressive Dinner

When: Saturday, December 9, 2-7pm
     
Where: Historic Mooresville, located right off I-565 about 10 minutes west of the airport

Cost: $75 per person

Parking: free & provided in the front of town

Website: click here


I didn't even know about Historic Mooresville until about 6 years ago when I went there for an architectural class I was taking and I fell in love with its quaintness!  Founded in 1818, Mooresville is often called "Alabama's Williamsburg."  For the Home Tour, residents open their homes and you can stroll through to see all the Christmas decorations.  There are also several shops open for Christmas goodies.  The Progressive Dinner sounds delish- Chicken with Applewood Bacon, Green Beans, Roasted Potatoes, Fresh Breads and Carmel Apple Pie.  Tickets go fast to this event, so grab yours soon!

_____________________________________


Recurring Weekly Events:

What: Concert in the Park

When: Mondays, 6:30-8:30pm (last concert is August 7!)
   
Where: Huntsville Museum of Art outdoor stage

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: free, park along the street or in the surrounding business lots

Website: click here

_____________________________________
What: Park It Like It's Hot Food Truck Lunches

When: Wednesdays, 11am- 2pm
     
Where: Lowe Mill, under the water tower

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: free

Website: click here

_____________________________________
What: The Greene Street Market

When: Thursdays, May-October, 4-8pm

Where: corner of Greene Street and Eustis Avenue in Downtown Huntsville

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: should be free on surrounding streets and lots, but take cash just in case

Website: click here

_____________________________________

What: Village of Providence Artisans & Farmers Market

When: Saturdays, April-November,  8am- noon
     
Where: Village of Providence Park on Town Center Drive, Huntsville

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: free

Website: click here

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Urban Deliciousness

A couple of weeks ago I shared a new restaurant at Bridgestreet- Urban Cookhouse.  Chris and I met some friends there for dinner last night and were not disappointed!


The best place to park is that small lot between Belk and Bravo and on a Monday night we didn't have a problem finding a spot.  The interior has that modern farmhouse vibe but we enjoyed sitting on their patio.

Chris and I couldn't decide what we wanted so we each got something different and shared.  Hands down the star was the Urban Cowboy sandwich (pictured right)!  I'm talking "best sandwich in Huntsville" people!  Their menu describes it as "Lime-marinated steak, caramelized onions & peppers, pepperjack, aioli on a French roll" and I absolutely loved it!

Chris got the El Cubano that was grilled ham, chipotle-braised pork, housemade pickles, provolone, and mustard, grilled on white bread.  We both really enjoyed it too but it was a tad too much mustard for me.  Part of Urban Cookhouse's charm is all their smoked meats and on the El Cubano you could really taste the smoked meat.  I also loved the housemade pickles! 

We both got Hot Cheddar Pasta as a side but it wasn't as great as I had hoped, though I would get it again. 


We also shared an order of Millie Ray's Orange Rolls- they're a little sweet and a little orange-y.  They were ok, but I'd say the sandwiches are certainly the star!

Our friends were super nice and bought us a Half-Baked Cookie topped with vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup all served in a mini skillet!  You see why we are their friends!  The cookie takes about 20 minutes, so order with your meal and they'll bring it out in these cute holders when you're done with your meal.

As you can tell, I'd totally recommend Urban Cookhouse!  Another great part?  The sandwiches are all about $8-$9 and come with a side.  You can barely eat at McDonald's for less than that these days!  I can't wait to go back and try another delicious sandwich!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Happy Anniversary

My fabulous parents are celebrating 43 years of marriage today!  I couldn't be more thankful for their impact in my life.  They are my best friends, confidants, prayer warriors, examples of faith, examples of love and fixers of everything from dumplins to broken hearts to broken washing machines.  I daily see their friendship and love for each other lived out in practical ways.  They are the glue that holds the Forester-Hayes-Brooks clan together and we couldn't love our Moma and Daddy more.



Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Livin' it up in Dixie {meals & mulch}



What: Battle of the Food Truck All-Stars

When: Friday, June 21, 5-9pm
     
Where: Church Street

Entrance Fee: free plus cost of food and drink

Parking: free, park along the street or in the surrounding business lots

Weather: high 90's

Website: click here

From Asian to BBQ to Bacon to Organic...come vote for your favorite local food truck!

_________________________________________________

What: Mulch Giveaway

When: Saturday, July 22 8am-12pm (also first and third Saturdays through October)
     
Where: Huntsville Botanical Garden, CASA Garden Entrance

Entrance Fee: free but donation to the Botanical Garden is appreciated

Website: click here

You can't beat free!  For all you yard-working' maniacs, head over to the Botanical Gardens for free mulch.  Unfortunately, this is the last year for this program, so go get some while you can!

_________________________________________________

What: Downtown Dish Food Tour

When: Saturdays, 11am-1:30pm
     
Where: Downtown Huntsville

Entrance Fee: $49

Website: click here

If you have an out-of-town guest coming and you're looking for a way to show-off Huntsville, consider the Downtown Dish Food Tour! As you stroll around downtown Huntsville, you'll get to stop at 6 local restaurants and taste their unique offerings.   Check out their website for tickets and exact tasting locations

_________________________________________________


Recurring Weekly Events:



What: The Greene Street Market

When: Thursdays, May-October, 4-8pm

Where: corner of Greene Street and Eustis Avenue in Downtown Huntsville

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: should be free on surrounding streets and lots, but take cash just in case

Website: click here

_____________________________________

What: Village of Providence Artisans & Farmers Market

When: Saturdays, April-November,  8am- noon
     
Where: Village of Providence Park on Town Center Drive, Huntsville

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: free

Website: click here




Monday, July 17, 2017

We escaped!


We had the absolute best time with our Sunday School class Friday night and I'm proud to report our group escaped from our room, The Informant, at Huntsville Escape Rooms!


Once locked in (no worries- I didn't feel claustrophobic!)  we searched for clues and solved puzzles eventually unlocking the door to escape.  We came close to beating the room record- we were out with 16 minutes and 3 seconds to spare!  The two other groups in our class took the whole 60 minutes, so we might have bragged about our time a little bit.

I'd totally recommend going with family, friends or coworkers!  I do think it would be awkward to do it with strangers so I'd suggest you go with the max number of people each room will hold.

Chris and I are so thankful for such a friendly, Christ-centered church family and a thriving Sunday School class!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Livin' it up in Dixie {local fun & a road trip}




What: Movies in the Park
       
Where: Big Spring Park East

Cost: free

Parking: free in surrounding lots

Website: click here

Weather: low 90's, possible storms

This week's feature is Star Wars: The Force Awakens, another movie I haven't seen!  If you prefer to see Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, it's playing the same night at Providence's Movie in the Park.  The movie starts at sundown, but get to the park early to enjoy the food vendors and live music.  Plus, the last time we went, it was fun to just watch people!  Lawn chairs, picnic and puppies are welcome!

_____________________________________

What: Art Walk
     
Where: Downtown Huntsville Square

Cost: free

Parking: free in surrounding lots

Website: click here

Weather: low 90's, possible storms

Art Walk is a Huntsville tradition loved by many!  If shopping local is your thing, then this event is for you!  I love how Downtown is bustling with so many new shops, sights and restaurants!  Plus, it's never to early to shop for Christmas, so you might find some local treasures!
_____________________________________

What: Relax. Play. Ride.
     
Where: Downtown Huntsville Square

Cost: free

Parking: free in surrounding lots

Website: click here

Have you seen those bike rental stations around downtown?  For a a few dollars an hour, you can rent a bike and roll around town!  The BlueBike program  has teamed up with artists from Lowe Mill and have placed decorated pianos and chairs at the bike rental stations for folks to enjoy...or host a concert.  It's quirky but so creative!
_____________________________________

What: Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre
     
Where: 8204 Hwy 100, Nashville, TN 37221

Cost: $30-$60 person

Website: click here

Located just 2 hours from Huntsville, Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre is certainly a road trip worth taking!  When I was researching it months ago and saw they were performing Sister Act this summer I decided to splurge and surprise Chris with a day trip since he loves that movie.  We went on Sunday since they have a lunch performance and we wanted it to be a day trip.

We got there at noon for the lunch buffet, but if buffets aren't your thing, they offer a small plates menu also.

The stage is "in the round" meaning it's surrounded by tables on all sides.  We had a great seat on the middle level.




We got our money's worth at the buffet but it was not the star of the day...

...the show was!

We have seen a couple other dinner theatre shows but were blown away by the talent at Chaffin's Barn!  The show lasted about 2.5 hours but I never once got bored.  Sister Act had such high energy, fantastic dancing and singing and tons of laughter!

Their upcoming shows are Mamma Mia!, Smoke on the Mountain and It's a Wonderful Life: The Musical.  I think kids would love Chaffin's Barn but do consider checking out the shows like you would a movie rating.  I'd say Sister Act was like a PG movie.

Our day trip was a great success and we look back to going back to another show!





Recurring Weekly Events:

What: Concert in the Park

When: Mondays, 6:30-8:30pm
   
Where: Huntsville Museum of Art outdoor stage

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: free, park along the street or in the surrounding business lots

Website: click here

_____________________________________
What: Park It Like It's Hot Food Truck Lunches

When: Wednesdays, 11am- 2pm
     
Where: Lowe Mill, under the water tower

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: free

Website: click here

_____________________________________
What: The Greene Street Market

When: Thursdays, May-October, 4-8pm

Where: corner of Greene Street and Eustis Avenue in Downtown Huntsville

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: should be free on surrounding streets and lots, but take cash just in case

Website: click here

_____________________________________

What: Village of Providence Artisans & Farmers Market

When: Saturdays, April-November,  8am- noon
     
Where: Village of Providence Park on Town Center Drive, Huntsville

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: free

Website: click here

_____________________________________

What: Concerts on the Dock

When: Fridays, 6-9pm

Where: Lowe Mill under the water tower

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: $5 suggested donation

Website: click here


Monday, July 10, 2017

DIY Wall Decor

If you remember from some other posts, I've been able to decorate my office over the last year.  We have our "Win Wall" where we track the year's events and numbers...


And we have our leader wall with snapshots of all our volunteers...

The only wall I haven't tackled was the one above my desk.  I've been ready to replace these posters with something that matched the rest of the office vibe.



Well...drumroll...the posters are gone!  I'd been seeing an idea on Pinterest for a while and a few weeks ago, bought my supplies and now the wall looks like this...


I bought 12x12 cork squares in two tones at Hobby Lobby and spent an hour or so cutting them into hexagons (after watching an Youtube video on how to cut a perfect hexagon). My goal was a freeform, asymmetrical design so after a few dozen Command Hooks, I just love the new look!


Friday, July 7, 2017

Office Organization

As a ministry assistant, I depend greatly on strong organizational skills to be productive and not lose my mind.  When I started my job last year, I was introduced to Asana an awesome website that keeps our office really organized and on the same page.  It's basically an online to-do list where you can have private tasks listed by due date and more importantly team tasks you can assign each other with due dates.

For example, for our weekly Wednesday night student meeting, we have a project that lists all that needs to be done with each task assigned to someone on our team.  The best part is for yearly events, we can just re-open last year's event to see all our notes and what needs to be done.  So for every Fall Retreat, we don't start from scratch each year with "what needs to be done?"  Instead, we reopen last year's Fall Retreat and just update the due date.


I also love that I can have tasks that only I see.  I can set repeating weekly tasks for all the things I do that the whole team doesn't need to see.  I also use it for silly things like- "don't forget you have a frozen meal in the freezer."

Asana is my brain at work.

I'm so used to it, I'm considering using it in my personal life!  It beats my current process of emailing myself a million times a day with reminders!  Asana offers an app plus its free!

My next new organizational hack is my new calendar.  I've been visiting the Happy Planner at Hobby Lobby for years.  The Happy Planner is like a scrapbook/planner in one and they are so cute!  BUT...they are expensive and bulky and didn't seem like the right fit for me at work.

Instead, I got a $5 calendar at Wal-mart and made an insert that matched my office.


One of the techniques used in the Happy Planner is using washi tape to color-code events.  Washi tape is that decorative paper tape that's all over the place.  


For $2 worth of washi tape, I turned my cheap Wal-Mart into my own happy planner!

Here's my old calendar...


And my new happy planner with color-coded events!


Who knows if I'll be able to sustain all this neatness, but I'm going to give it my best shot!  Happy organization, everyone!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Livin' it Up in Dixie {Claustrophobia & Cookhouse}




What: Huntsville Escape Room
       
Where: 604-C Madison Street, Huntsville, 35801

Cost: $25 per person

Parking: free

Website: click here


When I first heard about escape rooms, my first thought was I'm claustrophobic!  But from what others have told me, the rooms don't trigger claustrophobia.  It's basically like the game of Clue where you answer clues to get out of the room.  Each room has a different theme (prison, psych ward, etc.) and is for 7 teens/adults.  The timer gives you 60 minutes to escape (but you aren't actually locked in).  Chris and I are going for the first time in a couple of weeks with our Sunday School class, so stay posted to see if we escape!

_____________________________________

What: Urban Cookhouse
   
Where: Bridgestreet, located behind Altar'd State

Website: click here

This new hot spot at Bridgestreet opened last week and is focused on buying local, fresh ingredients.  Their slogan is "From Farm to Fire to Table" since their meats are smoked or grilled on a Big Green Egg.  From the "Urban Cowboy" (lime-marinated steak, caramelized onions, pepperjack on a French roll) to the "Berry Good" salad (seasonal berries, tomatoes, spiced pecans, feta, citrus vinaigrette), there's sure to be something for everyone!  Their warm orange rolls are calling my name too.  Let me know if you go and what you love!



Recurring Weekly Events:

What: Concert in the Park

When: Mondays, 6:30-8:30pm
   
Where: Huntsville Museum of Art outdoor stage

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: free, park along the street or in the surrounding business lots

Website: click here

_____________________________________
What: Park It Like It's Hot Food Truck Lunches

When: Wednesdays, 11am- 2pm
     
Where: Lowe Mill, under the water tower

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: free

Website: click here

_____________________________________
What: The Greene Street Market

When: Thursdays, May-October, 4-8pm

Where: corner of Greene Street and Eustis Avenue in Downtown Huntsville

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: should be free on surrounding streets and lots, but take cash just in case

Website: click here

_____________________________________

What: Village of Providence Artisans & Farmers Market

When: Saturdays, April-November,  8am- noon
     
Where: Village of Providence Park on Town Center Drive, Huntsville

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: free

Website: click here

_____________________________________

What: Concerts on the Dock

When: Fridays, 6-9pm

Where: Lowe Mill under the water tower

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: $5 suggested donation

Website: click here


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Soothing my Soul

The Lord has brought several songs into my life in the last few weeks as I've need to be reminded of the truth of who God is even when life doesn't make sense.  They all happen to be by Travis Cottrell, one of my favorite worship leaders.  If you create a Spotify account, you can stream his music at work, home or on your phone.  All of these songs are from his Living Proof album.

Take a minute to sooth your soul:

Awesome (My God)



Never Once


Take Me to the King



Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Livin' it up in Dixie {4th of July Edition}




What: Huntsville Madison Country Veterans Memorial
       
Where: 200 Monroe Street, Huntsville (located just past the Historic Depot)

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: free, park along the street or in the surrounding business lots

Website: click here

The Huntsville Madison County Veterans Memorial was finished in 2011 and honors all of our country's veterans.  There are beautiful statues and historic points of interest. My favorite part is the Legacy Brick Walkway.  Back when they were raising funds to build the memorial, I bought a brick for Daddy in memory of his father, our Popa, SF3C Harold Forester.   You can see his brick at Section 40-Row 15-Column 9.  You can read about our first visit here.

_____________________________________

What: U.S. Space & Rocket Center Fireworks

When: July 4, 9pm
   
Where: great views from Bridge Street or anywhere near the Space & Rocket Center

Entrance Fee: free

Weather: possible rain, low 90's

Website: click here

This is billed as Huntsville's largest fireworks display so I suggest finding your spot early!

_____________________________________

What: Stars & Stripes Forever July 4th Celebration

When: July 4, 2-9pm with fireworks at 9pm
   
Where: Dublin Park, 8324 Madison Pike, Madison, AL

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: park at Bob Jones High School and ride the shuttle

Weather: possible rain, low 90's


Through out the afternoon, enjoy music, inflatables and food trucks in the park as you wait for fireworks.  I'm wondering if there's a secret spot where the fireworks from Dublin AND the Space and Rocket Center are both visible....if you know of a great viewing area, let me know!

_____________________________________

What: Providence Park Fireworks

When: July 4, 7:30pm with fireworks at 9:30pm
   
Where: Village of Providence

Entrance Fee: free

Weather: possible rain, low 90's


The US Army Concert Band will be preforming before the fireworks begin.  They don't let you bring a picnic to this event, but I'm thinking Moe's BBQ from across the street sounds pretty good!




Recurring Weekly Events:

What: Concert in the Park

When: Mondays, 6:30-8:30pm
   
Where: Huntsville Museum of Art outdoor stage

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: free, park along the street or in the surrounding business lots

Website: click here

_____________________________________
What: Park It Like It's Hot Food Truck Lunches

When: Wednesdays, 11am- 2pm
     
Where: Lowe Mill, under the water tower

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: free

Website: click here

_____________________________________
What: The Greene Street Market

When: Thursdays, May-October, 4-8pm

Where: corner of Greene Street and Eustis Avenue in Downtown Huntsville

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: should be free on surrounding streets and lots, but take cash just in case

Website: click here

_____________________________________

What: Village of Providence Artisans & Farmers Market

When: Saturdays, April-November,  8am- noon
     
Where: Village of Providence Park on Town Center Drive, Huntsville

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: free

Website: click here

_____________________________________

What: Concerts on the Dock

When: Fridays, 6-9pm

Where: Lowe Mill under the water tower

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: $5 suggested donation

Website: click here


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Early 4th Celebration

We all spent Monday evening livin' it up at Big Spring Park listening to the Army Materiel Band and enjoying the beautiful weather.  Look at that sunset- cell phone cameras don't do it justice!



The evening ended with fireworks that were just beautiful over downtown Huntsville.




Monday, June 26, 2017

Huntsville Gift Basket

As a church staff, we're excited to welcome Mount Zion's new pastor to our team.  We ministry assistants decided a gift basket would be a nice way to welcome him.  I mentioned doing a "Huntsville" themed basket and we went CRAZY!  But it was so fun!


We've spent the last month, collecting local goods, treats and information.

So if you need some ideas for a Huntsville gift basket, here's some ideas:

  • Old Huntsville newspaper with classic stories
  • Flint River coffee
  • Huntsville coaster from Harrison Brothers
  • Cotton stalks
  • Handel's Ice Cream gift card
  • Camouflage cup with bright orange "pastor" (our nod to local rednecks)
  • Local honey
  • Gibson's white BBQ sauce
  • List of Huntsville attractions and hot spots




We gathered everything in a galvanized tub, tied up with burlap ribbon!

We hope our new boss feels welcomed to the Rocket City!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Livin' it up in Dixie {movie & music}




What: Movies in the Park

When: Friday, June 23, 5pm with movie starting around 7pm
       
Where: Big Spring Park East

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: free, park along the street or in the surrounding business lots

Weather: stay weather aware...unfortunately this event might get rained out

Website: click here

This week's movie is "Secret Life of Pets" and is good for some laughs, especially if you have a pet.  I have seen this movie and it helped me realize what a full life Honey Bunch lives when we aren't watching!  If the event gets rained out, have your own movie night at home!

_____________________________________

What: 2017 Armed Forces Concert in the Park with Fireworks Show

When: Monday, June 26, 6:30-8:30pm
     
Where: Huntsville Museum of Art outdoor stage (if there's rain, the concert will be moved to the VBC South Hall)

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: free, park along the street or in the surrounding business lots

Weather: clear, low 80's

Website: click here

Nothing beats patriotic music and fireworks!  Be sure to bring your own chairs (even if the event is moved to the South Hall).  Picnics and pets are welcomed in the park.  Several food truck and vendors will be there so you can help support local businesses while celebrating Independence Day early!




Recurring Weekly Events:

What: Park It Like It's Hot Food Truck Lunches

When: Wednesdays, 11am- 2pm
     
Where: Lowe Mill, under the water tower

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: free

Website: click here

_____________________________________
What: The Greene Street Market

When: Thursdays, May-October, 4-8pm

Where: corner of Greene Street and Eustis Avenue in Downtown Huntsville

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: should be free on surrounding streets and lots, but take cash just in case

Website: click here

_____________________________________

What: Village of Providence Artisans & Farmers Market

When: Saturdays, April-November,  8am- noon
     
Where: Village of Providence Park on Town Center Drive, Huntsville

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: free

Website: click here

_____________________________________

What: Concerts on the Dock

When: Fridays, 6-9pm

Where: Lowe Mill under the water tower

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: $5 suggested donation

Website: click here


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Close to the brokenhearted


As many of you know, I work in the Student Ministry at Mount Zion Baptist Church.

It was our students who were involved in the fatal bus accident on June 8.

It was one of our students who lost her life that day.



The last 13 days have been a blur of grief, urgency, disbelief, shock and exhaustion.  For the privacy of all those involved, I won't share the details but I will say I've never seen the Body of Christ come together as I did in those first few hours and days.

I also experienced the strength of the Lord like never before as He sustained me through very difficult, long days on the administrative side of the tragedy.  When I didn't know how to pray, I felt the prayers of my loved ones interceding for me.

My heart remains broken and heavy for the students and families involved.  Join me in continuing to pray that they daily feel the Lord close to them.


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Livin' It Up in Dixie {movies & history}




What: Movies in the Park

When: Friday, June 9, 5pm with movie starting around 7pm
       
Where: Big Spring Park East

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: free if parking on street of business lots, possible charge if in city garage

Weather: clear, mid 80's

Website: click here

Bring your lawn chair, picnics, babies and dogs for this fun Huntsville treat!  Big Spring Park East (next to the YMCA) is just beautiful and the people watching is at its prime at events like this.  This week's movie is Ferris Bueller's Day Off, which I know bunches of people love but I've never seen so view at your own risk!

_____________________________________

What: The Miracle Worker at Ivy Green

When: Friday & Saturday evenings, June 2-July 8 at 8pm; gates open at 6:30pm for free tour
     
Where: 300 North Commons Street, Tuscumbia, AL 35674

Entrance Fee: House Tour (no play): $6 for adults, $5 for Seniors/AAA members, $3 for kids
                         Miracle Worker Play with House Tour: $10-$15

Parking: free

Website: click here

Helen Keller is perhaps the best known blind and deaf person in history.  She was born and raised about less than 2 hours from Huntsville in Tuscumbia, AL.  Ivy Green is the name of her family home and is preserved with Keller family belongings including Helen's collection of Braille books and typewriter.  In the summers, you can see a live performance of the Miracle Worker, the story of Helen and her teacher, Anne Sullivan.  This is certainly a piece of Alabama history you don't want to miss!

_____________________________________

What: Breakfast Trolley Tour

When: Saturdays at 10am, June through September
       
Where: tours begin and end at Alabama Constitution Village, 109 Gates Ave

Entrance Fee: $18, reservations encouraged

Parking: free

Website: click here

This sounds like something that should be required for all Huntsville residents!  On the tour, you'll enjoy a light breakfast with coffee and hear stories from Huntsville's past as you drive through downtown Huntsville and the historic Twickenham district.  A friend of mine has been on the tour and really enjoyed it!  It's certainly on my list of things to do this summer!

_____________________________________


Recurring Weekly Events:


What: Concerts in the Park

When: Mondays, June-August 7, 6:30-8pm
     
Where: Huntsville Museum of Art outdoor stage

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: free, park along the street or in the surrounding business lots

Weather: mid 80's

Website: click here

_____________________________________


What: Park It Like It's Hot Food Truck Lunches

When: Wednesdays, 11am- 2pm
     
Where: Lowe Mill, under the water tower

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: free

Website: click here

_____________________________________
What: The Greene Street Market

When: Thursdays, May-October, 4-8pm

Where: corner of Greene Street and Eustis Avenue in Downtown Huntsville

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: should be free on surrounding streets and lots, but take cash just in case

Website: click here

_____________________________________

What: Village of Providence Artisans & Farmers Market

When: Saturdays, April-November,  8am- noon
     
Where: Village of Providence Park on Town Center Drive, Huntsville

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: free

Website: click here

_____________________________________

What: Concerts on the Dock

When: Fridays, 6-9pm (this week's event is combined with the Cigar Box Festival listed above)

Where: Lowe Mill under the water tower

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: $5 suggested donation

Website: click here


Monday, June 5, 2017

Six Thirty Six

So on Friday, I turned 36 at 6:36am and following strict family tradition, received a phone call right on time where Moma and Daddy sang Happy Birthday to me.  Of course they have to sing quickly since they have to call Abby at 6:37am!

Chris and I took the day as an opportunity to explore Birmingham's newly opened food hall, The Pizitz.  I had read about it a few months ago and wanted to experience it myself.  I'd describe it as a trendy food court and even though it wasn't exactly what I expected we had a good time exploring!





Our plan was to try several new things and split them so we could cover more ground.  First up was Alabama Biscuit Company where we got the Alabama biscuit that had a maple butter sauce topped with roasted pecans.

I think we discovered that we're biscuit snobs because after our Jacksonville/Chattanooga favorite, Maple Street Biscuit Company, our Alabama biscuit fell short.  Other items on their menu look good though so I would give it a second chance!

Next we tried the waffle dog from Waffle Works.  It is indeed a hotdog wrapped in a waffle and sad to say, my top pick from The Pizitz.  Apparently when choosing food, my 12-year-old self takes over!

After a stroll around the block, we ordered street tacos at Choza Taqueria, whose sister restaurant is in NYC.

We tried the pollo, carnitas and steak barbacoa tacos.  Chris really enjoyed these!

Our last selection was our favorite and most ethnic- Eli's Jerusalem Grill where we had shawarma (shaved roasted chicken) and couscous.  We see both on Food Network all the time, but had never tried either.

We really enjoyed trying this meal!  Plus their pita was the best ever- it was soft and fluffy, not the dried out kind you normally have.

On the way home I was thrilled to stop at JC Penney!  My life has been so empty since they demolished ours.  I didn't buy anything, but walked around feelin' the love and asking myself why Fultondale can have a JCP and we can't.  Life's not fair.

We stopped at Target for Chris's Starbucks fix and my Icee fix- that 12-year-old girl thing keeps popping up!  May I just say their banana flavor tastes just like a banana popsicle!


Friday night we all gathered at Moma and Daddy's for lasagna and peach cobbler...and of course gifts!


Moma and Daddy got me the Huntsville pillow I've been eyeing and a candle from a local company who makes Huntsville-themed candles.  I got one named "Tinsel Trail".

They also got me some beautiful necklaces...

Abby and Nick floored me with a mini-replica of our wedding cake!  I had seen them on Etsy for a while and it was on my long-term wish list but leave it to Abby to totally spoil me!


Isn't just amazing!

After all the gifts had been opened, Daddy announced that he had something special for his birthday girls.  When it was my turn, he walked into the dining room carrying a giant "S".  My first thought is "our last name starts with a 'B'" but in the next split second I knew immediately what he was holding!

I ran over to him yelling something like "No, you didn't!!!"  "Oh my word- I can't believe it!"

Do you know what we're holding? (keep scrolling down...)




































Yes, folks, Daddy gave me the "S" from one of the Madison Square Mall signs!  I have the best Daddy EVER!

Before you start screaming "citizens arrest" let me ease your minds by saying he came by it sort-of-honest!  Moma had been watching the sign disappear and had mentioned to Daddy we should get part of it.  So, Daddy drove by one day and laying there in the grass, in two pieces, was the "S" someone else had already pried off the sign.

It's like God wanted me to have it!

But wait...there's more!

After finding the "S' a few weeks ago, Moma mentioned how neat it would be to have another letter.

We're a complicated bunch.

So on Friday, at 4am, Daddy drove back to the mall with a little hacksaw, ready to get another letter.  He said he drove up to the sign...but kept on driving...all the way back home...with no letter.

Moma said he walked in the house carrying that little hacksaw and said "I just couldn't do it."

{insert huge roar of laughter from all of us as they were telling us this story at dinner!}

I so love that my law-abiding Daddy just couldn't vandalize a sign that's gonna be torn down anyway.  Finding the "S" is one thing, but actually prying one off is another!  He'd do anything for me...except go to jail for stealing a "Q"!

This birthday story will certainly go down in Forester family lore!