Many years ago when I went to Boston for St. Patrick’s Day weekend, I got to experience my first ‘flower show,’ and what I didn’t know it at the time, flower shows are a big tradition in March in the northeast. Since I’d never been to a flower show, I really didn’t know what to expect. Flower shows are similar to a home and garden show in the South, but with lots of blooming flowers people can purchase. [Read more…] about Spring flower shows feature Alabama’s Redneck Rosarian
I am not in favor of making New Year resolutions because making them puts a lot of pressure on you to be successful.
It’s a big let down when you don’t achieve them, and it seems like one broken resolution is a domino effect for all of the rest. [Read more…] about Setting 2018 goals instead of resolutions
I love New York I admit it I do; always have. I’ve been there many times for work and vacation. The city has a certain type of energy that I thrive off of, even if it’s pouring down rain. This past week I got to visit the city again for work. I crammed as much time in the city as I could after the sessions at a conference I was attending. I always seem to find connections in NYC that relate to me back in Alabama.
On Monday night, I attended an Off Broadway performance of a NYC Industry Reading of 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey the Musical in a small actor’s theatre off of 54th Street. The musical is based on famed Alabama author Kathryn Tucker Windham’s 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey book and was originally performed at the Red Mountain Theatre in Birmingham in October 2010. Kathryn gave her blessing to the adaptation by Don Everett Garrett and Kevin Francis Finn prior to her death. My connection to this performance started with a random Facebook message sent through the North Jefferson Arts Alliance page from Glen Kinnaird a producer and director from Gardendale, Alabama, who is now living and working in New York, he along with Don Everett Garrett were the architects who produced the Industry Reading for New York. I am the volunteer Executive Director for the all-volunteer organization, and we sponsored the New York reading and will work with Glen on his summer theatre camps for children in Alabama. It was either luck or intervention by “Jeffrey” that my conference was in New York at the same time as the reading and definitely not something I thought I would get the chance to do while in New York. Our organization will have a performance from the musical at our June 10 Black Creek Arts Festival in June in Fultondale, Alabama. The performance was fabulous and I thoroughly enjoyed the performance and am hopeful that it will become a full-fledge musical Off Broadway soon. So many times people do not understand the history of the South or Alabama, for that matter, and so this will be a refreshing addition to telling the story of our state and one of it’s most renowned Southern authors.
Tuesday night, I went with a colleague from the conference that I had just met to Times Square. It was poring rain, but that didn’t stop us from taking in the area’s energy. I’ve always loved the bright lights of the area and have on occasion attended a Broadway play. There was no time to attend another play this time, but enjoying the sights and sounds were all I needed.
Wednesday after the conference ended, I have about four hours before having to head to the airport. I took the subway to Macy’s at Herald Square and to my surprise they had window dressings for their upcoming Flower show. One of the things I am dying to do is to see the windows at Macy’s at Christmas, but I have to say the Spring windows were the next best thing to the holidays. After that I met up with Glen again and we walked the 1.45 mile High Line, a relatively new elevated walking trail that used to be old railway tracks. You can see the Hudson River from the trail and read about the area’s history as you walk. There weren’t many flowers or greenery blooming, but I got an indication of what it would look like in the Spring and Summer seasons. It seems that New York like Alabama, has found a use for abandoned railway tracks in creating new greenspace opportunities for people to enjoy. Where I live we have the Rails to Trails project that has turned the old CSX Mineral Line into a 3.5 mile walking trail. I walk this trail often.
It really is amazing how many similarities you can find to your hometown when you travel. We all live in short proximity to each other and distance really doesn’t mean anything and knows no boundaries if you look for these similarities. To me it’s all about the connections to the energy of people and places that matter.
My Christmas break usually lasts for about two weeks. It is a time for me to rest and relax with no worries about deadlines. I spend a lot of time with family and it’s typically very low key. My dogs love for me to be at home, because they get the constant attention they so lack when I am at work. This year, however, I decided to cap off the holiday season by taking my dad to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, Louisiana where Auburn was playing Oklahoma on Jan. 2. Some friends that I sit beside at the Auburn home games had made plans to go to the Sugar Bowl after Auburn’s bowl game was announced. I really didn’t think much about going until I found out I could get tickets to the game cheaper through Stub Hub. Plus I was able to get a relatively reasonable price on a hotel room through Booking.com, so the decision to go was made.
It had been about five years since my last trip to New Orleans. A lot of people don’t particularly like New Orleans because of the 24/7 party atmosphere. I on the other hand, love the city, mainly because of the food, culture and music. I used to visit New Orleans every year, but since Hurricane Katrina I have not visited as often as I would like. The last time I was in New Orleans was in May 2011 around my birthday. I have always wanted to visit the city during the Christmas holidays. I’ve seen photos of the New Orleans hotels decorated for the holidays on social media, so I knew the holiday season would be beautiful. So not only was I going to the game but able to spend time in New Orleans during the holiday.
New Orleans has many historic hotels especially on Canal Street, the main street, and in the French Quarter. My dad and I arrived early in the evening on New Year’s Day. After checking into our hotel in the Garden District, we took the trolley to meet up with our friends at The Roosevelt Hotel. It was one of the hotels that I had seen on social media, the lobby was gorgeous. We had drinks in The Fountain Lounge and then walked to the French Quarter for dinner. We ended up eating at Felix’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar on Iberville Street in the Quarter. The restaurant is known for its charbroiled oysters, and I can testify that they do melt in your mouth. Being my father’s daughter, I struck up a conversation with the table next to me and met a woman who was a cancer survivor. She was vacationing in New Orleans for New Year’s Eve before starting a PR job in Las Vegas with MGM Entertainment. It’s funny how you meet interesting people when traveling. I have vowed to keep in touch with her.
On Monday morning, my dad and I ate breakfast at the Trolley Stop Cafe in the Garden District before meeting up with our friends. (I highly recommend the restaurant!) After we caught up with them, we hung out a while at the Marriott Hotel where the Auburn football team was staying. We saw former players and cheerleaders and, of course, Aubie the Auburn mascot. My dad stayed at the hotel while my friends and I walked around the French Quarter again. We went to see the Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone. Part of the experience at the bar is that it slowly turns around the room. After walking around Bourbon Street we returned to the Marriott and got ready for the game.
The game didn’t turn out exactly as I hoped it would, but the night did. After the game we ended up at the world famous Cafe Du Monde for coffee and beignets. The trip was fun despite Auburn’s loss. Plus I was able to spend time with my dad and my Auburn friends who have become more like family.
Most who love Birmingham, love the city’s iconic Ironman who has been sitting on top of Red Mountain since 1936. Vulcan is the largest cast iron statute in the world! Renovations to Vulcan park and the statue were made during the years of 1999-2004. I love attending meetings at the park and taking visitors to the statute. I was there last week for an organization meeting. Vulcan Park and Museum also recently renovated and expanded their gift shop “The Anvil,” and just yesterday the Birmingham Kiwanis Club announced a $4 Million gift to expand the north side of the park. These are exciting times for a the City that continues to be magical. See plans for the expansion at the Birmingham Business Journal . To plan your visit go to Visit Vulcan .