I had a few things in the fire for the weekend because not only was our book club meeting Saturday, but we were meeting in Birmingham. Yep, we had an overnight, away meeting. And yes, in Birmingham about an hour away. But let me tell you it was wonderful outing, short but very fulfilling.
Even if I am going out of town for one day or several days my house must be clean and linens changed. So my plan was to accomplish everything on my to-do list Friday night when I got home. However, my second job would not let me great. We had absolutely no customers from 8 until 8:47 pm. We were pretty steady prior to that time, but when the first order came in at 8:47 pm we had 5 more behind that one. Really? Seriously? Anytime and I mean anytime I have something I need to do and I work that night, we get this type delay. So I got home after 10 pm, and did a bit of cleaning. Did I mention I hadn’t even packed? Yeah, I was not great.
I had to run to the bank Saturday morning and get gas so I managed to run the errands, make two soy candles, change linens, dust, vacuum, bathe, pack and eat breakfast before noon. Of course we were to leave by noon, but you know how that goes. We left at 12:30 or thereabouts. We were only an hour or so away.
With any uneventful trip to B’ham, we found our hotel, Embassy Suites – Hoover, which is a three year old hotel, directly across from the Galleria Mall. FYI – malls are dying. When we got there they only had one room ready and we had to wait on the other room. Only problem was the room was a smoking suite. Seriously, how many hotels allow smoking nowadays? The one in Montgomery is non-smoking. We were concerned because one of my members is asthmatic and we knew she could not stay in the room. I am allergic, however, because we got the rooms at an employee discount we didn’t want to make a fuss, but we did not reserve a smoking room. So we all gathered in the room that was ready and laughed, talked and snacked. So the employee book club member went to check into our other room. After she had been gone for about 45 minutes I called her. She then proceeded to tell me she had to “act” up and we were determined not to do so since she is employed by the chain. However, we booked a two room suite with double beds and they were going to give us a king bed. Not going to work. Her words were how the hell were her, another member and me going to sleep in a king bed when Cashana doesn’t like anyone touching her, at.all. So true. LOL! The manager had to be called and she actually went to the room to insure it was going to be adequate and make sure we weren’t getting what we didn’t reserve. She explained we were being inconvenienced by having a smoking room, we had to be on separate floors and waiting to check in long after check in time we weren’t going to be inconvenience any more someone else was going to have to be inconvenient. Boom…
Well after the rooms were dealt with we were headed out to eat. We originally planned to go to The Cheesecake Factory but the no reservations thing and how busy they are on Saturday was a big no. We then went to Firebirds and let me tell you. They will be hard pressed to ever see me at one of their establishments, and we have one here in Montgomery which opened last year. It took them 10 minutes to tell us how long the wait would be. They do not take reservations; however, the hostess returned and said it would be about 2 hours before they could seat us because they had 29 reservations. Really? Another guest said they must have changed their policy because they have never taken reservations. They had a lobby full of people and the hostesses weren’t accommodating or welcoming. You don’t want our money, we will spend it elsewhere. Yes, the Firebirds in the Galleria Mall area.
So we headed to J. Alexander’s and although they told us the wait was an hour and 20 minutes because their large table areas had just been seated, they offered us suggestions such as split up for two tables. And then they said the magic words, “If you are willing to split up into threes we can seat you now.” As one of my members said, “I don’t care. I will sit with a family I don’t know if I can eat now.” And we sat down to one of the best dining experiences I have had a long time. The food, drink, atmosphere and service were impeccable.
We headed back to the hotel for the Evening reception for free drinks and to discuss the book. We had a ball people watching at the reception and then it was time for the meeting. Yes, we had a book discussion and commenced to dance, drink and be merry. However, some of my book club members are getting old and headed straight to bed a little after 9 pm. Yeah and really. The rest of us laughed and talked until almost midnight…we are getting old. We continued to have a good time even after one of the neighboring rooms called down to the front desk to complain we were loud, this happened at about 10:30 pm, when we were watching SNL. Even when the security guard came up he was mad he had to come tell us there was a complaint. I was like if we were loud, how come I could hear folks kids running in the hallway. Sighing…but not caring.
Of course I didn’t sleep, but got up and had wonderful breakfast which the hotel provided. A nice, hot breakfast where I had a delicious Chocolate Pecan Caramel Cappuccino. We headed to the mall to hit up the Mac counter. I wanted a new lipstick and baby I got one. I wish our Mac counter here in Montgomery gave a damn.
We made it back to Montgomery by 2 and I went to the grocery store and came home and crashed. Baby I needed my beauty sleep. I can’t sleep in anyone’s bed but my own.
Monday was an off day for me, but as I did last year I did a day of service through our Hands Over the River Region volunteer group. I worked with them last year when I went to The Salvation Army to feed the homeless. This year I was part of the cleanup efforts for Transformation Montgomery. Seriously, I need to really read and understand the volunteer things I sign up for. I really had no idea what exactly I would be doing. But I picked the easiest thing to do, which was to pick up trash from the empty field. Well, it wasn’t that easy because constantly bending down was not fun especially for my back. So once the field was done I worked around the area where there was this steep hill, I worked the base of the hill, because I am too old to be climbing hills. As the owner said, you almost have to be part Billy goat to climb the hill. And I am no Billy goat. As I was getting closer to my stopping area, because I was not going to pick up trash out of a ditch, no can do, I look and my breath caught. Right there in front of me was a gun. Rusted gun. Of course, I stared at it a minute and asked what part of this was Martin Luther King’s dream… Then I took a picture and sent a text to my sister and The Guy. Of course, my sister overreacts thinking it is in front of my house. Um, ain’t no one going to throw a gun away in someone’s yard. I then went to the event organizer and the owner and the police were called. Most of the volunteers were young and I am kinda glad I was the one to find the gun. The police picked the gun up with his bare hands and brushed it off and then proceeded to spend an hour trying to get the clip out of the gun. First of all, why? Secondly, the gun had been there awhile, but the part that was touching the ground actually wasn’t rusted. Thirdly, the gun probably has a body on it and it could be from one of the 50 deaths of 2013 in the city. So my day of service wasn’t boring by any means.
So, that was my weekend in a nutshell. Hope you had a good one as well.
Have a wonderful week!