Can't you tell that I'm very proud to be from the beautiful state of Alabama? Why wouldn't I be?! It's a great state to live in and a lovely one as well. I've lived and grew up in both Opelika and Hueytown so they are both my home. My Dad's side of the family live in Opelika where my Mom's side live in Hueytown...you just can't go wrong! Two nice towns intersecting with big college cities!
Being across the Atlantic from home it does get hard to keep up with things over there. Thank God there's the Internet! Everyday I log on to the OA News & Birmingham News websites to see what is going on back home. I also like to look at the websites of some of my favorite places to go when in Alabama. Make sure they are still up and running and what news there is if any.
Right now they are trying to restore the statue of Vulcan. He was built in 1904 and has been keeping a watchful eye over the city since the 1930's. He was then fitted with a torch which glows green when there have been no traffic fatalities and red when someone has died in a traffic-related accident. I used to go there when I was a kid. The outside glass elevator used to scare the shit out of me. But once you are up there you can see all of Birmingham, as Vulcan is a top Red Mountain, and it is a beautiful sight. It's so nice when I would go back to Birmingham and see the old man standing above the city looking down at me. I could almost hear him say "Welcome home kid!"
Sports, sports, sports. Can't be from the South and not like sports! My favorite baseball teams are the Birmingham Barons and the Atlanta Braves. I also like the Chicago White Sox but they are up North (mainly because of Frank Thomas who played for the Barons and is from Columbus, GA). When it comes to football, being from Alabama you are either an Auburn fan or an Alabama fan. I have always been an Auburn Tiger. My Dad has always been a Bama fan though. Best game of the year is always the Iron Bowl. When Auburn and Alabama collide for what is always an awesome game no matter who wins. Tiger Rags always has T-shirts ready to be printed by the end of a game with just the scores to lay down for when Auburn win and everyone is there right after the game to buy them! It's great!
Birmingham has great restaurants too! For the best damned ribs in the South go to Dreamland BBQ. Trust me!! Until a few years ago, their moto was "No Slaw. No Beans. No Potato Salad. Don't Ask!". Because their menu was always just ribs, chips, bread slices, tea, coke & beer. That's it! And trust me, that was enough!! There was a lot of contraversy when they decided to add slaw, beans, and potato salad. But I don't think people are complaining too much these days. Another favorite place of mine is The Original Pancake House. My friends and I love to go there for a late Saturday breakfast. Orange juice so fresh that I once sat there and picked out seeds! Blueberry pancakes to die for! It's in the perfect spot in Downtown Birmingham (AKA Southside) and the service is rarely bad. In the south we gladly eat pancakes and biscuits any time of day we want and the OPH is opened till 2pm serving only pancakes and breakfast sides. A great breakfast, brunch or even lunch. (God I'm sounding like an advert!).
In London, they have Party in the Park (Hyde Park) for one night in July. In Birmingham, we have City Stages!! For a whole weekend (Fri-Sun), they block off part of Downtown Birmingham and throw the biggest party around. People from all over the US go to it. They have around 10 stages with about 150 performances with gobs of different type of music. It is a party beyond parties. I once saw Jerry Lee Lewis and BB King perform there. Not many people my age can say that! Another thing we have is VisionLand. VisionLand is Alabama's answer to Six Flags...well, we tried anyway. It lies in Bessemer just off I-59/20. Built mainly by the tax payers of the smaller towns around Birmingham it has given a lot of kids summer jobs and a place to go when they are out of school.