Getting to Know You

DISCLAIMER: I found this post sitting as a draft when I thought I had posted it live…weeks ago. But we are definitely still getting to know the Magic City so without further ado…

Well we haven’t been in Birmingham long but the storm of moving has passed. Not a single box remains in our apartment, although our storage unit is a different story. The pups made their adjustment and actually l.o.v.e. our new place. W and I enjoy driving around somewhat aimlessly while getting to know the city.

One thing that Birmingham is very proud of is its culinary scene. We are excited to have more options available and we didn’t really know where to start. We want to try as many places as possible but we are also trying to cook at home more often than we eat out. In my mind this translates to cooking on week nights and going out during the weekend.

We have also been exploring because our current apartment is temporary. Sometime in the fall the entire complex will be demolished so that a new luxury development can start building. We have been trying to get to know different neighborhoods so that we can choose a place to make more permanent. Right now our favorite seems to be Homewood. Why?

1. Convenience. No matter where we have lived previously, we have always rented in an ideal location. We really enjoy walking to as many places as possible and having simple commutes. Homewood is convenient to W’s office, downtown, and many other neighborhoods in B’ham.

Homewood AL Edgewood neighborhood

An example of a home for sale in Homewood. Photo credit: Realty South

2. Comfort. Homewood feels very comfortable, safe, and is just really darn cute. We love the tree lined streets with plenty of sidewalks, the parks, and the older houses. Finding a house with a yard is definitely on our list of things to do – the pups would greatly benefit.

3. Commerce. Homewood has a great amount of shops and restaurants. The boutiques are fab and most of the restaurants we have tried were keepers. You really wouldn’t need to leave unless going to the Apple Store at The Summit (but this isn’t far away either).

I plan on trying to blog about our favorite restaurants and other unique finds in the city. Hopefully I can find a better blogging routine before we need to move again. You just never know…

Buon Giorno!

It seems with each and every post I always have an excuse for my lack of blogging. I think this time will be the first acceptable one.

I have been on an extended vacation in Italy with my mother in law (M) and sister in law (Claire @ HighGlossBlue). This was a birthday gift for M and a trip that all of us absolutely appreciated.

May 1 we departed ATL and arrived in Rome’s Fiumicino airport, from which we bought train tickets straight to Florence, where we stayed for three days. We saw the major sites and museums, bought some amazing leather pieces, and we really enjoyed our bed and breakfast which was located above the Piazza del Porcellino.

Florence, Italy St. John's Baptistry

Florence, Italy: Mosaic Domed Ceiling of St. John’s Baptistry

Sounds awesome right?! Well it only gets better because our next stop was cooking school in Positano. A true paradise. From Florence we took the train to Naples and cooking school provided us transportation to Positano. In Positano we stayed at the Hotel Savoia and had cooking classes scheduled almost every other day for a whole week. When we didn’t have cooking classes on the agenda, we were taking excursions to destinations such as Capri, Amalfi, Ravello, and Sorrento.

The Vertical City: Positano, Italy

Positano, Italy: The vertical city

Our cooking classes took place in commercial kitchens of two restaurants: il Ritrovo and Le Tre Sorelle. Il Ritrovo is located in the hills above Positano and our instructors, Salvatore and Marilu, taught us how to make homemade pasta, chicken cacciatore, tiramisu, and many other recipes. Over Memorial Day weekend we all recreated the chicken cacciatore and tiramisu. We impressed ourselves and those who didn’t make the trip 😉

Il Ritrovo Via Montepertuso

Making homemade pasta, il Ritrovo Master Chef Salvatore

After our week in Positano, we had a morning tour of Pompeii and then we drove to Rome. We spent three days trying to see all of the sights and the Vatican. Our first day we used a 1-day walking guide from a travel book so that we could see many sights in a short amount of time. This walking tour included Trevi fountain, Spanish Steps, Piazza del Popolo, Pantheon, and of course some churches in between. Another day was spent touring the Vatican with our guide Paola. Our last day we walked through the Borghese gardens and ate the best gelato in all of Rome at Ciampini.

Blue Grotto Capri Italy

Capri, Italy Blue Grotto

Finally we returned to ATL, craving burgers and fries, and already planning our return trip to Positano.