As I’ve mentioned before, we are movers. Between Laura and myself we have lived in Memphis, Nashville, Franklin, Huntsville, Montgomery, Tuscaloosa, and a part of our growing up years in Pensacola. A common denominator with all of these towns is Interstate 65 and with Montgomery being our home base (where my parents and in-laws live) we have spent a lot of time driving this stretch of highway. When you spend a lot of time driving the same route you learn the usual stops. For example, we are Love’s gas station fans, we stop in Clanton for really good ice cream and peaches, and when we used to travel from Montgomery to Memphis we made sure to fill up on gas before leaving Alabama because the stretch of Mississippi you go through is a whole lot of nothing… you get the picture. One place we always drive by but rarely make the effort to stop and enjoy is Birmingham. Yes, we may have the occasional Galleria or Taco Casa stop, but very rarely do we take the time to enjoy this city.
Last weekend Laura turned thirty. Between babies and juggling life we very rarely get a chance to drop everything, leave the babies with Daddy, and enjoy a girls weekend. Who better to accompany us on this girl getaway then our mom who is always up for an adventure. So last Friday we packed our bags, chatted on and off all day about what we were planning to wear, and left town for a girls getaway!
After many recommendations from our wonderful readers, we reserved a room at the Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa. When we arrived at the hotel Mom and I were greeted by a familiar face in the lobby, a cute girl sitting by the fireplace reading a book on her kindle…Laura! Was she happy to see us or just giddy with excitement that she was childless and guaranteed 24 hours of getaway bliss?
As you pull up to the hotel it makes a glorious impression. The hotel appears to have stepped right our of the Scottish country side. Maybe it was the grand lodge feel or how at sunset a bagpipe is played on the hill. Let’s just say this place makes an impression.
Check out this pool!
Next we headed out to our 8:00 dinner reservation at Gianmarco’s. We had two different readers recommend this restaurant. With this being our first time we were not sure what to expect, but we knew if it is Italian there would be pasta. And if there was pasta the three of us would be just fine!
No great recommendation could have prepared us for the lovely experience we had at Gianmarco’s. We showed up five minutes early and were immediately shown to our table. The restaurant was bustling and full of life. We were seated and served fresh bread and olive oil. As we looked at the menu our mouths began to water not because of what we were reading but because of what we could smell. The kitchen opened up to the dinning room. The energy of the kitchen as well as the aroma of fresh italian seasonings spilled over into the dinning room towards our table and all I can say is the restaurant owners knew what they were doing when they created this atmosphere.
At the recommendation of our server we began by trying the Fiocchi Fresh Pasta Purses Stuffed with Pears, Gorgonzola, and Walnuts with Dawn Sage Butter and Proscuitto. The sweetness of the pears accompanied with the tanginess of the gorgonzola and saltiness of the proscuitto made for a trio of deliciousness and a fabulous starter.
We each ordered three different main dishes.
I ordered the Risotto with Shrimp, Clams, Mussels, and Calamari in Spicy Marinara finished with Butter and Grana.
Mom and Laura both ordered the specials for the night. Laura had the Veal Chop with Risotto and Green Beans. Mom ordered the Linguini with Mushrooms, Pesto, and Clams.
We polished off dinner with a trio of delicious desserts.
The next morning we woke up to crisp fall air.
Enjoyed the breakfast buffet…
Then I was off to do a little shopping.
While we wished we could have tackled much more in this wonderful city, a little rest and relaxation was just what these mommas needed.
What are your favorite things to do in Birmingham? What should we see and do on our next trip?