I just realized I had some pictures from Birmingham that I had not yet shared. We had time for a few days going back to visit dear friends in Sweet Home Alabama. Part of my heart will always belong here. It felt great coming back and spending a few days here. We had not been back for the last three years so it was nice to catch up with the city and with friends.
Our friends now have this lake front view. This is a great view while you sip your morning coffee. Me and Carl took the little canoe out and paddled around the lake. Not a very large lake but such a nice thing to do in the sunshine.
Our friends K and M sure are big dog lovers just like we are. There were two new guys for us to meet. The German Shepard named Bo which is just so sweet and shy. He is a big dog but so shy. Then the little mixed breed named Sylvie. She was the complete opposite to Bo as she would bark and fuss and want all the attention.
Our sweetest favorite of them all of course will always be Sadie. A little older but just as cute. She rememberd us both well and slept with us every single night while we were staying in Alabama.
Admiring the big houses of our old neighborhood and nervously checking for dogs being out in the yard when doing a run in our old neighborhood. After the experience of being bitten by a dog during one of my runs I still have that fear in me when it comes to loose dogs in the yard.
We got to take the coolest car ride ever.Mike's new bright orange Jaguar is quite a catch. We were going to meet up with our Swedish friends and Mike lended us his car. Oh my the sound of that engine. Carl was happy as ever driving it but also quite nervous and drove really carefully. This is a car ride I won't forgett about. This is the coolest car I have ever ridden.
One of the evenings our friends son was going to a dance. The teens were all dressed up and the parents came over to take pictures. I realized this is such an all American expirence. I also reflected over some of the American names. One of the girls was named Sarha Simms. I first thought that Simms was her last name but it is part of her first name like a double first name. Another friends daughters name was Addison. There are so many different and unheard names in the US to us Europeans that are new. Names are fun and interesting. There is quite a cultural difference when it comes to names. Even among different cultures you have different naming cultures within the US. There are some very typical African-American names and typical Hispanic names of course. A very Swiss name is Ueli by the way.
One sunny afternoon we drove down to central Birmingham to meet up with friends. Things are starting to happen downtown. Improvments have been made to clean up the city center and make it more attractive for everyone. New condos have been built to populate the city core. Railroad Park as it is called has really transformed the city in a good way. They have done a great job creating it. It is also very safe being patroled by police 24-7.
There is something special about that rugged industiral feel and look that Birmingham has. Different cities have different sounds and one thing you can always hear near or further away in Birmingham is the whistle of trains.
The railway is always present in Birmingham, AL. Steel city is what Birmingham is. I always get the feeling that time has stopped here in a sence. There are certain streets you can look down at and feel like you have just time travelled back in time to the 1950's or something like that. I will forever be grateful for the Alabama adventure we got to experience by living here for a few years. I am also very grateful for being able to keep up the friendship with our Swedish friends here as well as our former neighbors.