Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Grand Hotel

The weekend after Labor Day, Zeb spoke at the ACP meeting at the Grand Hotel.  We spent at quick 48 hours down there while Sara and Brad took care of our crew at home!  

The Wash House--so yummy a must do!

We had some fun on an ocean kayak the morning that we left!  

Zeb, Jeremy, and Amy were all chief residents together.  All three spoke at this conference so it was fun catching up with them and their spouses.

 (We ate lunch at the Fairview Inn and dinner at the Steakhouse inside the Grand.)

Labor Day in Birminham

It's been a couple of years since a McDaniel Family Vacation and since this year is quickly coming to an end, we decided to get away for a quick weekend over Labor Day.  Since it was so quick I didn't want to spend it in the car and suggested Birmingham.  A good middle ground since Elizabeth's family is in Georgia.  My dad rolled his eyes at this and questioned us even going until the very end.  I think he's glad we did it! :)  We really had fun!  It was nice and low key with a little activity.  

We all arrived at dinner time and ate at Saw's BBQ.  Yummy!

The next morning Sara and I go for a walk--we matched--again.  It's embarrassing how many times this happens to us!

I really believe the kids would have been happy never leaving the hotel!  It had a full breakfast, a swimming pool, and Shirley Temple's in the evening.  I mean what more could 6 cousins ask for!

We did some shopping in downtown Homewood and came across this really good Greek place.  I  think the name was Do Di Yos.  

There were fish and rocks in the hotel!  (On a side note...only a third child would be allowed to do this!  I never would have let SB and L)

Board games and Shirley Temple's

On Saturday, Elizabeth's family and Sara and Brad went to Starkville for the opening game.  That is the night we found that yummy Italian place (Bongiorno???) and met the officer who took Sam on the tour.

lunch at Urban Cookhouse

McWane Science Center

Waiting FOREVER to eat at Flip Burger

We got three good ones!

 The Vulcan

And of course, Steele City Pops

doing their goodbye handshake

Friday, September 12, 2014

Sam's Really Cool Experience...

When we were in Birmingham over Labor Day we ate dinner at this tiny family owned Italian restaurant in the Mountain Brook area.  Locals were in and out.  Everyone knew everyone's name.  This officer comes in and gets his order.  While he is waiting he is visiting with the hostess.  Sam was mesmerized by him and asked him a question about what was on his belt.  That led to an invitation to the police station the next day for a private tour.  Now...we weren't expecting much.  Zeb and I actually almost didn't take him.  I AM SO GLAD WE DID!!!  Thank you so much Officer Sulenski.  You have made his year!

The first part of the tour was in the jail command room.  From this room they can open and shut doors in the jail and they observe the people in the jail.  

These are the evidence lockers.

The gun room (can't remember what he called it)

 This is in the swat team room.  We learned that the swat car is an old ambulance.  This man was the breecher.  (the guy who bangs down the doors)  He showed Sam all the various equipment that a Swat team member needs.

And he waited on Sam to check his car in for the day.

He taught Sam to walk around the car and make sure there are no new dents.

To check the back to make sure there are cones, a fire extinguisher, and a tool to unlock cars.  

They had to check the sirens and the lights too, of course!

He gave Sam this cool "real" badge and told him that if he was going to wear it he had to promise to "always tell the truth and to make good choices."

 showing off his badge

Sam was appalled that I had only packed his T-shirt and not his full uniform for the trip.  The very first thing he did when we got home was to uniform up!  He's ready!