#1,411 Birmingham.

Somehow I’ve managed to live 28 years without ever really visiting Birmingham though I’ve driven through it a million times. We woke up at 7:00 to make the 3 hour drive and I was struggling. It’s been a while since I saw 7:00 am. That’s the life of the self-employeed, I reckon. Which is the way I prefer it.

After a bowl of maple oatmeal, life looks a little better. And I got to wear my new sweater for the first time since it was freezing in Birmingham!

We got into Bham in time for lunch before my appointment and went to Niki’s West, which promised to be one of the best places to eat in town. It’s an upscale cafeteria if such a thing can exist, and they have about a million soul food side dishes and 10 main courses to choose from. Ben said, “if anyone ever asks you what kind of person I am—tell ’em I’m a meat and three man.” That’s exactly right.

Then after a nice visit with my two new (and very knowledgeable) doctors in the nicest hospital I’ve ever been to and some quick bloodwork:

We went to test drive a 2005 Range Rover HSE with a price tag that we couldn’t pass up. I’ve always thought they’re such cool, beautiful cars. I have a crush on all things Euro.

And as beautiful and affordable as it was, it didn’t feel right. Even though the Tahoe is starting to show its 215,000 miles with oil drips and fading paint, we’re still so in love with it. I thought of our road trip to Vermont. Of washing it in the summertime. Of how when I’m riding in it, it feels like an extension of our home—safe, comfortable, cozy, American. The thought of replacing it with a European car (when there are already 2 Volkswagens in our names) was too sad to bear, and we backed out on a perfectly awesome car. So if any of you want it, let me know and we’ll tell you where to find it. In the meantime, we’ll be on the hunt for a black 2005-2006 Tahoe Z71 to replace our old friend when we find the perfect one. It sort of sucks to be so sentimental about everything, but alas.

It is what it is. Whaddayagonnado?