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7 June 2016

travel | snapshots of birmingham

the weekend before last - may's last long weekend, and our last until august (gah!), bex and i took a little trip north to the uk's second city. we were advised by everyone to not bother with birmingham, but seeing as our choices for slam dunk festival were leeds, birmingham or hatfield, we decided to make a staycation of it, and went anyway. it's only a couple of hours on the train, and by lunch time we had arrived at grand central station, to literal fanfare.

it was pride weekend, and the parade was in full swing when we arrived. who knew! not us. it was fun though, especially because i've never seen a pup in the flesh. or, latex, as it were. and the parade was winding its way up around the bullring and then down into the gay village, which was totally cute and looked like loads of fun, and also meant that the parade wasn't going to affect our route too much. which was handy, because it was hot as hell and we had much walking to do. we did vow to come back later and check out the after party; it was just too good timing to not take advantage of the party vibes!

we dropped our stuff in our hotel which was up-ish by the jewellery quarter-ish, then we headed out to explore. it was about 2pm by that time, and we were peckish, so we wandered looking for food. we found "the canal" (there are a shit tonne, don't be fooled) and the gas street basin, which is super pretty and there is plenty of foodie options, but we had been recommend somewhere in particular so we meandered on. and got a bit lost. and relied heavily on google maps to get about, but at least it was a pretty enough city to wander through. we even met a canal dog named frankie - she was especially cool.

we eventually found the bar we were recommended - the lost and found, and from there: drank heavily. it was totally unintentional, of course, but the far was just so flippen wonderful that we really, truly had no desire to leave. the cocktails weren't cheap, but my goodness, they were tasty. we sat there for a few hours tasting their creations before stumbling out the building and then literally into the restaurant next door - buffalo and rye, simply because i saw the word "hot dogs" on the window. i mean, we didn't even eat the hot dogs. we ate just about everything else though, just no hotdogs.

after eating our weight in chicken wings and bbq'ed meat (and having the absolute bessssst candid chats with the early-forties couple sat next to us who were on a date away from their blended family for the night, who just had the best bants and who were ultimate relationship goals) we literally stumbled our way back to the hotel. it was probably about seven or eight - not late at all, yet too early to go and find the after party. plus.. we're old, and we were drunk, and pretty tired with a big day ahead of us. all the excuses in the book, basically.

i'm glad we had such a beautiful day on our arrival, as it meant that everything was just that little bit prettier for us. i honestly couldn't fathom people's advice to stay away from birmingham; after only a few hours in the city, we'd certainly were enjoying ourselves... *hic*

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