Have you ever had a favorite something that you would really go out of your way to get to...even if it meant dragging your whole family down with you?
I was born and raised in South Texas. Whataburger and I share the same hometown, which means that where I grew up, there are more Whataburgers than fleas on a dog.
Let's say: there are more Whataburgers than fries in a Whata-size.
My point: I ate a lot of Whataburger. Number 7 with cheese, please. All the way. Unless it's time for breakfast, in which case I'd like a Bob: Breakfast on a Bun.
The closest Whataburger to where we live now is in Birmingham, Alabama. I live in Georgia. There are Whataburgers in Alabama and Florida, but somehow the WB family has neglected the state of Georgia. Believe me, I have sent many a-complaint to WB Headquarters.
So when my birthday rolled around in September, I decided I wanted that Number 7...in spite of the three hour one-way drive.
Well it was my birthday; I wasn't about to go alone.
DH was all for it, because he loves the WB as much as I do. And my boys are always up for a road trip, so we set out on the interstate in want of a great burger and fries.
The trouble was that I had no idea what else we'd do while we were in Birmingham. But I figured there had to be some antique stores or something that I could torture my all-male family with, so I was content with that.
However, it's not like me to go somewhere and not have some kind of an idea, so I did a little research first. I found an old bookstore in downtown Birmingham called Jim Reed Books and The Museum of Fond Memories. (Sidebar: when the owner answers the phone, he says, "Reed Books...." I thought that was worth posting.)
The quote at the top of his website was a review of the store:
"To call Reed Books an 'old bookstore' is a bit like saying the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel has a good paint job." -- Allen Johnson Jr., author
As a lover of just about all things old, and especially old books, I just had to go there.
I was not disappointed...about the Whataburger or the book store.
We found the Whataburger first as it was just about lunch time and we were all starving.
This was the lovely lady who greeted us at the counter. She knew something was up when I walked in with my Nikon 35 mm camera taking pictures. I never saw her without that sweet smile on her face. She just about made my day, and I think we might have improved her day, too. She could not get over the fact that we had just driven in from North of Atlanta just for Whataburger.
We ate our wonderful, hot, delicious lunch and laughed with the staff and the other customers in the restaurant, who were as sweet as pie. And to prove it, that wonderful lady gave us all free fried pies before we left, just because we came all the way there just to see them. It was a treat well worth waiting for.
Here's Mini me after our meal, a.k.a. Les Miserables.
We made our way back on the road to look for this bookstore I had read about, and it revealed itself about 20 minutes later. Getting out of our truck parked on the curb in front of the store, I could hardly contain myself. There were squeals and claps and beaming smiles oozing from my being. I hadn't even entered the store yet.
We finally got past the storefront, which was interesting in and of itself, and much to my amazement we opened the door to this.
Immediately to the left of me just inside the door was this.
We didn't need to find any other antique store; this was going to suit my purpose juuuuuust fine.
We spent three hours in this one store, and I didn't even get to see everything. What's even more amazing than that is the fact that in three hours, my three boys didn't even get bored! Well, maybe a little at the end, but I'm telling you there was something for everybody in this place. Mini me got a couple of Star Wars books, Lil bit got a cheap plastic hero mask from the 1970's (huh?) and I got a coupla things for my birthday, too.
This glorious cabinet housed books that Mr. Reed kept locked away until someone asked to see them. They were either extremely rare, extremely old, or otherwise extremely expensive. In his acute discernment, he sensed my quivering excitement and pulled a book out of this cabinet that was no less than 450 years old and let me flip through it.
I was dumbfounded.
So much so that I forgot to take a picture of it before he put it back in the cabinet. :-/
Once we left antiquity paradise on earth, can you guess where we stopped before going home?
We had to eat dinner, didn't we?