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In late November 2014, we made the trek to Birmingham, Alabama to attend a UAB football game. We took off on Friday and Monday so we could make a long weekend out of it. We didn’t have a lot of expectations for this trip, but we were pleasantly surprised by it! All of us ended up loving Birmingham! It is such a quaint city. This is our UAB Football trip report.
We left home on Friday morning at about 5:15. After an hour or so on the road, we stopped for breakfast and a potty break. We decided to skip lunch and push through, so we only stopped two more short times before arriving in Birmingham. However, we did get delayed for an hour and a half in Tuscaloosa by road construction. Once we got into Birmingham, we went straight to the bookstore, barely making it before closing time. We quickly picked out our stuff and were out the door in 15 minutes. After leaving the bookstore, we drove a short distance to our hotel.
After checking out our hotel room, we went in search of dinner. We ended up in a cute little area not far from the hotel called Homewood. We ate dinner at the Urban Cookhouse. It was delicious with fresh, local ingredients. The only negative about this restaurant was that it was small and crowded. After dinner, we went to the Piggly Wiggly and picked up some drinks for the hotel. We then headed back and relaxed in our room. We were all asleep by 9:00 pm.
Ordinarily, I see a hotel as a place to sleep and shower. As long as our hotel is safe and clean, I don’t get too excited about it. But, our hotel for this weekend was amazing! We stayed at the Embassy Suites. This is such an awesome hotel! It may be my favorite hotel outside of Disney World! And what a bargain! We got a 2 room suite for less than $100 per night. And it was the perfect hotel room: it had 2 vanities and lots of empty floor space for Boston to play.
The lobby was in a huge atrium with a stream running through it. The stream had fish in it. The staff at the front desk kept fish food to give to kids to feed the fish. Boston loved this part! This was one of the best family-friendly hotels I’ve ever seen! We will stay here anytime we are in Birmingham.
On Saturday, Boston woke us up at about 6:40! We ate breakfast at the hotel and then got ready for the game. We got to Legion Field at about 9:30. To get to the stadium, you have to go through a pretty rough neighborhood. It’s fine for a day game, but I would be very nervous about going there for a night game. The stadium itself is pretty old. I’m sure it was a great place to see a game back in it’s heyday, but it is in desperate need of repairs and upgrades now. It looks like it hasn’t been maintained for years.
In the endzone, they had a couple of bounce houses set up. Boston spent about 30 minutes jumping in them while Chris and I watched pregame warm ups. We also took our stadium picture while standing there in the endzone. Marshall brought a pretty good crowd. The stadium holds 72,000, but there were only about 23,000 there. Coming into the game, Marshall was undefeated. UAB played a great game, but Marshall held them off to win. We were not impressed with Marshall, however. Boston ate a pizza at the game. Chris and I skipped lunch again, choosing instead to just grab a snack at the game. While there, I signed a petition to keep the football program at UAB.
After the game, we went over to campus and took our other pictures. Our landmark picture was with the Blaze Topiary. After the pictures, we went to an area called Five Points and had an early dinner at World of Beer. Boston entertained himself with their giant Connect Four board, while Chris and I ate and watched games. When we were done with dinner, we went back to the hotel. Boston fed the fish in the atrium stream before we went to our room and watched games while Boston played.
On Sunday, we were up early again. It rained most of the day. Prior to breakfast at the hotel, Boston fed the fish again. After we filled our bellies, we drove to the Southern Flight Museum. It wasn’t open, but they had a lot of planes outside that Boston enjoyed looking at. We then found a mall. While we waited for it to open, we ate lunch at On Tap Sports Cafe. It was okay, but nothing special. We then did some Christmas shopping at the mall. Chris found a t-shirt shop that he loved.
We then went to the McWane Science Center. It was a great place for kids to burn off some energy on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Boston loved the model trains and the weather forecasting sections. They had a slide that went from the third floor to the second floor. Boston and a lot of other kids had fun sliding down it! We spend about an hour and a half playing at McWane before heading back to the hotel for a break. About 5 pm, we went over to the Summit area and had dinner at the Village Tavern. It had pretty good and a nice, cozy atmosphere. It reminded us of Charleston’s, which is a restaurant we enjoy at home. We also stopped for a newspaper at a gas station, which Boston dubbed the “Squiggly Pig.” After that, it was back to the hotel to pack.
On Monday, we were up and on the road for home by 7:45 am. It was an uneventful trip, and we were back at our house by 6:30 that evening. It was a great trip. We had so much fun. Boston decided that he wanted to move to “Blazingham, Alabama.” About a week later, the UAB football program was cancelled.
We loved Birmingham. It is a cute little city. Everything seems to be really close together. It has hills and woods and neighborhoods with lots of character. UAB’s campus takes up about 80 blocks in the middle of downtown Birmingham. It seamlessly mixes the feel of a traditional college campus with the trendiness of downtown. While there were not many people on campus while we were there, it may have been because it was the Saturday before Thanksgiving.
There wasn’t a huge atmosphere outside of the stadium, but the people who were there were really into the game and had a lot of spirit. The other thing we thought that UAB does better than most schools is to market their mascot, Blaze the dragon. It was unfortunate that the football program was cancelled. However, they have since reinstated the program.
Whether you go for a game, a business trip, or just for fun, I recommend a trip to Birmingham at some point. It is such an enjoyable city to visit, especially with kids. We were very pleased with our time in Birmingham and will one day go back for anther visit. I hope you enjoyed this trip report about UAB Football. Happy travels!