Spring Valley Beach

**Congratulations to our two winners – Gina Martin and Donna Montgomery Reid!! Ladies, I have sent each of you an email, so be on the lookout for it.**

On Saturday Jonathan and I loaded up the girls and headed to Blountsville, AL, to check out Spring Valley Beach Water Park. We’d heard some friends talking about it, so we looked it up on the internet. Though the pictures looked like it would be a lot of fun, we really didn’t know what to expect. As soon as we pulled up, we discovered that we were in for a really fun day.

Spring Valley Beach promotes a family atmosphere, and I think they deliver that quite well. We were able to park easily and find a spot near the pool for our picnic blanket. The girls wanted to hit the pool right away, and who could blame them?


The pool is HUGE – two acres, in fact! It was Patterson’s favorite spot in the whole park, as it has lots of shallower areas for little swimmers. In fact, it a beach entry pool, so people brought their beach chairs and pulled them right into the edge of the water.

One of the most attractive things about Spring Valley is how they really try to accommodate guests, while keeping the park very safe. While lifeguards are numerous and carefully watch the crowd and enforce the swimming rules, they allow guests to bring in coolers, grills, flotation devices, beach chairs, and almost anything else that wouldn’t interfere with the other guests (no alcohol or radios). They really try to make it fun for their customers! In fact, they have fabulous pavilioned areas that guests can reserve for the day.


How much fun would it be to bring a group and stay the day? We actually ran into some of our church friends there and discussed how much fun it would be to bring our Sunday school class here as a group. It would be really fun for an end of the year party for a soccer, baseball, or softball team. And birthday parties would be a blast at Spring Valley. There were lots of groups having family reunions as well.

Not only do they make it fun for big kids, but they have a fabulous splash park at one end of the pool just for smaller kids. The water around this section is only around 12″ deep, and the playground/splash area is so much fun!


And if you need a little more thrill than the pool has to offer, they have several rides to choose from. Our whole family rode several of the water slides. They were fast, but even my little girl loved them. My big girl and I were the only ones brave enough to ride the 360 Rush. Y’all, you climb the stairs to the top so that you are about 40 feet in the air. Then you lie down in a capsule, and in a few seconds the bottom drops out, shooting you down the enclosed slide. You go so fast that when you get to the bottom, you go around and around the circular part.


I’m glad to say we did it once, but I think once was enough for me. It is super fun but super fast!

We never did work up the courage to try the Sidewinder. We’ll save that one for another day!


After the excitement of the mega rides, we ended the day by taking a few more turns on the pool slides. They had about 4 or 5 water slides that both of my girls rode over and over.


Spring Valley Beach is only about an hour north of Birmingham and about 50 miles from Huntsville. They are open 10:00-6:00 most summer days, but check the calendar on their website before you make the trip. We paid the extra $10 to park near the pool instead of the free parking area, and we thought it was well worth it. We went back to our car several times during the day and it was an easy trip. The pavilions are great ($25 fee), but many people brought their own tents and claimed a spot on the sidewalk or grass. We felt like our things were secure on our picnic blanket, but they do rent lockers if you want to store items. We wore flip flops that we didn’t mind getting wet so that we could have shoes to wear in the bathrooms and on the pavement while walking among the different slides.

The super nice folks at Spring Valley Beach have been gracious enough to give us TWO pairs of tickets to give away. You can enter several ways. The giveaway will stay open a week, and next Monday we will randomly select two winners, who will each receive a pair of day passes. Fun, right?

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Spring Valley Beach sent our family passes so that we could visit the park to write this review. All opinions are, as always, my own. I really do think you’ll like Spring Valley Beach as much as we did.

Musicals: A Grand American Invention

My girls asked for a little “cleaning music” earlier this week, and I was happy to oblige with my Pandora Broadway musical station. They didn’t exactly have to twist my arm, of course. Broadway shows are one of the very best things about living in America. I mean, freedom of religion and freedom of speech aren’t America’s only benefits. We are the author and perfector of one of the most enjoyable forms of theater ever put on a stage. Am I right?

Birmingham has a fabulous Broadway series in town, and because of it I’ve been able to see many shows over the years. Add in the fact that Atlanta’s historic Fox Theatre is only a couple of hours away (plus one trip to NYC), and you can see why my fascination with musicals has only grown over the years. I have a few favorites, and I bet you do, too. I’d love to hear which shows you’ve loved and which you wish you’d stayed away from.

I’ll get us started. My list of favorites in no particular order is:

The Lion King: Saw it in Birmingham, and the music and puppetry were unbelievably imaginative. Who doesn’t love a good Elton John anthem? While the story line is a lot like the Disney movie (also one of my favorites of all time!), the way the stage production is done is totally different. If you haven’t seen the Lion King on stage, you are missing out! I would easily see this show again. Anybody wanna go?


The Who’s Tommy: While I’m a few years too young to remember the original release of The Who’s album that this show is based on, it’s a classic that has woven itself into the fabric of American rock music. My friend Felton and I sang along to every word. It’s not that the story line is all that great. It’s a really weird plot actually, and the whole fantastical world of pinball stardom was lost on me. But the music is so, so fun. It’s definitely a good show to see with your girlfriends.

Grease: Have y’all seen the stage production of Grease? I was so excited because of how much I loved the movie. However, I felt like the set was more like a high school production than a Broadway show. It was a bit lackluster for me. The music was still good, and the story was pretty much the same as the movie. I will say that Sally Struthers as Miss Lynch was a hoot! She is just silly and wobbly and bobbly and spacey enough to be perfect in the role. She was the redeeming factor in this show.


West Side Story: I took my new boyfriend, who is now my husband, to see this with friends when it was in Birmingham. I think it’s safe to say he doesn’t share my enthusiasm for the Broadway show, as evidenced by his comments about West Side Story. I thought it was a beautiful production of a classic story.

Mamma Mia: This is the one and only show I’ve actually seen on Broadway. I grew up with the music of ABBA, and when the music is familiar the show is a lot of fun to sing along to. I thought Catherine Johnson did a really great job with the story line as well. It can’t be easy to come up with a story that ties together songs from an album that weren’t written to tell a story. But Mamma Mia was a ton of fun and a really cute plot.

Les Miserable: Les Mis was a fabulous production, however it’s one that I wish I’d read the book beforehand. I feel like I missed the message of the writing because I had a hard time following the story. Every single word of this show is sung, and while that’s really awesome, it does mean you miss a lot of what is said is you don’t know the plot ahead of time. I feel like this book and musical has such a rich message that I’d really like to see it again now that I know what it’s about. I do remember that it had a huge cast and that the costumery was a huge part of the show. Has anyone seen the movie and the stage production? I’d love to know how they compare.

Sound of Music: This has been one of my favorite movies of all time, so I understandably loved the stage production just as much. And guess who played the part of Maria. MARIE OSMOND!!! She was so great! She put a different spin on the character than you’d think was even possible, but she rocked it. Of course, her singing was like fine crystal, but her acting was superb as well. She was the real deal!


Phantom of the Opera: Phantom was another of the fabulous Birmingham Broadway productions. What’s not to love about Phantom? It’s the longest running musical on Broadway, and it’s just a classic. The music is more stunning live than in the best recording you’ve heard.

Miss Saigon: My girlfriends and I drove to the Fox Theater to see Miss Saigon, and we had high hopes for it. While the production itself was incredible, I didn’t love the storyline of Miss Saigon. It was really hard to watch with my friend whose mom had taken her own life several years earlier (the main character commits suicide in the end). Wish we’d known how it ended before going, as we might have chosen another show. However, I do believe the show was well produced, as are all productions at the Fox.

Cats: Y’all, I don’t get why Cats is the second longest running show on Broadway. What the heck is it about? All the cats! I just don’t know.

I’m sure I’ve missed a few, but that’s all I can remember right now. I’d still love to see Wicked, Newsies, and Chicago. They are on my short list. I do know that Rock of Ages is playing right now in Birmingham, and Jersey Boys is coming in September. Has anyone seen those? They both look interesting to me.

Alrighty, its your turn. I’ve been waiting to hear your take on some of these. Do we have a difference of opinion about any of them? Are there others you would recommend? Which soundtracks do you have on your playlist? Can’t wait to hear from you!

Turkey Creek Nature Preserve

I don’t know about your area, but I can’t say that we’ve had the most colorful leaf-changing season in Birmingham this year. There are pockets of gold, sure, but not a huge display of color as in years past. It’s a shame because we’ve been studying leaves in botany and have been waiting anxiously to have some hands-on activities and discussions. So today I wanted to take the littles somewhere to see if we could improve on our autumnal experience. Somewhere a little more rustic than our back yard.

Turkey Creek Nature Preserve is about 25 miles away, so we decided today would be a good day to check it out. We discovered a magical oasis, privately tucked away in the forests of Pinson. The land was secured by the state of Alabama several years ago as part of the Forever Wild initiative.


Isn’t is lovely? We played in the water, climbed on the rocks, and hiked the trails. We were able to photograph lots of species of leaves for our leaf study notebook. We were quite impressed by this well-kept secret.

I feel like even though I’ve lived in Birmingham for years, there is still more waiting to be discovered. Do you have hide-aways like this in your area?

Membership Alliance: Member Day 2012

Hey, Birmingham Locals!!

Don’t forget that tomorrow is Member Day for the Birmingham area cultural Membership Alliance. Member Day is a fabulous way to visit culture, activities in our area for FREE, when they would normally cost upwards of $20 per person. We always take advantage of Member Day to visit sites that we aren’t members of. If you are a member of one of the following organizations, you can enjoy FREE admission to all of the following organizations:

Alabama Sports Hall of Fame
Alabama Ballet
Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
Birmingham Children’s Theater
Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
Birmingham Museum of Art
Birmingham History Center
Sidewalk Film Festival
Birmingham Zoo
Embellishments Handbell Ensemble
McWane Science Center
Red Mountain Theatre Company
Southern Museum of Flight
Vulcan Park and Museum

There will be special performances and activities going on as well. A few that looked interesting are:

11:00-11:30 Red Mountain Theatre Company performs selections from Legally Blonde at McWane Science Center
12:00-12:30 Alabama Ballet performance at Birmingham History Center
12:30-1:00 Scrollworks performance at Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
2:00-2:45 Embellishments Handbell Ensemble performance at Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
2:30-3:00 Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival’s Children’s Short Film Festivalat Birmingham Botanical Gardens
3:00-3:30 Birmingham Children’s Theater performs selections from The Frog Prince at the Birmingham Museum of Art

The Hill Four will be participating in as many events as we can squeeze in. Hope to see you there!

Insta-Friday: Catch-Up Version

I haven’t done an Insta-Friday post is a couple of weeks, so we have some catching up to do. Here’s a look at our lives over the last few weeks through the lens of my iPhone.

We have had some gorgeous weather in Alabama this week. Although the pollen is about to take over, it is so pretty outside that we’ve taken Hill Prep outdoors almost everyday. The temperatures have been around 75-80 degrees. God has been showing off! Pitter Patter asked if she could take her shoes off and run in the grass while we waited on BittyGirl to finish her ballet lesson. We ended up staying an extra 30 minutes so they could both play in the grass. It was lovely!

One morning last week we took our schoolwork to Panera Bread Company. MA and I enjoyed chatting over breakfast and knocking out her spelling words. Since it was still early, we decided to walk around the corner to the Rick & Bubba studios and watch the last few minutes of their radio show. (No, we didn’t watch the radio. We watched them as they broadcasted on the radio.) It was a fun little impromptu field trip, as we got to see how running a radio show really looks.

When they finished the show, Rick waved us in to see if we wanted to take a few pictures with Bubba and him. Anytime I see Rick around town, he’s so congenial that I always think he recognizes me from church. But when I introduced myself to him at the show, I quickly realized that no, he doesn’t know me from Adam’s house cat. He’s just that nice to everybody. Ha!

We love our homeschool field trips to the Birmingham Children’s Theater. We saw Peter and the Wolf this week, which was a collaboration between the Theater and the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. It was fabulous! And the most exciting part was when we realized that our old babysitter played one of the roles. Fun times!

We have a new favorite Mexican restaurant in Vestavia called Tecate. It’s under new ownership, and the food is better than ever. This week I ordered their chicken tortilla soup. It was so beautiful that I had to take a picture and send it to my husband. It was a very light and healthy chicken soup, full of fresh veggies. I think I’ll try a copycat recipe soon.

My herb/veggie garden is well under way. I’m going to try them in containers on my deck. Our yard seems to be a little too shady for a garden, so containers on the deck seem to be my only option. Maybe in a few weeks I’ll have something to put in that chicken tortilla soup.

I snapped this shot in my car and sent it to my friend Emily. That’s her husband Chuck’s album playing. Chuck is the associate music pastor at our church and he has a couple of albums out. Don’t you think it must be a kick to see your name on something like that if you’re a musician? While What Wondrous Love is not a new album, it’s new to us as we just downloaded it from iTunes. It’s a fantastic album, and my girls and I have listened to it all week as we’ve run all over this town in our car. I’m stuck on We’re Redeemed and may have possibly had it on repeat a few too many times. We’ll be downloading Everything I Was Never Meant To Be soon.

And I leave you with this… baby Jonathan. Patti wanted me to take a picture of her mad face. When I looked at it, I realized that she is still her daddy’s twin. Goodness gracious, they look so much alike.

Y’all have a happy weekend!

life rearranged

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Rain Update

What a difference a couple of days makes. I never got to show you this last week, but after my last post about the rain that hit Birmingham a few weeks ago, I wanted to show you the difference after just a couple of days. It’s amazing how much water can dry up or drain away in such a short time! Here are a few befores and afters:

Hope y’all are safe and dry wherever you are!

life rearranged

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Hosted by Cecily and Lolli

25 Things

Hello, boys and girls. I’m not sure when I became a one-post-per-week blogger instead of a one-post-per-day blogger, but it sure is good to sit down and write for a few minutes to stay in touch with you all. Since I really don’t have any big news to share with you all today, I thought it would be fun to join Shaunna’s 25 Things Linky Party. Remember my 100 Things post? Well, this is the same idea, only one-fourth the work for me! 🙂

1. We are on year #4 of homeschooling at The Hill Preparatory Academy for Girls. I never set out to homeschool for that long, but we love it more and more each year. When we one day look back over the course of our lives, the choice to homeschool will definitely be among the best choices we’ve ever made for our little posse. God has directed us into this endeavor, and He has faithfully guided every step.

2. I have almost eliminated my consumption of refined sugar. I feel like a new person. I never imagined how much sugar contributed to my feeling sleepy and lethargic ALL. THE. TIME.

3. Although I don’t watch a lot of TV, The Voice is my new favorite show. We’ve always been an American Idol family, but I like The Voice so much better. We just get to hear good singers sing without all the making fun of bad performers. Love it!

4. My house is a little too quiet right now. Almost silent. Which leads me to wonder… What are my children up to?

5. Speaking of my children, these are my favorite pictures of them.

6. When I was looking for those photos, I came across this one, which always makes me laugh.

The Peanut Gallery at my big girl’s soccer game. We’ve had a few (ahem) “reminders” not to coach from the sidelines, so the dads all stand WAY back so they can comment freely.

7. I adore the music of Indelible Grace, Selah, Travis Cottrell, and Christy Nockels. There are others as well, but these guys and gals lead me in worship every time their songs come up on my playlist. They rock the house when it comes to praising the Lord!

8. I’m currently reading about six books at the same time. I’m a literary ADHD like that. My nightstand holds Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson, Slow Way Home by Michael Morris, The Gift of Rest by Joe Lieberman, The Lion, The With , and The Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis, and Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem. At some point, I will finish them all because I can’t stand to start a book and never finish it. It’s like leaving in the middle of a conversation. That would be rude.

9. I know I’ve already stated #3 above, but given the opportunity, I’d really rather watch a documentary or historical film than anything light-hearted. (Case inpoint, I’m watching “Gandhi” as I type this. Just for fun.) I’d rather take a vacation where I’ll learn something than a relaxation trip. And I don’t read a lot of “fluff” books. I read mostly biographies, histories, and classic literature. I own my nerd-ness.

10. Good food makes my heart sing. Cooking is an art form to me. I will pore over cookbooks, Pinterest, or foodie blogs for hours, on the rare occasion that I have hours to do so. I enjoy eating in great restaurants as much as I enjoy cooking. It doesn’t matter to me if it is a fine-dining establishment or a hole-in-the wall burger joint. Food is such a fabulous part of our culture, and each place has its own personality.

11. I have learned more about being Christ’s hands and feet in this world over the last few years than ever before. It is clear to me that if we don’t share the gospel of Jesus with the world, we have not lived up to our purpose for being here. Listen, I love good food, I adore a beautifully decorated home, and I enjoy fun, fabulous places. But if that’s all we’re about, then we have missed our highest calling in life. We HAVE to be about the business of sharing the gospel of Christ.

12. In light of #11, here’s what I know. We sin. And that sin separates us entirely, completely, and eternally from a God who is so holy that He can’t look upon sin. Because He knew when He created us that we’d sin, He instituted a system to pay for that sin so that we could be in relationship with Him. That system dictates that something perfect and without blemish be sacrificed as payment for our sin. For a while, that sacrifice involved the killing of animals, which were sacrificed as a payment for sin before God’s people were “clean” enough to enter the temple for worship. The problem with that was that our sins were never fully and completely covered. So God sent His perfect Son into the world to make a once-and-for-all payment for our sin. Although Jesus was fully God, He became fully man and suffered every temptation that men face, yet He remained without sin so that He could be sacrificed for our sins. When we accept that payment, when we believe that Jesus was the Redeemer for us, and that we cannot be good enough to enter God’s presence based on our own merit, then we are saved from the effects of our sin: death and eternal separation from God. There is not one thing we can do to make ourselves holy enough to be in relationship with God, and therefore we are hopeless. However, in His great mercy, He allowed Jesus to make restitution for us. We come to God under the righteousness that Jesus Christ provides, and THAT is what gives us righteousness and holiness in God’s eyes. The righteousness of Christ is what makes us heirs of God.

13. Although it is ONLY the righteousness of Christ that can save us, and not our own good works, obeying Christ and doing His work is how we show the world His love. Works don’t save us, but they do bear witness to the saving power of Christ in our lives. They identify us with the One who saves. We are the ones given the responsibility to be His hands and feet, His salt and light in the world as long as we’re here.

14. While I love homeschooling my children, I fully realize that I cannot teach them everything they need to know. That’s why we are so purposeful about keeping them involved in other activities. We dance, do gymnastics, play soccer, and are at church every time the doors are open. We constantly have friends over to play and stay on the go with field trips. We love our friends and our fun times with them!

15. I’m not afraid of taking a few calculated risks. I mean, I’m not gonna go blow our 401(k) on a hare-brained idea, but I will occasionally push the envelope in ways that surprise my friends. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn’t. But you never know until you try.

16. I’m dying to take my girls to DC this spring or summer. We’ve been studying American history this year, and I think they would learn so much on a field trip to Washington. Don’t you? Plus, I’ve never been and I want to see it, too.

17. For the last year I have been working on decluttering our home. I’ve basically thrown away a ton of junk that we’ve accumulated over twelve years of marriage. We just do not need so much stuff. I hate the idea of us being so attached to material things. So out to goes. Well, a lot of it anyway.

18. I don’t know what I’d do without Target. You know, almost anything I need I can find at Target.

19. I have always wanted to renovate an old church and live in it. Did I say that in my last 100 Things post? It’s true. I’d love to find an old white clapboard church with a beautiful stained glass and lovely hardwood floors. Maybe one day.

20. This is harder than it looks.

21. I can overanalyze things.

22. I’m introspective. Sometimes too introspective. Often it’s good to examine your motives and thoughts, but you can take it too far and never get your eyes off yourself. Then it’s just a form of pride, you know?

23. I have a laundry room full of clothes and sheets to wash. But my floors and bathrooms are clean. Hallelujah! I detest cleaning bathrooms.

24. I have spent too much time on the internet today and not enough time on the treadmill. Since this list is almost finished, I’m about to change that.

25. I’m really glad to be done with this list.

100 Best Dishes: Niki’s West Steam Line

I have really had a ball on this journey to trying all “100 Dishes To Eat in Alabama Before You Die.” There are so many fantastic restaurants that we have not tried before, and we are always up for trying something new. We’ve found some great dishes that way. But this time, it was pure joy to return to an old favorite: Niki’s West.

I’ve been eating at Niki’s West for what seems like most of my adult life. When I was straight out of college and working my first “real” job at Alabama Power, my friend Felton and I would eat there at least once every couple of weeks. It was close by and the food was excellent, so we’d hop over to Finley Avdnue and go through the steam line. That’s what you do at Niki’s if you go during the lunch hour – you make your selection from the steam line.

They usually have about 6 or 8 meats and probably 20 or so side dishes to choose from. The day we went,we chose the salisbury steak and the broiled catfish, but their usual offerings include veal cutlets, fried pork chops, fried chicken, Greek chicken, fried flounder, and a host of other freshly-prepared entrees. The side dishes are just as good. So good, in fact, that I started to just get a veggie plate and skip the broiled fish entirely, but in the end the fish just looked too good to pass up. Because I was trying to get items I thought my PattiGirl would eat, I chose the creamed potatoes, new potatoes, and creamed corn. Starch overload! But if you’re at a place like Niki’s West, it’s all good.

MA ordered the salisbury steak and she chose field peas and macaroni and cheese.

Here’s the thing about Niki’s West: Everything they offer is made in the restaurant by southern cooks who have been running the restaurant since it was opened in the 1950’s. It’s all homemade with real ingredients, not purchased frozen from a food distributor. The peas were fresh picked from a garden, for Pete’s sake. When you have cooks with that much experience and you give them quality ingredients to work with, you are going to have a smorgasbord o’ flavor. And calories too, but who’s counting.

I was so glad to see Niki’s West’s steam line on the list. It was a great excuse to take my littles to one of my old hangouts. We’ll be going back very soon!


Over the last few days we’ve had some rain in Birmingham. You could call it a wet rain. A set-in rain. A frog-strangler, even. But thank goodness, today’s rain does not accompany high wind or tornadoes. We had another devastating round of those on Monday, killing ten of our fellow citizens. We mourn the loss and devastation.

But today’s rain was just rain. Rain, rain, and more rain. It’s still raining. And we expect more rain tonight. Rain on top of rain.

So here’s how things look around my neck o’ the woods:

You can usually walk under these archways.

If you look closely in the middle of this photo, you’ll see a trampoline behind a tree. The water is up to the mat of it. And it usually sits on dry ground, of course.

The club house of the Mountain Brook Country Club. And, no, it doesn’t sit on a river. That’s flooding!

Not only is the water up to the seat of this park bench, but there is a sidewalk under there as well. This is usually a nice, dry walking path.

One of my favorite Birmingham landmarks, the Jemison Mill. Water usually trickles through, but today it’s rushing.

Hope you are staying safe and dry where you are!

life rearranged

100 Best Dishes: Rosie’s Cantina

The chickadees and I went on a little field trip today (more about that later) that ended with dinner at one of our “100 Dishes to Eat In Alabama Before You Die” restaurants. I have heard a lot about Rosie’s Cantina in Huntsville from several different friends, so I was especially looking forward to trying it today. And let’s be honest, my love affair with all things Tex-Mex has been ongoing for many years now. Ladies and Gentlemen, Rosie’s didn’t disappoint!

As soon as I saw the turquoise front doors, I knew I was headed somewhere magical. If I ever own a restaurant, or any other place of business for that matter, I’ll definitely have turquoise front doors. Aren’t they delightful?

Like any good Tex-Mex joint, Rosie’s starts you out with chips and salsa. You know, it’s hard to mess up chips and salsa, but some places just get it more right than others. These chips were still warm and they were very crispy – winning combination! The salsa was thick and chuck, a little sweet, and pretty spicy. Altogether, I would give their chips and salsa a nine out of ten. They were excellent.

I ordered the chicken quesadilla meal from the lunch menu. I can’t imagine how much food a dinner portion would be because the lunch portion was huge. These quesadillas were heartier than most. Rosie’s grills the onions, peppers, mushrooms and chicken for their quesadillas. Then they load it down with cheese dip, and oh my, was it fantastic! The kiddos ordered the soft chicken taco kids’ meal. Although it was a little spicy for a kids’ meal, it was equally as delicious as mine.

I know that good Mexican restaurants are a dime a dozen these days, but Rosie’s Cantina stands out from the rest. It was so worth the side-trip, and we will definitely do it again. In fact, I’ll look forward to doing it again as soon as I can find a reason to go back to Huntsville!

My girls were wiped out from the day and entered a post-field-trip coma as soon as they hit the couch. Here’s hoping they sleep tonight! 😉