I decided to take a quick trip down to the deep south of the US to show Sarah where I once lived as a travelling musician in another life.
It seemed like it would be a welcome break from the extended winter that we had been experiencing in Calgary and then Toronto.
Alabama at this time of year is usually sunny and warm. We could not have been more wrong.
The day we arrived there were unseasonably bad storms. Hail stones as big as your head and hundreds of millions in damage to buildings, cars and people.
We got in to Huntsville and made a beeline to Dreamland Ribs. Some of the best Ribs in the south of the US. It has been 8 years since I was here and it still stands up.
As for the rest of the trip – we drank, got to see a shed load of actual rockets at the NASA space and rocket centre, met some old friends, bribed our way into bars after hours with McDonald’s cheeseburgers (par for the course down there) and all round had a great time.
We also got to make a trip to Cullman, Alabama to take a class with one of the best BJJ practitioners that I have ever met.
I met Daniel O’Brien 12 years ago when he was a blue belt under Johnny Lee Smith (Tiger Claw- from WMAC Masters for those who remember)
Daniel has dedicated his entire life to Martial Arts and runs Triad Martial Arts down that way.
He received his Black Belt from Carlos Machado and is considered by many to be one of the most prodigeous BJJ practitioners in the world.
All of that being said – He is, above all else, a great friend. 8 years had passed since I was back and he welcomed me into training like it was yesterday.
His students immediately began to train and give me a solid southern “ass whoopin”. So much so that Daniel went and grabbed me a Triad hoody to wear as some sort of talisman to save my slightly hungover body from complete destruction.
After a great session at Daniels we headed to Huntsville’s very own underground dungeon of a bar. If you ever make it down that way I will highly recommend the Voodoo Lounge. Cheap booze, live music and an incredibly welcoming vibe.
Unfortunately Sunday rolled around and we had to catch a fun flight back to Canada. It wouldn’t be a proper flight if it wasn’t delayed so we got a great chance to sleep at the Washington DC airport Hilton for 4 hours. Courtesy of United Airlines of course.
Back at it up in Calgary now and with a few good trips coming up, I will keep you all posted. You can expect some sort of dinosaur adventures!