An ex-girlfriend with whom I still have somewhat of a volatile relationship lives in Birmingham, Alabama. This would generally be rather unimportant, other than I felt like I needed to go and stare down the city she bailed on me for. So when Toyota offered me and three other various internet personalities a shot at going rock crawling outside of the 'Ham in celebration of the new FJ Cruiser, I figured I may as well take them up on it. The ex and I had had dinner plans for a month, which she suddenly and unceremoniously flaked on a couple of days before I left.
Toyota had put us up at the Tutwiler, which touts itself as the grand dame of Southern hotels. And while the people were nice, the cotomer sevis left something to be desired. It wasn't an uncaring attitude; it was just general ineptitude, which, for a hotel described by said ex as the Claremont or Fairmont of Birmingham, was somewhat (and I'm being rather generous here), below par. Plus, Birmingham is like Sacramento without the ready access to the Sierras or the sea. And although I met some very nice people, the overriding attitude — while hospitable — was "You're in 'Bama now, son. Don't you dare ask about the UT game while Auburn's playing." Toto, we're not in Pedro, anymore. We're about to squeal like pigs.