Last year when we left the UK after Russ' hip resurfacing surgery, we believed that it would be our last visit to Birmingham in a long while. Well, we were wrong. Here we are, one year later and back to the same hospital and city where Mr. McMinn (Mr. is a higher title than Dr. for physicians in the UK) is regarded as THE ultimate hip surgeon on the planet.
We arrived comfortably on Tuesday evening after flying on our favorite aircraft, the A380. The connection in Narita took only 3 hours and less than 2 in Paris on Air France. We rode on the upper deck and were impressed with the pleasant service of the French flight attendants. The plane wasn't even half full and the meals were good. I especially liked the fois gras & mushroom ravioli.
We landed in Birmingham, took the train to New Street Station and walked to our 2 star hotel. It wasn't great, but the location was good and we slept relatively well under heavy jet lag. We awoke the next morning and ambled to the nearby Starbucks for breakfast and wifi access. We then took a stroll to the east searching for the canals that we completely missed last year. Birmingham is considered to be the "Venice of the UK" and we found them after meandering around them for a while. The canal walk is lovely, with quaint restaurants, shops and pubs surrounding the narrow canal with small river boats for tours.
In the afternoon, we returned to the BMI Edgbaston Hospital for X-RAYS, consultation with Dr. Joseph and Mr. McMinn, and bloodwork. And, we were done! That evening, we spent time at the Pitcher & Piano, of which we didn't see any pitchers or a piano, but the wine and food were good and the location on the canal excellent, especially on the veranda. We have a new found appreciation for Birmingham now.