Returning to the place where we first met is a funny thing.

Being on a book tour– a blur of places, faces, portable cooktop ranges and dull knives– was even more strange. It was a tiny (Did I emphasize tiny? Because I mean tiny) taste of the rock star life where everyone feels like they know you and no place is home.

The center of it all was Birmingham. That’s where we met, that’s where we fell in love.

After a media kick-off in New York, we flew south for a dozen tour stops/interviews/ events and to retrace all those romantic moments in the Magic City (that’s what the books call it, I’m told). Of course we had to do it in our own harried, married kind of way.

Race up Red Mountain and Vulcan Park in the rental car for an interview on Fox News at Noon; down the mountain again for meetings with magazines. Glass of wine with Cousin Roger and two dinners–yes, we ate twice–with friends. (Soft shell crabs and raw oysters were a *must* multiple times a day.) Then, finally, Saturday morning was our cooking demo and book signing at Pepper Place Farmers Market– the site of our first date. Finish with a champagne book signing at Bromberg’s Jewelers.

I remember eating, laughing (ordering just one more plate of fried soft shell crabs) and then signing title pages…

But I didn’t stop and consider the little miracles that spirited us from the Summer of 2005 to the Summer of 2011.

A marriage, a baby and *then* a book… All the wonderful bits aside from the book were forgotten. What was I doing? Oh, hair & makeup, status updates, interviews and the silly things in life that pull us from our center and our purpose.

But now I’m home and I feel good. I can breathe, I can think about Birmingham and I can thank my lucky stars for everything that gave us a good, solid beginning and a bright future.