Hello everyone, and happy Friday! Last week, I took a trip to Atlanta. I was super excited for this mini-vacation because I was visiting a good friend from college (named Rachel) whom I had not seen in over a year! It’s crazy how quickly time flies by…
Anyway, I am happy to report that we both had a great time catching up. And I am amused to report that, of all times in the winter season, a snowstorm hit Atlanta the day after I arrived.
Luckily, the snow storm only lasted through Friday night, and began melting on Saturday morning. Unluckily, I found out that my Florida-native friend did not know how to drive in snow or ice – and this wasn’t quite the best time to learn. So, we had to adjust our plans ever so slightly. Here’s a run-down of how we passed our days with this curveball thrown into the plans:
I arrived in the afternoon, pre-Snowpocalypse. We got Mellow Mushroom for lunch, and then I settled in and napped while she worked from home and then went to a work event. Once that wrapped up, we went out to an area called The Battery with her roommate and a few coworkers. We had the best intentions of bar-hopping…but we only ended up at Yardhouse. I wasn’t too hungry, so I just ordered a salad with a side of fries. By the way, apparently this was “weird” – because she teased me about the rest of the weekend!
Let there be SNOW! Atlanta – of all places – had one of its “every-3-ish-years” snowstorm. And, as I mentioned, Rachel couldn’t drive in snow/ice. Needless to say, our original plans for touring the city that day were derailed. So instead, we decided (read: she convinced me) to walk for a mile to Dunkin Donuts for our breakfast that morning. The walk would have been fine, had it not been for:
1. The significant hills that we had to walk up on the way there and back – we certainly worked hard for that breakfast!
2. Snow which quickly turned into sleet that pelted us in the face as we walked to DD. I truly should not have bothered with mascara that morning, because the wind/sleet combination gave me raccoon eyes.
Once we had our fill of hot chocolate, breakfast sandwiches, doughnuts (me), and hash browns, we realized that the snow was still coming down steadily. And, I was not in the mood to walk back yet! So, we stayed there until it all died down. It sounds like a ridiculous first day of “vacation”, but I honestly wouldn’t change it for the world! Now, I’ll always remember my first day in Atlanta as one of fighting through snow and sleet just to get some Dunkin Donuts.
Once Rachel and I got back home, we spent the rest of the day inside. Rachel’s roommate came home early (again, snowpocalypse), and later on we all ate dinner and drank hot spiked cider. I highly recommend trying that if you want to warm up, by the way! Afterward, Rachel and her roommate went out for a late night snowball fight and sledding. As much as I wanted to join, I sadly did not pack the correct clothes for this endeavor and preferred not to get my warmest clothes wet or damaged. So, I chose to call it a night and get to bed early.
On Saturday morning, Rachel and I decided to try going outside again – this time, for a walk in the woods that ran behind Rachel’s house. Our original intention had been to go hiking while I was in Atlanta, but this was as close as we were going to get to that goal with the ground still being pretty snowy/icy. Regardless, it was a lovely way to start the morning!
After our walk, we went down to Dunkin Donuts again for a highly nutritious breakfast – keeping with our apparent new tradition, of course. Once we had sustenance, it was time to head out to Ponce City Market for a bit of shopping and food. I picked up a beautiful dreamcatcher necklace from a shop called Modern Mystic, and then Rachel and I got lunch at a fantastic Italian restaurant called Bellina. We got a little bit over-indulgent at Bellina, simply because all of the food looked amazing. I ordered their kale-pesto pasta (much better than it may sound), their “pane e olive” appetizer (bread with olive oil + marinated olives), and Rachel and I split their butternut squash soup. Oh, and then we had a chocolate hazelnut cake for dessert. Honestly, I don’t know where we put all this food!
After our feast, we went home to relax a little bit and recuperate before going out to an area in Atlanta called Buckhead. Buckhead happened to be the home of a random bar that my improv classmate recommended, as well as a really fun bar next door: Johnny’s Hideaway and The Ivy, respectively. Basically, we danced the night away until closing time, often on elevated surfaces. So, it was my ideal way to spend a Saturday night!
Our game plan for Sunday was for me to accompany Rachel and her roommate on their mission to chop down their own Christmas tree from a local farm. Needless to say, I was game for this plan – as long as I could just watch and take pictures, of course. But hey, cut me some slack: I had limited clothing that could afford to get tree sap on it!
When we woke up that morning, Rachel and I walked over to the usual place for breakfast (Oh Dunkin, how did you captivate us so much?). Soon enough, her roommate swung by to pick us up so that we could all head out to Kinsey Family Farm to find a worthy Christmas tree for their living room!
Once we arrived at the farm, we felt a significant drop in the temperature. Luckily, Kinsey had delicious hot cider for sale to keep us warm. And at a mere dollar a-piece, I was stocking up for sure!
We made our way down to the tree field, where Rachel was disappointed to find that all of the pine trees were sold out. So, they had to settle on cypress tree instead – darn it. On the bright side, cypress doesn’t shed nearly as much as a pine tree would. I suggested that Rachel buy a few pine-scented air fresheners to hang on the tree, to make it feel more Christmas-y. I’ll let you know if she decides to take that advice…
The actual process of cutting down their tree was much easier than I had anticipated! After we (they) brought the tree back up from the lot, it was all wrapped up and then we were on our way back home. That evening consisted of decorating the tree – which was easy, since it was just a bit taller than me – and winding down with a viewing of The Grinch (the Jim Carrey version). Rachel’s roommate had an early morning, so she went to bed shortly after decorating the tree. Meanwhile, Rachel and I made it through about half of the movie before I had to call a night. It was getting late, and I needed to get some sleep for our last day of exploring!
Monday was my last day in Atlanta, and we planned to make the most of it!
Brace yourselves: we did not have Dunkin Donuts this morning. Crazy, I know. Instead, we made a quick breakfast at home and then set out for our first stop: Little Five Points.
I absolutely loved this neighborhood. I have an affinity for areas that have a ~groovy~ influence, and I definitely got that vibe from walking around Little Five Points. Moreover, we came upon a shop that sold dreamcatchers, jewelry, and more, all from various Native American artisans. I was so excited to take a look! I ended up buying a small, beautiful dreamcatcher and a pair of delicate silver dreamcatcher earrings, both by Navajo artisans and both with touches of turquoise accents. Funny story: I had been (idly) looking for a new pair of silver dreamcatcher earrings for quite some time before this trip. I used to have a pair that I absolutely adored, which I obtained while I was living in Denver and on a weekend trip to the nearby mountains. I was pretty young when I got them, so I don’t recall the store name – I just remember loving those earrings, and then losing one of them. So, I am incredibly excited to have found a beautiful new pair!
After this shopping success, Rachel and I stopped for some more hot apple cider (can’t get enough of the stuff!), and finished off our Little Five Points trip by peeking in a few vintage shops, before walking over to Krog Street Market. It was a beautiful day – especially compared to the weekend weather – and the 20-minute walk felt like nothing!Krog Street Market is a little haven of gourmet foods, and I was very pleased that Rachel chose to bring me there (thanks Rach!). We both sampled some unique flavors of dark chocolate and I bought a sipping hot chocolate from a shop called Xocolatl…and then shortly after, I purchased two scoops of ice cream from Jeni’s. Considering that I was nowhere near being finished with my hot chocolate, you would think that eating ice cream at the same time would be pointless. But, I would say that the flavors of Salted Peanut Butter and Sun-popped Corn beg to differ!
Once I had finished my pre-dinner dessert, Rachel and I walked to Ponce Street Market along the Beltline, in order to wrap up the evening with another visit to Bellina’s for dinner. I thoroughly enjoyed our walk along the Beltline – it’s a former railway that’s been converted to a walking path (with some construction still going on) that loops throughout the city. There were a ton of art pieces, murals, and green spaces along the walk, so I liked it even more than our walk from Little Five Points to Krog Street Market!
Our last activity of the trip was later that night, but we had to head home first so that I could pack up for my flight the next morning. Once this was done, however, it was time to go out and meet up with some (more) of Rachel’s colleagues for one last hurrah! We all met at Limerick Junction, a bar in the Virginia-Highland area of Atlanta. This was a a great way to end the trip, even though I only ended up sleeping for about 4 hours that night…and had to wake up at 6:30am the next morning to make it to the airport. Oh well, it was worth it! Plus, Limerick has some amazing curry fries.
As you can see, Rachel and I were not about to let a few setbacks keep us down! Overall, I’m so happy that I was able to make this trip. Not only was it fantastic to see an old friend, but I also got to explore Atlanta for the first time – and I’m a big fan. I will definitely be back as soon as possible!
Well, that’s all for this week! I still can’t quite believe that the holiday season is now upon us. Where has this year gone?
In a few weeks, I’ll be packing my bags again. This time, I’m hopping across the Pond – all the way to Romania. Stay tuned…
Until then, I hope that everyone has a great Friday/weekend/holiday season. Let’s spread love and cheer!