Weekend Getaway

January 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

The Lord looks out for us, doesn’t he? I look back over my life and think of the decisions I have made. And I have a really bad track record. Like really bad.

Late in 2008, after a season of life filled with maybe more bad choices than ever, I went to a wedding with a 5-year-old as my date, determined that, for maybe the first time ever, I was not looking for any attention from any guys. And I did a really good job of not looking for attention from guys during the wedding.I spent dinner talking to adults instead of anyone my age and I danced for hours with Eli (my elementary school date) and got good and sweaty.

Welllll, it just so happens those adults I talked to at dinner were a couple with three eligible sons attending the wedding. And one of their sons happened to be good friends with my best guy friend from high school, who introduced us about three hours into the wedding.

After the couple left for their honeymoon, a group of us decided to go to a local spot and hang out for a few more hours. So I decided to invite this particular gentleman to tag along. We ended up talking for a couple of hours at the local spot and then walking for a few more hours after that. All of a sudden, I was failing at my job of not focusing on guys. But for once in my life, it felt so natural. The night ended with this particular guy dropping me off at my hotel room and saying he would like to “continue the conversation in Atlanta.” And a few days later, we did.

After that, we dated for eight months, got married four and a half months later. And then have been married for the last four years. And they have been the happiest years of my life.

I married the most amazing and selfless guy who loves me unconditionally.

We spent last weekend in the mountains of North Carolina celebrating all the Lord has done in our lives the last four years and it was lovely. We are really excited about our fifth year together and what all it may bring. I am so thankful.

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Weekend Travel Guide: Atlanta

August 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

If you’re like me, every now and then, you just get an itch to travel. If you’re like me, you also only get ten vacation days a year and so you need to ration them out between honeymoons {Joel and I consider any trip with the two of us without kids a honeymoon – why not?!}, family vacations and girls/guys trips. Which leaves you with the option of WEEKEND TRIPS!!

I have had the good fortune of being able to travel a bit in my life and am thankful for parents who taught me how to explore new cities and see a lot of the good stuff in a weekend.

So I thought it’d be fun to share some of my fast travel knowledge for those of you that are planning a fun getaway soon. Hope you enjoy!

We’ll start with my hometown: Atlanta, Georgia.

I used to hate Atlanta. To me, it was a city full of concrete, roads and few trees. After college, this hatred was intensified due to a bad month that involved our house being robbed, being hit by a drunk driver and having my iPod stolen by the tow truck driver that took away my totaled vehicle after the crash. As soon as Joel and I were married, we moved to Madison {a precious town that I’ll have to do a weekend travel guide about} and I felt safe again and surrounded by beauty. But after Joel left his job in Athens, we knew the Lord was calling us back to Atlanta. It about broke my heart that we would have to leave the home we loved to go back to that city.

That was almost two-and-a-half years ago, and I’m so thankful now for the redemptive experience we’ve had living here a second time.

Atlanta is changing. You can actually see it happening right in front of you. People are investing in this city. And it’s becoming great.

So if you’re interested in coming here for a visit, or if this is where you live and you just need help deciding what to do this weekend, dive into these recommendations and enjoy Atlanta!

FRIDAY

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If you’re close enough to make it to the city for dinner, then I highly recommend dining at JCT. Kitchen on the Westside first. If the rustic ambiance wasn’t enough, the food should do it. If I were you, I’d get the Truffle Parmesan Fries as an appetizer, followed by the JCT. Fried Chicken. After you finish eating, head upstairs to my *favorite* spot in the city, the JCT. Bar. The view of the city is beautiful and they often feature live music. The cocktails are hand-crafted and change often. But if you go in the next few days, you’ll want to get the Kentucky 75. It features American Honey, Lemon, Honey and Prosecco.

I’m a little biased, but staying in Midtown is a must. It’s in the heart of Atlanta and is the most walkable part of the city. Depending on your budget, there are several hotels that would be worth staying at in the area. A smattering include the W (for a modern-glam take), the Georgian Terrace (for a historic experience), and the Hilton Garden Inn (for a somewhat cheaper option, and a little further walk).

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SATURDAY

When you wake up, walk to brunch over at Campagnolo or Flying Biscuit on 10th. OR for a true Atlanta treasure, drive over to Highland Bakery in Inman Park. bakeryAfterwards, grab a picnic blanket and a good book and head to Piedmont Park, which boasts some of the best views of Atlanta. Walk east down 10th until you hit Monroe and you’ll hit the Beltline – my favorite new part of Atlanta! The Beltline is a revitalization of 22 miles of unused railroad line that they’ve turned into a walking/running/biking trail. Eventually, it will connect several Atlanta parks, but that will take several years. Go for a run or a walk and make sure to bring some cash for the King of Pops cart. Chocolate Sea Salt is my fave!

Another fun Saturday option is to drive to Monday Night Brewing (Westside) or Sweetwater Brewing Company (Buckhead). Both cost $10 and give you 4-6 tickets to sample their original brews. They also have awesome outdoor patios and are the perfect way to spend a beautiful Saturday. MNB_TastingRoom_BT-7-web-panoramic

For the evening, head to Empire State South (Midtown) or Miller Union (Westside) for a really nice dinner. Or if you’re looking to keep it on the cheap side, Tin Lizzy’s (Midtown), Antico Pizza (Midtown/Westside), or Fox Bros. BBQ (Inman Park) are all fantastic local options. There are actually so many food options, I feel like I need to do just an Atlanta food list post. Such good food! Eat all the things!!

For dessert, go to Cafe Intermezzo (Midtown), which is walking distance from all the hotels listed above. It serves delectable cheesecakes and has the longest coffee/drink menu you’ve ever seen. It’s open late, so it’s a guaranteed safe bet after dinner photo-frame-slide-1anywhere — you just might have to wait a while to get seated.

And as an alternative to all this evening mayhem, make sure you head to a Braves game if they’re in town. That stadium is like a second home to me.

SUNDAY

img-home4_homepageTo finish out your trip, you must brave the crowds and go to West Egg (Westside) for brunch. If you have time before heading out of town, you can walk to Star Provisions, LululemonAnthropologie, Jonathan Adler, Free People and (soon!) J. Crew for some shopping.

There’s so much else to explore, this is just a handful of options! I hope you get a chance to visit my great city soon!

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