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Hello Atlanta

13 May

  After Luis and I settled into our new place we were quick to jump back into the Georgia life.  We had a three hour walk to and around Piedmont Park.  We ate at a few of our favorite and delicious restaurants like The Vortex, OK Cafe, Atlanta’s new food truck park, and we tired a new burrito shop that opened while we were away called, Bell Street Burritos.

One of the things I missed the most while in Texas was hiking.  Hiking in the mountains, next to streams or rivers is the best kind of hiking to me.  I added more hikes to my 2012 list and I haven’t done much of it.  Time to change that.  We decided to go for a 3 mile hike at Sweetwater Creek State Park.  There are two trails to choose from, one right along the river and the other high above the river on flat ground.  We picked the rocky path along side the river.

It was supposed to be a cloudy day, but it turned out to be pretty sunny.














About a half mile into the hike we came across the ruins of the New Manchester Manufacturing Company, a textile mill burned during the Civil War.  We went on a 15 minute guided tour to learn about the textile mill.  Luis loves all things history.

We were told these holes are from bullets and other weapons from a prior owner who used the building for target practice.

Our park guide also told us the mill was closed down this past February because John Travolta and Robert De Niro were filming a movie called; Killing Season, due out sometime in 2013.

I love finding knobby trees!



We also found a few little critters.

A silk worm.

And a very calm Fence Lizard.


We are planning another 3 hour walk around Piedmont Park tomorrow.   While we are there, we are hoping to pick up free tickets to Piedmont Park’s Shakespeare in the Park: The Tempest, an outdoor play for Sunday night.

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First Year of Blogging!

1 Dec

Yes!  I never thought I would make it.  Some months were harder than the others, but I have made it through my first year of blogging!  Happy one year to me, to my camera, and my fingers (since they did the typing)  =)

Today, one year ago, Luis and I packed up all our stuff and crammed it into a U-Haul trailer attached to our truck.  We left Miami at midnight, and because of the 55 mph speed limit with the trailer, we arrived in the parking lot of our new home in Atlanta 15 hours later, on December 1st. Yikes!  After the 7 hours it took us to unload all of our stuff, we were officially home.

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One year of blogging has equaled 197 posts; 230 comments (thank-you!), has had  9,670 hits, 23 categories, and 2, 578 tags.  The person who has commented the most on my blog is my mother (awesome)!

 My blog has been featured on two websites; Howell Mill Food Park and Sweet Auburn Curb Market.  My pictures from the Mount Mitchell post were used for an art project concerning the geological isolation of Mt. Mitchell by a student at Virginia Commonwealth University.

My top five posts with the most hits are; #5 Chocolate Cupcakes with Ganache Filling and Buttercream Frosting, #4 Spring is Coral, #3 Making Sweet Pickles, #2 Little Heart Cakes, and my number one post with the most views is Howell Mill Food Truck Park.

Before we moved to Atlanta I made a list of things I wanted to experience while we were here.  Even though it’s only been a year, here is a break down of what we have completed so far from the 105 item list.

  • 1)    Atlanta Botanical Gardens

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  • 3)    Watch The Nutcracker at the historic Fox Theatre

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  • 5)    Millennium Gate in Atlantic Station

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  • 8)    Little Five Points

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  • 10)  Zoo Atlanta

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  • 12)  Chattahoochee River Fun – Tubing

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  • 27)  Georgia Barrier Islands; Tybee Island

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  • 32)  Appalachian Trail – Amicalola Falls State Park

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  • 38)  Marietta Square (not shown since the visit to Marietta Square was by accident)
  • 53)  The Alpine Village of Helen

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  • 65)  Have a popsicle from King of Pops

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  • 70)  U-Pick Farm – Southern Belle Farms – picked flowers and pumpkins

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  • 85)  White water rafting with Wildwater

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  • 86)  Georgia Wine Highway

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  • 87)  Sweet Auburn Curb Market

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We have traveled to three states; Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina. We have visited 27 restaurants, which Luis and I thought was pretty good considering that we usually eat at the same restaurant.   I was shocked to see that we have only been hiking four times!  We need to change that since I have at least 20 trails on the to-do list.
As life happens, we have experienced some “extra” things that were not on our list like; Six Flags over Georgia, snow, Georgia’s China Town, Georgia Aquarium, and Piedmont Park, just to name a few.
With Luis leaving to another state for the whole spring and fall semester, who knows what else will be completed.  Maybe I will have to make a new list of things to do while in Texas…  exploring is never a bad thing.

Taste of Atlanta

22 Oct

On the edge of campus on Tech Square, Luis and I attended the 10th year of Taste of Atlanta.  With over 80 restaurants showing off their culinary talents in little tasty bites, Luis and I hardly knew where to begin.

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Milton’s was one of my favorites.  We had the Low Country Shrimp & Cheddar Grits and Charleston Crab Bisque Sherry Drizzle & Chives.

Sorry, I did not get any pictures of them as I was trying to get my bites in before Luis ate it all  =)

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From the Shout tent we tried Salmon Rillettes, spicy meatballs, and warm chestnut soup.  Not one of our favorites, but pretty tasty.

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We had the White Truffle Chicken Salad Slider and Roasted Beet Salad with Local Goat Cheese (not pictured) from The Shed.

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This is my “I love food” smile.

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Luis was in love with the Grilled Texas Cream Corn from D.B.A Barbeque.

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One of my favorites was Kaleidoscope.  We had Thai Style Cashews & Peanuts and Thai Style Beef Jerky.  The jerky was absolutely amazing, with tiny jalapeño
slices, thai spices, and a hint of fish oil.  This restaurant is on my list to visit for a whole meal ASAP.

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Once Luis saw Yakisoba on the menu at Genki, he had to try it.  It was pretty good, slightly off from the Yakisoba in Japan since it had meat and it’s usually made with only veggies.

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Once I saw California Dreaming with She Crab Soup, I had to try it, which I loved!

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My other favorite was Mali.  We had Chicken Naam Sod with Cabbage and Spicy Basil Chicken with Chips.  These dishes had so much flavor.  The Basil Chicken was spicy and sweet, while the Chicken Naam was refreshing (as Luis said), another restaurant I will have to add to my list to visit soon.

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Luis had a Gryo from Mediterranean Grill.

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While I had Alu Tikki Chole from Bhojanic, which I really enjoyed, but then again I love Indian food.

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One of the last tents we visited was The Iberian Pig.  We had Pork CheeK Tacos. Another favorite.

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There were so many more tents we wanted to try out, but we were actually full.  All we could handle was one more tent, for dessert.

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Red Velvet Whoopie Pie from West Egg.

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The perfect ending to a beautiful day with really good food.  I am so glad Luis decided last minute to get us tickets for Taste of Atlanta.  I have never been to a food festival or a food and wine festival before, so this was a nice treat.

Southern Belle Farm @ McDonough, GA

15 Oct

Today we drove about 30 minutes south of Atlanta to Southern Belle Farm where we picked flowers and pumpkins from the vine, enjoyed my first hay ride, and got lost in my first corn maze.  If this is fall in Georgia, then I don’t ever want the season to change!

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I was so in love with the kiddie train with the painted cow spots on them.  I think I will have to steal this idea for my future farm, so adorable.

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As lame as it sounds, I have never picked flowers from the actual plant before.   Even more lame, I loved it.  Who knew cutting bright colored flowers into a plastic cup for $4.00 would make me so happy!  Luis had a good eye for finding dome shaped ones, which were my favorite ones.

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Even with all the pumpkins whispering to me to take them home with me, we decided not to pick one, not even the cute tiny ones!  Unbelievable, huh?  Actually, I had already bought two little ones from the supermarket a few weeks ago, before I even thought of the idea of going to a farm, shucks!

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The day was absolutely gorgeous, not a cloud in the sky and in the high 70’s.  A perfect Saturday to enjoy outside and watch a pig race.  A pig race with pig calling, another first for me.

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This farm had lots of things to do, even though most of them were meant for kids, we were still able to find things to keep us entertained.

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The corn maze covered 7 acres.  We started the corn maze in entrance number 3, but somehow exited the maze in number 2.   It could be because Luis talked me into cheating by leaving our paths and cross corn stalks into another path just to find our way out faster.  I thought the purpose of the maze was to get lost, not make your own path?  Oh well, it was still fun.

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Before heading home we took a tour around the farm on a hay ride.  Actually, the hay ride was just around the corn maze, about 5 minutes. Hey! This farm is huge at 200 acres.  While on our hay ride we were able to see the newly hand planted strawberries; 45, 000 of them!   As soon as I learned about picking strawberries in the Spring, of course I added it to my Georgia list for next year, something to look forward to.

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Today was a lot of fun, and one of those days that it hit me that I live in Georgia now.  A fun day, even though the Yellow Jackets lost their first football game of the season, boo!

Looking forward to the haunted forest tomorrow in Newnan, Georgia.

Yellow Jackets vs. Western Carolina Catamounts

10 Sep

Last week was Georgia Tech’s first football game against Western Carolina. We won 63-21. It was the fifth straight season-opening win for Georgia Tech.

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We had an amazing view of the field, not bad for free tickets. I considered this my first real experience with college football and I loved every minute of it. I’ve heard that college football is nothing compared to the Dolphin games I use to attend, and they were right. The crowd’s spirit was unbelievable.

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First off it took us 20 minutes to get inside of the stadium since the student Buzz card readers were not working correctly. In those first 20 minutes of the game we scored three touch downs. When Luis and I were able to enter the stadium and find a spot, we were happy to see how close we were to the field and even had space to move around, even though I wouldn’t have minded being elbow to elbow in the crowd. The stadium was packed with gold and white spirit. Once again coming from Dolphin games that have more people in the parking lot tail gating than in the stadium (unless we were winning), it surprised me how full the stadium was and how nice our stadium is since it was our first time actually inside the stadium.

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There were some great moves on the field from both sides and some other plays that could use some more work, but being in the stand made it a great first time experience for both of us.

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I enjoyed not only the crowd, but the student videos that played on the jumbo tron during the game; one of them mocking our “engineer football team”.

Our band was great and loved their super hero themed half time show. BUT the best was the Swarm crew who kept the crowd pumped with our team mascot Buzz. I kept telling Luis it is my new goal to be a part of the Swarm team, they had the best time and I enjoyed watching them having a blast. I wonder if they keep up that spirit when we are losing?

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As tradition goes after the game when we win, the steam whistle blew 63 times. While walking home we watched the fraternities paper the trees and celebrate our win. Even though I am sure they always celebrate win or lose =)  Today we play against Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders, who we beat last year.  Let’s see if we can do it again!

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Can I just say I love our mascot Buzz!? I love watching his tail bounce around as he we walks. I think he likes me too since both times that I have met him he gave me a hug. Love you Buzz!

Tubing @ Shoot the Hooch

7 Sep

With cooler weather just around the corner and Chattahoochee Outfitters last weekend of the season being Labor Day weekend, Luis and I took advantage and went tubing down the Chattahoochee River, also known as Shoot the Hooch.

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1 1/4 mile of pure laziness and relaxation.  Oh and with a 45 degree water temperature it kept Luis and I awake!

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No rocky shoals to worry about, no need for a sick to push off of rocks, just a beautiful view of homes, mountains, and wildlife.

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Our slow drift down the river lasted about two hours.  I was glad that we made that our first goal of the weekend since the rest of the weekend and also all of this week has been cloudy, rainy, and cold.

Number 53 – The Alpine Village of Helen, Georgia

29 Aug

Helen is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains on the Chattahoochee River. I have it on my list of things to do while we are in Georgia, even though I really want to enjoy Helen during October when they celebrate Oktoberfest.  Because who doesn’t want to sit in a beer garden eating wursts
and drink beer from a glass boot?

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Helen is known for tubing during the summer.  While we were there we saw hundreds of people tubing, so it was more like bumper tubes.

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The place is kinda cheesy and reminds me of Epcot in Orlando, but I love these kind of places. Places like this makes me feel like I am very far away, and not just an hour outside of Atlanta. Poor Luis was not enjoying himself and was dying from all the Polka music.

Excited to go back for Oktoberfest.