No visit to Atlanta would be complete without a trip to the World of Coca-Cola museum and as a first time visitor to the great peach state I made sure to pay them a visit. It’s for all intensive purposes the state drink and as an educator I’m always interested to learn about the origin of something so iconic.
Shortly after purchasing the tickets, my friend and I were greeted in the lobby then escorted to a theater highlighting Coke’s campaign for making memories. The short clip had me teary-eyed at the end and we were released to explore the various rooms. There were many digital and interactive experiences as well as ample photo opportunities. One of the rooms also had the original formula tucked behind a highly protected vault.While I don’t regularly drink carbonated beverages in general one of the highlights of the trip was sampling coke products from around the world. They divided the drink areas by continents and my favorites were definitely the drinks in Asia and Latin America, as they leaned more fruity. The Beverly in Italy certainly left an impression on me and I know why the Coke employee was so smug when recommending this “popular” drink. Regardless if you drink coke products or not, the museum is pretty fascinating and I admire the entrepreneurial spirit behind coke brand.
Have you tried coke products abroad? What’s your favorite?
In the past I use to go monthly treasure hunting for bargains galore and when I’m traveling I try to hit up at least one charity shop to find some hidden gems. My trip to Georgia was no different and The Drake House mission statement in providing shelter and education for women and children, it was a worthy cause to support.
I started my day at the Drake Closet Alpharetta location and when driving by I felt like I was going to someone’s house and upon entering it was as if I was shopping in someone’s closet. The set-up was very spacious and clean, with a purple and white color pallet. Most pre-loved garments shared the same sticker price, but some higher end designers were individually tagged in their boutique section ($20 starting price). Brands included mid-to-high designers including Banana Republic, J-Crew, Michael Kors, and Sherri Hill with prices ranging starting at $7 and most regular priced items falling around the $10 range.
The price-point is a tad-higher than what I have paid for in comparable charity shops, but the store presentation and variety of clothes made the experience fun and enjoyable. I had such a great experience that I visited two of their three locations.
26 Old Roswell St, Alpharetta, GA 30009
6030 Sandy Springs Cir, Sandy Springs, GA 30328
825 Mimosa Blvd, Roswell, GA 30075
Alpharetta had the biggest selection and Roswell branch didn’t distinguish the garments early as closely as Alpharetta. Overall, if you’re looking to diversify your closet or find something fabulous to wear for 2019 check out Drake’s before dishing out some serious dough at the mall.
I wear many Banana Republic garments, but I love Betsey Johnson pieces! What are some of your favorite fashion brands?
My friend and I were conversing with some Atlanta locals on their favorite restaurants and one gushed about Zunzi’s, a counter-served eatery highlighting South African inspired sandwiches. The concept seemed foreign to me, but with a Laotian restaurant standing as one of my top picks (Snack Boxe Bistro Post) in Atlanta , I was excited to see what Zunzi was all about.
While the sandwich shop highlights flavors from South Africa, the first brick-and-mortar location started in Savannah, Georgia (about 4 hours away). With an instant cult following, Zunzi branched out with a second location in Atlanta and I was informed that the masses have yet to discover the legendary sandwiches. On my visit, I was able to order within minutes of my arrival. Works for me!
There were 5 sandwich options and my friend and I decided to split one of their most popular one – “The Conquistador” with smashed avocado. To the eye this french bread and chicken sandwich seemed very ordinary, but the “Shit Yeah Sauce” was definitely anything but. It really heightens the sandwich experience and in many ways reminds me of Ike’s Place’s Dirty Secret Sauce. The combination of a slightly crunchy exterior and fluffy interior, with the creamy avocado, and tangy sauce gave so much dimension to the chicken and produce. Everything just worked so well together and my friend commented on how quiet I was during the entire meal. Lol
As of today there are two locations, but the manager of this location informed me that they’re planning to expand and potentially move out west. The establishment is the real deal, and if they open up a location close to work I probably would go here once a week, but you heard it here first!
I’m a huge DC Universe fan so shouldn’t be surprising that I’d be a Six Flags season pass holder. The new Justice League ride at the Magic Mountain location (post here) inspired me secure an annual pass, but one of the best perks is that I’m able to visit any of the Six Flags across America! I’ve never been to The Peach State and Six Flags Over Georgia sounded like a great destination!
Six Flags Over Georgia is located about 30 minutes outside of downtown Atlanta and during the week of my Georgia visit they had special evening hours. Unlike Magic Mountain where thrill seekers could enjoy the park during the morning hours – afternoon hours, Over Georgia had afternoon – evening hours (4pm-10pm). Unexpected, but with the holiday lights and decor it made for a festive evening.
While this Six Flags was much smaller (in terms square footage), the lines were much shorter and my friend and I were able to ride 7 thrill rides in about 3 hours. Dare Devil Dive is a one cart coaster that does one of the scariest drop (but man was it fun!), Superman: The Ultimate Flight is similar to Tatsu where you fly on your belly, and Twisted Cyclone – wow this was Uh-MA-ZING – hands down my favorite ride perhaps because I was expecting the drops to be so drastic, the car design was so deceptive! It didn’t look like it’d be a thrill ride.
Are you spending your holidays locally or traveling?
Comfort food is a category I know all to well. It’s when food makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside and preps you for long cat nap, yet I’ve only had soul food a handful of times. Based on rave reviews I’ve visited both Fox Bros BBQ and Sweet Auburn BBQ and both were good, but it left me craving for more. On my visit to Mary Mac’s I was stuffed to the brim and extremely satisfied with experience from beginning to end.
Just down the street from the Fox Theater in the heart of Midtown this historic destination has been serving locals and celebrities alike for over 70 years. While parking can be a challenge it’s definitely an experience you wouldn’t want to miss when visiting. There are multiple dinning rooms in the building and guests are all presented with a sheet to write in our order. Since it was my first time my friend and I were given a sample of complimentary Pot Likker (a soup of boiled turnips). It was soothing, perfect for the chilly weather and the mini cinnamon rolls were so warm and fluffy. I had to stop myself from eating them all.
Mary Mac’s is known for their Fried Chicken and have won countless awards for it. Guests can order different quantities, but my friend and I opted for three legs since we both love dark meat. Each dish is accompanied by two sides. We ordered tomato pie, broccoli souffle, collard greens, and baked sweet potato – the former two were absolutely delicious.
The fried chicken legs were very moist and tender, but the skin could have been more crisp. However, the generous portions and affordable price-point, and southern hospitality makes me feel like I’m at a family gathering. There’s ample space and would be perfect to host large parties. In a lot of ways this reminds me of Mrs. Knotts Chicken Dinner, but with more Southern charm.
What part of fried chicken do you grab? Legs? Thighs? Breast? Wings?
Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, how lovely are your branches… There’s nothing more magical than the moment when you trim a tree then light it up, yet the Macy’s 71st Annual Great Tree Lighting Ceremony they did that and so much more.
The evening tree lighting extravaganza had a fun filled program complete with special performances and two stages in the Macy’s parking lot. The annual event was hosted by anchors Jovita Moore and Zach Klein of Channel 2 WSB-TV and filmed live to kick-off the holidays!
There were many special performances from celebrity singers including Adrienne Bailon Houghton (previously Disney Cheetah Girl) and husband Israel Houghton, Francesca Battistelli (popular Christian singer), Russell Dickerson (handsome country superstar), and Kyla Jade (“The Voice” contestant on Team Blake). They sang holiday classics as well as music from their albums. Additionally the Macy’s All-Star Choir sang a few pieces and Santa also made a festive visit!
Once the stage performances commenced fireworks lit up the sky laying the perfect backdrop for the lighting of the Macy’s Christmas Tree. It was a magical evening and it really highlighted the joys of this wonderful season.
Alton Brown is one of my favorite celebrity chef’s so when he listed The Red Eyed Mule as one of favorite messy meals I wanted to check it out for myself. My friend and I visited several hot spots in Atlanta and Snack Boxe Bistro (blog post) was our #1 restaurant. Would Alton Brown’s pick knock-down our current champion? Would it even make the top 3?
The restaurant is located in Marietta a city about 20 miles outside of downtown Atlanta with morning/afternoon hours (6am-2pm daily). The brick exterior and humble interior resembled more of a local’s diner than a celebrity chef hang-out, and I was excited to try the coveted Jake’s Sloppy Slaw Burger.
The burger arrived and I was blown away by juicy patty made with a combination of coarse-ground chorizo and beef. The thick Texas toast was buttered and grilled to perfect – soft on the side with a beautiful char on the outside. The slaw and sauce gave the crunch and it was so saucy. I loved it!
Verdict: This was definitely the BEST thing I ever ate in Georgia and for $6.25, I’d glad re-arrange my plans to include this hidden gem in my plans.
Whats your favorite “Messy” item to eat and where do you get it?
When I think of Georgia I think of peach pie, fried chicken, and any and all good Southern soul food. Gosh, even the amazing brunch at Hen Mother Cookhouse (Stomach Souvenirs Entry) in Alpharetta would fit the bill. Yet, it’s hard to imagine that Atlanta would be home to one of my favorite ethnic restaurants – Snack Boxe Bistro, a Laotian restaurant focused on street food and one of Atlanta’s newest hot, up and coming restaurant.
I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical about trying Laotian food from a restaurant that seemed so far away from the country, but after hearing so many rave reviews I thought I’d check it out myself. My friend and I ordered the following items.
Mok Pha ($8) Banana leaf wrapped steamed herb fish
Beef Laap ($10) Minced salad with rice powder, kaffir, galanga, chili herbs.
And the verdict…
The Mok Pha was super soft and just melted in your mouth and the Khao Poon, a last minute addition was one of my favorite dish of my Atlanta trip! The were so many different textures and taste profiles that made the soupy noodle dish so complex and delicious. It was a little spicy, a little sweet and all the ingredients just worked so harmoniously. You definitely want to order the Khao Poon if you want an explosion of flavors. I’d love to try the cuisine in the motherland.
As a school counselor one of my primary roles is to help students with college admissions, and there’s no better way to learn about a university than by signing up for an official campus tour. I went ahead and signed up for an info session and guided walking tour for Emory University, an Ivy League of the South.
There were so many prospective students and families eager to learn about this prestigious institution and at the end of the information session we were separated into smaller groups and a current upperclassman. We were guided around the campus and I loved learning about the traditions, and various free resources available to students and staff – one of which was free admission to the Michael C Carlos Museum, a premier museum focused on ancient artifacts directly on campus! My tour guide commented that in the past the museum housed a King Tut collection. So cool!
The university places great emphasis on collaboration and sustainability, while also upholding academic excellence and a well-rounded education. The architecture evoked a New England feel and I loved walking around seeing the Fall foliage. And guess what, I’m kicking off a new series – Adventures in Atlanta!
Which Atlanta posts are you most eager to read? Wandering Wednesday or Foodie Fridays?