The above is an image I snapped with my iPhone out the window of our plane on our way to Atlanta. I adore Georgia O’Keeffe and the above totally made me think of her. The sky looked like this most of the flight. It was mesmerizing to me.
The main reason for this post, however, is to reminisce about the beautiful, the lovely, the gorgeous, the wonderful Atlanta, Georgia. I cannot wait to return. I actually had the pleasure of meeting one of my favorite bloggers, in person, in Atlanta during our trip earlier this month, and I feel honored to have done so. There are so many interesting people in this cyber world, bloggers and commenters, people who get what we are all going through because many of them are going through the same. We all have unique experiences, our own stories, and we all bring something different, but most of all we bring love, understanding, and friendship.
This is what Blue Eyes has with his 12 step group… friends who get him. It is a wonderful feeling. My only wish in this respect is that I had more of what Blue Eyes has, the ability to see in person these friends on a regular basis. I need to be content with the opportunity to connect here, and the pleasure of meeting up periodically, because this is the reality for most betrayed wives and wives of sex addicts. During those times when I meet another betrayed spouse in person, I feel like I can be me. So many days I feel like I am hiding. I talked about this with Ms. Honey last week. One of my apprehensions about going out and taking classes, ones I absolutely want to take, is that I am a talker. I am open and honest to a fault. I don’t like hiding and even though new acquaintances have no business knowing parts of my life, like that my husband is a sex addict and I am doing the best I can with that, I still feel like a fraud. It is just part of me. I need to overcome this desire to share everything with everyone.
Back to Atlanta. During this particular trip, our time was relatively short and Blue Eyes was very sick, so we didn’t accomplish a lot outside the hotel, other than meetings. I am combining in this post memories from both this trip and a trip we took to Atlanta last year. During last year’s trip we specifically set aside two sightseeing days. What a beautiful city. I can’t wait to return because I have a whole bunch of Atlanta experiences still on my wish list not the least of which is just sitting at a cafe in a lovely neighborhood chatting with new friends.
On sightseeing Day One last year, we did one thing Blue Eyes really wanted to do and one thing I wanted to do. Blue Eyes loves Coca-Cola. Original old classic Coke, not diet, not any of that new fangled stuff, just plain old classic Coke.
We Uber’d it over to the World of Coca-Cola, which is a museum of sorts dedicated to all things Coca-Cola. We took the requisite photo with the big polar bear, we toured, we saw a lot of Coca-Cola stuff and learned some history of the company and the products, and then Blue Eyes had a heyday running around like an eight year old in the big room with all the soda machines from around the world. I learned really quickly that it was a lot more fun to look at the different machines and soda options than to actually try any of them–blech! Not my cup of tea, but the machines and all the options were fun to see.
I like to save the best for last, so my choice was second… The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum. It makes me giddy just thinking back on it. I love love love Jimmy Carter. I won’t go in to all my reasons here, but suffice it to say I was really excited to visit. We started the tour with a short movie and then a stroll through the museum, which is modest, just like President Carter. I wouldn’t have expected any different. I read every little plaque and watched every little video. There is nothing fancy or ostentatious about this place, just a thorough chronological history of one amazing man. I know, I know… a lot of people don’t get me and my obsession with Jimmy Carter and you know what, I don’t care. This place gave me a good vibe. Also, we had some of the most personable and interesting Uber drivers in Atlanta.
Day Two of sightseeing in Atlanta included a walking food tour. Walking food tours are great especially if you have a large appetite and love a little history with your food. I actually don’t have the biggest appetite, so I usually ended up feeling like I am going to burst, but I enjoy these tours anyway. This Atlanta food tour wasn’t quite what I was expecting, to be honest. I was thinking we would be offered numerous southern or soul food options. Instead, the tour focused on modern Atlanta cuisine. The theme was more about proving that Atlanta wasn’t just about southern food. It was a little disappointing only in the fact that we can get all kinds of great international and contemporary cuisines in Portland and other places we travel. What we don’t eat a lot of is good southern food.
Anyway… the historical bits and pieces that were thrown in while we were walking around mostly downtown and midtown were interesting and educational and all the foods we ate were delicious, just not at all what I was expecting. The tour began at a very modest middle eastern restaurant. This is where we met up with everyone and our food options included traditional bites of hummus, kebabs, salad, shawarma, and breads. Interestingly enough, most of the other couples on the tour were actually from Atlanta and in their thirties and they all seemed to love the show ‘Shark Tank.’ There was a lot of talk about Atlanta neighborhoods, young children, school districts, restaurants they frequent in their own neighborhoods, and Shark Tank episodes. This allowed Blue Eyes and I not to get caught up in the fray and to merely focus on the tour guide and the food. Sometimes it is nice to meet new people on tours, and you really connect. This did not happen to be one of those times. We walked from the middle eastern restaurant to the restaurant 10th & Piedmont where we feasted on one of their signature dishes, chicken & waffles. Now, you might be saying, hey, that’s southern, but nope. Their version is kicked up a few notches in that it is much more like a chicken corn dog than chicken and waffle. The marinated chicken is wrapped in applewood smoked bacon, skewered, and then deep fried in a corn dog type batter and served with Northern Georgia sorghum syrup, powdered sugar, and hot sauce. It was a decadently delicious dish, but not chicken in waffles, in my opinion. Actually, I neither saw nor ate anything that remotely resembled a waffle.
Our tasting at 10th & Piedmont also included a lovely salad for some balance. By the time we left this second restaurant, we were full, more than full. Just up the street from 10th & Piedmont is Empire State South. Although the restaurant was not open at that time, our tour guide stopped in and picked up treats for later from their pastry chef.
Our next stop was thankfully not about food. Just about a block up the street we visited The Margaret Mitchell House.
As the author of Gone with the Wind and lifelong resident and native of Atlanta, it is no wonder that Margaret Mitchell is a city treasure. She and her husband lived in a small apartment in this building during the time she wrote most of Gone with the Wind. Although the house was partially destroyed by fire in the late 1980’s and then further damaged in 1994, it has been rebuilt as a lovely little museum with an apartment tour and other exhibits relating to Ms. Mitchell and the making of Gone with the Wind.
After leaving the Margaret Mitchell house, we took a much longer walk with fun little sights and bits of information along the way provided by our enthusiastic tour guide and then we eventually stopped in at our last official restaurant, Baraonda Ristorante and Bar. Here we were offered up handmade artisan pizzas of our choosing. Honestly, the pizza was delicious, but we were still so full from the previous two restaurants that one slice seemed almost insurmountable.
The younger couples did not seem to be quite as full, and they managed to eat a couple rather huge pizzas. We left the pizza restaurant and headed to the Fox Theatre Historic District and The Georgian Terrace Hotel on Peachtree, right across from the iconic Fox Theatre where Gone with the Wind debuted.
We sat out on the Terrace at the Georgian and enjoyed iced tea and our lovely pastries from Empire State South while our tour guide talked about the history of The Fox Theatre. There were boxes of blueberry desserts including tarts and donuts and Blue Eyes and I split one little donut. Pretty sure we didn’t need to eat again that day! I wish I had a photo of us there on the lovely terrace.
During that trip, we had gorgeous early Fall days. This time, the late Winter weather was not so gorgeous. There was beautiful weather both before and after our visit, but on this early March day that I had scheduled to meet up with the blogger friend, there was cold cold rain… some hail and snow mixed in with that rain actually (even in this southern state, I know!), but it did not dampen our spirits. She graciously picked me up at the hotel and then drove me around a little bit through the gorgeous old neighborhoods so I could take in the amazing architecture of the older homes. From stately mansions to quaint bungalows, even through the rain splattered windows, it all looked so lovely and inviting.
We ate lunch at a little French style bistro, Bread & Butterfly in the Inman Park neighborhood. And speaking of parks, Atlanta has so many beautiful parks, and large old growth trees, and just generally lots of loveliness.
The food was divine, my choice very decadent and rich, but honestly it was all about the opportunity to meet a new friend. A friend who gets it.
The next day the weather had improved exponentially and I had a couple hours to myself while Blue Eyes was at a morning meeting. I had every intention of rushing out and visiting the Georgia Aquarium, but I opted to enjoy my yogurt, granola, and berry parfait leisurely and then relax in the bathtub as if I hadn’t a care in the world. It was lovely.
My Atlanta wish list is still very long, so I will definitely be back to enjoy more of this wonderful city, AND its amazing people.