Wow—the holidays are here again! I know we all say this every year, but 12 months flew by way too fast. Here we are, on the day after Thanksgiving, and pretty soon the pumpkins will be replaced with snowmen (if they haven’t been already).
While we are out enjoying the last days of 2013, let’s make them count. There are so many fantastic things to do and see, and more importantly, people to spend time with.
Make this December one to be remembered. But, okay, don’t forget to Instagram the photos while you’re at it. 😉
It’s been a fantastic birthday month! But, whew, a bit exhausting. Good thing it only comes around once a year!
Seriously, how can people only celebrate for one day—there’s just too much fun to be had! Here’s a quick recap of my month. You’ll see a few items below that, in reality, have very little to do with me and my birthday. But if they occur during September and are super fun, I consider them a gift. 😉
August 30-September 2:
Kicked off birthday month in Clarkesville, Tennessee, with Daron and Margaret, two of my favorite people. It was a relaxing weekend, and just what I needed. I always need more time with them, and adorable little Truman.
Lunch with Jessica at Zoe’s Kitchen.
Mani/pedi with Chianti! This is one of my favorite gifts I give myself for my birthday each year.
Busy, busy day! Volunteered in the children’s ministry, then Amy and I headed south of the city to Serenbe for lunch at The Farmhouse and some shopping. Loved it there. Would totally recommend the drive, and I plan on heading back really soon. Then back home that night for Mark and Meier’s going away party. Really fun to see lots of friends that night, too, even if they weren’t there for me. 😉
Dinner with Michelley at Marlow’s Tavern.
Headed to Tampa for work as we began the Orange Tour. Coincidentally, had my three-year anniversary with Orange while there.
Any excuse to head to Dr. Bombay’s for chai tea is a good day, but we had a great discussion about the book, Half The Sky. If you get the chance, please read it!
Lunch with Ben and Mark at Jim ‘N’ Nick’s. It was a good-bye lunch for Mark, but hey, still in birthday month!
A favorite—the big screen re-release of The Wizard of Oz, one of my all-time favorites! It was amazing in 3D! Good thing it wasn’t crowded, because I quoted and sang to myself the whole time.
Jana was in town, so I went with her, Kat and Damon to Passion City Church and dinner.
Surprise—Karen was in town! Fun reunion with her, Michelle and Ben at Antico Pizza. Serious yum.
Harmony at the Alliance Theater with Sara. Great show, co-written by Barry Manilow! My co-worker, Brandon, was in the ensemble, so it was really fun to see him on stage. We also went to an awesome vegetarian/vegan restaurant called Cafe Sunflower.
Low key night of hanging out at my place with Amy. Always great conversation.
Recouping from a fun and busy birthday month! Sheesh, does my apartment need cleaning!
Thank you to everyone who was a part of my birthday month! It was a great one for sure!
One thing I love being is a tourist in my own city. I see no reason to stay in my own neighborhood when there is so much to explore, especially in a big area like Atlanta.
And today at lunch, my friend mentioned that she and her family were doing a staycation this summer instead of a big, expensive trip. Great idea, especially if you have a large family. I threw some ideas out to her, and decided maybe some of these were also unfamiliar to others as well so I thought I’d commit them here.
Though some of these ideas are specific to Atlanta, many of these work for other places as well. But your best tools are to always be creative and curious. 😉
The best places to go see movies during the summer are the Starlight Six Drive-In and the Fox. Seriously fun and different. And might I add, cheaper than most movie theaters.
Speaking of theater, locate and patron your community spaces. I love The Strand in Marietta.
I love the ScoutMob website and app for awesome deals on restaurants and stores. Plus, there’s no money required upfront. This helps you discover new places near you or in your city. Along those lines, Roaming Hunger will help you find food trucks. And I love Yelp for reading customer reviews.
Eat and buy local. Stay clear of chain restaurants and stores. You’ll have a more unique experience and support your neighbors. And for those expensive restaurants you’ve been wanting to try but can’t afford, try stopping by for wine tastings, Happy Hour, dessert only and events that might be cheaper than a full meal.
Stone Mountain Park is a good option for outdoor lovers, and kids love the evening laser show. And so is the Chattahoochee Nature Center, Piedmont Park and Atlanta Botanical Garden. There are also some nearby hiking/walking trails. Or if you prefer to be outside and sit still, try a Braves game (Atlanta or Gwinnett). If you’re a music lover, a number of free outdoor concerts are also held at various sites around town.
Take a drive. We have so many neat neighborhoods in Atlanta, and when I have time, I really enjoy just driving around and taking a look at them for myself. Who knows what you may discover along the way!
Day or overnight trips are an awesome way to both stay and go. Around Atlanta, we have some cool destinations like Rome, Athens, Dahlonega, Helen, Blue Ridge, Calloway Gardens, Serenbe or even Chattanooga.