48 Hours in Atlanta, Hotlanta, Georgia

Did you guys miss me? Or forget me? Regardless, I am back!! After being MIA for about a month with the exception of 2 days I spent in Atlanta, I’m happy to get back to my “writing.”

Writing a race recap takes up more time than I currently have available with Boston training and work, so instead, I thought I would share some snapshots from my weekend in Atlanta that wasn’t running those crazy, humid hills.

Sunrise

We took a 7AM flight which sucked waking up for, but we got rewarded with a flight full of screaming babies and a beautiful sunrise over the Boston Harbor.

Cuban 1

After checking into our Hotel, we decided we need food because being up since 5AM makes you hungry. We were actually gonna check out a southern place I found on Yelp, but when I walked by Papi’s Cuban and Caribbean, I knew we had to eat there! I love Cuban food! And yes, this place was one of my favorite meals in Atlanta.

pinkberry

 

On our first day, we tried to walk around Buckhead, except no one in Atlanta really walks around. It got hot, and we decided getting Pinkberry was a smarter option. A day later we came back with a rental car, drove around and gawked at all the mansions. That was a tad bit more fun.

BBQ

After the marathon, I felt like I could eat a pig, literally. So we went for some BBQ. Sweet Water Brew

We got some sample platter that we split at Daddy D’z BBQ Joint. It came with ribs, mac n cheese, corn bread, collard greens, pulled beef, pork and chicken. I think the tender beef was my favorite. And yes, all this meat was more than enough for the two of us.

Little Five Points

After packing in some meat, I showed Tony around some of the neighborhoods, I ran through just hours before.

Coffee Shops

Honorable mention is Little Five Points, which is called “Bohemia” of the south. They had a ton of really cute used clothing stores and I was widely impressed with their selection of dresses compared to the coldness and sweaters of the consignment stores here.

In the evening we visited the Westin, and took the elevator to the top of the Sundial Restaurant. They have an amazing view of what little skyline Atlanta has. Plus it was cool to see the old Olympic Park!

Sundial View

I thought the Ferris wheel looks a little out of place. It’s kinda just in a random parking lot out there haha.

As for dinner, we went to Alma Cocina in downtown Atlanta. I guess me and Tony prefer Latin food over anything else.

Latin 1

I want to jump into the photo and eat the guacamole now!

Latin 2

Arugula salad, since after eating all that meat for Lunch I wanted some greens.Latin 3

Chicken mole for Tony

Latin 4

Some creative ceviche for me!

Olympic Park Me 2

On Monday, we went back and walked around centennial park.

Olympic Park Me

The little area that was packed with runners 24 hours ago, was completely devoid of life as we made our way to the Georgia Aquarium.

Georgia Aquarium

There, I tried to explain to whitey the merits of why running is so much better than swimming.

Georgia Aquarium 2

I love aquariums and marine life. Although I would prefer to be suba diving instead, this is as close as I could get in the moment.

Whale Shark

The Georgia Aquarium is one of the largest in the world and houses a few whale sharks with a large amount of controversy. Entrance is also not that cheap, as its about $39 per person to enter and included a very cheesy dolphin show. Actually the dolphins are amazing, but the story line with the human actors is unfortunate at best. Either way, I decided that despite my internal confusion regarding animal life in cages, the aquarium was a worthy visit.

Mrs Mac's Tea Room

For our final meal in Atlanta, we finally forced ourselves to get southern food with a visit to Mary Mac’s tea room. I got grilled blacken catfish with fried green tomatoes and broccoli souffle that was absolutely amazing! I actually couldn’t finish it all, but I dragged it with me to the airport and it made just as stellar of a dinner.

Mrs Mac's Tea Room 2

Tony got a burger with grits and potato salad. The sides were great!

So my final thoughts on Atlanta? It was a fun place to visit for a weekend. There were so many dining options that I wish I could carry a second stomach to try more things. However, I didn’t find the city very fun for walking. Yes, there’s sidewalks, but no one uses them and it felt like a ghost town with the exception of the weekend. I love the hustle and bustle of the crowd. We started the weekend with no car, but ended up getting one after doing everything we could within walking distance in a day.

A Weekend in New Orleans – Garden District and Mid-City

Although, we somehow found ourselves in the French Quarter on a daily basis, there is so much more to see in New Orleans!

For one, New Orleans has beautiful cemeteries! I regret not taking any photos because when I get cold, I become a failure of a blogger, but wandering through a cemetery is something that shouldn’t be missed. Many of the more touristy ones have been cleaned up since Katrina, but I’d say stick to visiting one in the day time since you never know who or what can lurk. Since the water table is high, most graves are not the traditional 6 feet deep you see elsewhere, instead there are some really beautiful mausoleums and crypts. Lafayette Cemetery in the Garden District is one that’s been featured in countless movies, but we also walked by another gorgeous one in Mid-City that I forgot the name of. Either way, there’s something peaceful and beautiful there.

As mentioned before Tony and I stayed in Mid-City, a neighborhood next to City Park. I don’t know much about the history of it, but the house looked cute and the streets with the crazy trees were quite enchanting.

New Orleans

City Park, a park named for exactly what it is, is a beautiful urban escape. Had I not been completely sore, I would have gone for a run after the race.

City park 3

I like to title this one Tony and Liana and when Liana tells Tony to clean up after himself. JK =).

Dinos crossing

One day, we walked over to Parkway Bakery & Tavern for some Po’ boys. We got a shrimp po boy and a cat fish po boy. Both were delicious and now Tony wants to eat like a po boy all the time.

Po Boy

We drove by this artful switch-box

NOLA Art

A bayou by the po boy shop.

Bayou

Another neighborhood that we visited was the Garden district and Irish channel.

I stopped by Big Fisherman Seafood and got a crawfish pie for breakfast!

Crayfish cake

Afterwards we met up for another Free by Foot tour of the Garden District. Since it was technically winter, the gardens weren’t much to look at; however, the houses were still amazing. Also, since this neighborhood is on a slight incline, it of course wasn’t hit as hard by Katrina as the less affluent communities were. Sandra Bullock House

Above is Sandra Bullock’s home and it was my favorite. Garden District

Governor’s palace, we didn’t eat there, but I thought I would snap a photo of the blueness

Rum house tacos

Where we did eat was the Rum house. Those were my favorite tacos that I ever had. I got a lamb taco, a fried oyster, balsamic veggies and coleslaw. Tony got steak, fish, and pork taco with some polenta.

Rum House Tacos 2

We took a bus from midcity to the Garden district, but you could also take the Charles street Charlie, one of the oldest trolleys in the country.

Green Trolley

Another quiet street in the garden district at 11AM on a Monday

Irish Channel

Another morning we got some breakfast at Surrey’s in Uptown.

Surrey 2

I went simple with two eggs, balsamic veggies, and a biscuit

Surrey 1

Tony got a scramble with a biscuit and some cheesy grits.

Longest Bridge Causeway

And if you have an extra hour to kill and a car at your disposal? Check out the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, world’s longest continuous bridge! The longest of the two bridges is 23.86 miles, almost a marathon!

 

What’s your favorite bridge? I might be bias, but I love the Zakim bridge in Boston!

Weekend in New Orleans – French Quarter and Frenchmen Street

Hi! I’m actually back in Boston! It only took 12 hours of headaches and frantic flight changes and many new airports visited, but flight cancellations and snow storm couldn’t hold me back!

New Orleans was a blast! I’m going to break up the post in 2-3 posts because I just have way too many photos to share!

On Saturday night after visiting the expo we walked around the French quarters. Speaking of French quarter, anyone watch the Originals? If you do, you’ll notice some things looking familiar!

Bourbon street

It was around 4PM as we made our way around Bourbon street Margarita chugging, and brass bands blasting were in full swing. Since I had a marathon at 7AM, I stuck to my liter of coconut water! The flight, travel and expo dehydrated me, so hydration was key.

French Quarter Church

Jackson square and St. Louis church

French Quarter

Got some alligator jerky from the market as well.

French Market

On Monday night we went out on Frenchmen street, famous for its live music/jazz bars. As mentioned before, it was Monday night so things were timid compared to the weekend, but all the bands were amazing.

My favorite bar that we went to were the Three Muses.

Frenchmen Street

Along with some amazing cocktails, we grabbed dinner.

THree Muses cocktails

Lamb sliders, potato skins, and a beef rice bowl! The lamb sliders were amazing!

Lamb Sliders

We visited a few other bars, all of which had reasonable priced drinks and talented bands playing. We would just pop in which ever place sounded good for the moment and then go into a new place when our glass got dry.

Grapefruit IPA

Anyone every have this beer? I want a case of it! It’s an IPA with mild grapefruit flavor.

Since our Airbnb place was a few miles away, we traveled mostly by these cute trolleys. They worked pretty well for a few days but they would drive me nuts to commute on. There’s a trolley stop literally on every block, so a 4 mile journal can take you an hour! Since we rented a car on Monday, we did drive and had no issues with parking, but the weekend is a different story.

trolley

On Sunday night, we had a 7:30 PM free ghost tour with Free tours by Foot. After your tour, you tip your guide on what you thought the tour was worth.

Since we were once again in the French district we decided to stop by Pat O’Brien’s and get their infamous hurricanes before the tour. Besides I heard a rumor that being sober in the French quarter is illegal.

Hurricans

I’m not quite sure what’s in it, but it was quite tasty! They give you some pop corn as well, and if you return the glass to the bar, you get $3 bucks back. I guess they might have had a problem with people stealing the glass? Either way, I didn’t really wanna figure out how I wasn’t going to shatter the thing in the airport, so we didn’t keep ours.

At night

At night, the beautiful balconies turn into shadows and neon lights.

shadow

The ghost tour was about 90 minutes long and covered plenty of stories in less than a mile of a walk. One that many might know is the LaLaurie mansion that Nicklaus Cage used to own. Don’t worry, not all the stories were so gruesome and scary, some were sweet!real mansion

Do you believe in ghosts?? I get scared easily so I try not to think about it. I don’t even watch horror movies anymore.