Travel | Easy-Peasy, No-Traffic, With Infant, 6-ish Hour, Atlanta Travel Guide!

A few weekends ago we planned a little day trip to the ATL.  While we love all of the fun things to do in Birmingham, we also love the fact that it is such a short drive to other great cities like Nashville, New Orleans, Orange Beach and Atlanta.

And because I’m not too familiar with the city and I know that traffic is always a nightmare (always great conversation starter. Atlanta traffic!), I spent a few hours going plotting out and mapping our day.  It paid off because our day was really well-paced, and that’s not always easy with a nursing baby.  When we made it home at a decent hour and had experience ZERO traffic, I basked in my success!

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We left around 9am and drove right to the Atlanta History Center, it’s on the north side of the city and the main road will take you through some gorgeous old neighborhoods full of beautiful southern homes.  Our first destination was Swan House!  It’s a little confusing at first, but you begin at the history center, there’s great parking, stroller accessible with a fun gift shop and cafe attached.  Your ticket includes a Swan House, the grounds and gardens, Margaret Mitchell House (located off site, we didn’t visit this time), a historic farmhouse with animals and very well-designed museum exhibits back at the air-conditioned history center.

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Swan House was the filming site for several of the Hunger Games movies.  They had set up a special exhibit in one of the upstairs bedrooms with leftover props and the docents were willing to answer tons of questions.  It was a fun bit of trivia!

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I’m an old house nut.  I think they’re just full of mystery and romance and I never get enough.  Before moving to the south, I spent 3 summers volunteering at a historic home in Wisconsin, that place became so special to me.  Josh proposed in the tower that overlooks the lake and we went back after our wedding ceremony to have our portraits done.  ALL THE LOVE!!!

The only thing better than a BIG old house are two little houses!  These playhouses were a dream, with bedrooms, kitchens, a wraparound porch and real windows.  How amazing would it be to build one of these someday?!?

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The luxurious Buckhead Village is only a few miles from the houses and they just opened a Shake Shack.  OH MY YES!  I love fancy things, but do you know what I really love?  Not-fancy things.  There is nothing better than a simple cheeseburger and fries.  The cheese fries from Shake Shack are so good!  Josh was suspicious the I’d planned our entire trip around this stop, I wouldn’t say “entire” trip, not exactly…

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All good day-trips need a bit of purpose, so we stopped by IKEA to pick up one of these little highchairs that I’ve been hearing rave reviews about.  Best $20 purchase!  HMW loves sitting in it while I’m cooking and throw toys at me.  Haha!  Little boys!

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Our final stop was Star Provisions for some coffee and a delicious gluten-free brownie.  I can’t wait to visit again and eat at one of their other restaurants.  I was so impressed with their merchandising and selection of Southern Made products.

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And there you have it!  My “Easy-Peasy, No-Traffic, With Infant, 6-ish Hour, Atlanta Travel Guide!” Is it ambitious?  No, not at all.  But it’s doable and laid-back and was perfect for us and little Hugo.

 

Eats    |    Shake Shack Buckhead, Star Provisions 

Stops    |    Swan House, IKEA Atlanta

Sounds    |    The audiobook version of Steve McQueen: The Salvation of an American Icon by Greg Laurie   (Shameless plug: Josh is producing the movie for this book and so by default we’ve both learned tons about the life of SMq. The movie trailer is HERE!

| Weekending | 8.13.16 |

I feel the need to preface this post by stating that I am not a motorcycle fan.  Not even a little bit.  There’s was even this one time where I had a level 10 freak out over driving a Vespa scooter through a Caribbean Island.  It’s a good story, it ends like this: I did not drive the pink scooter, my little sister did and I rode on the back of a friend’s scooter because I at least knew he had a motorcycle license (not that that mattered in the Dutch Antilles…) and I’M ALL ABOUT SAFETY FIRST.  Also, the man I would marry was there too and saw the whole thing, but what better thing than to end up with someone who knows all your stories.

Anywho…

The other weekend I was in a museum-y mood, per usual, and came across the Barber Motorsports Museum, the reviews were fantastic and since I’d absolutely enjoyed the BMW Museum in Munich last fall I had a hunch this would be fun too.  I threw it out there to see if Josh was interested and he was all for it!

I’m such a lucky girl to have a guy who is spontaneous and who loves museums too!

From the minute we walked in we were impressed by the sheer size of this place!  It’s a privately owned museum and the collection of vintage bikes and race cars is over 700.  There is also a lower level that is only opened once per year that is a working shop where the restoration process takes place.
Josh offered to add this one to my birthday list, but I don’t think it would be able to hold all of my Trader Joe’s groceries.
This is one of Steve McQueen’s own bikes!  They had a full display of military bikes and notes about the history of the companies that made them for specific needs and different parts of the military. 
This was one my favorites, a 1957 Aermacchi Chimera 175 (I totally just googled this because I had no idea and I’d hate for my blog to lead you astray).  The color scheme was just too pretty!  And the design with the lovely curves and cream colored leather, sigh…
If you’re in the area, be sure to stop by, you might just walk out a fan of fast things on wheels!
Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama.    Tickets are $15 per person with an option to add on a docent guided tour that includes the lower level.  The park also includes a race track and we were able to watch the preliminary runs from the 4th floor, I’d love to go back to watch a race!  

| Weekending | 4.10.2016 |

We wandered into the Alabama Theater last Sunday, baseball hats, jeans and Revelator iced coffee in hand.  Josh wanted to show me around before we went to see what the cool kids were doing at the food truck rally a few blocks over.  The door was unlocked and he pulled me into the lobby.
It felt like a sacrilege.
The iced coffee that is.
The renovations were breathtaking.  High ceilings, sconces and chandeliers, the funkiest restrooms with oriental influence.  The checkerboard floors, the walls, the little red details on the end of each row of chairs… Everything was perfect.  Josh gave me the tour for a change and told me about the events that he worked and about the one time that he was trying to rent the theater and the old director talked his ear off and played the organ for him for hours.
Golly, I love these old buildings and the people who keep them alive.
We happened upon a concert for said organ.  It was absolutely perfect.  The two of us up in the balcony as an audience of 15 people (that had to be the max), listened to someone from some theater organ association played jazz and standards on a gorgeous old organ for an hour. 
I felt I’d stepped into a movie, a perfectly time musical, the kind where the girl goes off to work in show business and somehow we just watch and pretend that that’s a respectable profession to choose.  It was wonderful.  And Josh just shakes his head at this girl he married and the crazy things that she gets into.  
Things like old theaters and impromptu organ concerts and waiting out in the sun for 2 hours to get a taste of Eugene’s Hot Chicken.
It was worth it.