Wednesday, May 25, 2011

14 Things to do in Atlanta

A giant sign reading "Virginia Lee" written in marker greets me at the airport through the windshield of my hostess' car.  Sabrina's wild, curly hair pokes out of Merve, her trusty Mazda. 

Sabrina.  She tells me the locals hate referring to Atlanta as Hotlanta.  A-town it is.

The car fills with our cackles and smoke as we laugh at the comically large sign that never quite made it a baggage claim welcome.  It smells faintly of the art teacher's office.  Her steering wheel shakes after 60 miles per hour. We drift on the humid Atlanta highway, headed for Roswell. There is whiskey on the horizon.  And I'm ready.

Atlanta is huge.  I traipsed around North Atlanta, East Cobb, Roswell, East Atlanta and made my way downtown, finishing with our dramatic W Hotel stay and a decadent dinner at Buckhead's Aria.  I didn't see it all, but I saw a lot.  Sabrina's group of friends are diverse, loud, and full of life.  We partied well into the morning hours, lighting sparkler's off of Marlo's rocking chair covered porch in East Atlanta.  I felt true southern hospitality and ate enough indulgent food to keep my personal trainer and dietician busy for at least another year.  A definite contrast to my visit to Northern California.  Atlanta was one giant party.

Things to do in Atlanta

1. Have someone greet you at the airport with a giant sign.

2. Eat burgers at Vortex.

3. Feel a little miserable about it.

I avoided the coronary line of burgers which involve  a fried egg on a half pound burger.

4. Recover.

3  Have a staring contest with a cat.

4. Eat crickets

Really, those are sour cream and onion crickets.

5. Try every soda ever in the world of coca cola

My tummy hurt after this.

6. Crash a rooftop pool party at the W

7. Leave with souvenirs

8. Drink a bottle of whiskey every day you are there.

not really. 

9. Hang out with local celebrities.  As in the white guy (Ricky Raw) in this video.  I want that bacon and eggs scarf.

10. Meet Paul Somer's Asian doppelganger.

11. Hang out with Turk from Scrubs.

Nah, it was just his doppelhanger

12. Eat at Aria , one of the top Atlanta restaurants and get treated like royalty (no pictures here, you know how I hate taking pictures in restaurants)

14. Eat at Delia's Chicken Sausage Stand and get treated like a glutton.  Yeah, that's a chicken sausage sandwich on a donut.

photo from
Thanks Sabrina and Friends, for helping me live through the least amount of sleep and I've had since college and showing me a fabulous time.

Monday, May 9, 2011

15 things to do in California

15 things to do in California

1.  Eat dim sum in San Francisco with legit Chinese people.

Barrett's lovely grandma who insisted I get squid and ordered off the menu.

The menu.

2.  Explore some sketchy Battery to get a view.

I climbed to the top of this in cowboy boots.

Some popular bridge...jeez, what was it again?

3.  Scowl at hippies in Haight.  Scowl with hipsters in the Mission.
You know how I feel about hippies.

Perplexed...why does it cost so much to look cheap?  The shopping was ridiculous.
4.  Go to a food truck festival.  Eat at more than three trucks.

By the harbor near Golden Gate.

Indian curry in a burrito with basmati. SHUTUP!
I also have never seen so many Asian Americans that spoke perfect English in one place.

5.  Scoot your huskies.  Wait, you can do that anywhere.

Those sister in law with her huskies.

6.  Visit the Black Chasm.  A huge crack in the earth.

7.  See some of the biggest trees you will ever see.

8.  Be warned.

9.  Learn more than you want to know about wine making.
each of these barrels from France costs any where from $1500-$2000 and are only used up to three times before they are converted to a life of storage or turned into some souvenir cutting board.

10. Go to a barrel tasting.

First winery (with my in laws), not intoxicated one bit.

This guy studies wine making in Davis as well as on the vineyard.  The life.  He has plans to open his own winery.

11. Go to a super exclusive estate winery.  Taste wines they only make 74 cases of.

Casa Nueva...they sustain themselves on their wine clubs.  They do not  participate in retail.

12. Mingle with cool locals that have wineries, sheep, goats and pair food straight off the land and grill with their wine.

surfer dude who makes wine.

Funny story...the winery bought the goats to get rid of weeds, instead they ate the grapes.  Now they just live a life of leisure on the propery.

13.  Feel a mix of jealousy and awe.  Eat at the Culinary Institute of America.

14.  Take in some views.

15. Forget your sunglasses.