No, not time travel, although I wish. (I’m talking to you, Dr. Who. Totally down to be your next travel companion!) But, a glorious vacation to an unknown city, to visit a close friend. The anticipation! The excitement! The planning!

I took off four days from work, Thursday (10/18) to Sunday(10/21). Vacation, all I ever wanted, and needed, because working retail is tiring! Especially when working 30-40 hours of retail a week. Add rugby to that and I’m probably a chiropractor’s dream! I digress.

I originally planned to fly out to NYC to visit my sister with my mother. I love NYC, I love my mom, I love my sister, all great things. Well, turns out, Friday was supposed to be a close family friend’s wedding (which did not happen, more on that later). So my mom said it was no longer going to happen, but I could still go. I decided I didn’t really feel like wandering around NYC by myself when my sister had to work/go to class (I’ve done enough solo wandering the past few times I’ve been in NYC), so I decided I would make good use of my weekend and find something else to do. In an instant, I knew I needed to go visit my friend Melissa. She had moved out to Atlanta roughly 4-5 months earlier, and I missed her a lot, I had also never been to Atlanta. I okayed the visit and dates with her and bing, boom, bam, the following Tuesday after our conversation I bought a ticket down to Georgia.

I arrived Thursday evening (10/18), and stayed until the crack of dawn on Sunday. We wasted zero time to get going on adventures. BBQ cheeseburger stuffed with mac & cheese for dinner with drinks? Check. Warm up apartment karaoke? Check. Have some guy give us his CD on the street? Yup. Live band karaoke AT AN IRISH PUB? Check. Have a guy ask for my number? Check. Ohhh bummer dude, I live in MN. Whirlwind first night, stayed out until 2, crashed at 2:30.

Friday was a lazy sleep in start, but I worked on finishing “Perks of Being a Wallflower” (I wanted to re-read it in preparation to check out the movie). Then we relaxed, made paleo cinnamon rolls, worked on this crazy puzzle that was a bunch of rocks and agates with a color palate that increased the difficulty (I’m tempted to get a puzzle now). We had some hair dye action happening as well. But don’t get me wrong, Friday was packed full of adventurous fun as well. A trip to the airport (to get rid of pesky boyfriends- girls only weekend), followed by a GORGEOUS day at the Botanical Gardens. We toured the scarecrow displays (done by different groups across Georgia- some were super awesome, like the headless horseman who was made entirely our of hay [including the horse] and painted, or the Jack and Rose on the Titanic scarecrows).

The gardens also had different “houses,” two for various types of orchids of shapes, sizes, and colors. I think the rain forest building was my favorite- the plants, trees, and vines fantastic, and it also housed a family of quails. We ended our afternoon at the garden with a couple of sodas walking through the woods of giant trees. By this time, I think our stomachs were eating themselves so we went and got cheesesteak sandwiches for dinner. While we waited for our sandwiches, I was talking to Melissa about Dr. Who, which rapidly turned into discussing Dr. Who with a very interesting gentleman standing behind me who seemed to be boycotting showers. With sandwiches in hand, we distanced ourselves as far away as possible from this gentleman so we could enjoy each others’ company.

The evening ended with a fruitful trip to Goodwill (our best find- “Slang Flashcards 2,” next time we played a tennis match, we knew we would have fly convos). After stopping at the grocery store for Saturday nights dinner items, we rented Five Year Engagement and called it a night (“This is going to be the best night ever!”). Puzzle and movie night with pumpkin beer, popcorn, and spiked hot apple cider? Yes please.

Saturday was another awesome day. I tried Blue Donkey coffee (which is to die for, and addicting, and only found in Georgia), pumpkin spiced to be exact. We did a tree tour of Piedmont Park (self-guided, and surprisingly difficult), but managed to snap a photo of ourselves next to every tree we found. We skipped a few to make it over to the Autumn Festival over in Avondale (think, small town art fair mixed with little kid activities and food trucks in a super cute town). I purchased two gorgeous rings (one with a raw labrodite stone and the other with a polished malachite stone), and had to control the urge to purchase more, although one other artist stuck out to me and I was so tempted to buy one of his pieces. I probably should have, but I at least have his card. He does his paintings and printings on homemade paper and unique handmade paper from all over the world. He did mostly nature scenes, stories, and lore, and I loved almost all of it. In fact, here is his site, check it out for yourself ( www.pbase.com/eddiespaghettiart ). On our way out of town we hit up a cute little place called “Adam’s Apples” which had the absolute best caramel apple I have ever had. The caramel was amazing and was paired perfectly with a green apple (they do not have a website, but if you are ever around Atlanta, worth the trip).

After making it back to ATL, we finished our night off with some dog watching at the dog park, and finding the last trees on our tour. Oh, and made a delicious dinner, and chilled out watching Hocus Pocus because my flight was at 7:30 am the next morning. All in all, it was the best week (end) ever, and a much needed vacation, and I love Melissa. It went by fast, but seemed like I was there forever. Next trips on the list: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and NYC to visit my sister. As December approaches, retail kicks into high gear. And I should (maybe) start considering real long-term career goals for myself (psh, adulthood).


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