Thursday, July 11, 2013

Birthday Rewind #27on27 (Photo Heavy)

So I know that I said I was going to get back to blogging, but I failed, LOL.  I realized that when was blogging I was motivated to do things that brought me joy because I wanted to share all the wonderful fun things I was doing with you.  So to help balance out all the craziness that is work and excitement of starting my own business, I'm getting back to my blog.

The Birthday Rewind

So I turned 27 last month and decided to do something special for my "Champaign Birthday."  Me and my friends took a long weekend trip to Atlanta.  It was my first time there and I wanted to completely unwind, so the weekend theme was "Turn Down for What!?"  I can't say tell you enough how grateful I am to have great friends that would travel half way across the country to help me celebrate.  They're amazing!

Day 1

The first night was we went to Atlantic Station, which is an outdoor mall, for a movie on the lawn.  We watched "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" while eating pizza and my a slice of Oreo cheesecake from
Copeland's Cheesecake Bistro.  I've seen the movie before, but watching it with someone that claimed it to be one of their favorite movies being surround by some interesting characters was hilarious.  I forgot where the pizza was from, so I that should speak for itself.  Being someone that's not really into cheesecake altogether, the cheesecake was good.  I was limited in my options and wasn't feeling all the chocolate ones in the case.

Day 2

The next day the crew and I went back to Atlantic Station for a lunch at Rosa Mexicana because of all the reviews I read about their guacamole.  Supposedly they make it fresh at the table, but that didn't happen because we were seated outside.  Nevertheless, still ordered the delicious (yet pricey) appetizer. Every last one of us cleaned our plate!  We loved it.  I ordered the chicken enchiladas with beans and rice (pictured below).  The portions were generous but not too much and the drinks snuck up on a few of us.

After lunch we decided to do a little damage to our bank accounts by shopping.  Being a plus size girl not trying to buy for the sake of buying, it was hard for me to find something that I liked.  And I was especially surprised when I couldn't find anything in DSW that caught my eye.  I ended up purchasing a pair of boyfriend jeans and a nice top from Old Navy.  Wanting more options, we headed over to the Lenox mall.  I found a few more things thanks to sales at Aldo and Vicky's Secret.  At the end of the day I was just happy to be spending quality times with friends I hardly get to see.

For dinner someone was craving Soul Food.  After getting some suggestions from my Cousin Soror Joan, we decided on Paschal's in historic Castleberry Hill.  I got fried green tomatoes, the fried chicken platter with mac-n-cheese and candied yams.  It was all good, but not at all worth the price.  Our server, who ended being one of the gang, caught wind that it was my birthday and surprised me with chocolate lava cake.  I tried to share it but we were all so full.  We ate about 3 baskets of bread waiting on our food (our server informed us that the kitchen was a hot mess that night, lol).

After dinner there was a failed attempt to bar hop.  We went with a default and headed to Wet Willies.  I got a "Bob Marly," three different flavors in the colors of red yellow and green layered together.  It was yummy, but the atmosphere was interesting.  Here's my Cousin Soror Joan!  When we got home, they started me on season 1 of the tv show "Scandal" via Netflix.  "My name is Shante and I'm an addict."

Day 3

Saturday's agenda was supposed include the Caribbean Festival, eating more good food and of course more alcohol.  Well seeing that we didn't leave the house until it was time for lunch, we decided to go to Atlanta's Food Truck Park & Market.  I was seriously so excited because I've been dying to eat a good food truck since watching the tv show "Eat Street" on the Cooking Channel.  I ate a Korean chicken burrito and sesame fries from Yumbii, a Mexican and Korean fusion food truck.  To was it down I had cherry and mango water ice.

So after the lunch we head back towards downtown for the Caribbean Festival.  What a mess!  There was all kinds of mess and confusion going on.  So much so it was too difficult to figure out how to even get in.  As we're looking around for the line to buy tickets, we see a huge crowd piled around the gate waiting to get in.  Come to find out that the Morris Brown football stadium is at capacity with another stadiums worth trying to get it.  We decided to skip it and rest up for a fun night.

We ended up going to a nice lounge around the corner from some of the biggest clubs in Atlanta.  Forgive me, but I don't remember the name of it.  We had a lot of fun, met some new friends, had some good drinks and smoked hookah for the first time.   After the leaving we ended going to the same Waffle House showcased in the movie "ATL" starring T.I. and Lauren London.  We had a great time and ran into all the weirdoes out at unreasonable hours.

Me all dolled up for my night out

Day 4

This was the most relaxing of all the days.  One of my friends has a brother that lives right outside of Atlanta and they were having a family BBQ that day and invited the rest of us over.  On the way out there we stopped at a place called Cami Cakes.  It's a black owned cupcakery with four locations in Atlanta - we stopped at the one in Buckhead. Those who got cupcakes got different flavors so we could maximize our tastings.  I got the CinnaSwirl, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream, Red Velvet and Pineapple Toasted Coconut.  The cupcakes were very yummy, a nice balance between the cake and the frosting.  I don't like when there's more icing than cake. 

After the BBQ, we headed back and watched a few more episodes of "Scandal."

Day 5: My Birthday

People started departing early this morning, but for those who remained we did our own thing for the day.  Being a the only first time visitor to Atlanta, I wanted to get the touristy things off my list before I left.

First stop was the iconic tour of Auburn Street - better known as everything about Martin Luther King, Jr.  As soon as Josh and I got out of the car we were at Ebenezer Baptist Church.  Went inside and took pictures of what looks very similar to my uncle's church.  I sat and listened to the recorded voice of Dr. King's sermon and took in the historical significance of where I was at.

Walking further up, the next site was the tombs of Dr. King and Coretta.  From there we went to the old fire house (not pictured) and toured that museum.  It's also the place you could go to sign up for the free tour of Dr. King's home.  We got there just as the last tour for the day was scheduled.  So I decided to walk up to the house anyway and take pictures outside.

On the way down we stopped at the bookstore and I got a few books and postcards.  After that, we walked to the new church (literally across the street from Ebenezer) and down to the old Masonic Hall which was the original headquarters for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).  The SCLC was instrumental during the civil rights movement and is very much active today.

After Auburn Street, I had another item I wanted to get off my bucket list.  I wanted Ethiopian food.  Living in rural eastern Kentucky it's not easy to come by.  And I love seeing people experience new things for the first time (Josh's first time).  We went to Ghion Cultural Hall.  We ordered the sample that included different veggie, beef, chicken and lamb dishes, plus our server gave us plenty of Injara (the sour spongy bread you use to eat instead of silverware).  It was a lot of food for an entree meant for two  as you can see. 

After lunch we finished our touristy adventures with the Coca-Cola factory downtown.  Sorry guys, I didn't take any pictures.  I don't really drink soda and when I do it's Pepsi products, so I wasn't at all motivated to capture the moment.  I will say that I was excited for the tasting room.  Being able to taste flavors from all around the world was fun.  I want to scrape my tongue after some flavors, and others I had a second helping.  Upon leaving everyone gets a free mini bottle of Coke as a souvenir.  I'll be sending it to my cousin as a thank you for a recent visit I had with her.

I finished my birthday with dinner at the Yard House back in Atlantic Station, finished the last episodes of "Scandal," and back to Kentucky I went.

Until Next Time!

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