Atlanta and Raleigh

Hey everybody! It’s been a while, eh?

I’m here to pop in and post some pictures of a trip I took recently to visit some friends of mine from high school in Atlanta and the Raleigh/Durham area of North Carolina!

It was a Wednesday to Wednesday trip since we were planning on driving up to NC from Atlanta for the week (since my friend works) and my ATL-based friend is in grad school and it was her spring break.

After arriving on Wednesday night, we got drinks, dinner, and most importantly ice cream (!!) in downtown Decatur.  We had a great dinner at Brick Store Pub and Jeni’s Ice Cream. Decatur (which where my friend lives) is super cute! Having never been to the Atlanta area before, I had no idea what to expect and Decatur and the Druid Hills area of Atlanta proper are full of beautiful old homes and parks. Downtown Decatur had lots of nice restaurants and loads of cute shops!

The next day we jumped head first into touristy Atlanta in the morning, as my friend had a couple academics things to take care of before her break. We went downtown to the World of Coca- Cola! If you’re a Coke fan (*raises hand*) then it’s worth a trip! It’s very cheesy and there’s not a whole lot to do but it’s interesting to learn the history of the drink and experience the whole host of amusements (if you’ve ever been to the Heineken Experience in Amsterdam, it was very similar.) The best part is getting to taste Coke’s different brands from around the world! Even if I felt overdosed on corn syrup after, it was cool to taste sodas (or pop as we native-Michiganders are prone to call it) from Africa, South and Central America, Europe and Asia.

World of Coca-Cola World of Coca-Cola

Our next day was an early rise to get on the road to NC. We couldn’t leave Atlanta without a good Southern Breakfast though so we stopped at Home Grown which was super delicious! They even had a vegetarian version of biscuits and gravy which, even though my veggie bf wasn’t there to eat was much appreciated! Fueled up butter and gravy, we hit the road. It’s about a six hour drive so we arrived in Raleigh just in time for an early dinner. It was so much fun to catch up with my best friends! Can you believe they had never seen a Wes Anderson movie??? I made them watch The Grand Budapest Hotel and Moonrise Kingdom.

Biscuits and Gravy

Not so pretty to look at but, oh so delicious!

The next day we explored downtown Raleigh. Even though my friend has lived there for a few months, she hadn’t spent much time downtown. Luckily, we had the perfect excuse to go, an awesome flea market/vintage fair! We all got some great finds and then set off for more shopping and lunch. My favorite place we went was Ramble Supply Co! Such a cool store (and she had the cutest puppy!) We ended up around the corner at Beasley’s Chicken + Honey for lunch. After some more walking and shopping, we headed up to Durham for my friend’s band practice! She was playing the keys and it was such a treat to sit and watch them play.

Raleigh

Fun fact: Raleigh is the City of Oaks

We started out next day with baby goats! We drove out to Celebrity Dairy Farm to meet some baby goats. We got lunch out on the farm while we enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine! After getting our fill of the country, we headed into Durham. We stopped in a couple stores at Brightleaf Square and drove around the Duke campus. We also ended up doing some shopping at The Makery which had jewelry, vintage, and art from local makers. It was right across the parking lot from our dinner spot – The Pit for some Carolina BBQ!

Baby goats

Our last day in NC was spent doing some chain store shopping and see Whiskey Tango Foxtrot! I love Tina Fey in any thing so obviously I liked it.

Back in Atlanta, it time to pack in all that we could do in two days! Day One started out at the Ponce City Market. Obviously, it invites comparison to Chelsea Market (especially with the Beltine/Highline comparison) and it does hold it’s own. There’s lots of restaurant choices (we ended up getting Morroccan food) and lots of cute shopping, although the biggest difference to me was all the clothing and the fact that the food is bookended by a big West Elm and a big William Sonoma instead of more local and smaller stores.

Ponce City Market

We walked a little bit of the Beltline after lunch which has lots of cool art and a nice view of the front of the market and the Atlanta skyline.

Ponce City Market Beltline

After a quick popsicle pick-me-up, we headed to Piedmont Park. We walked up to the Atlanta Botanical Garden. We balked at the $20 entrance fee, especially in the spring when not everything is blooming but they had an AWESOME orchid display that ended up bring worth it. Looking to kill some time before dinner, we went to Atlantic Station for even more shopping! When we were finally hungry enough for dinner, we headed over to BarTaco for some delicious food.

Orchids Orchid display

The next day, we went a little out of town for a hike, opting to forgo Stone Mountain we ended up at Sweetwater Creek State Park. There is a really nice, easy, trail that leads to an old Mill and it was absolutely beautiful! We really lucked out on the weather too. If you keep on the red trail after the mill, it gets quite rocky but follows the creek/river down to some more rapids which were quite stunning.

Sweetwater Creek Sweetwater Creek

After running home to change, we hit the town to go to the High Museum. My friend was interested in the Iris van Herpen exhibit which was really cool. She makes these stunning dresses that are inspired by different things but they really have a movement and life to them. We also saw a Vik Muniz exhibit that I really liked.

Vik Muniz

After dinner, I was off the airport! I really liked Atlanta, even more than I thought, and I hope my friend stays put for a while so I can go back!

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