Momma’s in the house!

Yes I know I’ve used the word Momma…I will now hang my head in shame! It should ALWAYS be mum being from England and all but I just thought it sounded better!

Back to the blog…and yes I’ve been pretty pants at updating this little beast lately and here is why…

IMG_4124Ma Cook came to stay!! She flew back with me and set up camp at the Richter household for 3 weeks! She also brought the English weather with her and for the first few days we saw A LOT of rain…I blame her for it all!! But the sun did eventually come out, meaning it was time to show Ma Cook the sights at my new home! We did all sorts starting with the 4th of July parade that you already know about!

Then it was the tourist stuff that had to be done! We went to the Atlanta History Center where we learnt all about how Atlanta grew as a city, from its days in the Civil War to its recovery and growth into the metropolis it is today! Along with a whole section dedicated to when Atlanta hosted the Olympics back in 1996! Definitely worth a trip if you’re in the hood! Then afterwards you have to go to the One Star Ranch in Buckhead…it’s a BBQ joint (Yep I did just use the word ‘joint’ to describe a restaurant…Oh dear.) that does the most AMAZING BBQ food…starting with the onion strings and finishing with ribs…and lots of them!! Once again food has made it into the blog and no doubt it will again before the end of this post!!

Then we did the tourist spots in Downtown…the Georgia Aquarium

Hello Mr Lion Fish!

Hello Mr Lion Fish!

The World of Coca Cola where I got to make the German jealous and have some of this…

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Mezzo Mix!

Yep the lovely Mezzo Mix that the German was so excited to have when we went but when he pushed it only soda water came out! Remember that one? No? Click here then and find out more! And finally the CNN Center where I stared longingly at this…

Wowzers!

Wowzers!

Yep the CNN World Headquarters Newsroom! What I would give to work in that room! It’s a world away from my little newsroom back in England which had 3 or 4 computers…every journalist in this newsroom has at least 3 computer screens EACH!! Yes, EACH!!! Sadly I had to jog on with the tour and leave it behind…that image hasn’t left my mind though and as I will soon be able to get a job it’s definitely a target on the list!!

After the tourist stuff there was the shopping…yep Ma Cook wanted to stock up whilst she was away…and she had a list to fulfill from Poppa Cook so we HAD to go shopping! It’s a hard life! I don’t think the German was very happy with this though…going shopping meant I inevitably spent money. On 2 occasions I had a phone call saying you do realise you have just $4 in your account? Whoops! I think he may want to infringe a ban on me going shopping when visitors arrive! (I did get some nice new clothes to attempt to fill up that closet of mine though!! )

We went to Piedmont Park and discovered this little beaut…

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We returned to our childhoods and went on the swing!! The German did try his best to get it as high as possible (typical boy!) but got shouted at by me (typical girl was slightly scared I may fall off!) We also got Ma Cook involved, who with her little legs definitely felt like a child again…she couldn’t touch the floor…

Smile!

Smile!

We spent some lazy afternoons by the pool once the sun started shining again (apparently it’s the worst summer for YEARS!!! I’m still blaming Ma Cook!!) did some more shopping, including some for the Richter Wedding Part 2 next year (that’s all secret squirrel stuff though so you’re not allowed to know what we bought!!) and introduced Ma Cook to many a burger, more ribs, Jambalaya and chicken and biscuits along with a breakfast at the Another Broken Egg Cafe in Dunwoody where she filled up on an amazing omelette! (Again if you’re in the hood, or you spot one somewhere else in the States – I think they’re all over, you have to go in there!!)

Oh and no visitor comes to stay with the Richter’s without a trip here…

3 Strikes and you're out!

3 Strikes and you’re out!

We donned our Braves t-shirts and hats and took Ma Cook to the ball game and she LOVED it!! We tucked into massive hotdogs and chilli cheese fries (see yet another food reference!!) and watched the Braves sadly lose to the Cincinnatti Reds (I’m blaming Ma Cook for that one as well!!) but it soon became Ma Cook’s favourite sport! She especially likes the way the pitcher lifts his leg before throwing the ball! She loved it so much that the following day when there was a game on the TV I wasn’t allowed to speak to her whilst she watched it!!

But sadly it was time for Ma Cook to catch her flight home…we both shed a few tears as we said goodbye until probably Christmas…sad times! I’ve already seen her face a couple of times though on good old FaceTime so it’s not all bad!! Now it’s time for the newlywed Richters to have a little time together before the next visitors arrive on Friday…yep the Richter Hotel is busy during the summer months!! This weekend my Aunty, Uncle and cousin come to stay! Preparations are already underway…my cousin will be pleased to hear I invested in an airbed for him yesterday – to make sure the Richter Hotel has enough beds!!

Oh and we need to pay tribute and say RIP to this little guy…

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I say little, he was actually quite big – my brother and sister-in-law’s dog Drake passed away at the weekend 😦 He was a lovely dog and as the German put it a very good catcher! He’s gonna miss playing fetch with him at Ma Cook’s house – I think he wants me to fill in but I definitely won’t be as good as Drake!!

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Happy 4th July!!

So I made it back to Atlanta just in time for American Independence Day!! Yaaaaay! But the weather was not so great…Booooooo!!! I’m blaming this on Ma Cook…as soon as she landed in the ATL it started to rain and pretty much stuck all last week! Not good!

Aaaaanyway we are English and German and the weather was not going to stop us (and the rest of the American population!) from celebrating the 4th of July!! No, no, no, no, no! I was determined to celebrate our first Independence Day in Atlanta in style! And this meant fireworks and a fourth of July parade! Oh and I also did this to the fireplace…

Patriotic!

Patriotic!

Yep, we may not be American but we were very patriotic…that and I liked the decorations!!! Getting into the spirit of things and all that! So July 4th rolled around and we woke up to rain belting on the roof…great. This was not looking good at all! The parade started at 9am and finished around 10:30am on a 2 mile route. Surely the rain would allow us a little bit of parade pleasure? You’re hoping so too yes? Well guess what…it did!!

Suddenly I realised the rain had stopped, rounded up the troops to get up, showered and dressed in double-quick time and off we trotted (well drove, as we’ve already discovered you can’t get anywhere around here without a car!!) to the place where the Dunwoody parade would end…we should just make it in time to see the action! And we did!!! I was soooooo excited…the German gave me the ‘she’s a nutter’ look on many occasions!!!

The sea of red, white and blue started to head towards us with LOADS of happy Americans all shouting ‘Happy 4th!’ These people are VERY patriotic…it puts us Brits to shame! Even I’m guilty of not knowing exactly when St George’s day is! (I do now though, 23rd April! Yes I looked it up last Thursday!!) Back to the parade and this was the first thing we had the delight of seeing…

Patriotic lady on a horse!

Patriotic lady on a horse!

Yep you can imagine my excitement of seeing this!! Even the horse is patriotic with the red, white and blue sock things!! (I’m sure these have a technical term so sorry to any horsey people out there who know what it is!!) After this things just got better and better!! Huge red, white and blue floats came along, some with bands on, some with families on and some from churches like this one…

God Bless America!

God Bless America!

The parade was also a kind of big advert with stores like SportClips (a hairdressers for men that lets you watch sport whilst they cut your hair…the German is seriously considering checking that one out!) and Yogli Mogli frozen yoghurt heading through, along with people running in elections and school boards! There was also the fire department (I didn’t spot any hot firemen though!) and one of the big yellow school buses you see in the movies along with many an American flag…including one held by Mario and Luigi! This was a blatant advert for a plumbing company but if you ask me they did well…

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It was definitely a big mix of people and places! But by far my favourite, that ended up with me getting VERY excited and the German giving me the ‘you’re a nutter’ look again was the marching bands!!! Yep you heard it marching bands…plural!! Not just one but 2!! Now after watching many an American film and TV sitcom a marching band is something I’ve always wanted to see and it didn’t disappoint!! They were ACE!!!

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There were trumpets, trombones, drums, you name it they had it! And this one even played Britney’s Toxic!! Amazeballs! I think it was my favourite part of the parade!! Now before the parade even started the German was rattling on about candy and how he was looking forward to having candy thrown at him…but, in his words, he was disappointed with their efforts! They threw them towards the floor (probably a health and safety thing) and the German was not happy, he wanted to catch it! (Apparently at Carnival in Germany they throw it as high as possible into the air – he was hoping for this!) He also said they didn’t throw enough of it…he was victorious at one point though…

A happy German!

A happy German!

The parade ended and we headed home for some breakfast, just before the heavens opened again and the rain poured and I mean poured!!! Ma Cook couldn’t believe how heavy it was and how the gutters on the roofs couldn’t cope with the amount of water! So we holed ourselves up inside and played Monopoly, which I won!! YES!!!

Then thankfully the rain ended again and we ventured out for some food and to hopefully catch some fireworks, if the rain held off!! We headed to Buckhead in the hope of seeing the fireworks at the Lenox Mall, supposedly some of the best in Atlanta! We stopped off at the Buckhead Diner on the way to fill up with burgers (Yep another food reference!! They were good burgers too!) and then headed towards the mall…the weather was playing ball and it was still dry! Yaaaay! Fireworks are a must on 4th July!

Then they started…and they were big and VERY loud!!! Of course they were all red, white and blue with some even bursting out into star shapes!! Beautiful! Here’s a little pic for your enjoyment…

Ahhhhhhhh!

Ahhhhhhhh!

But sadly the weather decided not to play ball. You’re thinking I’m gonna say it rained yes? Well for once I’m not! Nope it didn’t rain but it was cloudy and the air was so muggy that once the fireworks had exploded the smoke didn’t clear and stuck in the air, covering the fireworks that followed. It meant after a while you couldn’t really see them…booooo! Stupid weather! But we still enjoyed them and got our piece of 4th July fireworks! I was a happy lady!!