A few weeks ago, the German and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary (even though we’ve legally been married for 2 years!) and decided to head back to Florida where married life for us technically began, although Ma Cook refused to believe it until she saw me walk down the aisle a year later in Germany!
Last Saturday, after I’d finished work, the weather was beautiful so the German and I decided to take a walk along the Atlanta BeltLine. It was the perfect day for it, sunny but not too hot, spring really is the best time of the year in this city!
So, the BeltLine is a little bit like the HighLine in New York City. It’s an old railway line that has been turned into a public park. It’s currently a work in progress with only sections of the BeltLine completed but, once it’s done it will be 22 miles of trails, parks and transit options that will circle around Downtown Atlanta, connecting many neighborhoods and tourist spots, however, that won’t be until 2030 so there’s still quite a way to go.
Whilst visiting the fab city that is Chicago (more on that here), we couldn’t resist heading up to the Skydeck of the Willis Tower and seeing Chicago from above. Our last morning in the city was pretty clear so we hotfooted it downtown and up the 103 floors to the top before the clouds moved in.
Late last year, the German and I were lucky enough to head up to Chicago together to check out the Windy City. It’s somewhere the German goes to a lot for meetings and the like, but this time his wife was coming along too!
Chicago is a city I’ve always wanted to go to. I’ve heard such great things about it and wanted to check it out for myself. So, we headed up for the weekend in November. Weather-wise it probably wasn’t the best choice, it was so cold! We had snow and temperatures hitting a high of a whopping -11 degrees celsius – temperatures I have never experienced before. Add to that the wind and just walking from the car to the hotel left you freezing! That wasn’t going to stop us exploring though!
It’s been so cold around here lately, I thought we could head back to a time when there was bright blue skies, very warm temperatures and a need to cool down with 32 oz of frozen cocktail! Yep, we’re heading back to my birthday trip to New Orleans back in June of last year.
We maybe didn’t pick the best time of day to take a stroll around the Garden District of the city. If you were playing spot the Europeans heading out into the midday sun you would have hit the jackpot with us two! Yep, despite having a guide book that suggested you miss the midday sun, we strolled straight into it!
This area of the city is just beautiful and definitely a spot not to be missed. The Garden District is the area of New Orleans where wealthy newcomers built their majestic homes in the 19th century. It’s the perfect area fir architecture buffs and gardeners with some extremely grand, beautiful and pretty homes, including a lot of Greek Revival mansions.
A couple of weeks ago our friend Sven came to stay for the weekend, and, when you have a fellow beer guzzling German in the house there’s only one place to go – a local brewery for a spot of beer tasting and a little tour. As you all know, we’ve already been to SweetWater so we thought we’d head to Monday Night Brewing. I mean, who wouldn’t want to spend their Saturday afternoon playing corn hole and sampling every beer the brewery makes?! Exactly.
This place is pretty small and tucked away on a kind of industrial estate but that doesn’t mean it isn’t something special! We rocked up, paid our 10 bucks, picked up our souvenir glasses and 6 beer tokens and we were off. The boys were so excited – beer, beer, beer! We chose our first drinks then went to explore.
The inside of the brewery, literally where the trucks rock up to take the beer to stores, is turned into a bar on beer tasting days. There are cute mismatched tables and chairs, a fireplace with the signature moustache of Monday Night Brewing on top of it, sofas, a table top slider game and of course, a big screen showing the current football game – you can’t go anywhere in America without a TV screen with some sort of sport on! Oh, and we can’t for get the tie wall – Monday Night Brewing’s trademark is a tie and, if you bring one to the tour and tasting you can tie it onto the wall behind us in the picture. Sadly, the German forgot his but I’m sure he’ll have another opportunity to do it!
After sinking a beer, we re-filled our glasses and headed outside into the courtyard. If you thought the inside was cute, the outside is even better, especially in the September Atlanta heat! There are tables dotted around, benches, a couple of corn hole boards towards the back and to top it all off, there are strings of lights to make the place look even cuter! It actually reminded me a little of a beer garden back home in England – perfect.
We spent a little time outside playing corn hole – we had this game at our wedding so Sven knew all the rules. We all played each other, meaning 2 games each. Sadly my skills weren’t their best and I lost both of my matches, the German won both his (good job because that boy hates to lose!) and Sven won one. I blame the fact I had a beer in one hand and a wedding party taking pictures right next to us! Yep, a group of groomsmen had swung by before one of them headed off to get married – see, I told you this place was cool!
Then came the tour and it began with a line I never thought I would hear – turns out this place was started by 3 guys who met at a 6am…wait for it…bible study group! Not what I was expecting at all! Basically, one of their wives bought a beer brewing kit for her husband for his birthday, he then asked his friends to brew some beer with him on a Monday night – hence the name and the logo of a guy with a tie. They did and it was alright, so they tried again and it got better each time. They starting living for Monday nights and their beer brewing sessions. Eventually, they started inviting their friends around and things got bigger and bigger so they decided to go all the way and start a business and if you ask me, they made a pretty good decision. I’d also like to point out that I bought the German a beer brewing kit for Christmas, so far, it’s still in the box – it needs to be out of the box because that story that you read right there, that my friends, could be Team Richter! In my dreams…
We finished the tour and headed back for another beer or so, well, for the boys anyway, I was the designated driver! I think they managed to try every beer – my favorite was the Fu Manbrew, the German loves the Drafty Kilt Scotch Ale, it’s forever stocked up in our fridge.
Sadly, 4pm came around and we had to leave…booo. But, the German has officially added it to the list of places to go whenever we have a visit so I’m sure we’ll be back pretty soon!
Whilst Mama C was in the ATL a couple of weeks ago we thought the perfect bit of exploring for her would be a spot of wine tasting – Mama C is famed for liking a little tipple every now and then! I had better stress that she is not an alcoholic or anywhere near bordering on one, she just likes to have a drink of the alcoholic variety and is always open to trying new liquor like at the wedding in Germany was she dived head first into the rhubarb schnapps and loved it! If that disclaimer wasn’t involved in this blog post my status as best daughter in the world may have just been lost.
So, one hot and sunny Saturday afternoon in September we jumped into the car and headed to Dahlonega. North Georgia, and the Dahlonega region in particular is famous for its vineyards and wine tasting, so, after a little bit of research by yours truly, we made our way to Wolf Mountain Vineyards and it was stunning:
Rachel got a pat on the back from both Mama C and the German for picking this one! The views were out of this world, you could see for miles, catching glimpses of the mountains in the distance, some of the thousands of trees that make it feel like you’re living in a forest in Georgia and of course those all important vineyards and grapes that make the delicious wine.
Now let’s face it people, we were there for one thing, the wine. We quickly made our way to the tasting room, figuring we could check out the views and vineyards a little more later, and marched straight to the guy who sold the tasting flights. Priorities people, priorities! Three wine flights were quickly purchased and we were ready to rock and roll.
1 sparkling, 1 white, 1 rosé and 2 reds later and our tasting flight was over…sad times. But we thoroughly enjoyed it, there were some very tasty wines there indeed. With each sample we were given a little explanation about the type of wine, it’s taste and how it was made and when our flight was over, Mama C and I decided to indulge in another glass, opting for the rosé and a seat outside in the sunshine. The German was our designated driver so he was downing wine glasses of…water!
We sipped our wine whilst gazing out to the mountains. Just below us, a wedding was about to get underway and guests were starting to arrive – it really was a beautiful place to get married. Given the chance of getting married for a third time to the same man (I really don’t think that is going to happen and I am definitely pushing my luck a little there, twice is more than enough!) I would choose somewhere like that. The mountains in the backdrop, beautiful scenery and a gorgeous little pavilion for the ceremony to be held on. Hey, a girl can dream!
All in all it was an afternoon well spent. I think the German and I might be heading to a few more vineyards up there win the near future – it would be rude not to!