Life is Good. {September’s Happy Moments}

Life is Good...

So, it seems I’ve taken another unscheduled blogging vacation (holiday for you Brits back home – I’m hanging my head in shame for using that word!) after a busy couple of weeks in the Richter House! The Richter Hotel has been fully booked and with visitors galore I’ve been here, there and everywhere entertaining to the max whilst also fitting in some work! Phew!

I’m back now and celebrating what has bee a fab September by picking out some of it’s best moments that have made life so good this month. I can’t believe it’s October already – where is this year going? It will be Christmas and we’ll be jumping on that plane back to England before we know it! Once again, I’m linking up with the lovely Belinda over at Found Love, Now What so make sure you head over to her fab blog and show her a little love!

{September’s Happy Moments}

The yearly visit of Mama C!
That’s right people, Mama C flew in for her annual visit this month without Papa C (he won’t fly because he has a bad neck ūüė¶ ) for 2 weeks of Mama C/daughter/son-in-law time in the ATL. Thankfully, she didn’t bring the rain with her this year and managed 2 weeks of sunshine, although our planned trip to the beach turned into a couple of days in Nashville because the weather was not looking too bright and sunny down in Destin! It was lovely to have her around though. She came with an empty suitcase and went back with a full to bursting one thanks to a lot of shopping, (the German wasn’t too happy with the high number of shopping bags that came through the door in my hands!), we introduced her to the best BBQ in town, the best burger in town, stuffed our faces with donuts, finally made it up Stone Mountain with her, went to the Atlanta Botanical Garden and Zoo Atlanta, sampled some wine in Dahlonega, celebrated Oktoberfest in Atlanta, went to a Braves game and generally had some mother/daughter time that you can’t really have over FaceTime. She’s probably crying now reading this – sorry mum!

Stone Mountain / Wine Tasting in Dahlonega / Atlanta Botanical Gardens

Stone Mountain / Wine Tasting in Dahlonega / Atlanta Botanical Gardens

Some exploring with Mama C – Nashville, TN
During Mama C’s stay we were supposed to head to Florida for a few days at the beach whilst the German worked hard and earned the money but, Mama C’s history with the weather and her love of bringing the rain over from England meant the forecast was not looking good and there is nothing worse than being at the beach when it’s raining! So, we quickly changed our plans at the last-minute and instead headed up the Nashville for a couple of nights. It’s less than a 4 hour drive from Atlanta so we hopped in the car and went to Tennessee. We indulged in some country music, checking out the Hall of Fame, sipped some beers to live music in some of the many bars, checked out the Parthenon (slightly random having something Greek in the middle of Tennessee) and strolled around the city, taking in the atmosphere and soaking it all up. I’m already planning a return with the German before the end of the year. We stopped off at Ana Ruby Falls on the way home – Mama C liked that one too!

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Bright lights of Nashville / Exploring the Parthenon / Gold records at the Country Music Hall of Fame

Don’t worry – more detailed Nashville blogging is in the pipeline!

Sven came to stay
Jeez, the Hotel Richter was busy this month! Just a day after a tearful goodbye to Mama C (don’t worry Minimum, it will be Christmas before we know it!) I was back at the airport to pick up our friend Sven from Germany. He’s a childhood friend of the German, they both grew up in little Mettingen and Sven thought he would stop by to say hello on his way to the west coast of America. We managed to pack a lot into the weekend including a Bundesliga Breakfast (the boys, not me), a visit to Monday Night Brewing, dinner and drinks in Roswell, a tour of Turner Field and we ate our way through a mountain of wings! I’d say that’s a weekend well spent! Sven is now living it up at the Grand Canyon before heading to Las Vegas and San Francisco – not a bad trip at all!

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Some corn hole action at Monday Night Brewing / In the dug out at Turner Field

We explored a little more of Atlanta
On Labor Day we checked out the Atlanta BeltLine. It’s kind of like the High Line in New York City – an old train line that’s slowly being turned into a park walkway, eventually it will stretch around the city but for now there’s just a small section open. Artwork is dotted along the pathway and it’s a popular place for cyclists so make sure you stick to your own side! We did however, forget to take into account the boiling hot sun in the middle of the day – an epic European expat fail. To say we were hot and sweaty was a massive understatement! What a beautiful picture I paint for you…! We also finally made it to the High Museum of Art after a failed attempt last year when we tried to go on a Monday only to get there and realize that’s the day it closes. Doh.¬†We checked out the permanent exhibits and looked at the special Dream Cars exhibit (which the German loved) before hanging out in a hammock and taking a stroll around Piedmont Park.

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Strolling along the Atlanta BeltLine / Hanging out in a hammock at the High Museum of Art

Some of September’s small happy moments
We tucked into our first real American milkshakes, obviously with a burger! I had nutella with burnt marshmallows and the German downed a strawberry shortcake, I think it’s safe to say we’ll be having more milkshakes in the future.

The space near our front door was given a facelift with the addition of a pretty plant and a small herb garden. I wonder if I’ll be able to keep them alive…here’s hoping!

I celebrated the start of fall with a pumpkin spice coffee and a slice of peanut butter and pumpkin loaf. Remember my post about how America loves the pumpkin last year – that love has returned, full throttle!

We took a lovely evening stroll along the Chattahoochee. The weather is cooling down now, making it the perfect time to get outside! It also means the jeans have made their way out of the closet again…sad times. Until next spring shorts!

A front door facelift / Pumpkin coffee and peanut butter and pumpkin loaf / A stroll along the Chattahoochee

A front door facelift / Pumpkin coffee and peanut butter and pumpkin loaf / A stroll along the Chattahoochee

September rocked and October is looking pretty amazing too – my oldest and best friend in the whole wide world is coming to visit next week with my goddaughter and I cannot wait to see them walk through those airport doors – there will definitely be tears, from both sides!

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Today’s Ramblings #16

I haven’t done one of these posts in a while so I thought it was high time the ramblings returned! Grab a brew…here we go:

Baseball is back people! This is the exciting news of the day here in America-land. Well actually it officially returned last night but today baseball returns for the Atlanta Braves. Their season opener takes place this afternoon and I think the whole city (including the Richter’s) is excited about it. Soon, next week in fact, we’ll be donning our Braves gear and heading back down to Turner Field to watch them in action…it’s been too long people!

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Let the baseball snacks (more than likely chilli cheese fries and a burger – that’s not going to help the wedding diet!), lazy days drinking beer in the sun at the ball park, singing ‘Take me out to the ball game’ at the start of the bottom of the seven, the peanuts and of course the chopping commence! #FearTheChop

I spotted this guy at the gym earlier. I mean, seriously, who goes to the gym wearing this stuff?

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He was on a cross trainer, in jeans, and a fleece. He never took the fleece off for the whole, I’d say 30 minutes or so of his time on there. He did have a towel to wipe his sweat away but jeez, he must have been hot. I’m not sure if the woman knows him or is thinking the same as me? Not long after he took his place another guy wearing jeans and a t-shirt got on a cross trainer too. Is this a new trend I don’t know about? Good on him for exercising though!

Summer is finally here! Yes people, I’ve had a pedicure and these have finally been cracked out of the closet:

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After a long and very cold winter here in Atlanta the temperatures are rising, the sun is out and my sandals are finally back on my feet! That is where they will now be staying for the forseeable future. Oh how I love the summer! I might have to take a walk later to see if the pool is officially open yet…

Oh and in case you were wondering the critter is still making an appearance. More on that in a future blog post. Let’s just say we’re still trying to track that thing down.

Ramblings over, it’s time to go and eat some leftovers from last night’s Mexican for lunch. Yum!

Have a good day y’all!

Happy One year in Atlanta!

Wow. It’s a year to the day since we stepped foot on American soil and started our new life in Atlanta and what a year it has been! This time last year I was sitting on the plane after saying a very tearful goodbye to Ma and Pa Cook and wondering what lay ahead (and more importantly if they’d actually let me into the country – remember the Big V?) and now I’m a married lady about to embark upon her second year as an expat! Wowzers!

Officially an expat with that stamp!

Officially an expat with that stamp!

I’m not going to lie, packing up our lives and starting a new one in a different country was blummin daunting (well, maybe not so much for the German – he’d done it before!) watching everything go into boxes, knowing the next time I saw it would be in America!! America!! I still can’t quite get my head around the fact that I live here! I really should work on that – I’m technically not a ‘new’ expat anymore! I haven’t ‘just’ moved here, I’m not ‘fresh off the plane’ anymore!

So what has the past 12 months been like? 3 words will cover that – THE BEST EVER!! Yep, it’s been a year of adventure, new experiences and adjustment, excitement, exploring and change and a lot of fun times along the way! So much has happened! There’s no way I’m going to fit it all into this post!

So, after weeks of trawling furniture shops we made a home that happily welcomed a lot of visitors, we made some amazing new friends – something that will only continue the longer we stay here, we survived the pollen attack and the big scary bugs, survived our first Hotlanta summer by the pool, we got engaged (definitely didn’t see that one coming!) and then went to the beach and got married within 3 weeks! (You can read more about that here!) If you’d have asked me this time last year if I would be married within 12 months (well actually it was 5!) I would have laughed in your face and the words ‘I won’t even be engaged’ would probably have come out of my mouth! The German definitely shocked me there!

And then there was the exploring! Being an expat means there’s a whole new world at your fingertips – a never-ending list of places to explore and, me being me, I obviously want to explore all of them!! In 12 months we scouted out some fab places in Georgia (Helen, Stone Mountain, Downtown Atlanta, Blue Ridge, Lake Lanier to name just a few!), immersed ourselves into American life (heading to a Braves game, a Hawks game, some Final Four Madness and Independence Day) and took a road trip to Florida (where we checked out Miami, Clearwater, the Florida Keys and the Everglades).

There’s the food, oh the beautiful food! We’ve definitely attempted to try every little bit on offer (our waistlines can vouch for that!) and done our bit to make sure these expats experience as much American food as possible! There’s the ribs, the burgers, the mac and cheese, the fried chicken, the biscuits and gravy, the sandwiches the size of a house, the tacos, the pizza, the queso, the list is endless!! We’ve been to so many new places in the last 12 months and we still haven’t made a dint in the amount of places we want to try! I’m already excited for the next 12 months of food¬† based goodness! I think I might have to increase my trips to the gym though!

We’ve had to make some adjustments though to make sure expat life runs smoothly! The first day I was left on my own I was faced with a tornado warning – something I’m definitely not used to at home! I took it all in my stride though, well technically I ignored it! probably not the best way to deal with it but hey it worked for me! Then there’s adjustments like making time at the weekend to FaceTime family back home because the time difference means we can’t do it during the week because of work (well I can, the Geman can’t!) that means before we go anywhere on a Sunday we call Ma and Pa Richter back in Germany. You also make more of a conscious effort to keep in touch with people back home – they’re you’re lifeline when you’re feeling a little low and the fact that it’s so easy to communicate with them now (FaceTime, Skype, iMessage, WhatsApp, e-mail, text message) makes you feel a lot closer to home. I really don’t think I would have settled in as quickly as I did if I didn’t have those tools at my fingertips!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all been plain sailing and a barrell of laughs everyday. We’re not on holiday, the German trots off to work everyday, I attempt to find work and write this beauty and, some days, just like everyone else, we have days when things aren’t all happy and jolly! Then there’s the lack of family and friends around you. Some days you’re fine, others you suddenly get a pang of homesickness and you just wish you could pop round to see your mum or your best friend and have a gossip over a cup of coffee. (You can read more about that here.) There’s the bits I’ve mentioned before about wedding dress shopping without my best friends and missing my best friends little girl growing up but that’s what you sign up to when moving to another country and you just have find ways to deal with it like sending a text or sorting a FaceTime call.

That said though we’ve literally lived the dream for the last 12 months and embracing expat life as much as possible – you have to when you’re given the opportunity! And the next 12 months are looking just as exciting – the Hotel Richter is re-opening!! Our first guests are already booked in with more already planning their visits throughout the year! We have a looooooong list of places we still want to explore (stay tuned on that one – I’m planning to write a bucket list VERY soon!) and of course, not forgetting the fact we’re getting married again!! Jeez, it’s gonna be another busy but bloody amazing year!!

Well hello there 2014!

OK, so I’m a day late with this one but HAPPY NEW YEAR peeps! How was your New Years Eve? Did you wave goodbye to 2013 and say hello to 2014 in style? We welcomed in the year with some of these…

Hello 2014 1

So what have you been up to the past couple of weeks? At the moment I’m in England – yay! But this follows that trip to Germany where we went to the Christmas market, caught up with friends and family and did some all important wedding planning! Eeeek! It’s not too far away now!

But before we launch ourselves into 2014 I thought I’d take a look back at what 2013 had to offer, and man was it a HUGE year for me and the German! Where do I start?! Well let’s start with January and the first major change to our lives when we got those visas, packed up our little flat and headed 4 thousand miles across the pond to Atlanta! I’m not going to lie – its been an amazing first year as expats – exploring our new city, meeting new friends and having so many exciting experiences it’s unbelievable, from our first baseball game to a trip to the aquarium and the most amazing ribs ever! And we still have so much more to explore – that makes for some great blog posts next year!

Then, a few months into our new life, and completely out of the blue, the German did something mahoosive – he popped the question!! Yep, he didn’t get down on one knee and didn’t have a little speech prepared (but that’s a-ok for me because I didn’t expect that from him anyway – he’s not that type!) and literally said I’ve got a question to ask you – ‘Will you marry me?’ I know he’s a cutie! I then replied with the best line ever – ‘Are you being serious?’ Yep, ever the subtle, gracious and clever person that I am! Anyway, he was and of course I said yes! I mean, who wouldn’t want to be Mrs Richter? It all happened in front of the water fountain in the Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta – perfect!! You can read more about that big moment here. And here’s a little pic from just after I said ‘yes!’

Happy, happy, happy!!

Happy, happy, happy!!

Next on the agenda was a roadtrip to Florida with our friends from Germany! We covered a fair few places including Clearwater, the Everglades, Miami and the Florida Keys! We saw gators, amazing beaches, the art deco of Miami and the scenic road down through the keys! We also played a came called corn hole that Jannis was determined to win, sadly for him though he didn’t! He has one at home now though so I’m sure he’s been practising ready to take us on again!! It was fab! Here’s the road trip crew:

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Then, just 3 weeks after the question was popped we did something nobody expected – well they did one day but maybe just not yet! Yep, we jumped in the car (after some previous behind the scenes preparations!) headed to Destin, said ‘I do’ and became Mr & Mrs Richter!! It was amazing, just me, the German, a registrar called Patty and a photographer called Larry on a pure white beach with bright blue sky, clear sea and of course the sunshine!! It was perfect! Although I am pretty glad we’re doing it all again this year in Germany – I couldn’t imagine having that as my only wedding – I need my pops to walk my down the aisle, best friends to be bridesmaids and have all my friends and family around me! Bring on May! You can read more about our first big day here. And here’s another picture – this time of the day I lost my name on the beach!

The new Mr & Mrs Richter!

The new Mr & Mrs Richter!

All that happened in the first 5 months of the year! Phew!! The rest of the year was taken up with trips back to the UK and Germany for family events and another trip to the US Embassy to get my Mrs Richter visa! A constant stream of guests to the Hotel Richter including my mum, brother and sister-in-law, our friends from Germany and my aunty, uncle and cousin, days soaking up the sun by the pool, job searching and lots more exploring including a trip to a cabin in the woods that I STILL need to blog about! I will get round to it I promise!

All in all 2013 was a pretty amazing year for the Richters! I started it as a Cook, living in England with no thoughts of becoming Mrs Richter (well I did think about it but really didn’t think it was going to happen just yet!) and ended it as Mrs Richter who’s lived in America for a year! That year passed really quickly by the way! It definitely doesn’t seem that long at all! Time definitely does fly when you’re having fun!! I am one extremely lucky lady – no doubt about that! I’ve bagged myself the best husband in the world, I live in America (thanks to said husband and his cakes!) and I’m having an amazing time making new friends and exploring our new home! Don’t get me wrong, I miss my friends and family back home – it’s hard being away from your parents and best friends (especially when they’ve just had a baby!!) but there’s no way you can pass up the chance to live in America!! FaceTime and Skype get you through the tough times and it’s even more special when you come home and get those all important cuddles!!

Now though, we’re saying a big, fat hello to 2014 and all it has in store for us! I’m sure it’s going to be another amazing one – for a start I get to marry that lovely husband of mine again! Yep, once again we’ll be saying ‘I do’ in May but this time in front of all our friends and family! (Lucky lady I know!) I personally cannot wait – I just wish it would organise itself!! Running off to Florida was so much easier!

So, my lovely little blog friends, here’s to an exciting 2014, full of more adventures and exploring, visitors to the Hotel Richter (it will be re-opening again soon!) and of course that all important wedding!! Three words people – bring it on!!

Being an expat isn’t always fun.

So usually my posts are about all the exciting things about being an expat and the exploring we’ve been up to in our new country, all of which is amazing!! Yep we can immerse ourselves in the American culture and check out the 4th of July parade and things like Braves, Hawks and Falcons games. (The last one we haven’t done yet but it’s on the list!) Yep we can explore the delights of Georgia and head to places like Stone Mountain, the Georgia Aquarium, the mountains and Lake Lanier that we would never have seen if we’d have stayed in the UK. Yep we can explore further afield in this amazing country and jump on a plane to places like Chicago, Vegas and New York and be there in a couple of hours or we can drive down the road for a few hours (well about 8!) and we get to the beautiful beaches of Florida and chow down on some of the most amazing American food ever! And I can’t complain when most days the weather is like this:

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Just beautiful!

Now don’t get me wrong all of this is the best experience ever and for that I am so very grateful but sometimes it’s not all plain sailing!

First of all I’m 4,000 miles away from my family and friends and I miss them so much! Yeah we FaceTime as often as possible and it’s fab that we can see their faces and feel like we’re sitting at home and having a chat but it’s not the same as a big hug! Nothing beats a hug! And you can’t just pop round for a coffee or head out shopping together or go out for dinner and drinks – things I used to take for granted with them. It’s my mum’s birthday next weekend and the fact I can’t celebrate with her in person and take her out for dinner or something makes me sad. We’ll FaceTime instead but it’s just not the same.¬† It does mean though that the time when I am back at home is that little bit more special!

Then there’s my best friend in the whole wide world who just gave birth to her first baby. When I moved over here she was 5 months pregnant and the baby was due on my birthday. Luckily I already had a trip back to the UK planned as I was celebrating the big 3-0 and the beautiful Lily was born exactly on time – well half an hour before her due date so I got to spend some time with both the bump and the new baby. Now though I’m watching her grow up through pictures and Skype calls – all of which are amazing but again they’re not the same as a big hug! Like I said nothing beats a hug! I wish we could bob out for a coffee together, go shopping and have lots of baby cuddles. I can’t wait to get home at Christmas to see them both again – Lily is already so much bigger than when I last saw her!

Oh and not forgetting the wedding planning! Yep we’re planning a wedding in Germany whilst living in the United States with 3 bridesmaids in the UK, a best man in Germany and parents in both countries! Believe me it’s tough! We have to work out where to get suits for the men from bearing in mind they’re in 3 different countries! We have to work out how we’re going to get things to the wedding like a cake, the all important dress (that I’ve bought in the States when my mum was here but I didn’t have my Aunty and bridesmaids with me – something that made the experience a little sad because I always thought they’d be with me when I made that big decision) and our guests who, again, are travelling from 3 different countries. I have to find someone to do my hair and make up for the big day and I probably won’t be able to have a trial run – something a lot of brides take for granted. I need to go bridesmaid dress shopping with my bridesmaids but I’m in the US and they’re in the UK! Thankfully we’re getting a lot of help from our friends and family who are checking out things like cars and DJs for us, my bridesmaids keep sending pictures of potential dresses to look at when I’m back and my mum is making our cake! But we still have so much to pack into our trip back to Europe for Christmas and New Year!!

Don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining at all and I don’t regret moving to the States but sometimes you just want your home comforts and especially your family and friends! They’ve been there for as long as I can remember and they always will be – I just definitely don’t get to see them as often as I’d like and I know that it’s technically my own fault and my choice but it’s still hard. Thankfully I have the German who keeps me smiling everyday and always manages to perk me up when I’m feeling a little down like the other day when he came home with a beautiful bunch of flowers for me!

The Richter Hotel…

Has been open for business again this weekend when it welcomed my Aunty, Uncle and Cousin! And here they are…

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On one of the longest escalators (sorry elevator as it’s called over here!!) in the world as we headed onto the Marta to do some exploring!! Now they were only here for a flying visit on their way to Florida so we had to pack A LOT into the 2 full days!!

Day 1 therefore, included a trip to Downtown Atlanta where we visited the Centennial Olympic Park, the CNN Center (where we munched the BIGGEST burritos you’ve ever seen!!) and the World of Coca-Cola! This was now my third visit and my second in less than a month! Good job I invested in that annual pass when me and the German first visited back in February!! We had to queue for an hour to get in (ridiculous I know but it was probably the shortest queue of the day!) and ventured around finding out about Mr Pemberton and how he created (and was robbed by selling the secret formula!) the global brand that is Coke but my cousin was less than impressed when the secret formula was locked in a safe where he couldn’t see it!

The bit he was looking forward to the most (along with my Uncle and the German who was dying for some Mezzo Mix) was the tasting room at the end! Yep more than 60 flavours of coke were waiting for us to dig into! We lost each other as we ventured through Europe, North America, South America, Asia and the rest of the world tucking into some exotic flavours! One of my faves was the Melon Frosty (sadly I can’t remember the country it’s sold in!) along with a pineapple Fanta that you can get in Greece! Eventually we bumped into each other again (the German has successfully found his Mezzo Mix and set up camp there for a good 20 minutes whilst he guzzled a few cups full!) with my cousin declaring that he’d drunk his own body weight in coke! Well done!!

So off we trotted, bloated and full of the fizzy stuff, back to the Marta and into Roswell for some dinner before heading off to bed for another packed day of exploring! Day 2 started with a trip to Stone Mountain! Again it was my third visit but I was ok with that! So we headed on up the mountain in the cable car with my Aunty firmly in the middle away from the edges looking straight ahead so that she didn’t look down! She’s not the biggest fan of cable cars! Now the first time I went to Stone Mountain it was jeans weather, perfectly acceptable for trekking down a huge mountain! The second time it was slightly warmer and shorts weather but still acceptable for walking down a mountain! This time I realised the heat was here…I had shorts on and a vest but man was it HOT!!! Here we all are before we started the big trek…

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We didn’t look as bright eyes and bushy-tailed by the time we got to the bottom – we were hot, red in the face and very sweaty, well at least I was! Not the best look to be sporting but hey I had no other option!! So once we’d been mountain trekkers we grabbed some food at the Man v Food haunt that is The Vortex (that warrants a post of its own hence why I’m not going into much detail!!) then headed to Turner Field to take my cousin to his first ever baseball game!! Exciting times!!!

We got there slightly early and had a mooch around the stadium where the German and I made a new friend…

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Yep the Atlanta Braves Mascot, Homer! The German was pestering me to have a picture with him so I told him I would if he joined in…he had no option!! After that we grabbed some beers (vital when watching the ball game!) and headed to our seats! The first pitch took place and we settled down in the sweltering heat! Man it was hot and humid!! Whilst the game was taking place I was explaining the rules to my Aunty and the Braves started notching up the runs! Yay!! Then my cousin went to get a beer and disaster struck – well for him not the Braves! They scored a home run!! Woooooo! Sadly my cousin missed his first ever home run because he was in the beer queue!!! Epic fail!! He now knows not to head to the bar when the Braves are batting!!! Sadly that was the one and only home run of the game but the Braves did beat the St Louis Cardinals 5-2! Wooooo! It was the last of 3 games against the Cardinals and the Braves won them alll!!! Amazing!!

Sadly the following day my Aunty, Uncle and Cousin were checking out of the Richter Hotel and heading to Florida for 2 weeks – maybe not sadly for them, they were heading to the beach!!! And one of the best beaches in Florida – St Pete’s! So I dropped them off at the airport, shed a little tear and waved goodbye until the end of the year…sad times. But I loved having them here and I’m sure they’ll visit again soon – well maybe next year on their way to Florida again!!

Oh and one more HUGE thing…Happy Yorkshire Day!!! Yep it’s the day we celebrate the county where I am from in England!! We get our Yorkshire flags out, flat caps and ferrets (maybe not the ferrets and flat caps, we don’t all own was as is the stereotype!!) and celebrate what’s known as God’s own county! It’s a beautiful place with lots of green fields and the nicest people in England! I wouldn’t change where I am from for the world! And you’ll be pleased to hear we have a little tribute to Yorkshire here at the Richter house and it’s there all year round…

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Ignore the bike handle but yep we have a Yorkshire flag flying (in the spare closet because there isn’t really anywhere else to put it!) all year round!! So Happy Yorkshire Day and all together now – Yorkshire…Yorkshire…Yorkshire!!

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 ūüė¶ 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!!