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!

September is Good 2

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!

September is Good 3

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.

September is Good 4

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?

Ramblings 14
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!

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!!

Take me out to the ball game…

So Sunday came around in Atlanta and it was a beautiful day once more…it meant one thing for us – a trip to this fine place…

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Yep we had a date at Turner Field!! Now you may remember I mentioned this in my last post about the Final Four but I didn’t elaborate any further. That my dear blog friends is because the date at Turner Field deserves a blog post of its own and here it blummin well is!

Now here in Atlanta a date at Turner Field can only mean one thing…BASEBALL! Yep we were going to our first ball game at the ball park (getting down with the local lingo there! It basically means baseball game at the baseball ground – I’m sure you realised this and I’m just being condescending now so I’ll shut up!) to see the Atlanta Braves and we were all excited!! Bit of history for you (as you know it always features at some point!!) the Braves have played at Turner Field since 1997. The stadium is actually the Olympic Stadium used when Atlanta hosted the Olympics back in 1996. Us Brits don’t like to talk about that one – we only brought home 1 gold medal – we’ve definitely improved since then though!

Right back to the blog – so we donned our shorts, picked up our Atlanta Braves hats and the Braves foam finger I bought the German for Christmas to prepare him for his stateside adventure, jumped in the car and headed down to Turner Field…this was the outcome…

Mingling in with the locals there...

Mingling in with the locals there…

Now this was our first ever baseball match and we didn’t really know much about it but we were braced for a lesson from my big bro who has some experience of the ball park – he also knows everything about just about every sport going – the man has a brain like a sponge!! So back in England we have a game called rounders which I used to play at school. If you ask me baseball runs kind of along the same lines – there’s four bases, you have to hit a ball and make it all the way around. If someone catches the ball you’re out and if the person on the base catches the ball before you get there, once again you’re out. Now all this is the same in baseball but there’s some more confusing things too. Brace yourself – there’s a lesson incoming…

So the game is played between two teams of 9 players with the aim of scoring runs by hitting a thrown ball and getting around all four bases arranged at the corner of a 90 foot diamond. There’s 9 innings, in each inning both teams take to the field, once 3 players are out their innings is over and they switch. The person batting gets three strikes to hit the ball, if they don’t hit it within 3 strikes they’re out. (hence the term 3 strikes and you’re out!) They can also hit a home run which means hitting the ball between two posts and a certain distance away from the pitch – if they do that they can just walk around the four bases without having to be worried about getting out by the person on the base catching the ball before they get there. Obviously the team with the most runs at the end wins. Following? Make sense? Either way I think that’s just about how it works – sorry to my American friends if there are any discrepancies and for boring you with some you more than likely already know!

Right so back to the game! The Braves were taking on the Chicago Cubs – their third game against them in 3 days…yep baseball players work hard!! So we headed into the ball park where the excitement was building – it was helped by this little band…

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Yes that is the mascot joining in there! Next up was the club shop where my brother planned to spend a fortune…and he did! Picture evidence of that will follow! Here we bought the customary Atlanta Braves Tomahawks ready for the tomahawk chop to appear in the game…however that wasn’t all they were used for as you can imagine…

Donk!

Donk!

Yes it would appear hours of fun can be had with them…even for us adults!! After that we headed to our seats to check out our view for the afternoon…

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Not bad if you ask me! And then the game began but not before the National Anthem of course! Now after visiting a fair few basketball matches I was sort of expecting more excitement but baseball is more chilled out and perfect for a Sunday afternoon! It’s more laid back and runs at a slower pace – I’m not gonna lie – my eyes weren’t on the game 100 per cent of the time but hey who’s are at a baseball game!

So the first innings got underway and the Cubs managed to get a run…sad times for us Braves fans! Then the next couple of innings were pretty boring with both teams not managing to get any runs…but then the excitement began! By the fifth inning the Braves had their first run! Yay! The Tomahawks were out and we were celebrating! But that was just the start…the next innings saw the Braves pick up 3 runs! Yep 3!! Woooo! The Tomahawks were going mad by then!! This was getting more interesting! So now the Braves were firmly in the lead going into the seventh innings but neither team was successful when it came to runs – boooo! The Cubs then went into bat for their 8th innings – no runs. The German decided to quickly nip off to the toilet as you do and missed the most exciting part of the game – something he now regrets! The Braves went into bat and it was Dan Uggla’s (I know amazing name!) turn and he only went and hit a home run!!!! Wooooooooo!! The German was gutted he missed that beast! So final score 5-1 to the Braves! Yay! I think we were once again a good luck charm although having said that the Braves are on form so far this season – I think they’ve only lost one game! GO BRAVES!!!

So that is obviously the most important part of the game but there are some added extras to tell you about that are just as good! So first of all there’s the snacks! Now you know EVERY blog from me involves food somewhere (Yep I’m a piggy!!) As usual there was a mahoosive array of food to choose from – hot dogs, chilli dogs, nachos, burgers, pizza, chips, chicken tenders the list goes on! Anyway I went for nachos (I’d spotted these beasts from afar and they looked amazing – a¬† mountain of chips, cheesy goo, some sort of meat I think and the usual sour cream and guacamole but sadly the German didn’t buy the ones I’d spotted and I got the simple chips with nacho cheese sauce! They were good though so we’ll let him off!) and the German went for a Philly cheese steak sandwich – now that was blummin good and of course there’s photo evidence of this…

Mmmmmmm!!

Mmmmmmm!!

Then there’s the part where you have a sing-a-long – this comes in the seventh inning! First there’s God Bless America which is sung by a special guest of the day, then there’s the song which is sung at every baseball ground in the states at the same point in every match – Take Me Out To The Ball Game. This one I LOVED! I’ve tried to find you an example of the classic but the ones I’ve found aren’t very good! Sadly I wasn’t clever enough to record it so you’ll have to make do with this instead…sorry about that but you get the idea! And finally there’s the ‘Thank God I’m a Braves Fan’ song which includes a line about the Chattahoochee – yep the river we live on! During the last 2 songs the words are up on the big screen so there’s no reason to not join in – it’s kind of like a mass karaoke session! Everyone loves it though!!

So our initiation into American life has moved along a little bit more with a baseball game! We’ll definitely be heading back to Turner Field again although I think I preferred basketball to baseball but I still enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to the next one! Especially the Tomahawk chop part!!

Oh and I nearly forgot – the picture evidence of my brother after he spent his dollars in the club shop – as you can see my sister-in-law is not very impressed with his idiot ways…

One word...Goofball!

One word…Goofball!