City-hopping

A couple weeks ago, Gina, Chris, Erik, and I took a group field trip down to Atlanta for Wife and Ted’s graduation. Since we arrived Friday morning and graduation festivities did not start until Saturday, we spent the rest of our first day covering a whirlwind of Atlantan highlights. We began in the illustrious airport rental car lot with Chris behind the wheel:

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We pulled out into the sunshine and soon saw the city waiting to greet us:

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We beelined directly for the Atlanta Botanical Gardens and, more directly, to the cafe there because we were ravenous:

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While waiting for our lunch to arrive, Gina demonstrated appropriate sun protection strategy:

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And then, the food came! I ordered this beautiful salad with artichokes, goat cheese, and walnuts:

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Delicious!

Sufficiently fueled, we headed out into the children’s garden, the best part of any botanical garden …

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… except for maybe the Orchid House!

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After the gardens, we drove over to Virginia Highland, a little neighborhood with a bunch of shops and restaurants. Look at what we found!!

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Cacao was not even a planned stop on our itinerary. What fate!

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Inside, we found a beautiful selection of handcrafted dark dark dark chocolate truffles:

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We made our selections and went to have a sit in the little garden area outside with our treats:

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Erik and I shared the Lotus Sutra (ginger with candied ginger in belly) and the caramel sea salt truffle:

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Gina and Chris shared the Tartufo Classico (dark chocolate ganache), the Harmonize (clover honey, organic crunchy peanut butter, dark chocolate ganache), Coconut Love (Brazilian Catauba Coconut), the Italian Cowboy (Illy Espresso & Woodford Reserve Bourbon):

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Luck was clearly not in short supply, as we came across a mulberry tree moments later:

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$3.50 artisan truffles or free just-picked mulberry? It’s hard to choose a winner!

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After wandering around a bit, we stopped into Neighbor’s for a snack and some drinks.

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Erik and I shared the chicken nachos, mmmmmmm:

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They were tasty, but not the best I’ve ever had. Erik is a messy eater:

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After Neighbor’s, we could not help but make a visit to Paolo’s for gelato!

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Mounds of creamy brilliance:

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I ordered a combo of mint chip and straciatella:

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Our final city stop was The Sun Dial since I have a preoccupation with finding the best and highest views in every city:

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We timed our visit so that we could get the tail end of the daytime view:

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I had planned for us just to go for the observation deck, but we found ourselves in the revolving bar!

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Gina ordered a warm she-crab dip, and we all shared and shared and shared:

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And then the sun …

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… began to go to bed:

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We welcomed the night with a crispy cheesy pizza that we all split:

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And then we hit the road toward our hotel to rest up for all the graduation festivities awaiting us the next day!

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Hasta manana …

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