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4 Trendy Spots to Enjoy The Atlanta Weather NOW!

As many of you know, Sonia and I (Rina) grew up in the Chicago area. After getting married, I moved to a small town outside of Atlanta with my husband and now we’ve been married for 13 years (time flies…!).  After the initial shock of being away from friends and family wore off, I have grown to love so many things about the South — particularly the city of Atlanta.

At the top of that list is the weather. Being able to spend time with my family outdoors most of the year is unbeatable. To make use of the endless southern warmth, Atlanta has several new developments that merge a love of eating, of drinking, and of shopping entirely outside!  I want to share my top four ways to chill in Atlanta. These spots are versatile: good for family activities, date nights, and a night out with the girls.

Krog Street

Another new concept in metropolitan areas are these European style “supermercados.”  It is an emptied out warehouse with filled restaurants and vendors. These vendors line the interior of the warehouse in an interactive way that includes fun samples of different types of foods. On a recent trip with my sister and a friend, we all craved for different things: Shelly wanted ramen, I wanted Pho, and Hannah wanted chips and salsa. Lucky enough, Krog Street delivered on all of it!  I want to make a special mention of Superica, an elevated tex mex experience that uses locally sourced ingredients. They are also very mindful of their food presentation, making the experience delicious and beautiful.

My midi dress is on clearance for $44 | Shop similar summer dresses here and here | If you have not scooped up a good pair of white sneakers yet, my Adidas rose gold kicks are on sale | My top selling bag by Zac Posen is also on sale here

The Atlanta Beltline

Around the corner of Krog Street is the Atlanta Beltline.  Similar to the 606 in Chicago, the Atlanta Beltline is much larger and more robust having been built on 22 miles of unused railroad tracks.  All kinds of people enjoy the beltline for long walks and bike rides. A cool accent of the beltline is the support of local artists as the walkway is lined with casual and creative artwork.

Ponce City Market

This “market” opened in 2014 in the old Sears, Roebuck & Company building. It is linked directly to the Atlanta BeltLine.  This is a large flexible space to eat, drink, and shop. See the list of places to eat, shop, and hang out here.  My personal favorite is the adult-only roof top ($10 cover) and carnival complete with putt-putt golf, carnival games, and a beer garden with fire pits — and some of the best mixologists in town.  This place is a little piece of heaven and perfect for literally whatever mood you are in.  Find a corner, make it yours, and enjoy yourself.

Video is from Vimeo: ASD|SKY – Ponce City Market Roof | Skyline Park + Nine MIle Station

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Fashion Museum

The location of this school is what really makes this a sight to see. With an unparalleled view of Atlanta from its main patio, SCAD is a unique blend of culture, art, and education. It is the home of one of the premier design schools and several influential designers have emerged from the institutions. Although the Atlanta location is the main campus building, they are very friendly about visitors and with its unique view of the city, it is definitely worth a visit.  The fashion museum inside the main campus features designers and art that change almost quarterly.  The view alone is worth the visit and completely free, but the museum has an admission of $10 — an educational experience into the world of art and design.

If you only have a little bit of time in Atlanta and have already done some of the more obvious tourist activities (like visit the Coca Cola museum, CNN, Georgia Aquarium, Stone Mountain, and Centennial Park), consider a local experience that is hip and relaxing.

Of course, no trip is complete without trendy luggage to go along with it! If you have not yet checked out Andiamo luggage, click here.  We have gotten so many compliments on their carry ons its not even funny, see our post here. 

Hope that this was helpful. Which of these placed have you visited?

Your Chick,

Rina

Chick Picks:

Pros and Cons of an Alaska Cruise

Ah Alaska, the last frontier as they say and our nation’s largest state (almost three times bigger than Texas)!  At some point or another curiosity to travel to this truly unique state occurs to almost everyone.  Maybe it’s the diversity in terrain, the majestic mountains, the glaciers, or the unique wildlife that draws people in.  Similarly for my family in June of 2008 we visited Alaska by road and drove through the state covering nearly 4000 miles in ten days.  The experience was incredible, walking through Denali National Park and catching up on cultural sites along the way was truly a once in a lifetime experience.

So, this year when Sonia offered for me to join her and a few friends on an Alaska cruise, I wanted to share the sights and sounds of Alaska with my husband and kids and quickly signed up to join them.  We boarded the Disney Wonder and left from Vancouver last month on a mission to see whales, eagles, glaciers, and mountains.  Alaska is so big, and after looking at several cruise routes, it is NOT uncommon for cruise liners to not wander too far north due to weather and other considerations.  Nonetheless, I was optimistic about what we would experience.

Our View Everyday
The Sun, The Ocean, The Magical Mountains
Our Cruise Crew
Alaska By Sea

The cruise line route, shown below, just barely touches Alaska – somehow I felt as though I had short changed the largest state of our union by touring its Southern most islands.  The passages were beautiful and we did see a few orcas along the oceans surface along with a glacier.  We went into Edicott Arm (which was not our intended stop which was Tracy Arm) but the hours of passage between the majestic mountains really made this cruise the experience what it was.  Unlike Caribbean cruises, there is so much to take in and see in Alaska on the days at sea.

Alaska By Sea
Alaska By Road

Below is the route we drove starting in Edmonton, Canada and making our way all the way to Anchorage (see our stops on the map below indicated in yellow).  The sights and sounds along the way were incredible.  Caribou and black bears roamed the streets freely along the Alaskan Highway.  We even stopped at Liard Hot Springs and took a dip in the natural hot spring!  We then spent an entire day roaming through Denali National Park, which is home to Mt. Mickley – North Americas highest peak at 20,320 feet (15th highest in the world).

Alaska By Road- Edmonton to Anchorage
Images from our road trip in 2008:

There was so much to be seen and experienced by land that after that trip I truly felt as though I had experience Alaska for what it was: the final frontier.

The Takeaway

That being said the convenience of being on a cruise liner and of course having all the amenities of a Disney cruise at our finger tips did not hurt.  However, I did feel as though the cruise route somehow did not do Alaska justice.  On our five day cruise we had only one port stop in Ketchikan which is a quaint Alaskan town built entirely around cruise tourism.  It was nice to get off the boat and we were fortunate to have participated in an awesome port excursion that shared native culture with us.  The tour guide was an incredible spirit who was able to spot bald eagles from miles away; we saw several up-close too which was really cool!

Check out our Alaska Recap Video Here:

Also our Bald Eagle Encounter Was Incredible too!

Depending on what you are looking for and who you are travelling with, Alaska by water and Alaska by land offer two very different types of vacations.  On one hand you have the convenience of prepared meals, an entertainment itinerary and let’s face it an on board “Kids Club.”  By car you have the spontaneity of adventure  on every turn without the guarantee of a three to five start hotel at each stop.  As my kids get older, I crave a more ‘boots on the ground’ type of experience but with friends, there is nothing quite like the relaxing experience of a cruise.

Tip #1:  Having gone to Alaska in both June AND July before, I can confidently say that the weather is amazing during this time of the year.  On both trips I had packed winter coats and on both I did not need them.  Just plan on layering up and you will be just fine! Here are our favorite pieces to layer up with:

Tip #2: For traveling with fragile items and/or medical supplies (my daughter has Type 1 Diabetes) we count on our Andiamo Luggage to get everything there safely, check them out here.

I hope you found this helpful, thanks for checking out my post.

Your Chick,

Rina

Cross Off Something From Your List And Do Something New Today

On a hot summer day in Chicago, five friends set out for a picture perfect lunch on Lake Michigan.  Honestly, it felt like that kind of day…storybook or movie perfect.  Sonia and I have been long time Chicago girls, but we have met many people who come and go that never made their way onto the iconic Odyssey on Navy Pier.  It is not uncommon to take things down the street for granted and think that you will eventually do them.  In the spirit of having a #MomsOffDuty moment, we checked out a beautiful lunch cruise aboard the Odyssey on Lake Michigan and boy did we luck out!

The Odyssey has been sailing on Lake Michigan for more than 20 years from Navy Pier which means that the party does NOT stop when you get off the boat. See a full list of things to do at Navy Pier here!

We enjoyed all the ship had to offer including, three chic climate-controlled decks with LED lighting and a lit dance floor, a premium bar menu, vegetarian friendly menu items, and a relaxing rooftop lounge with modern deck furniture.  The staff was attentive and courteous (S/O to our server Nick for finding us no matter where we were on the boat).

The Looks:

 Rina’s Floral Wrap Skirt is On Sale for $43 here | Sonia’s Floral Dress is $25 (She is wearing a Medium and it is TTS)! and linked here | Rina’s Tie Front Tank is here (size down) | Rina’s Favorite Summer Shoes are True To Size (TTS) and linked here

Sonia’s Black Fox Crossbody is $46 and linked here | Rina’s White Rina Bag comes in all colors and is $42 and is linked here

All in all, we were so grateful to take in the skyline on a day like this and enjoyed the time that we got to spend with some of our closest friends (being #MomsOffDuty of course).  We ended our cruise experience on the dance floor where we really let loose!

What is something in your town that you have been meaning to check out?

Cheers,

Rina

Chick Picks:

Thank you Entertainment Cruises for having us!

A Girls Getaways Close to Home; Check Out the Grand Geneva Well Spa

I am a Chicago native, and for most Chicago folks we look forward to Spring and, of course, summertime CHI!  However, stepping away from the hustle and bustle of the city is a great way to decompress and reconnect with nature!

I recently took a weekend trip with some girlfriends and drove up to Lake Geneva in Wisconsin. It was a quick 2 hour drive from the city!  Lucky for us, one of my girlfriends has a house right on the water. Having a place that felt like home made our trip just a little bit better. We started our mornings with a healthy breakfast and ended our days with girl talk on the couch filled with lots of laughter!

Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva has a quaint downtown with boats, restaurants, and even a small beach! We set out to see Lake Geneva and try some of their yummy eats.  While I didn’t love our dining experiences there, the feel of this small city is just what the doctor ordered.

The Grand Geneva Spa

One thing we knew for sure was that we were going to top off our weekend with some time at the spa.  In doing some research, we realized that the spa at the grand Geneva hotel is rated the best in Lake Geneva. Of course we couldn’t leave without checking it out!  Each one of us received different services ranging from seasonal farmhouse massages, to deep tissue services.  We were greeted with a friendly face, and shown the amenities of the spa. The spa offers a whirl pool, sauna, steam room, and place to get your nails done! Since there were seven of us, we were given the Tranquil Lounge to sip on champagne and nosh on small bites while we waited.   I did the deep tissue with Diana, I have to say she has fingers of magic! I would highly recommend requesting her if deep tissue is what you are into.  The Grand Geneva certainly did not disappoint, we spent a little bit of time before and after our services just enjoying the amenities.

Thank you Lake Geneva for creating a lifetime of memories for my friends and I. Also, thank you Grand Geneva for giving us the rest and relaxation we needed to end our weekend filled with laughter and love!

Also, if you have not already, check out all the beauty tips we have on YouTube here!

Your Chick,

Sonia

At Home Spa Essentials: