In 1999, I met Cath in my Secondary 1 class. I asked her if she wanted to team up for a geography project and we’ve been best friends ever since. Despite my move to the US, we always stayed in touch and although we only see each other every one or two years, our friendship is just as strong as it used to be. She’s the sister I never had and will never be able to get rid of me. 🙂
Cath visited us three times in Charlottesville and it was now time for her to check out my new life in Atlanta. She managed to schedule her trip during my spring break for maximum time together. Of course, as soon as we settled on the Marta train to get back home from the airport, after a few “how are you? how was your trip?”, I started listing restaurants I wanted to try with her. Because I have food on my mind 24/7.
So, here are some highlights from her trip, mostly through food.
We visited the World of Coca-Cola, walked through Centennial Olympic Park and had a late lunch at Meehan’s Public House. Once we got back home, we decided to make Easter treats for the next day. The original coconut macaroon idea was modified when I realized we were out of coconut. Instead, we chopped pumpkin seeds and almonds and told ourselves it was simply a healthier version.
We made our version of an Easter breakfast with eggs, turkey bacon, toast and chocolate-dipped strawberries. Soon after, we drove to Stone Mountain Park and managed to hike to the summit, despite a few detours in the forest (following the signs on the trees isn’t always as simply as it seems!). On our way back home, we went to Buford Highway Farmer’s Market. We ate lunch at the cafeteria, Cath was surprised by the spiciness of the dumplings, and we grabbed some ingredients for dinner. Dinner was an adventure in itself. Inspired by our Easter theme, we grabbed random items at the market and figured we could come up with something once we’d be home. We went for a pastel theme: purple carrots, green spinach noodles, pink shrimp…then we added mushrooms, and shallots, just because. The sauce really became the challenge. We wanted to make a semi-Alfredo sauce but without the typical ingredients. So we used Gouda cheese and soft farmer’s cheese to make the sauce. The result was tasty enough but certainly not worth repeating. Despite the questionable results, we had so much fun making it and, honestly, it’s all that matters.
Monday was our most productive tourist day. We started the day at the CNN tour where I came across a giant poster of foodie dreamboat, Anthony Bourdain. After the tour, we walked to the Underground to be reminded that there really isn’t much to see there. We then headed over to Little Five Points and had lunch at Porter Beer Bar where we both enjoyed the duck confit rueben sandwich. We stopped by Java Lords for a coffee break and bought 2 pounds of coffee beans to get us through the week. We then found the Beltine, a beautiful walking/biking path that surrounds the city, all the way to Piedmont Park where we enjoyed the view before heading back home. Of course, a fro-yo stop was forced upon us when Cath admitted that she had never been to a self-serve fro-yo store. That night, we had dinner at Eclipse Di Luna, another local favorite.
We decided to take a short road trip to Savannah. We spend the afternoon at Tybee’s Island where I was reminded that I find beaches pretty but generally boring. Cath was a good sport though and didn’t force me to stay there too long. We had an incredible dinner at River House Seafood. I enjoyed a fabulous surf-and-turf plate with filet mignon and lobster. After dinner, we walked along the river and discovered a candy store where they made taffy and Georgia pralines in house. Best of all, there were free samplings of freshly made treats. Yum!
We spent all morning exploring Savannah on the Old Trolley Tour. What a gorgeous town! We had a quick lunch at B&D Burgers where Cath discovered the biggest onion rings ever and I finally satisfied my need for a chili dog. We drove back to Atlanta in the afternoon and got back just on time to make ourselves a nice dinner at home: steak with (baked) sweet potato fries and a salad.
Our last day together was lazy but so nice. We watched funny shows in the morning, made egg salad sandwiches for lunch, then took Marta to go check out Decatur. Once we got there, it was so hot that we had to get ice cream at Jeni’s Decatur Square. We ended the trip with dinner at Taco Mac, a nearby usual for Jeff and I.
I couldn’t have asked for a better week with my bestest friend in the world. We walked, we laughed, we ate. We created new memories to cherish as we get older and (arguably) wiser.