Yes, I know that the Kentucky Wildcats have been gone from Atlanta (after dominating in the NCAA) for several weeks now. But I’m still riding the wave of victory (we’ve got eight, baby), and referring to that glorious town as Catlanta!
This past weekend was a pretty fun weekend too! Kim and I roadtripped down Friday after she got off work, and arrived in Atlanta right around 8pm – after an obligatory Chick-fil-a dinner stop of course. Fun fact – Kim was a bridesmaid in Steph and John’s wedding, after going to high school with them. She and Steph went to college in Atlanta and Nashville respectively, and have since switched cities.
After a little bit of catching up, and some snacking on leftover Gigi’s cupcakes (thanks to Kim’s student), we settled in to watch the first part of the Harry Potter Seven movie. You know, the
boring slow one that my cousin Reid calls “Harry Potter Goes Camping.” But I love HP, so I’m always up for a good reading or viewing!
The next morning, Steph and I were supposed to get up and run. I needed to do 5 miles, and she needed to do 6 miles, so we compromised with 5.5…only we didn’t wake up until 10:40! After a quick bite of banana and lacing up of the tennies, we were out the door. The first mile-and-a-half running through an old cemetery was rough – Atlanta is super hot, and hilly! After we stopped to walk for a minute or two, Steph motivated me to power through to the more shady and pleasant nearby park.
This was one of the times where I appreciated running with a partner. Had I been running on my own, I might have stopped with that walk break and never started again. But I knew Steph needed to keep going for her training, so I gathered up my shaky stomach and set off again – and lo and behold, I felt much better! Sometimes you just need a minute to refocus. We finished the loop through and around the park, and even passed by their new house – but more on that later – and came home to a big batch of pancakes made by John. One of the perks of having a good husband!
After some quick showers and much-needed coffee, we headed off to the Dogwood Festival in Piedmont Park. Part art festival, part music festival, it was way cool! After a few minutes of strolling, we found this beauty…
Clearly if I wasn’t already smitten with this city and festival, now I was! We walked around for a little bit more, admiring the art and marveling at some of the things people chose to buy. To each his own, I guess!
The park was filled with really cool statues, lots of historical markers, a neat geometric playground commissioned by a famous artist, and even a sweeping view of downtown.
Quite the pleasant afternoon! We had a few minutes to kill while we waited for Kim to join us, so we decided to hang out at the International Stage for a bit. Boy was that a good decision. First, a man with a neck tattoo obscured our view of the cute Mexican dancers. Then a man with a German flag stuck in his hat sat right in front of us, and proceeded to dance around.
But the best act of all – which sadly I forgot to document – was a group called Mademoiselle. It featured a woman with a feathered headpiece who half-rapped/half-sang, two strange can-can-style backup dancers, and a man with a Phantom of the Opera mask on. We were reminded of a terrible version of Lady Gaga, only she was performing at 3:30 in the afternoon in broad daylight. And she couldn’t sing.
Needless to say, we were ready to move on! On our way back to our car, we stopped by some friends of John and Steph’s from their church who were having an outdoor cookout. It was fun to hang out and meet some of their new community in Atlanta!
Next we were off to dinner at Jalisco, a hole-in-the-wall-type authentic Tex-Mex restaurant. Steph and I split the chicken fajitas, after our table inhaled about three whole containers of their spicy salsa. Yum!
Back at home, we settled in for a little game and movie night. Sorry for my domination in both Wits and Wagers, and Balderdash, guys! The Vanderwerp family likes a good game night. After a round of each, we whipped up some Williams Sonoma peppermint hot chocolate (good grief, that stuff is delicious! anyone looking for a Christmas gift for me, add this to my list. and yes, I’m aware that it is currently April) and watched the second part of Harry Potter Seven. This one was much more exciting.
This morning we woke up, and I headed to church with Steph and John. I loved getting to meet all of their church friends, and am so envious of the sense of community that they are apart of! Their church is filled with young people and energy, and seems so cool. Very much a good fit for them, especially in these exciting first few years of marriage while building a life together.
After a quick lunch at home, we walked around the corner to see their new house – after stopping at their local coffeeshop. At which point I proceeded to spill my coffee all over my hand, and the sidewalk. Such is life.
The house was in the process of being renovated when they bought it, which is cool because they have gotten to have a ton of say in the planning and redeveloping! I cannot wait to see the finished product sometime this summer.
All in all, it was a wonderful weekend. Steph and John have such a solid relationship, and are really working to grow their life and fellowship in Atlanta. And Atlanta, especially the part they live in, is such a cool city! (contrary to what I believed after my sophomore year mission trip). I’m happy and excited for them, and so thankful for their friendship and warm hospitality. I foresee many more Atlanta trips in my future! And hopefully some Louisville trips for them as well…
Now I’m off to unpack, do some chores, and get my mind ready for the week. A week that includes a half-marathon. Woah. See y’all tomorrow!