Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Atlanta revisited, pirates and puppies!

First and foremost, what happened to January?? How can it be the 31st already? It didn't hit me until Matt Lauer mentioned this morning on the Today Show, that Thursday is Groundhog Day. Say what?? Not that it matters down here. I believe Punxsutawney Phil pardons Florida since it's going to be 80 degrees every day, regardless of whether or not he sees his shadow.

A few weeks ago, I flew up to Atlanta again to visit Mike. I was able to take a longer weekend this time, which was really nice. I posted all of my pictures from the trip on my photo blog, Pictures & Pawprints, so you can head over there to see them all.
"Hello, Atlanta!"

As usual, we didn't sit still for 5 minutes. I flew in Thursday night and we managed to come across a really great seafood place for dinner. On Friday, we visited the MLK, Jr. Memorial Site, which was really neat. Being that it was MLK weekend, we figured this would be appropriate. There is a museum on site, along with the grave of MLK and his wife, Coretta. There is a tour of the neighborhood that you can take, which we did that afternoon. The tour begins at the firehouse that MLK used to visit as a child (apparently, being a fireman was the dream career of choice by the boys back in the 1920's and 30's). The home that he was born in and grew up in is still there, right down the street, along with all the original items (the home is still owned by the King family). From there, you can visit Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he and his father both preached at. It's also the church where his funeral was held at. The altar is completely restored with all the original items from when he was there. It's very cool to take all of that in and very interesting to think of everything that happened on those very streets back in the 1960's.

The cart that carried MLK's coffin during his funeral.

On Saturday, we started off our day with a tour at the Fox Theater. The Fox is the most famous theater in Atlanta and was built back in 1927. It's the main theater where all the Broadway shows are held when they go to Atlanta, as well as some concerts. After that, we went to the Center for Puppetry Arts. They just opened up a brand new Jim Henson exhibit, with original puppets and characters from his movies and TV shows. Unfortunately, I noticed the nice, big sign that said "NO PHOTOGRAPHY." Boo! But not before I was able to snap at least one picture of Big Bird. It's one of the original ones and it was so interesting to see how he's maneuvered. The same guy has been playing Big Bid since he was introduced.

After meeting up with some friends for some AWESOME true Southern food for dinner at a famous place called Mary Mac's (fried chicken okra,  potato pancakes, chicken and dumplings, mac & cheese and cinnamon apples - YUM!), Mike and I went back to the Fox Theater. Only this time, we were there to see a show - "Annie!" When the movie "Annie" came out when I was little, I was obsessed with it. It was my absolute favorite as a kid. Before it was a movie, it was a Broadway show, which just happened to be playing at the Fox Theater the weekend I was there. Mike got me tickets for Christmas and it was really fun to see it on stage. 

On Sunday, we went for brunch and then to the Georgia Aquarium. It was awesome! Mike thought it would be fun to mess with the penguins, so he pulled up a picture of a sardine on his phone and held it up to the glass and the penguin actually followed it around on the other side! He had his mouth open and everything, like he was trying to catch it! Too funny.

After that, we took a drive around some of the neighborhoods and then went to a bar to watch the Packers game (which we won't speak of). I had to fly out early the next morning, so we headed back to the hotel, watched the Golden Globes, and called it a night. Can't wait for the next time!

This past weekend, Mike flew home for a quick trip and we went to Gasparilla. For you non-Tampa natives, Gasparilla is an event that began in 1904, honoring the invasion of Jose Gaspar, a pirate, in to Tampa. Basically, it's like Mardi-Gras, but with pirates. They do a parade, throw beads, etc. In the morning, we headed out to the "Invasion" which is a giant floatilla of boats throwing beads, that's led by the pirate ship that sits docked off of Bayshore year-round. My friend Danielle came to town for it (a tradition since she moved to South Carolina) and as always, we had a blast. 
My latest project - a front door wreath for Gasparilla. I've seen people putting these up on their doors every year, so I decided to get in on it and made one to hang up this year.

Yesterday (January 30th) was Penny Lane's FIRST birthday!! Can't believe our baby is one! She's such a great, little companion. We were very lucky to have adopted such a sweet girl. She celebrated by going to the park after work and chasing squirrels, and enjoying a brand new bone and some doggie ice cream last night. Happy birthday, Penny!!


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