72 Hours in Atlanta

I haven’t posted on here in a while, but recent travel plans have me inspired to write more – so here it goes! A few weekends ago, two of my college roommates and I decided it was time for a girl’s weekend. One of the perks of living in Chicago is that it’s a major travel hub, so flights are relatively cheap out of here (no where near Ryanair cheap, but I’ll take what I can get).

$150 later, we were booked for Atlanta!

We took relatively early flights out, and got to Atlanta around 11am. We picked up our car and were off!

DAY 1: Vampires and Chicken 

The first day, we spent in Covington because one of our roommates is a bit obsessed with the show Vampire Diaries. You bet your bottom dollar I made all the vampire jokes I could. While she went on her tour, we wandered about and had some pie #southernaf (I have no photo of the pie but it was bomb diggity, trust me).

BUT YOU GUYS HERE IS THE STAR OF THE NIGHT… READY FOR IT?!

Image may contain: food and indoor

The ORIGINAL Chick Fil A ya’ll! Okay so history on Chick Fil A – it was originally started in Atlanta as a place called the Dwarf House. It soon grew and eventually became the Chick Fil A we know and love today, but the original building still exists, small door and all.

IMG-0962.JPG

We then went to our Air BnB, which was on the hilliest hill I have ever seen. With my stomach full on sugar free lemonade and sweet potato casserole, I fell straight to bed.

DAY 2: Seven States

Saturday we woke up bright and early, and hit the road to visit Rock City! It was a two hour drive but so so so worth it! Rock City is hard to explain, but it’s this cool little park near the border of Tennessee and Georgia. It’s known for it’s cool rock formations, a water fall, and this dope spot where you can supposedly see seven states from.

25587216_10155357893340017_8186739697002049221_o.jpg27072310_10155357937660017_920500500627222311_n.jpg27503685_10155357889985017_6615150244124342125_o.jpg27024017_10155357898455017_141744019148954694_o.jpg

Another really cool part of the park was Fairyland Caverns, in which they set up cool scenes that replicated popular fairy tales! 27355742_10155357893465017_6828005779373044687_o.jpg27368878_10155357897485017_6426116352560422908_o.jpg

After we finished up our visit, we were pretty hungry. YELP TO THE RESCUE. We found a cute little brunch spot and headed that way. I had a salmon salad, and my friends had soup and pancakes. (The salmon wasn’t very photogenic – so here’s some photos of their food.)27024147_10155357890660017_3476770894241382468_o.jpg27023917_10155357893335017_577127818366237189_o.jpg

We then drove back to Atlanta and made a stop at Dr. Bombay’s Underwater Tea Party. We had wanted to go for high tea, but unfortunately they were sold out for the weekend we were there. Instead we opted for scones, quiche and tea. It was a beautiful environment and if I were to go back, I would definitely make sure to get reservations.

We rounded out the night with a walk along the BeltLine, which had really cool art installations. I’m sure there was a lot more that we couldn’t see because it was dark but check it out! 27356346_10155357896105017_1433366477828867827_o.jpg

We got some BBQ for dinner (because it’s required when you’re in the South), and went to bed.

DAY 3: Reunions, Albino Alligators and Coke

Late last night, I had been talking to a friend that lives in Atlanta. We decided to meet up but the only time available was around 7am. We met at this cute cafe called the Flying Biscuit Cafe. The food was good, but it was even better to catch up!

When I got back to the Air BnB, we packed up and headed out for the aquarium and the Coke museum.

The aquarium was cool, and I’m sure many others would think it was great, but it still didn’t top the Toronto Ripley’s Aquarium. I did enjoy singing the one Little Mermaid song I know during the time we spent there though. 27503629_10155357889525017_2203293672471046800_o.jpg27164353_10155357889975017_7512832238935236795_o.jpg

AND NOW – FOR THE GRAND FINALE – THE COKE MUSEUM! YOU GUYS – I was SO excited. The museum did not disappoint. There was a lot on the history of Coca Cola, and many pieces of memorabilia that was cool to see! The highlight though was the tasting room – you could try sodas from all over the world.

In my opinion, the best tasting was the Ginger Beer from Africa. The worst tasting was Beverly, from Italy. To my understanding, it was meant to be a post meal digestive soda. I guess it works if it makes you not want to eat anything else. The most interesting flavor was the one from Japan, which was kind of like carbonated carrots. Interesting.

27356200_10155357892490017_1549378027405046747_o.jpg27024084_10155357891530017_554638458926687479_o.jpg27173189_10155357890400017_6294862648342771450_o.jpg27164161_10155357894720017_4066790005221531105_o.jpg

After our visit to the Coca Cola museum, we headed for the airport for our flights home. We got Bojangles (I still prefer Popeyes), and rocked our half buns. With that, we left for home, with our bellies full and our hearts even fuller. Thanks for a great weekend Atlanta! 19030247_10155357937260017_2612406023168681677_n.jpg

Advertisements

Food Day Funday: Lakeview Edition

I’ll admit… I’ve been mopey lately. Why? Because I have three weeks off… I know, I know. That is the worst reason to be mopey, but so be it.

Thankfully, my husband is very considerate and kind and patient with my moods lately, and this Sunday, when he found me moping in bed at 1pm, he suggested we go to the city (which I LOVE) and eat food (which I LOVE). Poke to be exact (AAAAAH SO MUCH LOVE).

So we drove down to the city, with the rules that 1) I drive, and 2) he picks music. So as we drove to the city, listening to Kanye West’s best album (Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy), we plotted our attack on food and came up with that day’s hashtag (#fooddayfunday).

Our first stop was Aloha Poke Co. Coming from Hawaii, poke is a food that I crave quite regularly. It’s a bowl of rice, with sashimi grade fish (usually ahi tuna) and lots of topping. My fondest memory of it is getting it at the grocery stores and eating it at the beach. Poke has become pretty trendy in Chicago over the last few months, so I was excited to try it and see if it lived up to my childhood expectations.

IMG_8997

We decided to share a kahuna size bowl. We went with the marinated ahi poke, with brown rice. We chose 808 style (with everything on it). IT WAS REALLY GOOD… considering we got poke in Chicago. It was definitely different from the poke I grew up with, but a good replacement. It could have used more fish, and the marinade that the fish was in could have been stronger, but overall, it was a solid poke bowl!

Next, we decided to walk over to Jenni’s Ice Cream (AKA the most incredible ice cream in all of the lands). Along the way, we passed Cassava, a paleo restaurant that serves empanadas made with cassava flour. I had been there a few months ago, and remember it being great, but the hubby hadn’t so we stopped in for an empanada and a few cheese breads.

IMG_9001IMG_8999

We had ordered three different cheesebreads (bacon, original, and BBQ I believe), but they gave us just one flavor. A bit disappointed by that, but they were still good. We got the pulled pork empanada, which was great. We have been buying these cassava breads at Costco, and thought that in all honesty, those were better. The ones at Cassava were a bit too chewy for our taste. It’s a great option for eating out while paleo though!

We continued on our food tour, and wound up at Jenni’s. As always, it was busy, which is good, because there about 500 flavor options, and I am as indecisive as it gets! I wound up getting a trio, and the hubby got a cone.

IMG_9007

Pictured above – the darkest chocolate (99% cacao ya’ll), churro (cinnamon ice cream with churro pieces – kind of disappointing), and BISCUIT AND JAM. Guys, go get this flavor. It was amazing. UGH. The husband’s cone was whiskey and peans, which was good, but not the best.

We pressed on, and found ourselves at a new to me coffeeshop, Cafe Tola. The design of the store was so quirky and cute, that we had to stop in. Outside, they had a patio of chairs with a spray painted pink fence, which was great for people watching.

I ordered a small americano, which was strong and lovely. The hubby got a large iced coconut coffee, which had such an interesting flavor. We expected it to be overly coconutty, but it wasn’t!  We also got two empanadas (ricotta and spinach, and beans). The crust was great, but the filling was a bit bland. This coffeeshop was fantastic though, and I’ll definitely stop by again!

IMG_9012IMG_9009IMG_9013

To end our Food Day Funday, we made a stop by Dimo’s Pizza. Along the way there, we walked by Wrigley Field. A Cub’s game was about to start, and the energy out there was so much fun to be around.

We got to Dimo’s and ordered a slice of mac and cheese & a slice of margarita. The mac and cheese definitely stole the show.

IMG_9015IMG_9014

With our stomachs full, we decided to call it a day, and drove back home. Overall, we had such a lovely day in the city. Lakeview is such a fun area to walk around, and the food spots are fantastic. Kudos to the husband for helping me to not be mopey all day as well 😉

Feeling 22

As of this weekend, I am officially into my 5th year of adulthood, or as my husband kindly said, a super senior of being a grown up.

This weekend was wonderful. The best birthday I’ve ever had. Celebrating birthdays as I’ve gotten older have gotten different, in the most beautiful of ways.

My birthday was full of cake(s), steak and quality time with the hubby.

We went to lunch at Fogo de Chao, which we had looked forward to for some time now. Earlier this year, we tried out Texas de Brazil during restaurant week, and had heard that Fogo was better.

The food was pretty good! Nothing exceptional, but great steak, and good sides. The cheese bread stole the show (as I had predicted).

13898621_10153860122820017_372457768_o13931679_10153860123485017_293650540_o

We went to go see a movie, Bad Moms. It was surprisingly good for the terrible title name.

13918982_10153860123245017_84205928_o
Hubs, sporting a trendy neck pillow and my purse. 

After the movie, we went to the Cheesecake Factory. Cheesecake is my weak spot, and I try my hardest to save it for special occasions. On this occasion, I got three slices and I have zero regrets.

Up first… the Kalua cheesecake.

This was everyone else’s favorite, but my least favorite. I thought I would love it, based on my love for coffee liquor. It tasted quite tart to me.

13932259_10153860122935017_75823526_o

Next up, is the mango key lime cheesecake. This was AMAZING. The crust had coconut. The mango was incredible.

 

13898300_10153860123080017_914920216_o

Last, was the ultimate red velvet cheesecake. I LOVE red velvet. I also LOVE cheesecake. So this was clearly my favorite, and also, everyones least favorite. Maybe I just have strange taste buds.

 

13898194_10153860122840017_842557658_o

So that was my birthday. Lots of cake, and lots of food. We also stopped at Naf Naf because they’re fries are everything.

Now comes the cheesy part…

Going to the Cheesecake Factory, and ordering cheesecake. That was a personal victory for myself. I remember on my 16th birthday, my friends took me there. They knew cheesecake was my favorite. I primed myself all day. “Jeanette, it’s your birthday. This happens once a year. You can eat the cake.” I couldn’t. I just couldn’t do it. I ordered the low carb cheesecake (AKA BLANDVILLE) and had one bite. One bite. I cried in the bathroom that night.

The next year, my seventeenth birthday, my parents bought me a cheesecake from Costco. I don’t know if you know, but Costco is THE place for cake. They’re rich, and decadent, and everything cake should be. I couldn’t bring myself to eat it. I didn’t even make it to the bathroom, I cried at the table. My dad spent the rest of that day driving around with me trying to find a cake I would eat.

Looking back on my previous birthdays, I can’t help but to think. I am beyond elated that I am past that period of my life now. I am so happy that I can have my cheesecake, and eat it too, sans tears. I am so happy that I’m learning balance, slowly but surely. I know that I have bad days, but I also know that as the years go on, the good days begin to outnumber them. I am so thankful for that.

Cheers to year 22 on this beautiful planet. Cheers to cheesecake.

Kids Say the Darnest Things

I haven’t posted in a while, and life has changed in a million ways.

Since the last time…

  • I took an amazing trip to Israel with my brother13422429_10153731857360017_7206828911368831057_o.jpg
  • And then extended it to a few days in New York13443042_10153731586435017_7524114076919009994_o.jpg
  • I started teaching (woah what????)13713440_10153813729385017_1516904633_n.jpg

Transitioning from my very lax college schedule to grown up life has been interesting. The work is long and hard, but so so worth it.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the job is the things the kids say… they’re quite the little comedians.

For example:

One class was reading a book on civil rights. The question was “Do you think civil rights is still an issue?” The answer from a kid – “No, because Trump is still here.”

I easily pass for Hispanic. One of my students asked me “Mrs. M, do you speak Spanish?” I told her no. She looked very surprised. A minute later… she hesitantly asked “So… what ARE you?” I asked her what she is. Her answer? A proud American.

It’s such an amazing experience to teach. I’m extremely excited for the fall to come, to be able to have a classroom and the months in the year to get to know these kids, and hopefully, impact them in one way or another.

So that’s life lately…

Peace,

Jet Plane Eats

 

 

 

The end of that chapter

I’m officially done with my undergrad.

THAT’S SO WEIRD TO SAY. I have an alma-mater now. #grown

This past week has been a whirlwind, and I’m just now realizing it’s over. So here’s a disorganized summary of the happenings:

I decorated my cap!

IMG_6949

Okay, real talk – my best friend did while I sat and ate this beauty. (Topper’s Pizza – half chicken ranch, half mac and cheese). We thought we were going to finish it all – we failed.

IMG_6900

Then I graduated!

IMG_6950

And ate my weight in dim sum…

IMG_6974

And had one last Joy Yee smoothie run…

IMG_7005

(Blackout and Avocado Red Bean)

We also moved out, but there are no photos of that. It wasn’t very pretty 😉

And now I’m here, writing this post out. Summer has officially begun and I’m so excited for what it has in store!

 

Sushi Sai and Literacy

Chicago had yet another beautiful weekend in terms of weather, and we took advantage.

Saturday was a very much needed relaxed day. A lazy breakfast was made, and shopping for the week was done.

IMG_6789
His and hers breakfasts. His: omelette with Kerrygold cheese, bell peppers, green onions and zucchini. Hers: Irish oats with PB and berries

IMG_6792

A book store in the Loop was a very a sidewalk sale, and we decided to check it out. They had some interesting books, but I held out for next weekend, when their sister store was having a similar sale. I may be too picky about books I read. Mr. Jet found two good deals though, and we learned that the had better prices than Amazon, so plus-plus!

IMG_6795IMG_6797

IMG_6814
“They give it you in a clear bag so everyone will know you’re literate” – Mr. Jet

After exploring that store, we debated food options for that night. It came down to making s’mores outside and sushi. We went with sushi, and found a place nearby that had AYCE, which we have apparently become pros at.

The place was called Sushi Sai, and was in the Loop. I was not expecting the quality to be very great considering the location, but I was pleasantly surprised.

IMG_6810IMG_6808IMG_6807IMG_6804IMG_6803IMG_6802IMG_6801IMG_6800

We beat our old record of 11 rolls, eating 12 this time. It is the second time Mr. Jet has been warned by the waitress that he has to pay if he doesn’t finish, and he was triumphant again. This spot was far better than last week’s adventure, but still did not live up to our favorite sushi joint so far (Sushi Grove). The rice was pretty good, though I thought they could have been wrapped better. Appetizer selection was smaller, but what they did have was very good. (6.5 stars from both of us).

We stopped in for our bubble tea fix before heading home to watch Europa Report, which was a space movie about astronauts that went to Jupiter. It was decent (6.5 stars from both of us – we take our movie reviews very seriously, like our sushi ratings).

IMG_6813
Coffee banana for me, and avocado green tea for Mr. Jet

Sunday was an early morning, as we had appointments to see houses all day. The first one we saw gave us butterflies, and the rest were very mediocre. We came to some conclusions for ourselves about what we were looking for, and overall, we saw it as a learning experience, not time wasted.

After walking a bunch that day, and not having gotten much sleep the night before, we decided that burritos, fried chicken and too many desserts was the route to go.

IMG_6826
His and hers breakfasts. His: omelette with Kerrygold cheese, bell peppers, green onions and zucchini. Hers: Irish oats with PB and berries

This was eaten while watching Cougars, Inc. (1 star for both of us – definitely do not recommend) (PPS – apparently we were both feeling similarly all weekend on reviews). We binge watched a few episodes of Louis (which I highly recommend), and called it a night. More lessons were learned – ie. we don’t need to buy our weight in sweets to be satisfied.

Overall, we had a really good weekend, and so begins the last week of undergrad (WHAT!?!?!).

Volcano Sushi

This weekend was amazing in Chicago. It was in the 70’s, with low wind and no clouds! We took advantage of this, especially on Sunday.

Navy Pier was having a cultural event every Sunday, and this Sunday was India. We decided to take a walk there to check it out. The lakefront trail was gorgeous that day! When we got to Navy Pier, we discovered that the event was pretty lackluster, and decided to head back. By the time we got home, we were both burnt, but happily so.

FullSizeRender (5)

For dinner, we decided to go to an AYCE sushi place nearby.  I had heard some pretty negative reviews about the place, but the pictures seemed decent enough, and it was only a ten minute walk so we put on our nicest of matching sweats (we are that couple) and went.

IMG_6694
The outside sign

IMG_6695

When we got there, there was a board outside that had all their signature rolls, and they looked fun! Unfortunately, they were not available on the AYCE menu. We sat down, and began to order. This place had a limit of 3 rolls and 5 pieces of sushi per person, per order. They had the typical appetizers as well as 3 chef’s specials rolls listed.

FullSizeRender (2)

For our first round, we ordered a few pieces of sushi, some seaweed salad, cucumber salad and katsu don (bread crumb coated chicken). For rolls, we got the chefs special #3, the ichiban roll (shrimp tempura, apple, unagi sauce, spicy mayo and mango sauce), the rock and roll (octopus, salmon, cream cheese, jalapenos, deep fried), and the futo maki roll (crab, oshinko, shitaki, avocado, tomago and cucumber).

IMG_6698

FullSizeRender (1)

The food was okay. The katsu came with more rice than I thought was necessary, and the sauce did not taste right. The rolls were pretty good, though the fish didn’t seem as fresh as it could have been.

We ordered our second round shortly after. We had an order of tempura (rice flour breaded vegetables and shrimp), as well as the golden nugget (salmon, cream cheese, avocado, cucumer, deep fried), the red dragon (spicy tuna and crunchy inside, tuna, avocoado and spicy mayo), the oshinko (Japanese pickle), tuna avocado and the tekka roll (tuna).

IMG_6703

FullSizeRender (3)

This round was okay as well. I liked the tempura here better than our usual spot, but Mr. Jet just thought it was different. The rolls were pretty good.

We ate this, and wanted to order our third round, but the server came over to tell us the kitchen was closed. It was 9:18 and they closed at 9:30. We thought it was a bit rude that they didn’t warn us that the kitchen was closing for last call orders, but so is life. We paid our bill and left to get bubble teas, as we hadn’t stuffed ourselves silly (what a strange phrase).

Overall, we thought that Volcano was a decent sushi place. The price was the same per person as the one we usually go to in the suburbs ($20), but the quality was lacking. The rolls seemed more “fun” but we think that they just get away with using lower quality fish because everything is fried – and EVERYTHING tastes at least okay fried. The service was very eh.

FullSizeRender (4)

We went in and decided we should stray away from our usual flavors, and tried new ones. I got the green tea ice cream freeze, and Mr. Jet got blueberry banana with crystal freeze. Both were great! We drank these while watching the last 3 episodes of Ascension (HIGHLY RECOMMEND) and went to bed. It was a great weekend overall, with great weather, and lack luster sushi, but sushi none the less. (: