Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Amazing Race(Cation): Part 2

I'm about to throw a lot of pictures at you.  A lot.  But if they're even marginally as enjoyable to look at as they were to take I think you're gonna be okay with it.  Since I briefed you on the logistics of our Amazing Race road trip yesterday, I wanted to take a second today to show you the details of our actual journey.  While the purpose of the trip was to make it down to Miami for a conference (which was amazing, by the way), I didn't see any reason why we shouldn't have the maximum amount of fun possible along the, that's exactly what we did.  Here's where we stopped, what we did while we were there and just a few of the moments we'll be talking and/or laughing about for many, many moons.

Checkpoint 1: Cartersville, Georgia
Destination: Tellus Science Museum
For whatever reason, Jess and I both love a good science museum...which made this the perfect first stop!  Despite the fact that it's in the middle of nowhere, the museum itself was actually quite nice.  We explored their air and space exhibit, made a few new dinosaur friends (our favorite) and entertained ourselves in the mineral gallery (where Jess took it upon herself to fabricate a "guided tour"...needless to say I laughed 'til I cried).

Checkpoint 2: Atlanta, Georgia
Destination: Rosa Mexicano Restaurant, H&M
Since Atlanta is only about four hours away from Nashville, Jess and I have made a few day trips there over the years.  Sometimes we'll visit Ikea, other times we'll hit up Zara, but we always go to H&M and Rosa Mexicano.  Always.  So I kept our routine going.

Checkpoint 3: Ashburn, Georgia
Now...I'm not sure if I believe this is actually the world's largest peanut.  According to the internet it is, but the internet says a lot of stuff so who knows.  Regardless, we were pumped to visit it.

Checkpoint 4: Ocala, Florida
Destination: The Ramada Hotel
Since our last road trip hotel experience was such a traumatizing one, we spent a lot more time researching where to stay this time around.  When all was said and done it was far from The Plaza, but at least "are we or are we not going to die tonight?" didn't seem to be such a pressing concern.  So that was a plus.

Checkpoint 5: Miami Beach, Florida
Destination: The Rendezvous Conference!!
I can't say enough wonderful things about our time in Miami!  My bestie and her husband put together the most incredible young adults conference...I was so proud I could've exploded.  On top of hearing amazing speakers share life changing messages, it was just plain fabulous to get to spend time with so many of my favorite people.  Oh, and I discovered one of my new all time favorite things...Nutella beignets. Yup, they're real.  And beyond tasty.  You just don't even know.

Checkpoint 6: Orlando, Florida
Destination: Disney World!
Oh Disney, where do I even start?  We rode the classics (including but not limited to the Teacups, It's a Small World, Aladdin's Magic Carpet, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, Rocket Ships), went to several parades and ate and ate and ate junk food.  And then we may or may not have tired of the junk food and taken the monorail to The Grand Floridian Resort to get a real meal.  One of my favorite parts of the trip as a whole was sitting on a couch in The Grand Floridian's massive lobby after dinner and listening to live music...first, a six piece band that was out of this world, then a concert pianist with skills as impressive as his penguin tailcoat was awesome.  Then, when we got our second wind, it was back to the park for more Disney magic!  The happiest place on earth indeed...

Checkpoint 7: Tifton, Georgia
Destination: Giggles Cafe, Antique Shopping
By this point in the trip we were starting to get the slightest bit delirious (hence the tiaras and kissy takes a certain level of exhaustion to turn me into a kissy face kind of gal).  But we pressed on and had a grand 'ol time in one of the most classic "small town" settings I've ever been in (which we explored tiara-free, for the record).  If you're ever passing through Tifton, Georgia I'd absolutely encourage you to take a little jaunt down Main Street.  It's adorable.  The little cafes are cute as can be, they have a farmers market and an old time movie theater and- my personal favorite- some killer antique shops.  We shopped around for about 30 minutes and I even got a chance to feed my jewel toned tableware addiction (I have a problem, for real).  Even though I'm waaaay more city mouse than I am country mouse, towns like that have a definite charm.  It was a delightful stop.   

Checkpoint 8: Atlanta, Georgia (again)
Destination: Dinner with friends!
We met up with a few friends in Atlanta for a late dinner and it ended up being just the recharge we needed to finish our trip.  

Checkpoint 9: Nashville, Tennessee
Destination: HOME!!!!
And after I distributed our victory medals (of course we had medals...please), I fell into the deepest, most wonderful sleep.  It was glorious. 

So there you have it!  That was our trip!  I'm happy to report we hit all our pit stops, completed all our Detour Challenges (if you're keeping track, the ones we chose were buy a lottery ticket, send post cards to each other and get a Georgia peach from Georgia which is a whole other story for another day), and had the very best time doing it.  I'm so thankful for a friend like Jess who's always up for whatever weird adventure I want to take (and often suggests a few adventures herself).  I wouldn't have wanted to take this trip with anyone else.  Now the question am I ever gonna top this one?  I guess it's back to the drawing board!


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