Forest and Mile Rock Trails at Arabia Mountain in Lithonia

Tags

, , ,

Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve | Lithonia

3350 Klondike Road
Lithonia, Ga

View Website

Arabia Mountain Trails

I recently posted about our Mountaintop Trail hike at Arabia Mountain, but that is not the only hike in the area. Not by a long shot.  Another fun one for the kids is the Forest and Mile Rock Trails.  I learned about this loop from Hiking Atlanta’s Hidden Forests. (In case you aren’t aware, we are working our way through this magical book…you can read more about it in my post.)  This two-mile loop is extremely diverse, and keeps everyone busy with changing scenery.

The hike begins at the visitor center. Be sure to stop in; the boys loved the hornet’s nest and frogs.  The trailhead is just to the right of the center.

Arabia Mountain Trails

Arabia Mountain Trails

Arabia Mountain Trails

The beginning of the hike is in the forest and along Arabia Lake.  There is a great Loblolly Pine along this part of the trail that reaches almost 10 feet in circumference, which is very rare.  It’s a beauty (you can see the boys leaning against it!) The other Sentinal Tree on this hike is a pine that split when it was young.  The boys said it looks like a headless person flailing their arms.  haha.

Arabia Mountain Trails Arabia Mountain Trails

Arabia Mountain Trails

Arabia Mountain Trails

Arabia Mountain Trails

Arabia Mountain Trails

At the end of the lake, turn toward the rock cropping and follow the cairns.  You’ll move out of the forest, seeing many solution pits and outcrops in a quarry area.  You’ll turn again at the quarry building to head back to the visitor center and complete the two miles.

Arabia Mountain Trails Arabia Mountain Trails Arabia Mountain Trails Arabia Mountain Trails Arabia Mountain Trails

Arabia Mountain Trails

Arabia Mountain Trails


Disclosure: No one asked me to write this. No one paid me.  I did receive a complimentary copy of the hiking book in order to review it, but that committment was fulfilled long ago. The book has become a hiking bible of sorts for me. I use it all the time, and always desire to give the author credit when it is due.  As always, if I didn’t think it was killer, I wouldn’t write about. #keepingitreal

Back in Time in Euharlee, Ga

Tags

, , , , ,

Euharlee, Ga

View Website

Euharlee Georgia Covered Bridge

The boys and I toured Euharlee, Ga one afternoon…visiting with no agenda , really, except to discover something new.  We had no idea what an adventure it would be! We took a tour back in time…Euharlee was once the home of Native Americans, and then pioneers settled here in the 1830s.

Our first stop was the Euharlee Museum, where we picked up a map and description of the city’s scenic spots.

Next we walked across the street to the covered bridge.  This is the spot of the oldest covered bridge in the state.  More important to me, it was built by Washington W. King, son of Horace King. Horace King was a freed slave and incredible enterpreneur who built many bridges, including a very important trade bridge in Albany, Ga. You can read more about him in my Trekaroo review of the Albany Welcome Center.

Euharlee Georgia Covered Bridge

Euharlee Georgia Covered Bridge Euharlee Georgia Covered Bridge Euharlee Georgia Covered Bridge Euharlee Georgia Covered Bridge Euharlee Georgia Covered Bridge

Next to the bridge are the ruins of an old Mill.  The museum manager told us that funds are being raised to recreate the old mill on this site.  Neat. You’ll also see an old Granary, and a well dug and used by travelers in the pioneer days.

Euharlee Georgia Covered Bridge Euharlee Georgia Covered Bridge Euharlee Georgia Covered Bridge Euharlee Georgia Covered Bridge

We stopped in the Covered Bridge Store and Mercantile for a snack, and then walked across the street to the Black Pioneers Cemetery.  This was a most-humbling experience.  333 graves are here, most from slaves in the 1830s.  They went unmarked until 2001, when the Euharlee Historical Society found and marked each person.

Euharlee Georgia Covered Bridge

Euharlee Georgia Black Pioneers Cemetery

Euharlee Georgia Black Pioneers Cemetery

Euharlee Georgia Black Pioneers Cemetery

If you have little kids, you might want to play at the playground across from the museum before heading back home.  We enjoyed our walk back in time. Let us know if you visit!


Disclosure: No one asked us to come. No one paid me to post this. Just living life, and sharing along the way. As always, if I didn’t think it was killer, I wouldn’t write about. #keepingitreal

 

{Date Night Series} Cooking Classes from Cook’s Warehouse

Tags

, , , , , ,

Cook’s Warehouse | Atlanta

East Cobb, Midtown, Brookhaven, and Decatur

View Website

Cooking Classes with Cook's Warehouse

The Fall Quarter class schedule for Cooking Classes at Cook’s Warehouse is out! What an amazing way to spend the evening together! Food, drink, and learning something new together. Don’t worry about missing out on drinks….Most classes include wine after cooking demonstrations, but there are also strictly “Wine” and “Wine and Food Pairings” classes.  This quarter’s offerings include several classes with Don Hackett who is both a Certified Sommelier and a Certified Specialist of Wine, several wine classes with Francophile Jennifer Pounds, wine and cheese pairing classes, and Nancy Waldeck’s always popular food and wine pairing classes.

Here are some highlights from this quarter:

  • Nationally Known Touring Cookbook Authors
  • Simple Abundance classes, benefitting the Atlanta Community Food Bank
    • Chef Mark Alba, STK
    • Chef Quentin Donnaud, Coast
    • Chef Ron Eyester,  Rosebud-Timone’s-Family Dog-Diner
    • Chef Adam Evans, The Optimist
    • Chef Mary Moore, The Cook’s Warehouse with Wine Specialist Don Hackett, Sherlock’s Wine Merchant
  • Holiday:
    • Halloween
    • Dia de los Muertos
    • Holiday Allergy-Friendly
    • Thanksgiving
    • Christmas
    • Kosher Holiday
    • New Year’s Eve – adults and kids classes
  • Themed
    • Halloween
    • Holiday Gift Giving
    • Turkey Workshop
    • Food Styling for the Holidays
    • When Pigs Fly – Bacon
    • Cooking with Beer
    • New Year’s Eve On
    • Date Nights and Girls Night Out
    • Cooking for Two
    • Spices and Herbs, and
    • Apples-, Pumpkin- and Soups-Themed classes
  • Knife Themed:  Knife Skills 101, plus in-store appearances by Harald Wüsthof, scion of the knife-making manufacturer, in all four stores 
  • Cuisines
    • Asian
    • Cuban
    • French
    • Indian
    • Italian-Tuscany
    • New Orleans
    • Persian
    • Southern and Southeastern
    • Spanish and
    • Thai
  • Seafood/Shellfish
    • Feast of the Seven Fishes
    • Seafood Date Night;
    • Local and Sustainable, and Seafood 101-Simple Abundance
  • Kids Classes
    • Halloween
    • Copycat Food
    • Holiday Cookie Decorating
    • Kids Weekend Cooking Club
    • Holidays
    • Pasta Making and
    • New Year’s Eve Party
  • Lifestyle Classes
    • Meatless Monday
    • Gluten-Free including GF Thanksgiving and GF Grains Intensive, and
    • Holiday-Allergy Free
  • Seasonal
    • Gingerbread Houses
    • Holiday Cookie Decorating
    • Decadent Pies
    • Bûche de Noël Cakes, to take home
    • Holiday Desserts
    • New Veggie Ideas for the Holidays
    • Decadent Pies
    • Making Holiday Cakes
  • Technique classes
    • Unlimited Pasta-bilities Hands On
    • Baking and Desserts
    • Knife Skills
    • Hands On Canning and Preserving
    • Grilling and Cooking on the Big Green Egg, and
    • Sushi
       
  • Beginning Cooks
    • Three-Day Kitchen Basics and Beyond series
    • French Mother Sauces
    • Holiday

Cooking Classes with Cook's Warehouse

Cooks-Warehouse-Couples-Erik-Meadows-Photography-3 Cooks-Warehouse-Couples-Erik-Meadows-Photography-4

**All photos courtesy of Erik Meadows Photography


 

rp_datenightseries.jpg

Looking for more Date Nights in Atlanta ideas? Check out our new series: Atlanta Date Night Ideas for the Weekend. 

Disclosure: No one paid me to write this. Cook’s Warehouse sent me the new course schedule, and I thought it looked awesome.  I’ve always wanted to do this for a date night, and I think the holidays would be a fun time to try, hence, I shared it. As always, if I didn’t think it was killer, I wouldn’t write about. #keepingitreal

West Egg Cafe in Midtown

Tags

, , , , , ,

West Egg Cafe | Midtown

1100 Howell Mill Road
Atlanta, Ga

View Website

West Egg Cafe

So, I’ll admit to visiting West Egg Cafe without kids, but I did wish they were with me. They would have loved the cozy couches in the waiting area, and the black and white photo booth.  I took a picture of the piece that held coffee accoutrements. It was an old card catalog…what a fun story that would be for them!

You can have Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner here (though not all the time, so check the calendar before heading out.)  For Sunday Brunch I had the Benedict Burger…double burger, fried egg, and hollandaise on an english muffin. Hubs had the Blue Plate with eggs, bacon, and grits.  The lattes are awesome…don’t skip the coffee.

Can’t make it today? Try Thursday’s Grilled Cheese and Games. Multiple grilled cheese variations, soup, and a tons of games like Checkers, Apples to Apples, Yahtze, and more.


West Egg Cafe

West Egg Cafe

West Egg Cafe

West Egg Cafe West Egg Cafe West Egg Cafe

West Egg Cafe West Egg Cafe West Egg Cafe


Disclosure: No one asked me to post this. No one paid me. It’s was great food in a fun atmosphere. I think you’ll like it! As always, if I didn’t think it was killer, I wouldn’t write about. #keepingitreal

 

Falltastic Fly Pass at Sky Zone in Roswell

Tags

, , , ,

SkyZone | Roswell

1425 Market Blvd. Suite 100-A
Roswell, Ga
(also in Suwanee)

View Website

Sky Zone Roswell

SkyZone asked us to come check them out, and we were more than pleased since trampolining is a regular sport in this household!  We went on a week night, and could not have been more pleased.  We basically had the place to ourselves! We jumped, played dodge ball, launched into a foam pit, played some hoops, and had a great time!

The Falltastic Fly Pass is a super offering.  Good until Nov 20th, here is what you get for under $50:

- DAILY JUMPING FOR FREE
- FREE Souvenir Cup ($.69 refills)
- FREE Sky Zone T-Shirt
- 10% off a Birthday Party Package (booked by 10/30, occur by 5/31/15)
- 1 FREE week Sky Fitness Pass
- 10% off Sky Zone Merchandise

 

Here are a few tips!
  • You must buy the SkyZone socks for jumping.  They are $2 and totally worth it. Wash them and bring them back each time.
  • Have a young one under 40 pounds? Check the calendar for special toddler times.
  • Weekends are packed more than weekdays, of course.  If you can, shoot for a weekday visit. They have to separate kids by size when the place is busy, so you avoid this issue if you visit on a weekday (for those with multiple kiddos.)
  • Lockers are available for storing your things.

This is my oldest enjoying the foam put.  The staff was super great with him, and he had a blast!


Disclosure: SkyZone (Roswell and Suwanee locations) contacted me and provided my family with complimentary Falltastic Fly Passes in order to check them out.  They did not require me to post about it, but the boys loved it so much that I had to share. We can’t wait to visit again. As always, if I didn’t think it was killer, I wouldn’t write about. #keepingitreal

World Kite Festival in Midtown

Tags

, , , ,

Piedmont Park | Atlanta

1342 Worchester Drive NE
Atlanta, Ga

View Website

logo

From the website:

The Atlanta World Kite Festival and Expo is the brainchild of a group of individuals here in the city who wanted to create a memorable family event centered around kite flying, outdoor activities, fun and games. In 2012, it was decided the Atlanta World Kite Festival and Expo would be presented at Piedmont Park in the Meadow on the fourth Saturday of October annually.

Come join us all for kite flying and demonstrations, food, face painting, The Braves BAT Teamperformances by the world-renowned classical Chinese dance and music show- Shen Yun 2015,SenoritAwesome, The InStep Step Team and the list keeps on growing.

Since its inception the AWKFE has successfully combined kite flying and demonstrations, live entertainment, food and more. This year we will introduce our INAUGURAL KITE MAKING CONTEST.


Disclosure: No one asked. No one paid me. As always, if I didn’t think it was killer, I wouldn’t write about. #keepingitreal

Day Out with Thomas in Cordele

Tags

, ,

SAM Shortline | Cordele

Georgia Veterans State Park
2459 U.S. Highway 280 W

Cordele, GA

View Website

Day Out with Thomas Cordele

Tickets are just under $23 each. From the Day Out with Thomas  website:

Thomas will visit the SAM Shortline Excursion Train at Georgia Veterans State Park in southwest Georgia. You can spend a whole day with the beloved storybook engine, Sir Topham Hatt and other friends. Thomas departs at 10:00 am, 10:45 am, 11:30 am, 12:45 pm, 1:30 pm and 2:15 pm each day.

EVERYTHING IS INCLUDED:

  • A 25-minute ride with Thomas the Tank Engine on a real railroad
  • Meet and take photos with Sir Topham Hatt™
  • Covered Imagination Station with kids arts and crafts
  • Storytelling and Videos
  • Meet and take photos with Ga. State Parks “GOPHER”
  • Inflatable “bouncy” house
  • Maze and mini-golf
  • Face painting and temporary tattoos
  • Large souvenir shop with Thomas toys and apparel

Vendors will sell burgers, sandwiches, cotton candy, ice cream, lemonade and other snacks.  Thomas the Tank Engine™ is presented by HIT Entertainment, a worldwide leader in children’s entertainment.


Disclosure: I have a working relationship with Ga State Parks. I’ve received complimentary stays at several cottages in exchange for reviews on a different website.  I am under no obligation to share any of their events on this site;  I just enjoy sharing interesting events and places with you. My son loves trains, and if we were not obligated elsewhere, we would be in Cordele! As always, if I didn’t think it was killer, I wouldn’t write about. #keepingitreal

Summit Hike at Brasstown Bald in Blairsville, Ga

Tags

, , , ,

Brasstown Bald | Blairsville

180 Spur
Blairsville, Ga

View Website

Brasstown Bald Summit

If you have any interest at all in easy hikes to gorgeous summit views displaying breathtaking fall color then put on your hiking boots and go NOW to Brasstown Bald. According to the officials, it peaked last weekend, but we still enjoyed a spectacular view this week.  You heard me right…the colors peak at Brasstown Bald well before other parts of North Georgia due to the extraordinary height.  This is the tallest point in the entire state of Georgia, and it basically has its own micro-climate, similar to Massachusetts.

Kids under 16 are free, but adults are $5 each (NOT per carload.)  We found that the fog hangs thick here in the mornings. When we visited about 10:30am, we could barely see the other cars in the parking lot because the fog was so thick.  This was despite being a gorgeous day with hardly a cloud in the sky as we drive to Blairsville.  Even the road up the mountain was clear as day…but you can feel the immediate change once you reach the top. We double-backed for fun at another location, and returned about 1:30pm for fantastic views.

There is a shuttle to the top, but we walked the 6/10 of a mile paved trail.  It wasn’t easy (could that have been a vertical greater than 45 degrees – sheesh) but it was rewarding.  There are no vista views as you climb; you are merely enjoying the trees along the path.  I would still do it again!

At the top you find a museum, a short movie, restrooms, and a breathtaking overlook of Georgia, Tennessee, and North and South Carolina. Restrooms and a visitor center are at the base near the parking lot.


Brasstown Bald Summit

Brasstown Bald Summit Brasstown Bald Summit

Lake Chatuge in the valley:

Brasstown Bald Summit Brasstown Bald Summit

Inside the museum:

Brasstown Bald Summit Brasstown Bald Summit

At the summit:

Brasstown Bald Summit

Summit Trail:

Brasstown Bald Summit Brasstown Bald Summit


Disclosure: No one asked; no one paid me. As always, if I didn’t think it was killer, I wouldn’t write about. #keepingitreal

Which Way USA™ from Highlights™ | Review and Giveaway

Tags

, ,

 

Which Way USA from Highlights

Most of you know we homeschool our boys.  We also travel domestically. A lot. Because of that, US Geography is a subject in our repertoire.  I struggled for well over a year to find the right way to include it in our studies, but came up short time and again. The programs I found typically had three problems:

  1. They were very pricey, with little value for the money.
  2. They were shallow and required me to spend extraordinary amounts of time finding supplemental activities.
  3. They were too academically rigid, taking the fun out of learning.

I stumbled upon Which Way USA™ about six months ago, and we’ve been using it wholeheartedly ever since.  Let me tell you why.

Affordable Pricing

Try out the Introduction Set for just $6.95 + shipping and handling. It includes two state books, accompanying state maps, Official Game Guide, collectible license plate key tags, and access to online content. After you try it, I know you’ll love it as much as we did. You can continue to receive 2 State Sets every four weeks for $6.95 per set plus $2.45 shipping and handling. Find more details about this Which Way USA offer here.

Tremendous Value

The Which Way USA™ geography-based puzzle book club is the perfect blend of digital and print activities for ages 6-12 and is a great teaching resource that lets kids to explore two U.S. states each month!  Every four weeks a new set arrives right to your door and includes:

  • Two 32-page state books and accompanying 17”x 21½” full-color state maps
  • 64-page Official Game Guide to track state-to-state progress*
  • Access codes for exclusive online play at WhichWayUSA.com
  • Collectible state license plate key tags

Which Way USA from Highlights 

Depth of Information

I’m just going to be blunt; we tried another popular geography program. You know the one…with the suitcase? I was overwhelmingly disappointed with the shallow bits and pieces of information that came each month. I’m not trying to be Negative Nancy, but if I am paying for an enrichment program, I don’t want to spend 15-20 hours a month of research time to make it usable.

That hasn’t been the case with this program. When New York arrived, we learned about Grand Central Station, the Statue of Liberty, Broadway, the Bronx Zoo, Baseball, Niagara Falls, and Montauk Point Lighthouse. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! In Texas, Cadillac Ranch, Long Horns, Johnson Space Center, San Antonio, and so much more!

We don’t use Which Way USA™ exclusively. When a particular city or landmark within a state grabs my son’s attention, we go “all in” to learn more about it. We add YouTube videos, library books, and Netflix documentaries. The point is, these additions are simple and rewarding for the entire family. Our Highlights™ subscription drives our supplementary information, not vice versa.

Learning Is Fun

My son is six years old with the attention span of a gnat. If it isn’t fun, he’s off to the next thing.  If a program contains a great wealth of information, but fails to present it in a fun manner then it doesn’t work for us.  Luckily, Which Way USA™ strikes a perfect balance. It includes mazes, crossword puzzles, hidden pictures, and other games. Our subscription also includes a digital component for more fun online. Finally, with stickers, maps, license plate key tags, and a few other fun items, it satisfies his tactile learning needs, as well.

Which Way USA from Highlights

So there you have it – the reasons we love Which Way USA™, and why we recommend it to all of our friends (homeschooled or not!) I would love for you to try it out with your kids!

One lucky winner will receive 6 FREE shipments of Which Way USA™, courtesy of Highlights™. Simply register below.  

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Disclosure: The following is a sponsored post for Which Way USA™, but they didn’t solicit me. I have used their product for several months, and I love it. I approached them about working together because it is a stellar program.  I don’t usually do product reviews here, but I believe this one is worth your time. As always, if I didn’t think it was killer, I wouldn’t write about. #keepingitreal

Atlanta Beltline Bicycle in Old Fourth Ward

Tags

, , , ,

Atlanta Beltline Bicycle | Atlanta

151 Sampson Street NE
Atlanta, Ga

View Website

Atlanta Beltline Bicycle

Have a bike? You need Atlanta Beltline Bicycle. Don’t have a bike? You still need Atlanta Beltline Bicycle.

This is your one stop shop for rentals, purchases, repairs, and tune ups…and it is sitting right on the Atlanta Beltline in the O4W district.  Our family decided to rent bikes one weekend, to exploreArt on the Beltline. The little guy can’t ride yet, and the big guy is still learning. We needed something for everyone, so we picked up the Surrey. Mom and Dad pedal, while the kids ride in front!

Here’s the scoop on the Surrey…it is not easy! But the boys loved it, and we made lots of new friends along the way because everyone wanted to know about it! If you are looking for something more traditional, bike rental is only $15 a day. Tandems, trailers, and hybrids are also available.

One final note, a friend bought a used bike here for her kids.  She always remarks on how kind and helpful the staff was to her family, and what a great value the purchase was.  Something to keep in mind if you decide to purchase your own!


Atlanta Beltline Bicycle

 

The kids on the Surrey…Not sure why Cooper is practicing his Richard Nixon impression. Geesh. Atlanta Beltline Bicycle

Atlanta Beltline Bicycle Atlanta Beltline Bicycle Atlanta Beltline Bicycle Atlanta Beltline Bicycle Atlanta Beltline Bicycle


Disclosure: No one asked, no one paid me. Just sharing about this adventure because it was cool! As always, if I didn’t think it was killer, I wouldn’t write about. #keepingitreal