Day Out with Thomas in Cordele

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SAM Shortline | Cordele

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

Cordele, GA

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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

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Brasstown Bald | Blairsville

180 Spur
Blairsville, Ga

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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

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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

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Atlanta Beltline Bicycle | Atlanta

151 Sampson Street NE
Atlanta, Ga

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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

{Date Night Series} Taste of Atlanta in Midtown

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Taste of Atlanta | Atlanta

Tech Square in Midtown Atlanta, Ga

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Taste of Atlanta

 

Taste of Atlanta is THE best way to try top picks from local area restaurants.  Hubby and I went on a date to last year’s event, and we filled our bellies with food and libations…and had a great time doing it! If you can chalk up the extra dough for a VIP ticket, it is well worth the cost, especially if you drink.  Not able to find a sitter? No worries. This event is family-friendly as well.

Don’t skip the lectures or cooking events.  If I were able to do it again this year, I would have added a cooking class.  The folks there seemed to be having a great time.

Here are a few photos from last year’s event, we well as more information about the restaurants, schedule of events, tickets, and more.


Taste of Atlanta

 

Taste of Atlanta

Taste of Atlanta Taste of Atlanta Taste of Atlanta Taste of Atlanta Taste of Atlanta Taste of Atlanta


13th Annual Taste of Atlanta Announces Full Festival Round-up for Upcoming Edible Extravaganza October 24-26

Legendary all-you-can-eat weekend offers jam-packed schedule for attendees of every appetite
 
ATLANTA (October 16, 2014) – Hungry for fall? Atlanta chefs are busy prepping and perfecting their best recipes for the city’s most anticipated food, wine, beer and cocktail festival. Taste of Atlanta returns to Midtown at Tech Square on October 24 – 26 to satisfy palates with a stellar lineup of local and nationally-renowned chefs, insider cooking demos, throwdown competitions and over 90 of the city’s most delicious restaurants. From exploring new neighborhood dining spots to mastering gourmet culinary creations, food lovers of all ages will get their fill of Atlanta’s fervent foodie culture! 
 
On Friday, October 24Taste of Atlanta will help food lovers say “I do” to the smorgasbord of flavors offered at the 13th annual festival with a celebratory kickoff party! The event, themed Culinary Matrimony, will unite unlikely, yet harmonious pairings, as local celebrity chefs lift the veil to match-made-in-heaven recipes, libations and more. This all-inclusive block party features exclusive bites from select restaurants, bountiful booze and live music from 80s Synth Pop band Electric Avenue. A portion of event proceeds will be donated to Georgia Organics, a local non-profit that connects organic food from Georgia farms to Georgia families. 
 
On Saturday, October 25 and Sunday, October 26, hungry attendees can feast their eyes (and their stomachs!) on an extensive selection of tastes from esteemed eateries both inside and outside the perimeter. Whether festival-goers take a bite of The Spence’s Braised Chicken Tinga Tacos, Milton’s Piquillo Pepper Crab Bisque or Saltyard’s Ricotta Zeppolis with Cinnamon and 3-berry Jam, there is a plethora ofplates to satisfy every appetite. New this year, each street will be set up by neighborhood, and menu boards will highlight the location it calls home. For a complete list of participating restaurants, visit tasteofatlanta.com/restaurants.php
 
“We have been cooking up a storm to make this year’s Taste of Atlanta bigger and better than ever before!” said Dale DeSena, founder and president of Taste of Atlanta. “We’re really looking forward to celebrating the individual neighborhoods of Atlanta and the incredible chefs who make them so delicious. Taste of Atlanta is one of the few festivals that encourages attendees to ‘eat and meet’ with our star chefs through educational cooking classes, interactive seminars and exclusive tastings. It truly is a phenomenal experience for participating chefs, culinary connoisseurs and people who are passionate about food!” 
 
2014 festival highlights include:
  • The Chef’s Table – Hosted by Tom Sullivan, The Chef’s Table allows festival-goers to gain the inside scoop from Atlanta‘s acclaimed culinary icons as they divulge their food-focused journeys, along with tips, techniques and (ofcourse!) tastes
  • The Kitchen Workshop – Hosted by Holly Firfer, The Kitchen Workshop schools attendees in the culinary arts with hands-on cooking tutorials for any level of cooking expertise. With step-by-step instruction from local and nationally-acclaimed chefs – including Bravo’s Top Chef Season 10 winner Kristen Kish and renowned restaurateur Ron Eyester – each class leaves with a recipe they can make at home and a feather in their toque!
  • Throwdown Tent – New this year! Hosted by Mara Davis, the Throwdown Tent features “food face-off” competitions (think Meat Brawl, Sandwich Smackdown, Fried Chicken Throwdown and Taco Takedown). Leading restaurants – representing three popular neighborhoods – will compete head-to-head for the ultimate bragging rights. For six taste coupons, patrons can enter the Throwdown Tent, taste all the competitors’ dishes and place their vote. 
  • Family Food Zone – Hosted by award-winning author and CNN journalist Carolyn O’Neil, the Family Food Zone offers demos and cooking lessons for the whole family! Join local and nationally-celebrated chefs of all ages – including renowned teenage chef Lizzie Marie of Lizzie Marie Cuisine (LMC) – and stir up some fun. Returning to the lineup this year, the Top Chef Kids Competition features three young chefs-in-training, as they square off to create delish dishes for a panel of kid judges.
  • Big Green Egg Grilling Experience – Hosted by Kevin Jenkins and Executive Chef Erik Holdo of “Chef and the Fatman,” the Big Green Egg Grilling Experience helps the city’s top grill masters get fired up! Festival-goers walk away with some smokin’ recipes, after learning to sear flavorful meats, baste with homemade barbecue sauce and even bake delicious desserts on The Big Green Egg. 
  • Barcraft Competition – Shake it up! Top bartenders from the United States Bartenders Guild’s Atlanta chapter will compete for the title of Taste ofAtlanta‘s Best Bartender. The contestants will mix, muddle and shake their select ingredients into winning cocktails.
  • Chef’s Green RoomNew this year! Located on the 5th Street Bridge, the Chef’s Green Room will feature local, chef-driven restaurants cooking non-traditional BBQ on Saturday, Oct. 25 and seafood on Sunday, Oct. 26, accompanied by rockin’ live music.
  • VIP Experience with Beer and Wine by Hop City – VIP ticket holders ages 21 and up receive exclusive access to the Food, Wine, Beer and Cocktail Experience, along with complimentary tastes from restaurants and sponsors not found in the main festival. Guests can enjoy samples of more than 50 craft beers, along with an extensive selection of wine varieties and cocktails fromAtlanta’s finest bartenders. New this year in the VIP Experience, Restaurateur and Barkeep Greg Best will host the VIP Speaker’s Corner to discuss various topics on wine, beer, cocktails and food and drink pairings.
  • Silent Auction – The festival is proud to support Share our Strength’s Cooking Matters™ as the beneficiary of the Silent Auction, which will be filled with unique merchandise and exclusive offers on entertainment and travel packages. Cooking Matters is a groundbreaking program that provides a strong foundation in nutrition, cooking and household budgeting through specialized courses. One hundred percent of the silent auction net proceeds will be donated to this special program. 
 
Taste of Atlanta ticket information:
  • General Admission Ticket: $25 in advance; $35 at the gate. General Admission includes 10 taste coupons. Taste coupons are needed to sample food items. Kids ages 13 and under receive FREE admission (excluding tastecoupons) when accompanied by a paid adult.
  • VIP ticket: $75 in advance; $85 at the gate. VIP ticket holders ages 21 and up receive 10 taste coupons and admission into the VIP Experience with Beer and Wine by Hop City. Bring valid photo ID. Each VIP ticket also includes a commemorative glass. The first 300 VIP ticket holders each day receive aTaste of Atlanta gift bag filled with special goodies. VIP ticket holders also receive complimentary access to the nuloo™ Premium Mobile Washrooms with sparkling clean, air-conditioned restrooms. 
  • Taste coupons: These coupons are used to purchase food from participating restaurants. Menu items are valued at one, two or three taste coupons. Additional taste coupons are sold in increments of five coupons for $5 or 10 coupons for $10.
  • Advance tickets are sold at locations throughout Atlanta, including the four locations of The Cook’s Warehouse, the GA Tech Box Office, select Whole Foods Market, CD Warehouse and Decatur CD outlets. Advance festival tickets must be purchased by midnight on October 24. For more information, visit tasteofatlanta.com/tickets.php.
 
Festival Hours:
Friday, October 24 – Friday Night Kickoff Party: Culinary Matrimony 

7:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

VIP Entry begins at 6:30 p.m. 
 
Saturday, October 25 – Festival 
12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
VIP Experience is open from 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. 
 
Sunday, October 26 – Festival 
12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
VIP Experience is open from 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. 
 
About Taste of Atlanta:
Taste of Atlanta packs the bold flavors, colorful personalities and vibrant energy of an entire city into 10 blocks in Midtown Atlanta. The three-day festival explores the city’s unique neighborhoods by sampling tastes from the chefs and bartenders that give each area its own creative energy. Since its inception in 2002, Taste of Atlanta has become an annual pilgrimage for thousands of food, wine, beer and cocktail lovers from across the country. Festival attendees bring their adventurous appetites and experience a full range of flavors, from time-honored Southern classics to innovative dishes that are destined to be the next culinary trend. Patrons also enjoy interactive cooking demonstrations on four main stages, live entertainment and family-friendly activities for food lovers of all ages. Taste of Atlanta supports several Atlanta non-profit groups, including Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters, Atlanta’s Table, Georgia Organics and Hospitality Education Foundation of Georgia and ProStart®. Indulge in the city’s flavors Friday through Sunday, October 24-26 in Midtown at Tech Square to truly savor what makes Atlanta the food capital of the South. For more information, visitwww.tasteofatlanta.com
 
About Hop City:
Hop City Craft Beer & Wine opened its doors April 23, 2009 to a great response from the Atlanta community. With one of the largest beer selections in the country and a very healthy wine section as well, Hop City is fueled by a passion for great taste. Hop City has been named among 2010’s “Best of Atlanta” in Creative Loafing, AtlantaMagazine, and Atlanta Beer and Wine; and “Atlanta’s Favorite Wine Store” on CitySearch.com. The dedicated staff provides very hands-on customer service, from making recommendations to actually helping carry purchases to customer cars. Hop City also carries a full range homebrew equipment and ingredients.


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

Disclosure: Hubby and I received complimentary tickets to TOA last year to share the scoop on another website. You can see that review here: http://www.trekaroo.com/activities/taste-of-atlanta-atlanta-georgia I am under no obligation to share this event with you again, especially because we aren’t able to make it this year.  They did ask me to share it (no one paid me,) and I agreed because it is s spectacular festival that everyone should experience at least once! As always, if I didn’t think it was killer, I wouldn’t write about. #keepingitreal

Morningside Nature Preserve in Morningside/Lenox Park

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Morningside Nature Preserve | Atlanta

2020 Lenox Road NE
Atlanta, Ga
 

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Morningside Nature Preserve

I learned about Morningside Nature Preserve from Atlanta Trails.  The plan was to head to the mountains, but they were spewing buckets of rain while the city was forecasting sunshine.  I am so thankful we went inside the perimeter that day.  The trail at Morningside is under three miles, making it the perfect length for my yong boys.  We started on a “typical” trail, moved to a boardwalk, then onto a narrow jungle-type path. Just when I thought the kudzu would swallow us, a great suspended bridge appeared over the South Fork of the Peachtree River.

The boys were wowed by the bridge, but on this warm fall day, the sand and water grabbed their attention.  We played for almost two hours in the shallow, warm, and calm flowing river.  We found sticks, clams, and frogs. We splashed water, walked across tree trunks, and had a great time.  Do be mindful of the sand, though. We noticed a great deal of glass on the right side of the bridge.  I have to be honest and say that it was disappointing to see such a neat place overcome with trash – bottles, bags, and debris.  I’d love to get a group of volunteers out there for a clean up. It is such a lovely place – we can’t waste it!

Despite the trash along the river bank, I think it is worthy of a visit. In fact, this hike made our list of 52 Destination Hikes for Atlanta Families.  Check out the link for more ideas.


Morningside Nature Preserve

Morningside Nature Preserve

Morningside Nature Preserve

Morningside Nature Preserve

Morningside Nature Preserve

Morningside Nature Preserve

Morningside Nature Preserve

Morningside Nature Preserve

Morningside Nature Preserve

Morningside Nature Preserve

Morningside Nature Preserve

Morningside Nature Preserve


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

Garden*Hood in Grant Park

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Garden*Hood Plant Atlanta | Atlanta

353 Boulevard SE
Atlanta, Ga
 
(The entrance gate is on Woodward Avenue)
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Garden*Hood Atlanta

It’s time for fall gardens, Y’all! Get the kids involved in planting some veggies this season, or pick up a pumpkin or two! We visited Garden*Hood after a ride on the Beltline recently.  Yes, the prices here are going to be a little higher than Home Depot, but the quality is FAR SUPERIOR to any big box store.  Plus, you’re helping a local business grow and flourish.

I really hadn’t planned on writing about our stop here, but the boys liked it so much! It turned into a great adventure for them…enough so that I want to encourage you to try it with your kiddos.  We bought a large thornless blackberry, plus plenty of veggies for the fall garden. They boys picked out about six different lettuces, three kids of kale, several greens, and some chard.  There are slao beautiful gourds and pumpkins, garden decor, and more!


Garden*Hood Atlanta

Garden*Hood Atlanta

Garden*Hood Atlanta Garden*Hood Atlanta Garden*Hood Atlanta Garden*Hood Atlanta Garden*Hood Atlanta Garden*Hood Atlanta Garden*Hood Atlanta Garden*Hood Atlanta Garden*Hood Atlanta Garden*Hood Atlanta Garden*Hood Atlanta Garden*Hood Atlanta Garden*Hood Atlanta Garden*Hood Atlanta

 


Disclosure: Garden*Hood didn’t ask me to post or pay me to do it.  Like I said, I wasn’t even planning on posting about them until I saw what a great time the boys had. Hope you do, too. As always, if I didn’t think it was killer, I wouldn’t write about. #keepingitreal

Tom + Chee in Kennesaw, Ga

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Tom + Chee | Kennesaw

1200 Ernest Barrett Parkway
Suite 208
Kennesaw, Ga
 
Also in Alpharetta and Buford

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Tom and Chee Grilled Cheese and Soup

As soon as I learned there was a restaurant that specializes in grilled cheese, we packed up the car and headed over.  Tom + Chee did not disappoint.  Pick from several gournet grilled cheese suggestions, like the Pesto Turkey with turkey, pesto, and Mozerella on sourdough or the BBQ + Bacon with BBQ potato chips, bacon and American cheese on white bread.  I selected from the “Build Your Own”…Gouda, tomato, and bacon on sourdough.  There are also salads…and don’t forget the soup! Always tomato soup plus a daily special. When we were there it was cream of mushroom.  Don’t feel like I big bowl? I love that they have a Souper Dipper, which is a small size perfect for dipping your sandwich into. Yeah!

The kids can enjoy a 1/2 grilled cheese plus soup, chips, or fruit…with a drink…for $3.50.  On Monday night, the same meal is 99 cents. Woot!

We visited in Kennesaw, not too far from Kennesaw National Battlefield Park.  There are also locations in Buford and Alpharetta.


 

Tom and Chee Grilled Cheese and Soup

Tom and Chee Grilled Cheese and Soup

Tom and Chee Grilled Cheese and Soup Tom and Chee Grilled Cheese and Soup Tom and Chee Grilled Cheese and Soup Tom and Chee Grilled Cheese and Soup


Disclosure: No one offered me a free grilled cheese. No one paid me to write this. It’s grilled cheese, people. Grilled Cheese. Why wouldn’t I share that??? As always, if I didn’t think it was killer, I wouldn’t write about. #keepingitreal

 

Blue Ridge Scenic Railway Fall Foliage Ride in Blue Ridge, Ga

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Blue Ridge Scenic Railway | Blue Ridge

662 East Main Street
Blue Ridge, Ga

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Blue Ridge Scenic Railroad

Today, your mission is to purchase tickets for the Fall Foliage Ride on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway.  Southern Living named this one of the best ways to see the fall colors! This special ride is only during October, and tickets go super fast so get yours now.  I wish we had fall photos to show you, but we are not heading there until Oct 25th…and I didn’t want to wait that long to tell you about it.  I’m including some photos here from our summer visit.  You can also read more about our ride, what to expect, and what else to do in Blue Ridge in my post about a Vacation in Blue Ridge.

Blue ridge scenic railway DSC_0124 DSC_0127 DSC_0137 DSC_0147 DSC_0151


Disclosure: We received a complimentary ride on the BRSR while visiting the city this Summer, in order to bring you the scoop.  We are paying our own way this Fall because we loved that ride so much. Reporting on the Fall ride was not part of the deal…if you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know that I have adopted Blue Ridge. I want to share it with you as much as possible.  As always, if I didn’t think it was killer, I wouldn’t write about. #keepingitreal

Halloween Hayrides at Red Top Mountain in Cartersville, Ga

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Red Top Mountain | Cartersville

50 Lodge Road SE
Cartersville, Ga 

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PiratesAtRavenwood Redtop Mountain Halloween Hayrides

From the website:It is finally that time again, me hearties!All new this year, pirates are attacking Ravenwood!  The townsfolk need your help defending against a raggedy band of pirates looking for stolen treasure.

As always, we offer a family-friendly experience. While the ride itself is spooky, it is still suitable for most little ones. Our ride loops through the Iron Hill area of Red Top providing riders with a trip through the mythical town of Ravenwood.

Our professional story-tellers will provide a very entertaining mix of spooky stories including some of your perennial favorites.  Plenty of treats and cider are available following the stories for you to enjoy prior to the short walk back to your car.

**Parents’ Guide Available  -  Our hayride is designed for ALL ages and is completely family friendly.  However, what isn’t scary to one person may terrify another.  Parents, please feel free to check out our parent’s guide if you are concerned.  You can also send us an email with any specific questions about your child.  (hayrides@friendsofredtop.org)  We want EVERYONE to be able to enjoy our hayrides and will do what we can to make sure you have a great time!

Our hayrides will run at 7:00pm, 7:40pm, 8:20pm and 9:00pm on the following dates:  October 10-11, 17-18, & 24-25

The cost is $10 per rider.  Children aged 2 and under ride free.  All vehicles must display either an annual ParkPass or a Daily pass.  The cost for a daily pass is $5 and they are available at our gate.

Due to limited volunteer staffing, reservations can only be made through our website.  We regret that we cannot process reservations over the phone.  If you have problems making a reservation or problems with your existing reservation, please contact us.  For the fastest service, reach us by email at hayrides@friendsofredtop.org.  You may also leave a phone message for us at 678-792-9554. Our volunteer staff is small but we will make every effort to respond to your inquiries as promptly as possible.

Hayrides are located in the Iron Hill trail area.  To reach our parking lot, from I75 take exit 285 and follow the signs to the park.  You will pas the Visitor Center on your left and then the campgrounds on your right.  You will see signs for hayride parking.  If you enter the park from Glade Rd., the hayride parking lot is on your left about .5 mile from the park entrance.

We sincerely hope you enjoy your experience this year!  Reservations are being processed through Friends of Georgia State Parks which is how the charge will appear on your credit card statement.

Click here to make reservations

Disclosure: No one asked me, no one is paying me.  I am posting this because it sounds awesome and I think I might take my own kiddos.  Yes, I have received gratis visits from Ga State Parks for reviews throughout the year.  This is not one of them.  Red Top Mountain has some seriously cool programs, and I like sharing them with you. I probably SHOULD try to stay at Red Top and bring you a cottage or yurt review, though….hmmm. {idea brewing} As always, if I didn’t think it was killer, I wouldn’t write about. #keepingitreal