Earlier this month, my parents came to Atlanta to visit Drew and me for a long weekend. This visit was something I’d been anticipating ever since I moved here back in August. Since I’d been living at home with them all summer in preparation for the wedding, and they’d always helped me move into my dorm rooms and houses I’d lived in during college, it felt strange that they weren’t there on moving day. When I got in my car and followed Drew for the 7 hour drive to our new home in the big city, things really started to sink in. Mom and Dad weren’t falling in line with the caravan, toting my clothes and other belongings in the back of their car. Since Drew and I were driving separate cars, I had several hours alone to think about just how big a life change I was making. Newly married and moving to a big, unfamiliar city, I felt both exhilarated and terrified.
Now that it’s been over 3 months since the move-in date, Drew and I have settled into our new home and living style quite naturally. It’s been fun creating a home out of the white-walled space that we’ve been given. I couldn’t wait to show off my first real home to my parents, and show them where I’d been living for the past several months. Needless to say, the entire week leading up to Mom and Dad’s arrival, I was anxiously counting down the days. After arriving Friday afternoon and getting settled into their hotel (which is probably one of the most unique, fun hotels I’ve ever seen), they came over to our apartment for the “grand tour.” We opened two bottles of wine and toasted to Mom and Dad’s first (of many I hope!) visits to Atlanta.
They definitely got a good dose of Atlanta’s food culture from all the great restaurants we went to that weekend. Friday night we had southern-style country cooking at Mary Mac’s, which is just a short walk from our apartment. Saturday morning after Mom and Dad took a tour of the Fox Theatre, we each gave them a tour of our agencies, which are by no means your standard workplaces. Scooters, foosball, popcorn machines and ping pong tables and graffiti-covered walls aren’t something you typically find in an office. Not to mention that since we both work at the top of 20+ floor buildings, we were able to show them a great view of the city. We ate lunch at Buckhead diner, a restaurant I pass every day on my commute to work but have never think much about. The outside looks very much like a diner, a la Steak & Shake, but the inside had been transformed into something a bit swankier with white table clothes and dark wood paneling. After another great meal we spent the rest of the afternoon watching college football and napping.
That night, with the “game of the year” starting at 8, we headed to Six Feet Under to watch the LSU/Alabama game, and to eat more great food. We’d eaten there before with Drew’s grandparents, CR and Jackie, so we knew the food was good. The restaurant is right across the street from the historic Oakland Cemetery (hence the name Six Feet Under) where golfing great Bobby Jones is buried, which I knew Dad would appreciate. After having a few beers at the bar, we were seated just as the game kicked off. The bar was literally divided between LSU and Alabama fans and even though none of us have any loyalties, it was a great game to watch. Dinner was even better: fried calamari, blackened shrimp tacos, shrimp and grits, oysters and BBQ chicken made up the spread. Once again, we left too full to eat the apple cranberry crisp that I’d made for dessert the night before.
Sunday morning the four of us went to church at Grace Midtown. Several of the couples that are in our house church group were also there so it was great for my parents to be able to meet them. I talk about our group a lot to Mom and Dad, so I’m glad they were able to finally put faces to the names. After church, we headed back to our neighborhood for lunch at Noodle, one of our favorite restaurants in Midtown. It’s very similar to the Sweet Basil Thai restaurant we frequent back in Kentucky, so I knew Mom and Dad would feel right at home. With full bellies once again, we headed back to the apartment. Even with all the bustling around we did that weekend (most of which involved eating), some of my favorite moments were spent with all of us just lounging around the apartment.
Mom and Dad stayed at Hotel Indigo, and really enjoyed the uniqueness of it. The lobby, bar area and even the rooms, complete with funky colors and retro furniture, are like nothing you’ll find at a standard Holiday Inn. The walls were covered with all the plays and concerts that had toured the city over the past 30-40 years. A wall in the lobby had ticket stubs from all the shows at the Fox Theatre, including The Rolling Stones and Elvis. After having a drink at the bar, we walked over to Baraonda for dinner. You can’t go wrong with good Italian food and wine, and we all nearly cleaned our plates. It was the perfect way to wrap up a great weekend. I loved being able to play host to my parents for a change, and to hear how proud they are of us. From our jobs to our apartment to how we live our daily lives, Mom and Dad were impressed with it all. We can’t take all the credit though; Drew and I are so blessed to come from two strong, loving sets of parents. We know the kind of marriage we want to have because we saw first-hand growing up what it takes to make a great, lasting one. So, Mom and Dad, thank you again for an amazing, memorable weekend! And remember, our door is always open and we can’t wait for your next visit!