Palm Springs, an easy two hour drive from Los Angeles, happened to be one of the few well known Southern California cities our family had yet to explore, which made it the perfect choice for a mini vacay! The desert climate, landscape and architecture are all quite different from what we’re used to over on the coast, which really added to the feeling of being far from home, even if we really weren’t. We spent three relaxing days and two nights exploring and photographing the city and surrounding Coachella Valley.
Angry dust devils and debris swirl around the mostly abandoned buildings, and the once vibrant beach is deserted as well. The water looks blue from a distance, but there is a slight tint of something else on the surface and the stench is unbelievable. The sand is long gone, in its place the remains of millions of dead fish, and as you walk along the shoreline your feet make a crunching sound as they sink deep into the bones.
My daydreams are filled with amazing destinations from around the world, and if given the opportunity I’d drop everything and head off to any one of them. The white sand beaches of the Izu Peninsula in Japan, the canals of Venice, Italy, or the fjords of Norway all sound fabulous, but for various reasons too numerous to list here they’ll all be staying tucked away in my dreams. For the moment…
This week on the blog: Koreatown
My mission to take advantage of everything Los Angeles has to offer is almost two years in and I still feel I’ve barely scratched the surface. You might think I would have grown tired of all this trekking around by now, especially when contending with LA’s notorious traffic, but rather than wane my interest has only intensified. There is still so much to discover!
I’ve always loved the idea of relaxing tropical beach vacation. While there I would spend my days reading steamy hot romance novels while sipping icy cold drinks. Occasionally I’d look up to stare out at the crystal blue waters, and the scent of the ocean and suntan oil would permeate the air. After a while the sound of the palm trees rustling in the gentle breeze would lull me to sleep. Sounds good doesn’t it? There’s only one problem with this scenario…
Summer break is just around the corner and I’m still undecided as to where our family will travel. There are so many wonderful destinations, I’m having a hard time deciding. Maybe Italy for the coffee and art, or Spain for tapas and siestas, or maybe we’ll just stay home and be tourists in our own city? We’ve come nowhere near discovering all that Los Angeles has to offer.
I’m sure you’ve noticed the many amazing works of art on the streets these days? It’s hard not to when they are everywhere! Gorgeous works of fine art, and make no mistake that’s what they are, have been popping up in cities around the world. It makes sense! All those blank walls are perfect canvases, creating a world wide, never ending, always evolving art exhibition.
Its time for another edition of Faraway Files the fabulous travel blogging community, where travelers from all walks of life gather together and share their many adventures from around the globe. If you’re a traveler, a planner, or a dreamer this is the place for you, and if like me, you’re the main travel planner in your family then you’ll know that real world advice can make all the difference.
Atlanta, Georgia was never on my vacation destination list, but when I received an invitation to a girls only weekend I never hesitated. I’d never visited or researched Atlanta before, so I really had no idea what to expect. Here’s what I did know: I would be traveling without my kids, to explore a new city, with one of my best friends! What more did I need to know?
Turns out Atlanta has a lot to offer, and with stops in Virginia Highlands, Little Five Points, Decatur, Historic Downtown, Midtown, and Candler Park we covered a lot of ground. Of course having a hometown guide was invaluable, and because we visited many of her personal favorites at least one of us knew what to expect!
The Atlanta BeltLine
The BeltLine was the perfect place to get an overview of Atlanta. The addition of this mixed use redevelopment project, which takes advantage of the City’s existing railway corridors, is transforming and revitalizing the city of Atlanta in the best possible way.
The multi-use pedestrian friendly pathways are perfect for cycling, running, and walking, but the BeltLine is much more then just an exercise path getting you from point A to point B. With a skate park, shopping, restaurants and the South’s largest temporary public art installation the BeltLine is a destination!
Related: Biking & Art on the Atlanta BeltLine
The Historic Fox theater
The Historic Fox Theater has a long fascinating history, and in addition to the 250+ events, which take place there annually, the theater offers a variety of behind the scenes tours as well.
Originally intended as a meeting place for the Shriner’s organization the theater was built to look like the ancient temples and palaces of Egypt and the Far East.
The financial burden proved too much and shortly before it was completed the Shriners leased the theater to Willam Fox who turned it into a movie palace. The theater opened to a sold out crowd on Christmas Day 1929. The move was Steam Boat Willie, starring Mickey Mouse!
During our tour we had a chance to explore the 250,000 square foot building, including the theater which seats 4,665, and has a twinkling ceiling, The Egyptian Ballroom, and many other ornately decorated spaces.
By the mid 1970s the Fox Theater had fallen into disrepair and was facing demolition. The people of Atlanta realized what a great loss this would be and banded to gather to save The Fox.
Margaret Mitchell House and Museum
More than 75 years after it was released Gone With The Wind is still considered one of America’s most successful films. A life long fan of both the book and the movie, I was delighted to discover that we’d be visiting the home of book’s author, Margaret Mitchell.
Gone With The Wind was written almost by accident. Yes, one of the most famous books of all time, was almost never written. A journalist, who unexpectedly became confined to her apartment due to an injury, Mitchell spent her recovery reading everything she could get her hands on. When she’d exhausted all the library had to offer, her husband suggested she try writing a book of her own. She never planned to publish the book, but when someone suggested that it would never amount to anything, she decided to show them a thing or two… And the rest is history!
The Margaret Mitchell house is run by the Atlanta History Center. Tours are offered daily, check the website for detailed information.
After you’ve toured the home take some time to explore the museum, which has plenty of memorabilia including photos of the cast, premiere movie tickets, and even props from the set of Gone With The Wind.
Ponce City Market
The Ponce City Market is a trendy and fun shopping area located in what was once the Sears & Roebuck Company building. There are fun reminders of the building’s history throughout. Inside you’ll find multiple food choices, unique boutiques and plenty of insta opportunities.
The Market links directly to the Atlanta BeltLine and is directly across from the Historic Fourth Ward Park, making it a perfect place to stop for a quick bite or to meet friends and stay awhile.
The Atlanta Botanical gardens
Open all year round you’re sure to see and experience something different each time you visit the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Visiting in the winter meant there weren’t as many outdoor flowers blooming, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t a lot to see.
The Chihully sculptures placed throughout the gardens provided a bright pop of color on a rainy winter afternoon.
The Orchid Festival was not only lovely, but provided the perfect backdrop for some fun group photos.
I wasn’t traveling with the boys this trip, but I know they would have loved this fabulous play space filled with so many things to discover and experience.
Shopping & Dinning (but mainly dining)
997 Virginia Ave. NE, Atlanta
Murphy’s Restaurant, offers traditional and regional choices. The food was delicious and the service was perfect! Welcome in!
Murphy’s Restaurant is located in a quaint little neighborhood with lots of fun shops like the Urban Cottage.
Leons Full Service
131 E Ponce de Leon Ave, Decatur
We loved our meal at Leon’s Full Service, which is located in a former service station. The vibe is hip, but casual, and they have an extensive list of local brews on tap. The food was delicious, but definitely on the heavier side.
Livingston Restaurant & Bar
659 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta
The Livingston is located in the Georgian Terrace Hotel just across the street from the Historic Fox Theater. They serve southern style cuisine with a modern twist. I loved my chicken and waffles, don’t tell my mom, but the apple fennel slaw might have been the best coleslaw I’ve ever had!
299 N Highland Ave NE Atlanta
Barcelona Vinoteca is a neighborhood wine shop/bar with a cozy vibe. Stop in for a drink, or bring a bottle home. The large pull down maps on the walls brought back memories of my pre smart board school days.
1136 Euclid Ave NE, Atlanta
Located in the heart of the Little Five Points, we stopped at the Yacht Club for late night drinks. This place is the definition of a dive bar!
Have you ever turned over the travel planning to someone else? Was it a success? Would you do it again?
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