Hey, friends! How are you? What’s new?
There’s nothing new going on over — just the usual. This week was actually not terribly busy, and I felt like I had a good handle on all the things I needed to do. I taught my five classes, got my nails done (much needed), went to my tennis lesson, took Brady to swimming, worked and all of that.
This weekend, I’m planning to do some work, get my hair cut and get a glaze color (instead of highlights, I’ve just been getting a glaze the last couple of times to try to repair my poor broken hair) and enjoy a game night with my neighborhood girlfriends too. After two weekends away, we need a little down time.
Now for the current faves of the week …
Current faves of the week
All about our trip to Atlanta and the Georgia Aquarium
Last weekend, we made the four-hour drive down and over to the Atlanta area to stay with my brother, Matthew, and his wife, Stephanie, at their home in Alpharetta. We’d seen Matthew and Stephanie at our house in Charlotte three times since we’ve moved back to the East Coast, so we were totally due to visit them in their neck of the woods. And, of course, we love hanging out with them.
We left on Friday, after I was showered up from teaching my last class of the week, and the drive was not bad at all. Yet, I say that, and I actually didn’t sit in the driver’s seat all weekend, because Dave drove us there and back and around while we were in Atlanta. Thanks, Dave.
On Friday evening, we got there around dinnertime, so we unpacked our stuff and let Brady run around their house to explore. We had been to Matthew and Stephanie’s house once before, for Thanksgiving in 2019 with my family, and very sadly — that was actually the last time I saw my dad, before COVID started, and he passed in late 2020. Nonetheless, I didn’t have that on my mind too much while we were there, and we had an excellent time together, mostly just chilling.
That night, we ordered some Italian food take-out, popped some wine and hung out, getting Brady to bed a little later than usual. We chatted and caught up on life with some basketball games in the background until just before midnight (when I fell asleep on the couch, which I never do).
Then, on Saturday morning, we were up and dressed and ready to venture out to the Georgia Aquarium to make it by our 10 a.m. reservation time. We had already paid for our tickets, and because it gets busy, the aquarium also requires you to book an arrival window, which is such a good idea.
The Georgia Aquarium is about 30 minutes from Matthew and Stephanie’s house (with no traffic), and it took us toward downtown Atlanta, which is a very big place.
By the way, it got very cold overnight that first night, and it ended up snowing in the morning, which was totally unexpected. For a gal who barely saw snow her whole life, 2022 is certainly my snowiest year yet, yay!
The Georgia Aquarium
Now, let’s talk about the Georgia Aquarium, because it was definitely the best aquarium we’ve ever been to, and we’ve been to a few, even the Vancouver Aquarium and the Monterrey Aquarium — both of which were also good, but nothing like this.
Matthew and Stephanie had mentioned the aquarium to us plenty of times, and we had been waiting for the right time to go. Well, this was it. Brady is the perfect age to hold his own, yet truly enjoy something like this. He was totally fine walking around the entire time, watching the fish and mammals, staying close to us in the crowds (because yes, even though we had staggered arrivals, this place was totally packed), and just being a good little aquarium spectator. He was in awe of all the things we saw, and it made it so special for all of us to watch.
The coolest thing at the Georgia Aquarium is the huge walk-through tank where the whale sharks live. I don’t think there are many whale sharks in captivity, and these things are massive. We not only walked through the tunnel so that the sharks swam over us, but we also went and sat in a theatre area, where we could see almost the entire tank and enjoy it for a while.
Brady’s favorite part was definitely the whale sharks, and while this was the coolest part, my actual favorite part was the sea lion show we attended. We only made it to one show, and it was about 20-minutes long and so well done. There were three sea lions, and they seemed so happy to be showing us their skills. We learned about how many of the sea lions and other animals were rescued from something before showing up to the aquarium too, where they were rehabbed and trained. I love to see the relationship between the animals with their trainers, because you can tell they have a tight bond — even if, yes, usually we want animals to be living out in their natural environments.
One funny thing that happened at the aquarium is that because it was so darn busy, we couldn’t find a table to sit down at to eat lunch in the huge cafe. Finally, after starting out on the ground, we took over a standing high-top cocktail table near a banquet facility that someone left, so we hovered over that to finish eating — with Brady standing on a chair, so he could reach the table. It was an experience for sure (coupled with the pretty bad food we ate), but we didn’t mind.
Overall, I’m always into exploring and checking out new places, but I’m reminded over and over again that these things are even more rewarding when you get to see them through the eyes of a little one. This was a fabulous outing with my family. And we each LOVED it!
(You’ve seen these on me for a while, and here are my shoes again. They are leather, BTW, so they’ve really been holding up well. And my soft camo jacket is old and sold out, but this one is similar.)
And after four hours of fun, we decided we’d seen it all at the aquarium, really only missing the dolphin show, because it was sold out. (Fun fact: Tickets were only $40 a person, even for Brady, and that included the show, so it was a good deal, based on the time we spent there.)
It was early afternoon when we were ready to go, so we went back to Matthew and Stephanie’s house to hang out, feeling like we had our fill of big activities for the day. Brady and Matthew both took short naps, while Dave, Stephanie and I watched some basketball and vegged. Then, that afternoon, we all bundled up for a little neighborhood walk.
In the evening, we did a 500-piece puzzle, popped open some more wine, made s’mores by a fire pit behind their house, had some Mexican food take-out and then sat down to chat a little more on the couch — not making it all the way to midnight this time.
On Sunday, we hung out around the house, and then went to Cracker Barrel for brunch. Brady had never been to a Cracker Barrel before and he loved that there was a retail store with toys to look at while we waited for our table, as well as a little toy peg game once we got to the table. Dave and I hadn’t been to a Cracker Barrel in forever, and we remarked how it’s really not changed at all over the years — which is somewhat nice to see.
After brunch, we walked around a local park to stretch our legs and get some fresh air, and then we grabbed our stuff (and Rudy, because yes, he was with us during this trip) and headed back toward Charlotte.
We were definitely a little draggy from the time change, but our ride back was easy, and we were home and unpacked and ready for business as usual by 6 p.m. on Sunday — which is not too shabby after two fun weekends away.
I think you know what I’m going to say to close this out, because I’m like a broken record with this topic, but this trip would have never been possible if we still lived on the West Coast. Just saying. Thank goodness for this proximity to special people in our lives, who love us and love Brady so much too.
My workouts from last week
Here’s where I share a recap of my previous week of workouts. I share this to show you how I try to get diversity in my week, and how I always take a rest day. But remember, I do a little bit more than the average person, because I’m a group fitness instructor.
Workouts from the week of 3/7
- Monday: Taught 1-hour barbell class at Life Time, 9:45 a.m.
- Tuesday: Taught 1-hour barre class with light weights at Life Time, 9:30 a.m.
- Wednesday: Taught 45-minute barre class with light weights at Life Time, 5:30 p.m.
- Thursday: Taught 45-minute combo class at Life Time, 9:45 a.m., played 1 hour of tennis, 6:30 p.m.
- Friday: Taught 45-minute barbell class at Life Time, 12 p.m.
- Saturday: Rest day
- Sunday: Took 30-minute walk, 6 p.m.
This past week of workouts was all classes again, with two rest days. I enjoyed the weekend off again because we were in Atlanta, which was fine by me. I love that my class schedule is diverse, and it has me doing cardio, strength and flexibility within all of my formats, so I’m pretty balanced. But I would like to do some yoga and fit in a solo strength session again soon, because I really am craving both of those.
Best read from the week …
Here’s an article I read this week that I felt was worthy of sharing with you:
The power of fun. This light-hearted article is all about how to infuse more fun into your life, and I’m all for it. I’m a total creature of habit, and although I absolutely have fun with Brady and teaching my classes and such, I can sometimes put off fun during the week until the weekend, which is so silly. The tips from this article come from a book called “The Power of Fun: How to Feel Alive Again,” which I definitely need to order. Anywho, this is a cute and short article worth reading, with some doable tips to add a little sparkle to your daily life right away.
Quote of the week …
A quote worth sharing with you from one of my meditations this week:
A Lady Goes West archives of the week …
There are so many posts on the blog worth revisiting, so let’s look back at two good ones (one recent, one older) …
Coffee chat. This is a super-informal chat about a wide range of topics, like home, travel, changes and more … “Join me for an almost-spring 2022 coffee date.”
Health and wellness overload. This post is several years old, but it’s still a good reminder that you need to have a filter for what you take in on social media and the internet … “How to know what health and fitness information to follow.”
Thanks for stopping by, my friends! I hope you have a nice weekend, with a mix of fun and relaxation. Also, stay hydrated, folks! 🙂
Questions of the day for YOU …
What are you up to this weekend?
Have you ever been to the Georgia Aquarium?
Are you good at having fun regularly?