We went for a mini date night to the Garden Lights at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens last night. They put this on every year and it’s been getting bigger and bigger, and is pretty amazing. There are over a million lights and they do a really good job. I don’t have enough skill to capture it on camera and being there in person is a pretty immersive experience. They have everything from lights/snowflakes hanging in the trees, to the rainforest exhibit done up, to music with dancing lights, to a gigantic christmas model train. Highly recommended if you are in town.
Cathy had a conference in Dallas last week, so we decided to make another mini-vacation out of it. We had some friends in Dallas and we’ve never been, so it seemed like a great idea.
While visiting and hangout out with our friends was pretty awesome, the rest of Dallas was a huge meh. People aren’t lying when they say “everything is bigger in Texas”. Everything from the distances between cities, the huge excess in terms of city/urban sprawl, to the amount of back fat on display. Wowie!
We went out around town, hit up some bars/restaurants around Deep Ellum, and visited the Arboretum. The Arboretum was pretty damn cool and we did find some super good food (Celebration, Angry Dog) around town. Otherwise, I doubt we’ll ever be back. Certainly wouldn’t want to live there!
After my “man weekend” last weekend I realized that Cathy needed to get out of town and into the mountains pretty badly as well, so we did, what was going to be a little hike, in the Cohutta Wilderness. We got a kick ass route recommendation from our friends Travis and Mary and headed out of town. The plan was to get up early, hit the hike for 2 hours and then head back into town for our neighborhood block party. We even picked up cupcakes to bring to the party. A little bit into the hike, we realized both just how awesome it was out there in terms of leaves and colors, and how awesome the hike itself, and the destination was.
The views, the scenery, the trail, and the falls at the end were incredible. We were already going to be picking up some backpacking gear for early next year, but after seeing the camping area at Panther Creek falls, that decision was set in stone. We are coming back to spend the night. It was amazing. The plan to come back early was scrapped and we ended up spending almost 6 hours hiking, hanging out, looking at views, etc. We came back to the car right before sunset, and promptly finished off the cupcakes. (with some help from a family we met)
I took a whole mess ton of pictures, to the point where Cathy was “over it.” I just couldn’t help myself with how great everything looked.
This past weekend, Joe and I headed up to Brevard, NC for a “dudes weekend” of riding mountain bikes and drinking beer. The weather was pretty incredible and combined with the leaf season and the riding, I can actually describe it as “epic”.
On Saturday we did Long Branch, Butter Gap, Farlow, Daniel, Cove Creek and the other side of Daniel: http://app.strava.com/rides/25071667. I rode most of Farlow, walked in a few sections, but still need to work on my “fears”. Once I point the bike down and just go, I can clear sections I never thought I would, but I mentally wuss out sometimes. Daniel, both ways down, was pretty much the best trail on the planet. It was almost overload. Must.go.back.soon
After the ride, the beer drinking part occured. Headed to Pisgah Tavern for a beverage where we met up with some Atlanta area guys that were doing a late bachelor party for a friend. We hit up dinner at Mayberry’s, which has become a staple now when we hit Brevard, SO tasty, and got an invite out to Jeff’s mountain house for the evening. Those guys were doing it RIGHT. Big Green Egg, meat, booze, and bonfire. “What an awesome time, no chicks, just a bunch of dudes hanging out. This is great! Such a contrast from 10 years ago huh?”
Sunday, we did most of a loop I did in May. Squirrel, Laurel Creek, up to Laurel Mountain and finishing off the weekend with an incredible descent down Pilot Rock. Had the “eyes bigger than our legs” feeling as we ended up with over 6 hours on the bike and the climb up Laurel suuuuucked: http://app.strava.com/rides/25071687. The Pilot Rock descent was worth all the climbing. First time I’ve ridden it all the way down vs stopping for the overlook, and was able to get into a groove.
One of the things I really need to work on is my “2nd day” power. I can ride forever on Day 1, but feel terrible on Day 2. Same thing happened when I tried the TNGA route. Did ~90 miles on day 1 and felt AWESOME but was a wreck on Day 2. My body feels that Day 2 is recovery day and I need to fix that.
We stopped along the way and took some pictures, and got some pretty good ones. Joe is a semi-pro (should be pro) photographer and got an awesome shot of me.
Here are the best 40 photos from our wedding. Was such an incredible time and there were so many great pictures, but we had to narrow it down a bit. We also have a gallery of about a 100 that we’ll post a bit later that have great portraits/photos of pretty much all the guests, but for now, enjoy our favorites!