It’s a rainy day in Big D but that doesn’t stop our trusty mailman from looking fashionable and staying dry in his hat and cape.
We moved to Dallas 2 weeks ago, and although I clearly lost interest in recording our less-than-exciting adventures in Georgia, our new home state gives us way too much to talk about. Texas is exactly what you would imagine and I’m fixin’ to tell y’all about it. So git ready!
Wow. I haven’t written a post since April. And I think I know why. No, we haven’t been particularly busy, though we have been doing quite a lot. The reason, I think, that I’m choosing to finally write today, on the first pleasant summer day since May, is no coincidence. It’s because it’s nice out and I like Georgia again! Last year, I experienced a thorough disdain for Georgia while sweating through my first summer in the deep south. And this year was pretty much the same. It’s freaking hot down here. And when it’s hot, I do no more than is absolutely necessary. Especially when it comes to sitting at a computer, which I do all day long for work. Prolonging time near a hot computer in a hot office is not high on my to-do list.
But today, it was actually cool (67) this morning, I was able to open all the windows and get a nice breeze rolling throughout the house, and I feel compelled to catch up on this blog. Cooler weather is certainly motivating. And — even though I find it hard to believe Weather.com about this — it’s ONLY 85 degrees right now with low humidity! Which, compared to the mid-nineties and high humidity that has hung around for the past 3 months, seems heavenly. And so, I write.
To recap quickly, here are all the haps of the last 3 months:
- My mom came to visit for Easter. It was a PERFECT time to visit Atlanta, all the spring flowers were out, but the heat hadn’t moved in yet. Just lovely. We recreated a traditional NYC Easter with my mom’s cousin who lives in Alpharetta.
- We moved! From Atlanta to Roswell, just about 20 minutes north of the city (depending on traffic, which usually sucks). The weather is actually a few degrees cooler up here, but that didn’t stop me from hating on the heat all summer.
- Greg and Kristen came to visit! This should actually be a sub-bullet to the one above, because they came all the way down here to help us move. We managed to pack (pun fully intended) a bit of fun in between the moving too.
- Mr. Dizzle started a new job! He’s now working in an operations role in Alpharetta and is enjoying it. This is the last of the 3-year rotations, so next spring we will be somewhere on a more permanent basis.
- I went to Upstate NY for a week! I hadn’t been home since Christmas, which is the longest I’ve ever been away, and it drove me nuts. I got to spend plenty of time with my parents and family, making a day trip down to Schenectady to see my aunt, cousin, and all my little mini-cousins. And of course, a visit to the annual Greek Festival and to Dinosaur BBQ. It was awesome!!
- We both got older! Mr. Dizzle celebrated his 29th birthday and Mrs. Dizzle, her 30th. Yikes.
- Mr. Dizzle went to Connecticut for his birthday weekend!
- We went to the Fox Theater! The Fox is a gorgeous old movie house in midtown Atlanta that now does both movies and stage performances. The Dizzles saw Spamalot in June and Mrs. Dizzle went with her favorite Atlanta friend Kelly to see the Sound of Music Sing A Long in July.
- We went to see the Braves! If Mr. Dizzle wasn’t such a diehard Yankees fan, I’d swear he was converting to a Braves fan with the number of games he’s been to over the past year. This particular game featured a 2 hour rain delay and a super fun-to-watch thunderstorm that rolled through the stadium and dropped temperatures about 15 degrees.
- I started working more! I’m now the Manager of Content and Community Relations at FlexJobs, which essentially means that I write the blog and other content for the website, and I manage all the social media outreach (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn). I am officially a social media nerd. And I’m back to a full-time workweek, hooray!
- Mr. Dizzle trained for and ran the Peachtree Road Race! It’s the largest 10K in the world with something like 55,000 runners and 150,000 spectators, and its held the morning of the 4th of July . And I was one of those spectators, even got to see Mr. Dizzle run by and snap his picture.
- Mr. Dizzle’s Mom visited! We spent a few days making delicious treats and we visited a nifty little butcher shop. And of course, much of the time was spent avoiding the heat.
- We went to Lake Lanier! For my birthday, I really wanted to spend the day near water, and just like my childhood birthday parties, we ended up on a pontoon boat cruising around Lake Lanier all day, stopping to swim and check out the beaches. Complete with cheese puffs and floaties.
- We started watching Boardwalk Empire! Yeah, I realize this has absolutely nothing to do with living in Georgia, but it’s a great show! So great, that I even created a Pandora radio station based on the music of the time. Now I do my work to ragtime, early jazz, and Al Jolson. What can I say? I’m a sucker for mob culture and old-timey music.
- We did a bunch of other stuff! The disadvantage of waiting 3 months to write is that I can’t remember all the fun stuff we’ve done since I last wrote. Which should be motivation enough to write again soon, but we shall see if that works…
As you can see, it’s been quite a while since my last post. Much longer than my usual two months, in fact. I’ll offer a variety of excuses for that in the form of loads of activities that have required my attention, but truth be told, I just didn’t feel like it! The biggest news of the spring is that we know where we’re moving next year. Drumroll, please?
Alpharetta, Georgia! No, don’t rub your eyes and blink rapidly in hopes that you’re living in a cartoon and just seeing things. I tried that when I first wrote this and it didn’t work. We are indeed staying in the greater Atlanta metro area for another year. The kicker is that Alpharetta is a bit too far of a commute from our current Midtown location, so we’re actually going to move 20 miles north to Roswell to balance things out.
The good news is that anyone who wanted to visit Atlanta this year but just didn’t get around to it has a whole other year to make it happen! (Hint — please visit us. Pretty please.)
And without further adieu, here are the loads of activities that kept me from updating this blog for four months:
- Volleyball coaching: This exercise in madness continued to require much of my time during nights and weekends, and made me realize that while I’m glad I got the experience of coaching, I will never. Ever. Coach. Again. At least, not for many, many years.
- Alton Brown at the Walker School: This was just plain cool. Alton Brown gave a one hour cooking demonstration and answered questions to benefit his daughter’s school. He’s skinny and short in person, and he succeeded in making Baked Alaska with a blow torch and dry ice. Pure awesomeness.
- Biking the Silver Comet Trail: This paved biking trail runs from here to Hawaii, or was it Alabama? Anyway, we biked about 20 miles of the trail in February because, unlike the great white north, the south in February is actually quite lovely.
- Boston for a stellar engagement party: We returned to Beantown for my sister-in-law and soon-to-be brother-in-law’s engagement party and had a lovely time, both at the party and as we ate our way around Boston. In three days, we managed to eat at Symphony Sushi, Greek Corner, and El Pelon, which is quite the feat when you consider how many home-cooked meals we also ate with the Reynolds clan.
- Disney World and Wizarding World of Harry Potter: We spent a few fantastic days in April visiting Shaun’s mom and our friend who lives in Orlando, and as usual, Disney did not disappoint. But the blue ribbon of the weekend goes to Harry Potter World at Universal Studios. I’m an admitted Harry Potter fanatic so eating at the Three Broomsticks, drinking Butter Beer, and flying around Hogwarts Castle was kind of the best thing ever.
- Searching for a new house: After a few weeks of fruitless house hunting, we found it! And even though we’re still lowly renters because of our uncertain location next year, our rental for the upcoming year is a gem. Single family house, three bedrooms, fenced backyard, minutes from adorable downtown Roswell. Did I mention three bedrooms? There’s plenty of room for visitors!
- Eating, eating, and more eating: Over the past couple months we’ve been to Tuk Tuk Thai Food Loft, Sotto Sotto, Murphy’s, Nick’s Greek, Rosebud, and a bunch of other places that I can’t remember. If there’s one thing Atlanta does well, it’s food.
- Atlanta History Center: This past weekend, my mom came to visit and we do what we always do — we visited historical sites and gardens. Only this time, they were all in one super interesting location. The Center includes a 19th century farmhouse, a 1920s mansion, six gardens and walking trails, and museum exhibits on the Civil War, Bobby Jones, Eudora Welty, and Folk Traditions of the South. So much information!
I’m sorry to say this posting-every-two-months is becoming a bit of a trend. But we have good reason! It’s been a busy freaking winter, if you can call it winter. Mainly, it’s been in the 40s and 50s, except for the storm of the decade in January, when it snowed 6 inches and completely froze into sheets of ice, holding the city in a standstill for a week before thawing temperatures rescued everyone. We learned all-too-well why the south can’t handle snow. No plows + no snow-tires + a week of below-freezing temperatures = nasty. But today, it reached 60 degrees and tomorrow it’s going to be 65 (yes, on January 28th), so complaining I am not.
Here’s a rundown of what’s kept me from The Dizzles blog. And please forgive me if I’ve missed something, it’s my own fault for taking two months to post!
Atlanta Hawks Basketball Game: In late November, we went to see the Boston Celtics (yay!) take on the Atlanta Hawks (Boo!) and were pleasantly surprised to learn that there are only about 50 Hawks fans in all of Atlanta. To look at the arena, you would have thought we were back in Boston – the entire place crawling with people in Celtics gear, and the sea of green was a nice piece of nostalgia for us former Boston dwellers.
Festivus Preparation: With the much-needed help of my friend Kelly, I spent the better part of an entire weekend making casseroles and other assorted freeze-able foods to stock up for Festivus. For those of you unfamiliar with the holiday, for five years we’ve been holding an annual Festivus Holiday party, which comes from a beloved episode of Seinfeld. In the episode, George’s father explains a holiday that he’s made up to take the place of the over-commercialized Christmas: A Festivus for the rest of us! Here’s my post from last year’s Festivus in New Jersey.
Volleyball, Yoga, and Swimming: I started playing in another women’s volleyball league AND assistant coaching a 13-year-old club team in December, so Tuesday and Thursday nights are filled with a blur of volleyballs from now until April, as well as weekend tournaments from time to time. It’s thrilling. Mr. Dizzle has gotten back into swimming, and I’m taking yoga a few times a week at the Y, so all of a sudden we’re a much more active couple.
Babysitting for Our Nephew: In December, Mr. Dizzle and I stepped into the world of test-parenting by spending a weekend babysitting our one-year-old nephew for two nights. Suffice it to say, our nephew is one of the most well-behaved babies I’ve ever been around, and he actually has us thinking that (someday…) we might actually be able to handle this whole having-a-baby thing. Not, like, tomorrow, but someday. :)
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra: We traveled a half mile down the road to watch a Christmas performance by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, featuring the Atlanta Choir, the Morehouse College Glee Club, and Gwinnett Young Singers. Morehouse stole the show with their powerful performance, and the choices of music by the Symphony were unusual and moving — perfect for Christmas.
Connecticut and Syracuse for Christmas: Dizzle got to spend an entire week at the heavenly doggie daycare know as Wag A Lot, and we flew to Syracuse, then drove to Connecticut, and back to Syracuse for the Christmas holiday. Mr. Dizzle got his long-awaited wish to rent a Cadillac for the drive. A WHITE Cadillac, no less, and everyone agreed that the look would be complete with a pair of cataract sunglasses and a cane. Riding in that car was like floating on a cloud. Aside from the Caddy, it was wonderful to see our families and a special treat for me to spend so many days in a row with my mom and dad.
Festivus in Atlanta: For an entire week over the New Year holiday, our friends came from all over the U.S. to essentially lounge around, eat lots of food, play games, and just hang out together. It. Was. Awesome. Best. Friends. Ever. When you live in a part of the country where you don’t know many people, and you know you’ll be uprooted within the year, it can get pretty lonely. Spending an entire week with some of the best friends we have is the best remedy. During Festivus, we traveled to the World of Coca Cola, Clermont Lounge, and Gladys Knight’s Chicken and Waffles. All around, it was a spectacle.
Getting Serious About Freelancing: In the last post, I mentioned that I’m taking on more work through FlexJobs, which is fantastic. And since then, I’ve found a bit more work here and there, and I’m finally taking myself seriously as a freelance writer. I even bought my own domain and spiffed up my freelance website. Fancy, ain’t it? www.briewreynolds.com.
Table building: Mr. Dizzle graciously agreed to build two nightstands for me for Christmas, and we spent the month of January painting them a lovely gray-blue color and designing a pattern for the tabletops. This weekend should put an end to the construction and begin our actually USE of the nightstands.
Ice Skating in Piedmont Park: Yes, even when the temperatures are getting into the 40s, 50s, and 60s during the day, there is ice skating in Atlanta. The rink is tiny but cute, and it’s connected to Park Tavern which serves delicious food and beverages (my favorite component to any winter sport).
I’m learning that autumn in Georgia is very similar to early or late summer in the Northeast: 60s/70s during the day, 40s/50s at night, and generally lovely outside. I’m also learning that as soon as the weather is nice enough to be outside for long periods of time, and I add a few commitments to my roster, I completely neglect this blog. My apologies, blog, I hope you understand. Here’s a rundown of The Dizzles’ adventures this autumn in Georgia.
Out of Town Trips: In October and November, we traveled to Connecticut for Shaun’s grandfather’s 90th birthday party, to North Carolina for our nephew’s 1st birthday party, and to Boston for the 6th Annual Upside-down Turkey Day (USDTD). We just got back from Boston yesterday, and our visit wouldn’t have been completely without a pilgrimage to our favorite restaurant, Trattoria Toscana. It was a treat to see so many friends, and we are now devising ways to bring Boston and Atlanta closer together. Anyone have any thoughts on adjusting the space-time continuum?
The Moms Invade Atlanta: The weekend before Halloween, both our mom’s came for a visit to Atlanta, and what a lovely weekend it was. The weather cooperated with sun and not-over-the-top warm temperatures, and we went to the High Museum of Art, Mary Mac’s Tea Room, and for lovely walks around the neighborhood, where a total stranger regailed me of the history of our apartment, in which he used to live. Folks sure are friendly down here.
New Job for Mrs. Dizzle: At the end of October, I hung up my keyboard at Ology.com and took up more responsibility at FlexJobs.com instead. Now I write the FlexJobs blogs, descriptions of employers, press releases, and other random scribbles. And of course, more time for work means less time for blogging (at least, this type of blogging where I don’t get paid… :) ).
Halloween, Atlanta-Style: We decorated, we loaded up with candy, we watched Halloween, and we wound up with about 15 trick-or-treaters altogether. Apparently one of the mansions down the street had trapeze artists and other crazy stuff in their yard, which might explain why people were underwhelmed by our pumpkin carvings and scary skeletons.
Wings Over Atlanta Airshow: Every time I think of going to this airshow, this quote from the movie Girls Just Want to Have Fun comes to mind: “Oh, well my dad made us all go to the airshow. 200 people standing around like this [looks up at the sky shielding her eyes from the sun]. It was a blast.” Except that in our airshow experience, it was more like 500,000 people staring at the sky in 85+ degree heat on the tarmac at Dobbins Air Force Base. The show and exhibits were fascinating, but the rush to the buses at the end was less-so, with three people fainting in our immediate area during the hour+ wait for a bus.
Volleyball Coaching: Over the summer, I started playing in a women’s volleyball league, which continued into the fall. And thanks to that, I’ll now be assistant coaching a 13-year-old girls volleyball team through TCA Atlanta. November was try-outs month, which mean that for two weeks, a lot of my write-a-blog-post-time was taken up by skills and drills nights, tryouts, and meetings. And from December to April, I’ll be at practices two nights a week, and at tournaments every few weekends. What did I get myself into?
Georgia Tech Football Game: We finally made it to our first college football game in Georgia, and college football is kind of a big thing around here. Tailgating in small road-side green spaces in the middle of the city was a site to see, and in my opinion, the best parts of college football are the marching bands. Shaun disagrees.
I know I’m forgetting a bunch of things from the past month and half, and those will probably be covered in a future blog post, hopefully one that doesn’t take me a month and half to write. But in the meantime, knowing that I’m too much of a slacker to post again this week…
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Reading these blog posts reminds me how much Shaun and I have to be thankful for, and if you’re reading this, you’re on that list of gratitude.
Hey October, where did you come from? It seems I was just settling into September when all of a sudden, the temperatures dropped (yay!), the humidity disappeared (yay!), and Halloween decorations began appearing at the neighbors’ houses (yay!!!).
It appears that we’re about to have the northeast’s equivalent of summertime, with temperatures between 70 and 80 during the day, and in the 50s at night. I couldn’t be more excited, this is my kind of weather! I even rearranged my closet to make my sweatshirts and sweaters more accessible, and I think my flip-flops are feeling neglected as I parade around in close-toed shoes.
But enough about the weather… When last I wrote, it was just past Labor Day Weekend, and we’ve been up to a lot since then. Here’s a rundown:
Georgia Aquarium: The largest aquarium in the country (maybe the world? I can’t remember) is located right here in Atlanta, and we trekked over there on a Friday evening for their Jazz Fridays series. It was actually lots of fun–the band was a “big band” style set-up with excellent musicians and singers, and the aquarium itself is loaded with interesting exhibits and animals. Perhaps made more interesting by the music and wine?
Georgia Driver’s Licenses: It only took three months to get around to it…
Trip to North Carolina: To visit Shaun’s sister’s family, including our adorable nephew!! The weekend was such a blast, with the vast majority of it spent laughing at nephew offering his hands to Dizzle to lick, to be followed by a soapy washing in the sink, and back to the licking again. Lick, lather, rinse, repeat?
Volleyball: I joined a fall volleyball league and have been playing weekly.
Velodrome Cycling Class: Shaun participated in two days of intense cycling at a velodrome, which is like a NASCAR race track for cyclists, with banked walls and other crazy stuff.
Atlanta Greek Festival: Sadly, this festival was the largest and least tasty of all the Greek festivals we’ve been to over the last few years.
Battle of the Burgers: One afternoon, 20 restaurants, 20 burgers to taste, to be followed by several months of burger-aversion. I wrote a review about this spectacular, though semi-nauseating event here.
In the coming weeks, we’re headed to Connecticut for Shaun’s grandfather’s 90th birthday, then to North Carolina again for our nephew’s first birthday, then to Boston for the 6th Annual Upside-down Turkey Day, and then to North Carolina for Thanksgiving. And in between, we’ll try to fit in some Georgia-y stuff.