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travel

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an evening at the aquarium

Ah, the Georgia Aquarium. Who doesn’t love aquariums? They allow you a glimpse into a whole other world beneath the surface of the water; the glass that stands between you and the ocean life only amplifies your sense of wonderment.

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I don’t get to visit the Georgia Aquarium that often so when they invited me to their media preview of the new sea lion exhibit, I was pretty excited. If you think the GA Aquarium is awesome, let me tell you that it’s 100x better at night when no one is around and there are free cocktails and food. It was so quiet in comparison to daytime that it felt all the more like you were underwater observing.

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Now onto the fun stuff. We saw the first go at their new Sea Lion show and oh my gosh. They’re so amazing. These sea lions are rescues from California and pretty much your new best friends. If you feel like you have an inkling of wanting to work with animals, these guys will seal the deal for you (see what I did there)!

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In addition to the new sea lion exhibit, Georgia Aquarium has revamped the Dolphin show. I’ll be completely honest with you… I’ve hated the dolphin show in the past.

new orleans in the spring

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I’m so happy that my good friend Kelly decided to unite her friends for a Bachelorette celebration in New Orleans! The weather was perfect and there just weren’t enough hours in the day to really soak all of it in. I’m convinced I need to go back for at least another long weekend for more long strolls and frozen Irish coffees (umm, DELISH).

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NOLA is one of those cities that just looks unreal because it’s so adorable without being cheesy. There are different colors and wrought iron railings everywhere and I didn’t have the time to really capture everything that I was seeing around me.

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The abundance of street musicians was also ridiculously charming. Yet another aspect I wish I had more time to enjoy.

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PEDICAB!! If I could get everywhere via pedicab, I wouldn’t mind.

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signal mountain, chattanooga, tennessee

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There’s a place in my heart
for every man on earth
still I feel, I feel like I am shrinking

There’s a hole in my soul
growing out of control
and I don’t know, I don’t know
how to mend it

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art institute of chicago

Nothing really beats a little history to get you inspired. We had less than 24 hours to spend in Chicago, but the Art Institute was a must-see. We covered as much ground as we could in one afternoon, but I wish I could go back and give it the time it deserves. Every corner you turned, there was even more awe to be had. I’m so grateful that AIC allows you to take pictures, so I can always remember how beautiful the light was that day.

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intelligentsia coffee

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When I travel, I make it a point to find out where the locals have their coffee. Sometimes it’ll be a quaint little anonymous neighborhood cafe and other times it’ll be a nationally recognized coffee roaster. Of course with Chicago, it was the latter. I was lucky enough that Intelligentsia had a small locale nearby my downtown hotel, perfect for two visits in less than 24 hours.

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I really enjoy the way Intelligentsia describes themselves and their various chosen headquarters:

Intelligentsia now has three cities it calls home: Chicago—a city that is brooding, practical and reluctantly beautiful; Los Angeles—a city that views creativity as a birthright, is immensely vast, decidedly impractical and equally messy and marvelous; and New York—a city of paradoxes, hulking but chock full of intimate corners, timeless but achingly current, polished but decaying, worldly yet oddly provincial, all crashing together in perfect cacophony (or is it harmony?).

Honestly, we love all of these places, but for very different reasons. Straight backed-Midwesterness gives us pragmatism and self-discipline, West Coast optimism leads us to believe anything is possible, and the dynamism of East Coast is an unending source of energy. This combination provides the fuel for what we love to do: sourcing, developing, roasting and delivering the best coffee in the world.

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I’m far from being a coffee connoisseur, but I know what I like and what I don’t like. And if I were living in Chicago, I know that this would be one of my go-to spots. I had the chance to enjoy my two standards, latte in the morning and iced coffee in the afternoon. Also, croissant and an oatmeal raisin cookie – all good things in life, all good things from Intelligentsia.

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a look back

So it’s that time of year again, where everyone makes lists, countdowns, and figures out their resolutions for the coming year. Despite the high probability of seeming trite, I will participate in this action and take a look back at all my favorite blog posts of 2014. Below the picture gallery, you’ll find the corresponding links that will take you to the post. If you have just recently begun reading my words then you might like to see what I’ve been up to this whole time. I’ve seen a lot of lovely creations, spoken with a handful of amazingly talented people, and eaten a lot of tasty food. Isn’t that what life’s all about? It is for me anyways…

row 1 : chattanooga / java jive / may flowers / surfacing
row 2 : elizabeth / apple butter bakery / le petit marche / stacktone slims
row 3 : take heart shop / tiny buffalo / suzanne / henry & june
row 4 : farmer’s market / treat yourselfamelie’s / announcing
row 5 : oakland cemetery / buttermilk kitchen / the tote / krog street market
row 6 : olio / maelu designs / blueridge mountains / arabia mountain