After four lovely days at the beach, we hopped back in the car and headed north to Atlanta. Because we were so close to the Florida state line (Orange Beach, Alabama, is about a mile away.), we took the route that passed through Florida so Matt could mark it off his states list. (As someone who grew up going to Florida regularly, it always seemed strange that he'd never been, but I guess when you grow up in California, what's the point, right?)
The second stop was to see my mom's side of the family, who've almost all relocated from Texas to the north Atlanta suburbs. My mom, step-dad, and sisters also traveled from Texas to join the crew for what has become our annual Fourth of July family reunion.
We were in Atlanta for about two and a half days, but the bulk of the excitement was on the 4th itself. Everyone joined forces at my uncle's house for feasting, soaking in the pool and hot tub, and playing corn hole.
B loved spending time in the pool and seeing everyone, but I think his favorite might be my Uncle Ben (his great uncle). They had a great time chatting it up and even enjoyed their own little dance party.
That night, we left B with Grandmozzie and went out to enjoy some of the local fireworks. (B was too tired to stay up for them.) The local show left a little to be desired, but it had been a while since I'd gone to a show, so it was still fun. Plus, my sister's friend from Italy was with us for the festivities, and we couldn't let her miss an opportunity to see her first 4th of July fireworks display.Over the next few days, we spent more time in the pool, played volleyball, hung out, laughed, and even watched breakfast at Wimbledon on my uncle's big screen. Now that's a good way to watch some tennis.
And oh did we eat. Because my relatives live in the suburbs, we don't often make it into metro Atlanta during our visits, but this time we were determined to make it to a few restaurants that we've been wanting to visit. It turned out that they were both Top Chef-related venues, though we didn't really plan it that way. On our way into town from the beach, we stopped at Flip Burger in Midtown, Richard Blais's burger joint. It was super good. We got the slider trio, sweet potato tots, and french fries, and I treated myself to a burnt marshmallow and Nutella shake. That's right.
On Saturday night, we joined my sisters, brother-in-law, and their Italian friend Elena at Empire State South, Hugh Acheson's Atlanta restaurant. We'd been there for breakfast during a previous visit, but we hadn't been able to make a dinner before. Sadly, it was too dark inside for most of my food pictures, but suffice it to say it was delicious. I mean, really, really good. If you live in the area, get there soon.
We had a wonderful time, but before we knew it, it was time to head off again, this time for our final stop, to see Matt's family in Tennessee. More on that soon.