Icy wind whipped at our reddening ears and cracked hands as we shuffled down the empty Atlanta streets on New Year’s Day. Like the frigid weather, I was bitter that a trip to the deep south wasn’t all that warm—but very glad I checked the weather beforehand! Just hours before, I’d been sitting on a cramped bus with 50 of my closest friends on our 12-hour journey there. I spent 48 hours in Atlanta, and there honestly was not a dull moment—or a spare one for that matter.
I absolutely love New Year’s Eve; the glitter, sips, conversation and high energy make it one of my favorite days of the year. And for the past five years, December 31 meant a pumpin’ party or a night downtown, but on this particular New Year’s Eve, we sat on the bus and watched our phones as the screen switched with minimal fanfare. As calm and anticlimactic as that moment was, it didn’t stay that way. Moments later, the speakers blared Calvin Harris, and colorful lights danced about the bus. And then back to sleep because in a few short hours, we’d brave the cold to see the city of Atlanta.
Rolling into Atlanta in the late morning, we stepped off the bus in search of coffee—duh. In the piercing frozen weather, we searched for an open coffeeshop and, after about 30 minutes of walking, we found Cafe Lucia where I sipped a s’mores latte. As exhausted as I was, this fatigue took the backseat when our group walked into Escape the Room. If you’ve never done an escape room, you’re not living your best life. I’m no game expert, but it brings me back to my Nancy Drew CD-ROM days. Getting locked in a room, tearing the room apart and trying to beat the clock, it’s quite the rush.
My McDonald’s breakfast on the road was wearing off, so Cate, Evie and I took an Uber ride to Ponce City Market. YOU GUYS. Easily one of the coolest shopping centers I’ve ever seen! Chainstores like Madewell and Anthropologie make their homes here, but many smaller shops make up Ponce City Market.
Our group spent ample time browsing (and drooling over) Citizen Supply, an Atlanta artisan market. Paned windows surround the walls of this store that sells cute Atlanta city prints and fun lil succulents.
For lunch, our trio chose Farm to Ladle, and I opted for the white bean chicken chili, which had a little kick but warmed me up all the same.
I’m still dreaming about Honeysuckle Gelato! I ordered a scoop of Nutella, another of pecan praline topped with salted caramel drizzle. Despite the frigid weather outside, this sweet, crunchy spot of gelato hit just the spot.
Atlanta, we will meet again. I wish I’d had more time and better weather to explore, but I guess that just means I have to visit again!