College Updates and Weekend Adventures

To check out a video of my weekend adventures, click below!

College Updates and Weekend Adventures

Hi everyone!  It’s been a hot minute since I’ve updated the blog.  Since college has started I’ve been pretty slammed keeping up with school, work, and spending time with friends and family.  This weekend I finally had a minute to relax, sleep in, and laze around… but of course I decided to take that downtime and do some exploring instead of catching up on sleep.  Be sure to check out my video from this weekend at the link above!

My first stop on Thursday was Blood Mountain, where I decided to take an overnight camping trip.  Although I’ve hiked Blood a bunch of times, I’ve never had the chance to camp at the summit.  It wasn’t until after I made all my plans and prepared all my gear that I realized I would be camping the night of Friday the 13th.  Alone.  On a mountain literally called Blood Mountain.

 

Somehow, I made it out alive.  Friday morning I stopped by Mountain Crossings to shower off, grab some food, and get directions to Amicalola Falls, where I met my longtime friend, Hannah.

After hiking the falls, we made our way to a nearby apple orchard for some apple picking and to enjoy some fried pies.

The next day, my friends from school (Hannah and Mckayla) and I decided to check out Minnehaha Falls, about an hour from the school.  The short hike had an incredible payoff, as the waterfall is one of the best in the state, in my opinion.  Although there were lots of other people at the falls, it was still beautiful.

On Sunday, my boyfriend Solomon and I hiked up to Rabun Bald, a trail we first explored last summer when tackling Georgia’s 5 tallest mountains in 48 hours!  Although the trail is short at 1.6 miles, it’s pretty steep.  The views are absolutely worth it (it is the second tallest summit in Georgia).  Although I didn’t get many photos or videos from the top because there were lots of people, the views are always stunning.

 

Hopefully I’ll have more time to update the blog as the semester goes on.  I have lots of ideas for future adventures and blogs so stay tuned!

 

The Coolest Filming Locations to Visit in Atlanta

It didn’t take long for me to be convinced that Baby Driver is one of the best Atlanta-filmed movies out there – from the energetic soundtrack to the witty characters and the sleek, exciting car chase scenes, what’s not to like?  After seeing the film, I was inspired to adventure around Atlanta and check out some of the filming locations.  Take a look below to get all the info on where (and how!) to visit some of the spots from Baby Driver and a few other Atlanta-based movies and shows as well!

Baby Driver

Before making the drive to Atlanta, I took some time to plot a course for the spots I wanted to hit in the city.  Although I wasn’t able to visit every single location from the film, I had a really fun time finding some of the spots and imagining the city from Baby’s perspective!    Here’s everywhere I was able to visit, in order of the first to last place I stopped by:

*Most of the places I decided to just check out in passing or from the street for the sake of saving money on food/parking.

Bacchanalia/JCT Kitchen – 1198 Howell Mill Rd, Atlanta, GA.  Although Baby takes Debora on a date to Bacchanalia, a confrontation scene with Kevin Spacey was filmed outside JCT Kitchen right next door!

Octane Coffee – 1009 Marietta St NW, Atlanta, GA (there are several Octane locations)

Margaret Mitchell Square/GSU – I followed my GPS to Margaret Mitchell Square and then entered the address for the GSU bookstore (66 Courtland St NE, Atlanta, GA) to get a good driving route through some of the chase scene areas from the film.

Goodfellas Pizza – 615 Spring St NW, Atlanta, GA

Debora’s Apartment – 921 Myrtle St NE, Atlanta, GA

Bo’s Diner – 5116 GA-85, Forest Park, GA.  The actual Bo’s Diner is called Uncle Chucky’s Diner, and although I couldn’t visit it myself, my friend and fellow blogger Olivia was able to – check out her blog and social media for more pictures and info: olivia-frances.com, @aivil0livia on Instagram.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Mockingjay Part 1 & 2

(Photos courtesy of: bizjournals.com and movie-locations.com)

Atlanta Marriott Marquis – 265 Peachtree Center Ave NE, Atlanta, GA (recognize that elevator?)

Swan Coach House (aka President Snow’s home) – 130 West Paces Ferry Rd NW, Atlanta, GA – located in the Atlanta History Center

Bellwood Quarry – located in Westside Reservoir Park on Chappell Road Northwest.  Although currently closed to the public, work has begun to transform the quarry into a park!  You may also recognize the quarry from “The Walking Dead”, “Stranger Things”, and The Fundamentals of Caring.

Sweetwater Creek State Park – 1750 Mt Vernon Rd, Lithia Springs, GA.  After paying a small parking fee, take the short path from the visitors center that follows the creek to reach the mill ruins featured in the film.

“The Walking Dead”

greece-468x330
(Photo courtesy of: amc.com)

Jackson Street Bridge – Jackson St NE, Atlanta, GA.  One of the most iconic views of the city skyline and a popular spot for photographers, this bridge was featured heavily in promotion for The Walking Dead as well as the first episode.

Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre (aka the CDC) – 2800 Cobb Galleria Pkwy, Atlanta, GA

Senoia, GA (aka Woodbury) – though not located in downtown Atlanta, the town of Senoia acted as Woodbury in the series.  Walking tours of the town are available.

Bonus Locations

(Photos courtesy of: firstwefeast.com and scoopotp.com)

Donald Glover’s “Atlanta” is obviously a hotspot for filming locations around the city, including Zesto Drive-In (377 Moreland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA – one of multiple locations) and J.R. Crickets (129 North Ave NE, Atlanta, GA – again, there are multiple locations).

New Netflix show “Ozark took over a former restaurant on Lake Allatoona in Canton (6979 Bells Ferry Rd, Canton, GA).

Outside of Atlanta, the town of Jackson, GA was featured in “Stranger Things” while Juliette, GA was the location for Fried Green Tomatoes (check out Whistle Stop Cafe at 443 McCrackin St) and a scene from Baby Driver (filmed at the Round Oak Juliette Road bridge).

Countless other movies and shows have been filmed in Atlanta, from big-budget superhero flicks to small-scale indies and successful comedies and historical biopics alike.  Next time you’re in the city, be sure to check out some of these locations and keep an ear out: new projects are being filmed all the time!

 

 

Sometimes the Hike Isn’t Right

Last night around 10 p.m., about 12 hours before I was supposed to begin a 4-day-long hike of the Georgia section of the Appalachian Trail, I canceled the trip altogether.
From the start, I’d held reservations about taking the trip, which is something that doesn’t usually happen for me in regards to backpacking trips.  I’ve taken several solo backpacking trips before and although I had a reasonable amount of nervousness leading up to them, I was always excited more than anything.  This time around, I was struck with fear whenever I would think about the trip, and I struggled to get excited about the idea of hiking alone in the woods in the dead of summer for several days.
Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of good reasons to take this trip.  I was looking forward to the experience of hiking the Georgia section of the AT in one push (which would have been my longest backpacking trip to date), and I had even planned to attempt to hike the approximately 80 miles of trail in 80 hours, just for kicks (and to minimize the amount of days I would have to be away from home and ask off work).
Despite all the reasons in favor of taking the trip, my hesitation and uneasiness only grew as the weeks went by and I continued with preparations.  I spent most of yesterday seized with stress, fear, and almost dread about beginning the trip.  After some tearful conversations with family and friends, I decided to cancel the trip.
Although the decision brought me a lot of relief, it was a hard one to make.  I’ve never been one to back down from a challenge or not honor a commitment I’ve made.  A part of me was incredibly frustrated and disappointed with myself for “wimping out” and canceling the trip.  “You’re capable of doing it and you already made all the preparations, so why are you backing out?!” I told myself.
I consider myself a fairly rational person, so it’s never been easy for me to listen to my gut, especially when it seems to be telling me something illogical or irrational.  But after taking some time to settle into my decision, I realized I made the right choice.  Sure, on paper, maybe I should have taken the trip.  I’m sure if I had forced myself to go, I would have enjoyed it after the first day or so once I was back into the rhythm of backpacking.  And sure, it would have been cool to be able to say I hiked 80 miles in 80 hours.
The fact of the matter is: backpacking is something I do because I love it.  It challenges me, it excites me, and it teaches me things about myself and the world around me that I couldn’t learn in any other way.  More than anything, I choose to go backpacking because I think it’s fun.  I don’t believe this trip would have been fun.  I think I was going into it with the wrong motivations, and I think God was trying to tell me to dedicate these days to something other than a solo backpacking trip.
There was a time in my life when I felt like backpacking was all I had.  I believed it was the only thing I was good at and the only thing I was really passionate about.  Although I still love backpacking and I know I will do much more of it in my life, I’ve also come to recognize the other incredible things I have in my life.  I value my relationships with loved ones way more now because of backpacking (it only takes a couple days of being alone in the woods to realize how much you appreciate someone) and I’ve also discovered and developed many new hobbies and talents outside of backpacking.
I’m sure I would have left the trail feeling accomplished and cool for completing my goal.  But to be frank, backpacking is not my career and it’s not vital to my happiness or success or worth as a human being.  I am incredibly lucky to have the resources and the freedom to be a backpacker, and I plan to take advantage of backpacking opportunities as often as I can.  But for today, I’m glad I chose to follow my heart and stay home.
There’s a lot in my life that’s going to be changing soon, from moving to starting college to living on my own for the first time.  I want to spend my time with the people I love, doing the things that I love, and for now, that’s going to take me off the trail for a little awhile.  I know it’ll be there for me when I decide to come back to it, and at heart, I know I’ll always be a backpacker.
One of the most valuable things I’ve learned while backpacking is to “hike your own hike”.  This means that whatever you do, do it at your own pace and for your own reasons.  To anyone reading this, backpacker or not, I encourage you to always listen to your gut, even if you don’t exactly like what it’s saying.  Have courage to make the right decisions for your own wellbeing and happiness, and surround yourself with supportive people who love you and can help you recognize your strength and worth, even when you can’t.
At the end of the day, no one is going to hike that mountain or carry that pack for you.  Don’t underestimate yourself.  Trust yourself to know what’s best for you.  Push yourself to take on challenges (but only the fun ones – you have enough stress and discomfort in your day-to-day life to try and pursue something that will only add to that with little reward).  And more than anything, do what makes you happy, brings you peace, and helps you grow, even if that means staying at home to watch TV in your pajamas with your family.

 

My Experience Taking a Gap Year

Confession: I miss being in school.  I genuinely miss the routine of going to class, finishing homework, and studying for tests.  I miss the stress of having a challenging class and the sense of accomplishment in getting a good grade on an assignment.  Watching my friends study for final exams and prepare for class presentations is bittersweet for me: it makes me realize that I’m excited to return to school (although I’m sure this excitement will die once classes actually start) but also that my gap year is coming to an end.  Although I still have the summer to spend time with loved ones and (hopefully) go on some adventures, I’m also preparing to move to college in the fall.  I’m going to be reentering the world of school after a year off while also readjusting to living on my own  for the first time.  So instead of focusing on how unprepared I feel and how much stuff I need to buy for my dorm and how long I have to register for classes and ahhhhhhh – I’m choosing to take some time to reflect on the past few months.
Here’s a summary of what I learned from taking a gap year:

  1. I learned how to budget and save money.  Being financially responsible is a habit you can never start too early.  In high school, I was motivated to work hard and get good grades because I knew it would increase my chances of getting scholarships which would then give me more freedom in choosing which college I wanted to attend.  My hard work resulted in me receiving a full ride scholarship to my top choice college, which is honestly a bigger blessing than I could have ever imagined.  As for personal expenses, I’ve worked steadily since last summer and made a point to spend less and save more, all for the purpose of being as prepared and financially independent in college as possible.
  2. I learned how to take better care of myself.  I’ve always been someone who likes to have a lot going on; I feel most fulfilled when I have a balance of school, work, and personal projects.  There was a month or two of my gap year before I was working that I had waaaaay too much downtime for my liking.  It made me realize that I had been using school and work as distractions to avoid addressing some personal issues that have been around since high school.  Realizing this was a difficult and humbling experience: I felt incredibly lost, uneasy, unmotivated, and unhappy.  I opened up to my family about what I was feeling and told them I needed help which resulted in me beginning therapy on a weekly basis.  Getting the help I had needed for a long time was, more than anything, a huge relief.  While being honest about what I was feeling was terrifying and sometimes embarrassing, I know I’m in a much better place now than I was last year.
  3.   I learned to be more flexible.  I entered my gap year with no concrete plans, only a desire to spend time with loved ones and go on a few adventures.  I ended up accomplishing much more than I expected, from hiking the entire Georgia section of the Appalachian Trail and taking my first solo-backpacking trip to exploring the mountains of Colorado and getting tattoos with my family.  I have so many beautiful memories from this past year, and many of them were unexpected or unplanned.  On a more difficult note, I had many plans fall apart over the course of the year: my plans for college changed for reasons beyond my control almost every couple of months, and unexpected family medical emergencies led me to cancel a potential thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail.  However, every frustration and change in plans helped me realize the importance of remaining flexible and trusting that God is in control of my life.  As long as I focus on the things that are really important in life, everything else will be taken care of.
  4. I learned what kind of person I actually am.  Towards the end of my time in high school, I began to envision the type of future I would have: I pictured myself being a loner and finding a job that required constant travel so I wouldn’t need to depend on anyone else.  I’ve always been independent and that quality still remains, but over the course of my gap year, I’ve learned to appreciate the beauty and importance of having relationships with others.  While I still value my alone time, I now also prioritize my relationships with loved ones, and I’ve come to recognize their importance in my life.

Although there have been a lot of difficult times throughout these past few months, I believe taking a gap year was the right decision for me.  Every difficult lesson in the past year has better equipped me to tackle the future and, most importantly, I got to spend time making fantastic memories with my friends and family.  I wish I could say I spent 6 months backpacking through Europe or road tripping across the U.S., but I trust I will make the time for those adventures in the future.  I’m still proud of everything I did over my gap year, and I’m looking forward to my last summer before college.  And to everyone trying to make it through finals week: next year, I’ll be struggling right alongside you.

A Conversation on Solo Hiking

Check out the video at the link below:
A Conversation on Solo Hiking – The Video

Hi friends!

Today I want to have a conversation with you all about solo hiking.  Solo hiking is exactly what it sounds like – going out and hiking, or camping, by yourself.  It’s an experience I first tried in 2016 (check out my video about the experience here) and fell in love with, and it’s something I hope to do much more of this year and beyond.

Unfortunately, I think a lot of people nowadays are afraid of the thought of traveling or hiking alone.  While there is absolutely a lot of risk involved in solo hiking, I don’t think we should be afraid of it, and we should instead see it as an opportunity to challenge and learn about ourselves.  If you address the potential risks and prepare as much as you can to minimize them, you can have an incredible experience solo hiking.

Make sure to watch the video above for my thoughts on solo hiking and my top 3 tips if you want to try it yourself.

2016

2016 – Video

2016 has been… a year.

As 2017 approaches, I feel like I’m just barely crawling out of this year – alive but pretty broken down.  Not quite victorious or triumphant, but far from giving up or quitting.

I really wish I had a lot of beautiful words to spew about what this year has been like and what it’s taught me and what I’m hoping for next year, but honestly, I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about this year.

But in the meantime, here’s what I do know for sure:

A lot of stuff happened in 2016.  A lot of firsts and a lot of lasts.  A lot of new experiences and a lot of challenges I didn’t see coming.

I made a lot of beautiful memories this year with a lot of beautiful people, and I know I’m going to hold onto those moments for a very long time.

I did some pretty big things this year that I’m really proud of.  I went to Sundance, graduated high school, worked at CNN, climbed 5 mountains in 48 hours, hiked up Pikes Peak, and section-hiked the entire Georgia section of the Appalachian Trail.
I did some smaller things this year, too.  I got my first tattoo(s).  I dyed and shaved and cut my hair a bunch of different ways.  I pierced my nose.  I got a job at a rock-climbing gym and started rock-climbing more than ever.  I opened up to my friends and family about things I’ve been struggling with and started getting real help to address issues I’ve tried to ignore for the past several years.  I’m just as proud of the small things as I am the big things.

I made a lot of plans this year that didn’t work out.  My plans for college have changed almost every 3 months or so, and I still don’t know for sure where I’ll end up.
I made some goals for my gap year that I’ve chosen to put on hold, and I’m still trying to accept that they’re not going to happen.
But I don’t regret any of the choices I’ve made, even if they’ve put me in a place of uncertainty.  I know I’ll end up where I’m supposed to be, even on the days when I’m stubborn and I want to know right now what’s going to happen and I’m terrified by the fact that some things are just very simply out of my control.

So yes: 2016 has been quite the year.  I’m sure 2017 will be, too.  I don’t really know what’s going to happen and I’m learning to accept that it is okay for me not to know sometimes.

But for now, I know that I am safe and I am loved and I have many more adventures ahead of me, and today, right now, that is enough.

 

 

 

When You Try Really Hard (But You Still Come Up Short)

It’s been a bit of a challenging week.  Yesterday, I learned I wouldn’t be able to go to Georgia Tech, a college I’ve had my heart set on since first touring the campus last fall.  My mom also had a brief incident with her back yesterday that’s left her in a good bit of pain and resulted in us cutting our Colorado trip down to just 2 weeks, something she’s really disappointed about.

To be completely honest, things feel pretty rough right now.  I’m still able to take a step back and see that none of this will lead to the end of the world, and my family is still immeasurably blessed in so many ways, but it still feels rough.  And maybe it would be a better idea to take a week and think of some better, more eloquent things to say about how I’ve failed but I’m not worried because I know there’s a plan for me and I just have to wait for it to reveal itself… but that doesn’t feel genuine.  So hold onto your butts – it’s about to get personal.

School has always been a bit of a confusing topic for me, considering I’ve been homeschooled since middle school and my curriculum has always been pieced together by online classes, in-person schools, and whatever extracurricular programs I found interesting that semester.  I’ve always enjoyed school and put a lot of work and time into it because I find it fun and challenging.  I also feel incredibly blessed because my parents have always supported me to do my best and work my hardest, but they’ve never pressured me to get certain grades or be a specific type of student.  I’ve grown up knowing that I can accomplish anything if I work hard enough at it and have faith that it’s in God’s plan for me.

Over the years, I’ve always known I wanted to go to college, and I’ve always aimed high.  In middle school, I dreamed of Oxford University, and at the beginning of high school, I became obsessed with Harvard.  Once I realized I wanted to study international affairs in college, I began researching schools in-state that would allow me to save money while still challenging myself academically and giving me opportunities to travel and seek internships.  Georgia Tech seemed like the perfect fit – I loved the location and the campus and hearing of all their study abroad and internship opportunities made me swoon.

Things were complicated by the fact I was graduating 2 years early and planning to take a gap year, but after months of communication, I finished my application and sent it in.  And I did not get accepted.  Well, not as a regular first-year freshman, at least.  Instead, they offered me admission through a new arts and sciences pathway program, essentially meaning I would take my gap year, go to another college for a year, and then transfer to Georgia Tech to finish college.

The only catch was I would have to take a calculus class at that first college in order to transfer to Tech, and I never took precalculus in high school.  So my options were: study precalculus over my gap year and attempt to pass an exam that would award me college credit so I could go to Tech, or find another college to go to altogether.  I chose to study precalculus, and that’s what I’ve been doing for the past 5 months.  I took the precalculus exam twice, once in May and again yesterday, and I failed both times.  I got the exact same score on both tests, and I missed the minimum score I needed by 4 points.

Math has always been a big source of stress in my life, and it’s always been the subject I score lowest in.  After failing the precalculus exam the first time, I started tutoring and committing more time each week to studying on my own so I could come back with a better chance of passing.  The past few months have been really stressful as a result of all the studying and the knowledge that if I didn’t pass the exam the second time around, Tech would very likely not be a possibility for me anymore.  I had panic attacks if I studied for too long or thought about the exam too much, and I struggled to keep track of all my commitments and balance my time between work, studying, and family.

I prayed really hard throughout this entire process – not for me to pass the exam, but for God’s will to be done, and for me to be able to accept the outcome, even if it wasn’t what I thought should happen.  I always found peace in turning the situation over to God, but once the day of the test came, I had a feeling I wouldn’t pass.  I can’t say I was surprised when I didn’t, but it still really hurt.  I feel like I wasted all the time and money my parents put into helping me.  I feel like I failed the people who tried to help me succeed.  I feel like I disappointed everyone who thought I could do it, and I feel like I disappointed myself.  I feel so dumb for not being able to go to the only college I really love because I failed one math exam.

I wish at this point I could turn around and say: “BUT, I know it’s all going to work out!”  And at the end of the day, I do know it’s going to work out.  I know God has a plan for me, and that this is just a painful part of it.  I know I shouldn’t stress myself out over the future because God’s got my back, and I just have to work hard and trust He’ll reveal His plans to me.  I believe all of that with all of my heart, but part of me does still feel like a failure and a disappointment, and I don’t think it would be fair of me to lie and say that I feel totally fine and at peace when I really feel like I have no idea what to do or where to go, and I don’t understand why things didn’t work out the way I wanted them to.

It’s hard for me to have perspective on this whole situation, especially because it’s happening at a time when a lot of my friends are moving out and starting journeys at their dream colleges.  I’m so very happy for and proud of each and every one of them, but there’s a part of me that feels a little bitter I’m not sharing the same exciting experiences as them.  And though things certainly didn’t work out how I hoped or planned they would, I wish I had more hindsight before I graduated high school to come up with a backup plan or at least put more research into other colleges before I threw all of my plans and expectations into going to Tech.

At this point, I don’t know what I’m going to do.  I don’t know where I’m going to go to college.  I’m torn between trying to go to the best college I can and stretching myself too thin by aiming for another school that may be out of reach.  I’m terrified of settling for a college just because it’s easy to get into or it’s close to home or all my friends are going there.  I want to make the most of my time in college, but I’m trying to understand that where I graduate from will not determine the trajectory or success of my future career.  I’m learning to accept the love and support that I’ve been so lucky to receive from my family and friends, even when it’s hard for me to believe any of it.  I’m trying to become aware of the fact that this experience is not life or death and I will end up where I’m supposed to be and as long as I pray and work hard and try my best, God will put me at the right school.

And now, I’m going to get out of bed, make myself some food, watch some episodes of The Office, and enjoy today for what it is: a fresh start, a moment to recover, a time to spend with loved ones, and an opportunity to see how blessed I am to have such a crazy, confusing, painful, exciting, thrilling, beautiful, messy life.

I’m Still Alive (But Barely)

Hi everyone – it’s been quite a while since we last talked… sorry about that.

This summer has absolutely flown by for me.  Between a full-time internship at CNN, studying for a looming college precalculus test, training for my upcoming thru-hike of the AT with several day/weekend-long backpacking trips, and trying to stitch together something resembling a social life, it’s been a busy 2 months.

As the summer comes to a close, I feel so incredibly blessed by all the opportunities, experiences, challenges, and unexpected surprises that emerged throughout the past few months.  Despite all the stress and running around, I’ve had a crazy fantastic time.

And from here on out, it’s only going to get cooler.

In a few weeks my family is headed to Colorado for 24 days of backpacking, exploring, and family time.  We’ve got a full agenda of activities and goals we plan to accomplish on our training trip/vacation, and I’m really excited to share all the adventures that will inevitably arise.

Before our big Colorado trip, I’m taking a weekend to work on a challenge I created for myself: hike Georgia’s 5 tallest mountains in 2 days.  3 mountains in one day and 2 the next.  Bonus: one of the mountains has no designated trail leading to the summit, which means I’ll get to try my hand at bushwhacking (hiking off-trail).

After that, I’m planning on dedicating more time to planning and prepping for my AT thru-hike next spring by gathering the rest of my gear and taking a few more solo backpacking trips.

One part of me thinks it would be nice to just take a week or two off and sit around in my pajamas watching movies all day.  But I’ve come to learn my brain and my body just aren’t programmed to sit around and do nothing.  Sometimes it gets exhausting and frustrating running around all the time, but I don’t regret any second of it.  If anything, all of the craziness only makes me appreciate the random peaceful moments I get even more.

So here’s to the end of a great summer and the beginning of an even better fall.  I wish you all the best of luck with your job and/or school responsibilities, and I encourage you to make time for your loved ones and for yourself.

I can’t wait to share all my upcoming adventures with you all!

Until then,
Lizzie

Gap Year Goals

Last weekend, I graduated high school.

My gap year has now officially begun and I’ve created some goals to work towards throughout the year before I begin college.  Check them out below!

Atlanta Botanical Gardens: After Dark

Last weekend, in celebration of Mother’s Day, my family ventured to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens to experience their “Chihuly in the Garden” exhibition at night.
My family actually first saw the Chihuly exhibition years ago at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, but seeing it a second time after dark was an even cooler experience.
All of the pieces were created by Dale Chihuly, who has been a glassblower since the 1960’s.  Chihuly’s pieces have been shown all over the world, and they don’t disappoint.  Each piece is so whimsy and colorful, and each part is so intricately crafted.
The fact that the exhibition was hosted at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens only made it more beautiful: the gardens are so extensive and well-manicured that they were the perfect setting for Chihuly’s unique pieces of art.
All in all, we had a fantastic, relaxing evening of strolling around the gardens at night.  After exploring the gardens, we rushed over to the nearest Whole Foods where we grabbed some vegan desserts (chocolate coffee cake and vegan brownie, you have my heart) and some surprisingly delicious non-dairy milk (Califia Farms Vanilla Protein Almond Milk is where it’s at!)

Take a look at some of my pictures from the night in the photo gallery below.