Thanksgiving in the South

Thanksgiving in the South

I have a strong love for the south. My entire family, besides my parents, reside in the south ranging from Texas to Florida. This year I had the pleasure of spending the Thanksgiving holiday with family in Georgia! My Aunt and Uncle live in a small town outside of Atlanta called Roswell, Georgia and I am absolutely head over heels in love with it. It was about a four-hour direct flight from Phoenix, and an hour train ride into Roswell. The train I took goes from the airport and makes multiple stops all over the city and suburbs of Atlanta. It is called MARTA, and it is soooo helpful especially during the holiday season when the airport is  congested. Australia made me grow to love public transportation and since I have yet to experience a lot of it yet in the United States this was a nice change.

Atlanta in the fall is gorgeous. Unlike Colorado, where I was about a month ago, it is still full of vibrant colors adorning the tree branches, mild temperatures, and sunny skies. For Colorado the leaves had all fallen by mid-October, so you could say I was pleasantly surprised by this difference. I loved that I got to experience the hustle and bustle of the city while also being able to escape to the suburbs in Roswell. It made it feel very holiday like, but not to the point where it was being thrown in my face.

Besides the normal Thanksgiving eating and football watching, we had a couple of other fun activities we did while there for the week. We went down to Canton Street, which has to be my favorite place in Georgia because I am a huge shopper and I love the vibe of the area. Canton Street is essential a street full of restaurants and small businesses. It’s got an old timey feel that I love while being very authentic and unique. I shopped at a different couple places that all had great small gifts for Christmas and my mom went crazy for all of her work friends there. They were all moderately priced and all high-quality gifts down on Canton Street.

 

We also went to the Georgia State and Georgia Tech football game. My cousin is a senior at Georgia Tech on the football team and I have yet to have to opportunity to watch him, so this was an incredible treat to get to watch his team play. I got to watch his final home game and really be a part of the whole friends and family cheering on a loved one experience.

Besides those two activities and a lot of relaxation, we went to the local movie theater and saw Wonder which was such a cute and uplifting family movie.

Now on to the good stuff… food! We are a pretty ordinary family when it comes to our Thanksgiving food, but I will let you in on what we had this year that was a little bit different. Before we had Thanksgiving dinner we had Broccoli Cheddar Soup. It was absolutely delicious, and not too filling that it ruins your dinner. We had it around three in the afternoon and our dinner at six.

Our nontraditional dessert was Oreo Balls. I spent the entire weekend eating these bad boys like popcorn, and they are so easy to make. I will include some good recipes below for both, and my favorite pie recipes.

It was a great holiday with friends and family and I absolutely loved wandering around the streets of Atlanta in my Ranch Bucket, don’t you worry Georgia I will be back!

Xx

Gabi

Oreo Balls

Pumpkin Pie

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Ranch Bucket Hats

Bondi Beach Sydney Review

Bondi Beach Sydney Review

Sydney was my all-time favorite place to visit in Australia, and I have a multitude of stories and places to share from there. I was afraid it was going to be just like any other city and nothing unique, but oh was I very wrong. We stayed in Bondi Beach, which is world renowned and absolutely incredible. I went with five of my girlfriends and we stayed in a hostel this time instead of an airb&b.

The hostel we stayed in is called Bondi Backpackers. They were reasonably priced for being a hostel, and it was clean (all important things to me). They have private rooms for six, so lucky us we all got to be together. They offer a lot of different perks that you can participate in as well. These include sunrise yoga, kickboxing, and different meal opportunities. They also rent out towels and have included Wifi, which most hostels do not so this made the stay more enjoyable as well. It was a great place to stay and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to stay in Bondi where it is less busy and closer to the beach instead of the hustle and bustle of the city.

If you do decide to stay in Bondi or even take a trip down there, I highly suggest taking a casual stroll down the street in the morning to Parisi Juice Bar. It is not even a five-minute walk and they have the best fresh pressed juices I have ever had. They also had a bagel shop around the corner, and if you are American and have been to Australia, you know how rare it is to find bagels in Australia, especially good ones.

The Iceberg Pool is an iconic Instagram spot… but here is a little secret, it’s overrated. It is a really small pool and only makes for good picture opportunities during high tide when the water is splashing up into the pool. Don’t get me wrong it is beautiful, but it is hard to find a time to get a good picture with high tide and it not being super crowded. If you are going for that picture-perfect Instagram then give it your best, but otherwise a casual stroll by it will do just fine and will save you a lot of time and energy.

Next there is the Bondi Beach Walk. The walk is a great exercise and should be alright for any age level to participate. It is kind of a long walk so definitely wear comfy shoes, but it is absolutely breathtaking and has many stopping points to check out along the way. Many people run the path and there are dogs all over, which I honestly did not see many of during my Australia travels. All of the dogs were a breath of fresh air. There are great beaches to stop at, monument marks, and great picture opportunities. The only part I did not like is the large portion that is a walk through a cemetery, purely because cemeteries give me the creeps. Besides that, this is a must do so carve out a good portion of the day to do so.

My final suggestion for my Bondi Beach goers, do your research on your food places. Long story short, with my groups lack of research we ended up in some pretty intriguing places and not necessarily intriguing in a good way. Boy did it make for some funny stories though!

Xx

Gabi

Hostel

Juice Bar

Some Pictures from the Trip! Iceberg Pool, Bondi Beach Walk, Parisi Juice Bar, and explored parts of Bondi!

 

 

Continued Review Bali

Continued Review Bali

Today I thought I would do a more in-depth review of specific things in Bali. I had many requests about a more detailed review on restaurants and activities I liked in Bali, so I created a list of all the best places I would recommend on your trip to Bali.

RESTAURANTS

Sisterfields: This is a great place for brunch. They have an excellent menu with pristine presentation for those of you who are interested in aesthetically pleasing, Instagram-worthy food. I recommend getting a juice; they were delicious, homemade, and came in the cutest little bottles. Sisterfields is located in the heart of Seminyak, so right after you eat you can head out on the town and shop.

http://sisterfields.com/

Motel Mexicola: We went to this eccentric restaurant for dinner on our last night. The environment is unparalleled to any other place I have been. There is a bar area, dance floors, and an upstairs. There is always music playing and you just want to get up and dance the whole time you are there. This is the place you want to go when you need a fun night out. The menu is similar to most Mexican restaurants you probably have already been to, but for me Mexicola was all about the experience not necessarily the food.

http://www.motelmexicolabali.com/

 

Lacalaca: Another Mexican restaurant that I attended my first night in Bali. It was only a short walk from our place and was a more low-key version of Motel Mexicola. I would advise going here on a night you want Mexican food but less of a crowd to deal with during your meal.

https://www.lacalongtime.com/lacalaca-cantina-mexicana

 

SPAS

All of the spas I looked into were extremely booked up and most did not take walk in appointments. I would highly suggest booking these before you even make your way to Bali, since it was a pain attempting to call and contact them as well since my number was not Balinese.

The Prana: The spa I did get to attend was The Prana and it was breathtaking. The architecture was so unique and made you feel like you were royalty. I did a body scrub and a flower bath – a flower bath had been on my bucket list for a while. They exceeded my expectations, and they had the best lemon ginger tea. I would book there again given the chance and maybe try out some different treatments.

Most of the massages and treatments I had done during this trip were by people who came to our Airbnb through a service provided. It was always cheap and they did such a good job, so I would recommend looking into the services offered where you are staying.

ACTIVITIES

 

Monkey Forest: This is in Ubud, which was relatively far away from where I was staying in Seminyak. It was hands down the coolest experience I have had and well worth the drive. Contrary to rumors, the monkeys are not dangerous and do not carry diseases that cause fatalities. Although there will always be freak accidents and exceptions to this, the forest is popular and known to be safe. Bananas are cheap to buy and the monkeys are friendly. Make sure all of your belongings that are important to you are put away safety or left in the car because we had one monkey UNZIP my friends backpack. They are such smart creatures.

https://www.monkeyforestubud.com/

Hanging Gardens: This is actually a hotel/spa outside Ubud. We thought you could just go there and check out the grounds, but you cannot. If you use the spa services for the day though you get full access. We opted to eat lunch there and look over the property which was absolutely stunning and well worth the money spent even though we could not get into the pool or go too far into the property.

https://hanginggardensofbali.com/

Potato Head: This is a beach club resort. It has free entry and pool access that also leads down to the beach. It has a cool location and is a fun place to hang with friends. I loved the pool, but I was not obsessed with the location of the beach.

https://www.ptthead.com/beach-club-in-bali/

 

TEMPLES

Tanah Lot: This temple was so unique, it stands alone in the water and you can only walk to it through water at low tides. There are tons of cool things surrounding it to do including markets and food shops. It all is just enthralling to look at and the temple itself is mesmerizing. I loved the flowers they gave out and the location is just absolutely breathtaking.

http://www.tanahlot.net/home/

 

WHAT I WISH I HAD DONE

Lake Batur: I have heard so many good things about this place, from the hiking, the nature, and the lake itself. Unfortunately, due to time constraints and the volcanic activity I was unable to get over there because of safety concerns.

http://www.greenerbali.com/batur.html

 

Ulun Danu Bratan Temple: This temple was also closed due to Mount Agung and it’s sensitive volcanic activity to my dismay.

http://www.baligoldentour.com/ulun-danu-temple.php