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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Unique and Must Try Dessert Places of Atlanta.

Atlanta or Hotlanta is not widely known as prime food destination just like LA or New York but it sure does offer some terrific food especially Desserts. It is up to us to hunt down some of the city`s interesting desserts and try them out, You do not have time to do so?? do not worry I have made your job easy and I am sure you will thank me later.

Unique and Must Try Dessert Places of Atlanta.

Sprinkles Cupcakes:

Sprinkles Cupcakes located at Lenox Mall Brookhaven offers best cupcakes, ice creams, drinks and that is not all, there is a uniqueness to this store. It serves you cupcakes 24/7 through Cupcake ATM. Yes!! you got ATM thing right. Pink ATM machine placed at the valet parking entrance looks just as pretty as the cupcakes they offer. So if you have a sweet tooth and crave for cupcakes then head to Sprinkles Cupcakes ATM, Swipe your card, withdraw and savor any number of cupcakes filled with deliciousness.
Location: Lenox Mall, Brookhaven.

Sprinkles Cupcakes
Cupcake ATM, Sprinkles Cupcakes.

Sweet Hut:

Oh Boy, What do I say about Sweet Hut?? This place has something for every taste bud. They offer a wide selection of sweet and savory baked products like curry puff, donuts, pastries, tarts, milk buns, bubble teas and more. This is my go-to place for fresh baked stuff and staff is always on alert to place next batch of fresh products to satisfy the demands of an overwhelming crowd. I always visit this place to buy milk cheese bun and coconut tarts but as soon as I go around the store with a tray and spatula, I end up buying more than what I can eat and that's the charm of this place. Apart from famous baked goods and bubble drinks, they offer sweet hut gift cards, t-shirts. Another interesting fact about Sweet Hut is giving back to society, they took an initiative to support the community by giving away $1,000 scholarship to a deserving student for a two year in a row.
Location: Doraville, Georgia.

Amorino Gelato:

Paris inspired/Italian Gelato place serves varieties of sorbet, macaroons, milkshakes, crepes, waffles, gelato, hot and cold drinks without any use of artificial color or floors. I ordered myself a classic size cone gelato and stood to stare at the different flavors through glass freezer and minute later, I choose the combination of flavors with some sample tasting. Artist/Employee carefully crafted layers of ice cream as petals of rose and served with a tiny a spoon and it tasted fresh, tasty and unique.
Pets are welcome at Amerino Gelato(It is a pet-friendly store) in fact they provide tiny treats for pets which is absolutely free.
Location: The Shops Buckhead Atlanta.
Insider Tip: Make sure you get the parking stamp on your receipt to claim free parking.

Gelato Ice Cream
Amerino Gelato.

Tous Les Jours:

Tous Les Jours is an Asian/South Korean bakery franchise. It is a cute little store which offers both Korean and French-inspired desserts like buns, bread, cornets, pies, pastries and unique Korean donuts like red bean donuts, sweet rice donuts, sesame donuts and more. They showcase Korean culture through the desserts they offer and I just loved the way how they incorporate food and tradition together. I visited this place for custard buns from time to time back in Texas and I continue doing the same in Atlanta too. Taste remains the same, light and mouthwatering but the varieties they offer vary because they have their menu curated based on the location and demand.
Location: Doraville, Georgia.
Insider Tip: Usually located at the HMart grocery store.

King of Pops:

King Of Pops Cart
King Of Pops.
I have seen King Of Pops store as well as carts few times at different places(Beltline, Ponce City Market) spread throughout the city of Atlanta but, did not get a chance to taste it. The other day,
I was resting after a walk at the Atlanta Belt-line and saw King Of Pops all over again so my husband decides to try KOP(King Of Pops) Popsicle so he brought strawberry lemonade popsicle and we just loved it. The tanginess and the real feel of strawberries were so addictive that we ended up buying more and more. They do not just sell popsicle at different places in the city they also deliver them to your address. All you need to do is place an order by selecting the flavors you love and they ship the box of pops to your address so you can either stock it up or send it to a family member/friend. Not just that you can also book King Of Pops cart to be present at the events you host, buy KOP gift tokens and KOP accessories like hats, t-shirts and more.
Location: Ponce Market, Atlanta.

Sublime Doughnuts:

Tired of eating classic donuts? Then you must visit this place called Sublime Doughnuts. They offer a unique and vast range of fluffy donuts, croissants, and donuts burgers/ice cream burgers at an affordable price. Oreo Burger(Donuts burger with Oreo ice-cream as stuffing, coated with crushed Oreo and vanilla fondant) and Peach Extravaganza(Peach fritters filled with peach caramel sauce and served with sorbet as well as sauteed peaches) are famous among the crowd but my favorite is Fresh Strawberry N Cream, Donuts filled with fresh cream and strawberry slices.
Location: North Druid Hills, Atlanta.

Roll It Up Ice Cream:

It is a great spot to enjoy Asian themed creamiest ice creams in Atlanta. As the name suggests, they roll up ice cream and serve them in a cup with selected toppings and add on's but what's fun is watching the process of your ice cream being made. Roll It Up Ice Cream store offers both liquid nitrogens and roll up ice creams and I love them both, it's just that liquid nitrogen version blends all the selected ingredients while in the roll it up version you can taste the chunks.
Location: Doraville, Atlanta.

Roll It Up Ice Cream
Roll It Up Ice Cream.

Hokulia Shave Ice:

This store offers authentic Hawaiian inspired Shave Ice. These snow cones come in 3 different sizes with multiple flavors and add on's to choose from and you can also ask for your favorite scoop of ice-cream to be placed at the center of shave ice. What else does one need to beat Hotlanta's(Atlanta's) summer other this refreshing ice cream/shaved ice?? Delightful flavors, huge portions, hut, tables, friendly staff everything about this store is exciting and beautiful.
Location: Atlanta, Georgia.

Desserts are the most wonderful treats on this planet, don't you agree? It has the power to console a teary kid, cool you off during a hot day, relieves your stress, helps to share happiness, plays a major part in celebrating success and much more. Do leave a comment if you love sweet treats/desserts, Happy Sweet-Eating guys.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Must Visit Attractions in Washington DC

Capital of The United States of America, Washington D.C.(Formerly known as District of Columbia) is formed using the donated land from neighboring states Virginia and Maryland and is named after Americas first president George Washington.
Washington is of one the very well planned places in the World, Most of the attractions are located around the National Mall which makes navigation very easy for tourists. City offers dozens of tourist attractions and it can be overwhelming to narrow down so here is the list of must visit attractions you should visit when in Washington DC.

United States Capitol:

This significant and architecturally stunning building is the home of the United States Congress. It is a place where laws are written by lawmakers of the nation and over the centuries Capitol has housed meeting chambers of the senates and house of representatives.
As a Art lover, I was captivated by impressive designs of the building than the congress meets and history about the law making. Most striking feature about the Capitol is the stunning interiors, paintings, white painted cast iron Dome and 19.6 feet bronze Statue of Freedom at the top.
Entry Fee: Free
Timings: 8:30 a.m – 4:30 p.m(Mon-Sat).
Tip: Plan and make an online reservation well in advance.

State Capitol
State Capitol

White House:

White House is official residence and workplace of country's president. This home of every president of the USA is always in the news through out the world and each decision made in this house is crucial not just for the USA but for the entire world.
Inside tour of White House is open for public on first come first serve basis and you need to reserve your spot no less than 21 days in advance. Every tourist of Washington D.C wishes to see and take a picture of this classical building atleast from the distance.
Entry Fee: Free.
Timings: 7:30 a.m – 4 p.m.

Washington National Cathedral:

This Noe-Gothic, Cathedral church is one of the largest churches in the United States, it took 83 years to build this artistic church. Just like other monuments in Washington DC this church is filled with artistic details like sculptures, carvings, colored mosaics, metal frames. South side of church is attached to Bishops Garden filled with greenery and fish pond.
Entry Fee: Free for sightseeing.
Timings: 10 a.m - 5 p.m.

National Cathedral
National Cathedral

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum:

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is popularly known as worlds largest Museum consisting of hundreds of air and spacecrafts. It is home for the original first successful heavier than air powered flight 1903 Wright Brothers Flyer other than that Museum is filled native aircraft's used in World War I and  World War II. It is center for research and offers several interactive and educational exhibits to get an insight of how things fly, how jet engines work etc, orbits, space discovery and more. Irrespective of age, If you or your kid is into aviation stuff then this place is all you need.
Entry Fee: Free.
Timings: 10 a.m - 5:30 p.m.

Lincoln Memorial:

It is a monument built to honor the impact of a former(16th) President of The United States of America Abraham Lincoln, As you walk/drive towards Lincoln memorial you will realize Lincoln Memorial is located at the end of the National Mall.
It is a building in the form of Greek Doric temple containing 19 foot seated marble sculpture of Abraham Lincoln. Memorial`s Wall is surrounded by 36 columns depicting 36 states existed during Lincolns death.
When i visited Washington D.C for the first time i was focused only on avoiding the crowd and taking a picture of Lincolns statue, Only at my second visit i was able to Find Martin Luther's engraving, understand the historical architecture details of Lincoln Memorial and appreciate the view from the stairs of Lincoln Memorial.
Entry Fee: Free.
Timings: Open 24 Hours.

Abraham Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC
Abraham Lincoln Memorial

The Washington Monument:

Washington Monument is the tallest(555 foot) freestanding all stone structure in the world. When you carefully stare Washington Monument you will notice color changes and that is because the construction was put to halt couple of times for years due to political and funds issues. Monument is surrounded by 50 American flags representing 50 states of America. You can take elevator to reach the very top of the monument enjoy the view and make your way down whenever you are done.
Entry Fee: Free.
Timings: 9 a.m - 5 p.m.

Thomas Jefferson Memorial:

It is a presidential memorial dedicated to Thomas Jefferson.
19 Foot bronze statue of Thomas Jefferson is located at the center of the Dome building, located by coloumns and circular shaped marble steps. Memomorial Building is Surrounded by water, National Malls Tidal Basin(Large body of water bordered by Washington DC`s Cherry Blossom).
Entry Fee: Free.
Timings: Open 24 hours.

National World War II Memorial:

It is a Memorial dedicated to Americans who served as a part of armed forces during World War II and sacrificed their life for the country.
As you walk through the memorial, You will be welcomed by the fountain surrounded by 56 tall granite arranged in semi circle order and these tall granite symbolizes unity among 48 states, District of Columbia and 7 federal territories.
Freedom wall, northern and southern arch, pool every thing has a meaning and it is built very artfully. After getting an insight about the memorial you can sit by the pool and relax for a while before heading towards the next spot.
Entry Fee: Free.
Timings: 9:30 a.m - 10 p.m.

National World War II  Memorial
National World War II  Memorial

Supreme Court of United States:

Just like any other Supreme Courts in the world, It is open for public. You can tour the court and also attend free lectures about the history of the building and If there is any session and you are early then you can reserve a spot for yourself and watch case being argued.
Entry Fee: Free.
Timings: 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m(Mon-Fri).

Tidal Basin:

It is 107 acre and 10 feet deep reservoir between Washington Channel and Potomac River. Several monuments and memorials that are worth seeing are located around the Tidal Basin and
during spring, you get to see beautiful white-pink cherry blossoms around Tidal Basin.
I got a chance to witness cherry blossoms around tidal basin along with a group of friends during last spring and i thoroughly enjoyed the view, weather, reflection of memorial and cherry blossom on Tidal Basin waters.
Entry Fee: Free
Timings: Open 24 hours.

Cherry Blossom around Tidal Basin
Cherry Blossom around Tidal Basin

You still have time after covering the places above?? then go visit a National Zoo, Botanical Garden, Spy Museum, Newseum, Library of congress, Korean War Veterans Museum, Museum of African Art.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

10 Ultimate places to visit with kids in Atlanta.

Atlanta is not just known for its traffic and busiest airport, It is also known for its diverse culture and popular attractions like "Georgia Aquarium: The largest aquarium in the world", "World of Coca-Cola: Only place in the world one get to learn about Coke" and various other indoor and outdoor family attractions and one will never run out of things to see and do in Atlanta.

Here are some of the Kid Friendly/Family Friendly places in Atlanta, Georgia:

1. Georgia Aquarium:

Aquarium located in Downtown, Atlanta is the worlds largest aquarium housing more than tens of thousands of sea creatures ranging from puffins to whale sharks.
Stop at the front desk, check schedules for dolphin presentation, beluga interaction, under the broad walk, behind the sea tour etc so your kid gets to see every show aquarium offers and while you are there spot TINY DOOR ATL located at the aquarium. (Click here to know more about Tiny Door
It is one of the best places where a kid/parent not only gets entertained but also educated about the aquatic life and its creatures, so do plan a visit to Georgia Aquarium.
Entry Fee:30$(Changes according to date and time you opt).

Georgia Aquarium
Georgia Aquarium

2. Stone Mountain Park:

Located on 3200 acres land and 25 miles away from Downtown, Atlanta is Stone Mountain Park. It is one of Georgia's very popular attraction featuring activities for all age and is open year round. The fun never ends at Stone Mountain Park where you can enjoy numerous activities with your kids like  sky ride/go hiking to reach top of the mountain, walk through the museum to know the history after kids see and enjoy the stone carving so they get an insight, Experience levels of indoor fun and games at dinotorium,take 20 mins scenic rail ride which departs every 30 minutes, Watch a show at 4D theater,teach kids golfing at the mini golf park,go on Ride The Duck tour(a vehicle that goes on both land & water),enjoy adventurous attractions like sky-hike, geyser towers and rock climbing. Apart from these activities, you can opt for Sunset pass and where you get to enjoy access to park attractions after 4 PM till closing and then watch spectacular laser show featuring taping music, lasers, fireworks and lights at night.
There are multiple snack and food joints throughout the park to keep your family energized and hydrated, so you do not have to worry about packing food.
Entry Fee: No entry fee but you need to pay for the attractions.
Insider Tip: Just want to go on hiking with kids then you can park your vehicle on the streets for free about 0.5 miles away otherwise pay 15$ and avoid 2 miles walkway back with your kids.

3. Peach Picking:

There is nothing more satisfying than picking your own seasonal sweet and juicy peaches. With all the numerous peach farms in this Peach State Georgia, It is not difficult to find the ones which offer U-Pick so select one of the farms, call them to confirm and go on peach picking with your family and kids.
Choose the basket and allow kids to go around and pick their own peaches which helps in boosting child's confidence and also get a feel of nature, trees, and fruits and once done with peach picking get yourself indulged with treats like peach jam, jellies, pies, cake, ice cream etc farm market offers.
Some of the U-Pick peach farm at Georgia are Jaemor Farms(Alto), Southern Belle Farm(McDonough).
Entry Fee: No entry fee but you need to pay for the basket you choose.
Parking: Free
Insider Tip: This is a seasonal picking so make sure you call them and inquire about the U-Pick event.

Peach Picking at Jaemor Farms
Peach Picking at Jaemor Farms

4. Center for Puppetry Arts:

This creative world of Puppetry Museum located in Midtown is the largest organization dedicated to puppetry in the United States and also it is told that this is one of the very few puppet museums in the world. The museum features Global Collection and Jim Henson's Collection where kids get to view iconic puppets like Miss Figgy, Kermit The Frog and other vast range of puppets from around the world and also Enjoy top quality shows and performances provided by the Museum for kids to enjoy.
Entry Fee: $12.50
Parking: Free

5. Atlanta Zoo:

This 40 acres Atlanta Zoo located 10 mins away from downtown offers something for everyone. Well everybody know for a fact that Zoo is a place where wide range of wildlife creatures are caged and placed throughout and what makes Atlanta zoo bit different is that it is one of the very few zoos which loans giant Pandas from China and are open for public, One can go watch them play, eat and sleep at very short distance. Other best thing is The Ford African Rain Forest, Land covered with giant tree house dedicated for all ages and breeds of gorillas is a feast for kids.
If you have or the kids have thirst to get a closer look at pandas, lions, tortoise, elephant, and lemur then book behind the scenes experience and trust me kids will love it and also be prepared for after effect cause your kid might want to take an animal/reptile home as a pet after a zoo visit.
Not just encountering animals/reptiles like snakes, fish, lion, giraffe etc, Zoo also offers a playground for kids, conducts occasional events like zoo yoga, camps, and trek which makes Atlanta Zoo a perfect place for creating long-lasting experiences.
Entry Fee:Adult-22.99$, Kids-16.99$
Parking: Free
Insider Tip:1. If on-site parking is full, You have plenty of free street parking too.
2. Do not pay full price for a ticket either Groupon it/buy group tickets/opt for city pass.

Atlanta Zoo
Atlanta Zoo

6. Strawberry Picking:

I have sneaked around my grandparent's field during my summer holidays couple of times(with or without my parent's permission is secondary though) and I cherish every minute detail about my field trips throughout my life. Kids love strawberries and taking them to a strawberry field will help them understand what harvesting is and how much hard work it takes to savor a fresh cup of strawberries. So do plan a visit to strawberry/peach picking farm so you can make as many memories as possible and treasure them for a lifetime.
Some of the U-Pick berry farm at Georgia are Warbington Farms(Cumming), Washington Farms(Loganville).
Entry Fee: No entry fee but you need to pay for the basket you choose.
Parking: Free
Insider Tip: This is a seasonal picking so make sure you call them and inquire about the U-Pick event.

7. Centennial Olympic Park:

The crowd gathers at this 21 acre Centennial Olympic Park to enjoy a laid-back evening and adore the major Atlanta's landmarks. It was built for 1996 Olympic games and you will realize it immediately by looking at the flags as well as Olympic rings as you walk through the paves of the park. A major feature of this park "Fountain of Rings" It is an interactive fountain synchronized with lights and music surrounded by flags of various Olympic hosted countries. It is designed for kids to enjoy the splash of the dancing fountain for similar tunes and it is absolutely free.
Entry Fee: Absolutely Free.
Parking: No parking available on site.
Insider Tip: There is private parking as well as street parking so choose wisely based on your condition.

Centennial Olympic Park
Centennial Olympic Park

8. Piedmont Park:

Apart from the trail and multiple free events, the park offers numerous educational and fun activities for kids like:
1.Mayors Grove Playground and Noguchi Playscape: Allow kids to run around the park and learn some social skills and let your little ones play till they are tired while you relax on the bench and also keep an eye on your kid.
2. Stop by to play at the Legacy Fountain Splash Pad with your kids and get drenched while enjoying the music and lights.
3. Allow your kid to take a dip at the aquatic public swimming pool located at the Piedmont Park.
4. Teach your cutie pie how to fish at the renovated Clara Meer Pond located under the bridge.
5. Enroll your kid for a monthly bird walks to explore various kinds of birds sponsored by Atlanta Audubon Society.
6. Go on a trail with your little ones and hunt Tiny Door ATL on Atlanta belt line.
(Click here to know more about Tiny Door
Park is open from 6am to 11pm and offers quite a lot of activities for all ages, so stroll around the park to explore and make use of it.
Entry Fee: Free
Parking:$1 for every 30 minutes.

9. Children's Museum of Atlanta:

Museum designed for children is located in downtown Atlanta adjacent to Centennial Olympic Park. This educational indoor playground allows kids to learn through interactive learning zones and as a parent make sure you gather information about the exhibits from the facility so you can guide your kids better. Museum offers a creative area, building area, science lab, experience and learn the area and more helping your little ones to use their imagination and ideas of their own.
Entry Fee: $15.95
Parking: $2 for every 20 mins.

Children's Museum Atlanta
Children's Museum Atlanta

10. Lego-land Discovery Center Atlanta:

Last year when I was on road trip with my best friend and family, her son continuously spoke about how he likes playing Lego, the sets he owns and after a while, I just felt WOW! did I just finish a seminar about Lego conducted by a 5-year-old?? That is how much kids appreciate Lego and If your kid is similar to my friends five-year-old then Lego-land Discovery Center for Atlanta located at the Phipps Plaza Mall in Buckhead is the ultimate place. There are 12 awesome family attractions in Lego-land and some of them include:
*Mini-land: Where you get to experience spectacular miniature, moving vehicles and light which goes off and on to give Miniature/Mini-land a touch of day and night.
*Pirate Adventure land: Pirate themed Lego play area where your little ones can build a ship of their own using their imagination.
*Lego 4D Cinema: As the name states your kid will get to watch Lego movies with additional effects of rain, wind, and snow.
Entry Fee:$20.95
Parking: Mall parking is free.
Insider Tip: Buy tickets online for 12$ and no food allowed inside Lego-land center.

Now that you know all the fun stuff to do in Atlanta, Georgia. Let me suggest you check fellow explorer's blog who has compiled a list of the best Airbnb places to stay.

Click on the link for more information:

Here is the sight of one of the recommended Airbnb places you can stay in.
Airbnb place to stay like a local in Atlanta.

Sounds fun? Then do drop your comment below and yes happy outing with your little one.