Coosa River Kayaking Trip

With the colder weather coming in, it was time for me to organize another kayaking trip while the water was still warm. We went to bed early the night before so we could be ready to head to Wetumpka, AL for the early trip starting at 9:30am. Ever since I discovered kayaking, Coosa River Adventures has been my favorite place to rent from. The staff are so friendly and helpful and it’s only $29 to rent a one person kayak for the entire day. Coolers and dry boxes packed, we had a blast out on the water all day! The water temperature was absolutely perfect! I also spoke with the owner and he told me that the water should stay a great temperature until Thanksgiving so this may not be the very last trip of the season!

165905_10153284533625506_966577453_nOur group getting ready to set out on the water

1383414_674299027520_1563397752_nSetting out on a gorgeous day!!

1383671_674281602440_1599121660_nThe boy wanted to jump off of this rock but the water level was a little low this time around

1381234_674298942690_1614983614_nOne of the best things about the Coosa is that you can really take your time. Here we are stopped for a break and being silly


1383379_674298907760_1325684108_n (1)It was really nice being the seasoned veteran of the river this trip. I did manage to fall in a couple of times and I’ve sure got the “Coosa Tattoos” to show for it!!

Can’t wait to organize one more trip this year!!

Maltitude Grand Opening

Last Friday was the grand opening for Malitude, Columbus’ first craft beer and wine specialty store!


Located on the main strip of Broadway, this dog friendly beer and wine shop is an awesome new addition to the growing Downtown scene. With bike stands, build your own six-pack stations, and the first growler filling/refilling store (to my knowledge) in C-Town, Maltitude already has the ability to attract customers from all different walks of life. The staff are super friendly and knowledgeable and didn’t look down on me at all for not being a craft beer connoisseur.

IMG_4413[1]I absolutely adore the dog drinking station! It was really awesome getting to see people bring in their pups instead of leaving them out on the sidewalk. Got me thinking that now all we need is a dog park nearby!

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We wandered around looking at everything and eventually decided on one of the mix and match six-packs. Even ran into some old friends at the register!  After check out, we decided to head out to streets to enjoy our brews while listening to the Outdoor Concert Series.

I can already tell that this new store is quickly going to become a Columbus favorite!


Labor Day Escape to Atlanta Part 1

Sometimes, when things get hard, the best thing you can do is run away from it all. Well not really but sometimes it’s fun to do anyway!

I decided that a getaway was just what I needed and with it being a holiday weekend,I had more than enough time to head up to Atlanta for some barhopping and best friend fun.

First stop on the list was the Clermont Lounge. Before the trip, I had done a little research on this bar by checking out the website and watching a video featuring the likes of Anthony Bourdain and Alton Brown.


Located underneath what looks to be an old abandoned building, the Clermont is a seedy little strip club filled with young and old alike. Drinks were cheap and cash was the only currency accepted. Ladies from ages 28 to 67 danced around the circular bar and plied their trade using fire, glow sticks, and strange bodily movements. Signs hung from every wall warning against picture taking so unfortunately I was unable to get any of the inside. My favorite part of the experience was getting to speak to one of the girls who’d worked there for 20 years. At 67 years old and clothed in an Alice in Wonderland costume, she was spry and funny as well as unashamed of the toll that age had taken on her body. I told her that this had to be the greatest strip joint I’d ever had the pleasure to be in and that I loved how imperfect yet at ease all of the ladies looked on stage. Then someone paid her to give a lap dance to a very uncomfortable young girl and our conversation was over. I have decided that I’d like to be taken back here for my birthday in April.

Next we meet up with some other friends at Sister Louisa’s CHURCH of the Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium.


Every inch of this dive bar is decorated in iconic, religious or satiric imagery. Visually assaulted by the strange decor, we grabbed our cheap PBR’s and made our way outside to the beer garden-esque wooden tables.  The place was crowded with hipsters and thirsty youths. I’m sure there was more to this establishment, I just wasn’t able to located how to get to the rest of the building!



One of the doors read, “Every time you exit here, Jesus kills a kitten”. 

Next we drove to this funky and eclectic place in East Atlanta Village called Argosy. The place was huge and comfortable inside with dark wood, caged lights, and tons of seating options. I grabbed a seat at the bar and attempted to order a Bud Light. Apparently, they have a special where if you buy two draft brews, you receive a free pizza. I didn’t get one of my own but was lucky enough to try a piece and that pizza is absolutely AMAZING! Since I’ve gotten back to town, I’ve done a little research on this place and it looks like they have an awesome menu. I’ll definitely be going back there at some point in the future to try everything else but until then, check out their Facebook:

We ended the night at gay bar called Mary’s. Since it was kind of late, it wasn’t extremely busy and was mostly memorable because I twisted my ankle in my darling wedges and gained a skinned knee. Then upstairs near the extra restrooms, a saloon style door swung back and hit me directly above my eye.


So I decided to take my limping, swollen, slightly intoxicated butt home and get some rest.


Or order Chinese food. Whatever. 

Good Vibes Gathering

First off, I’d like to tell you that I certainly do not consider myself a hippie in any way. I do, however, enjoy dressing up in costumes and blending in with the natives.


“Blending In”

With that in mind, I’d been planning on going to an event in Pine Mountain called The Good Vibes Gathering. Good Vibes is a free music and art festival where everyone is accepted and all work for is done on a volunteer basis.

After seeing last years’ Facebook profiles of friends in headbands, covered in flowers and dancing, and general wallowing about in the grass, there was no way I was going to miss this year.

Then the rain sky opened up and rain began to fall. ALL. WEEKEND. LONG.

On Sunday I decided that I’d had enough and I hadn’t spent $4 on this headband for nothing so I packed up my waterproof picnic blanket, grabbed my cooler of beer, and prepared myself for whatever I’d discover.


There weren’t tons of people about but rain has a tendency to put a damper things so I wasn’t completely surprised. I really enjoyed all of the handmade decorations and the ingenuity that went into creating them. As a not very creative person, I found myself amazed by the simple beauty of fabric banners and silk scarf tents. Cute little stations were set up if you found the need for things you’d forgotten and reminded me of a “sharing is caring” point of view that, in this busy world, we tend to neglect.

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There were a few vendors still there selling all types of handmade items. I saw gorgeous pieces of jewelry and headbands, clay-ware and t-shirts, even “soul” readings, as one sign pronounced. Artists brought their wares as well and even invited others to help “create” by adding their own creative juices to a piece. I added a tiny cartoon lion face to the below piece of furniture for the sole reason that I though it needed one. The owner of this awesome exhibit stated the following about it:

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“I also love the symbolism I take from the top right “we still love Good Vibes, even in the rain.”

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this little “hippie” adventure and loved meeting all of the nice people who helped make something like is possible. I’ll just pray next year doesn’t rain so I can spend the whole weekend taking in the “Good Vibes” beneath the sunny sky and lush foliage!


House on the plantation property Boyfriend had to check out before leaving.  See more about this great property at:

Vietnamese Cuisine or No Thank You, Tripe

A new Vietnamese restaurant recently opened downtown and I’d been dying to try it out. I have this problem, you see. I absolutely LOVE trying new/strange/interesting foods. So far my adventurous palate has only led me astray once (whatever you do, do not order a steak tartare burger when hungover) and I was itching to try something new.


The egg rolls were heavenly! 


I’m a huge fan of soups and picked this one out from menu within minutes. I decided to go with a combination of meats, including everything but the chicken and shrimp. The broth was  sinfully savory and the vegetables perfectly complemented it. The meat was thinly sliced and, to be honest, I wished held more flavor. No problem though as someone left a jar of hoisin on our table to help up the flavor. First bite of tripe that I discovered was passed over to my boyfriend for a taste with a few words of encouragement, “Don’t worry! It’s great!”. In hindsight, he took that taste pretty well compared to me.

If you are unsure of what this is, tripe (as defined by Wikipedia) is a type of edible offal from the stomachs of various farm animals. It was chewy, strangely textured, and looking at it had started to make me slightly green around the gills. After this initial taste, I found myself picking every single bite out. NO THANK YOU.

While it may be a while until I’m ready to place another piece of cow stomach into my mouth, I’m really glad that I was brave enough to try something new.


Enjoy the Ride


Tuesday night is Group Ride Night in downtown Columbus hosted by the local bike shop Ride on Bikes. Check out their Facebook to guess how many people will show up. Winner gets a Fat Tire beer!

Every Tuesday at 6:30pm a group of up to about 150 people begin cruising the blocked off streets and historic River Walk for a scenic ride that extends almost all the way to Oxbow Meadows.

I’ve done this ride three times now and no matter how hot, buggy, or rainy it gets, it’s always enjoyable. Bikes are free to rent and usually fill up very quickly so I try to make my reservations at least four days in advance. Just show up in your gear, check in to receive your cycle, and start warming up with a couple of circles around the block before setting out. It can get very crowded so I like to wait a few moments longer before setting off.


 It’s not easy taking pictures while on a bike!

The scenery along the Chattahoochee is gorgeous and it’s easy to get lost in thought while taking in the river view. Feel free to ride with the pack or take a more leisurely route.

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Afterwards, head up the The Loft where you can enjoy 10% off your bill!

For more information, check out these sites:

Road Trip: Birmingham Zoo and Other Adventures

Through a little random internet stumbling the other day, I discovered that the Birmingham Zoo would be holding what they call $5 Fun Days August 10-11 and 17-18. During these dates, their regular admission tickets (usually $14) were discounted to only $5 so we decided to use this great price point to make ourselves a fun road trip!

We arrived a little later than the 9am gate opening but the day was overcast and it was still early enough that we had a few hours before becoming so hot that we’d have to see the remainder of the creatures through a haze of a Georgia Heat induced stoke.

While the admission tickets were only $5, there are other options that you can choose to make your trip more exciting. We decided not to fork out for the extra wristband since it included more juvenile escapades like the carousel, train ride, foam playground, and giraffe feeding. In hindsight, I really think we would have enjoyed the feeding and the train ride and prices on both separately from the wristband was only $2.30. We did decided to pay the $5.50 for the Dino DIscovery though and did not regret it. 


After carefully planning our park wandering strategy (which consisted of “I really wanna see BLANK”, “I give up, let’s just wander” and “WE HAVE TO DO THE CAMEL RIDES!!”), we made our way over to watch the Wildlife Show. Despite the crowds, we managed to grab a small corner of a steel bleacher and waited for the show begin. We witnessed stubborn woodchucks, rat snakes, and I even made eye contact with an owl.

I found that the paths were not very well marked and seemed to meander in all different directions. Perhaps this lends to the feeling of discovery as I did feel mildly lost among the shouting children pressing their hands and faces to the glass, the stressed out shouting parents, and only semi-interested animals.

Within and without the air-conditioned buildings sprinkled about were awesome creatures of all sizes. The smaller enclosures all of the animals inhabited almost guaranteed that we’d get a glimpse of each one (as long as they weren’t sleeping, which a lot were) and encounters felt much more personal than with other zoos I’ve had the chance to visit.

We tried to check out the Predator Zone animal training show but no matter how close I was pushed,  my 5′ 1″ height would not allow me to see much. The trainers were apparently using meat “snacks” and milk to show animal husbandry behaviors by making them do basic training-type tricks. They stood up, pressed their bodies against the gate, and allowed themselves to be sprayed with flea spray.

Next up was were the camel rides. For a separate ticket price of $5.50 you too can be led around a circle atop a live camel while small crowds point and your significant other takes pictures. My boyfriend was very excited by the thought of this, most of his excitement spawning from the recently popular Hump Day Geico Camel commercials, so I assumed he would be one doing the riding. Instead I guess he just wanted to stand near them and say hump day, much to my annoyance. Not one to turn down an uncomfortable activity, I promptly offered to hop in the saddle.


^ PROOF! ^

Not an overall terrible experience and his hump was surprisingly comfortable. I like to think that camel and I bonded, rider and steed, just a little.

Next up on our to do list was lunch since neither of us had eaten breakfast and all of the animals were making us hungry. Not to say that we were going to eat them, but it was definitely time to make a pit stop.  The zoo was also having a $1 hotdog special at the Safari Cafe so we bought two, some fries and a water, grabbed a table, and had a nicely shaded lunch beneath Safari Peek.

We continued to wander around but honestly, birds, reptiles, bugs, and fish don’t hold much interest for me. That is, until we reached the Dino Discovery. These monsters were true to size (I assume?), the sounds realistic, and the animatronics well executed. Rounding the corner, I met a T-Rex eye-to-eye and was frightened so bad jumped and let out a small scream, much to the amusement of others standing around. Loved seeing them at home between foliage, care for babies, and catching dinner. I got a little carried away taking pictures of them behind us.

Last on our list of Must Dos was the Red Diamond Sea Lion Splash Show. We caught the last show of the day so it was completely packed. I’ll tell you, there is absolutely nothing fun about being smashed together with strangers on metal bench and I’m pretty sure that 98% of said strangers were not accustomed to the necessity of deodorant in 90 degree weather.  The trainer in charge of announcing had a very high voices and was a little grating. It’s okay though, because the REAL star of the show was a talented sea-lion who made it incredibly difficult not to find enjoyment while watching him perform his well taught tricks.

Overall, we had  a good time. I would have liked to try the train ride and giraffe feeding I’ve gotta save something for next time, right?

Since we were already out of town and it was still early, we decided try to find something else fun to experience nearby. Using Foursquare’s Explore option, we discovered a neat little desert pop shop appropriately named Steel City Pops.


This has to be one of the coolest (no pun intended!) little sweet shops I’ve had the pleasure of visiting. Their store front has a clean, industrial feel to it and they have SO many flavors to choose from! Found out from their website that all of the popsicles are also healthy/organic, gluten-free, and have no refined sugars! The boyfriend went with the Vanilla Bean sweet pop and I went with the Sweet Tea pop.


AMAZING!! I love hot tea with natural honey and this tasted just like that but with the prefect amount of lemon. I really wish Columbus, GA had a little place like this and if we did, you would find me there all summer long!

Last on our romp was a brewery called Avondale Brewing Company.


Located in a sort of sketchy and directionally confusing part of town, it’s housed in an old brick building with a huge fenced in backyard setup with a cornhole sets, a large stage, and an outside bar.


We didn’t stay too long but we did order the Spring Street Saison and a Miss Fancy’s Tripel.


Both were delicious and I’ll definitely be ordering the next time I find myself at a craft beer bar!

Finished the trip with dinner at a Whataburger be had passed on the way to the zoo.

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It was our first time eating at one and won’t be the last! We even managed to run into someone also from Columbus, GA. We talked about burger cravings and he teaches some sort of jujitsu class in town that we might check out soon!

Overall, it was a fantastically fun Sunday with great company!

Now to rush back to Columbus for some Dexter and True Blood!