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I am addicted to secondhand shopping! While, I love online thrift stores like ThredUp, sometimes it’s nice to actually get out! On Thursday, I checked out three different secondhand stores and am here to deliver my thoughts! Overall, it was such a successful shopping day and I had so many great finds.

Fifi’s Fine Resale Apparel

Fifi’s Fine Resale Apparel is located in Cameron Village! The boutique does offer a secondhand shopping experience but is definitely more expensive than other thrift stores. (Understandably.) That’s because, At Fifi’s shoppers can find the highest quality designer resale at amazing prices, with new merchandise arriving daily. They specialize in couture items like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci while also offering everyday name brands like BCBG, Kate Spade, Coach, Lilly Pulitzer, Tory Burch, DVF, and more. I ended up purchasing 3 items for 55$ and they were all Free People!

The boutique also had ALL sorts of clothing items! There were shoes, belts, dresses, purses, and more. Every item is also labeled with a date, and anything a month or older is 40% off. However, this doesn’t apply if the tag had a red dot – meaning it’s a designer item.

Additionally, since it’s a consignment store that means you can also sell your clothing to Fifi’s! Fifi’s accepts designer fashion and will give you shopping credit to their store. The employees were super nice and the boutique had a modern-day feel with a clean, organized environment.

North Raleigh Ministries Thrift Store

North Raleigh Ministries was recommended to me by a thrifty friend! The thrift shop is in a very popular Raleigh shopping center so it attracts a good amount of shoppers. I was amazed by the size of this place.

The North Raleigh Ministries Thrift Store has way more than just clothes. They have TONS of knick-knacks, books, silverware, etc. I even saw golf clubs! This thrift store definitely reminded me of your typical Goodwill but better. (Especially, since you can pay with card.) It was overall pretty clean and had a great selection. They have women’s AND men’s clothes. I was able to find Ryan some stuff!

I ended up with 8 items for around 45$! What a steal.

Cause for Paws

Cause for Paws was the most difficult to find! I drove up and down the street for about 15 minutes before I found it. The store is a stand-alone shop with some furniture and a clearance rack outside. But this was my favorite spot of the day!

Everything was 3.99$ inside. I found the most success here and even got an authentic Johnny Cash XXL Tee from the men’s section! I bought 8 items for 25$. Including a fake fur vest and Levi shorts.

Plus, you’re thrifting for a cause! Profits from your purchase go towards helping adoptable animals. In the last year, Cause for Paws has helped home 50 dogs and cats. In the back, you can play with and give love to some adoptable kittens. After spending the day thrifting, why not take home a furbaby as well?

My favorite thrift spot of the day had to be North Raleigh Ministries. I found so many great pieces and the place was very clean and organized. I spent about an hour searching and half an hour trying everything on in the dressing room! All these locations were awesome though and made my experience enjoyable.

What are some of your favorite thrifting finds? I’ve been wearing my Johnny Cash shirt EVERYDAY since I picked it! (Ryan, if you’re reading this… stop trying to throw it in the laundry!!!)

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Road trips are a large part of my Summer! I don’t like flying so we end up driving to most destinations.

Some road trips are quick and easy (when we head two hours South to visit my parents at the beach) but others are killer. I just got home from a 12-hour drive to Fort Lauderdale, Florida that almost took my sanity.

So, how did I make it? HOW did I not jump out of the car the 10th hour to get away from my crazy family? Well, these are some ways you can make your Summer road trips a bit more bearable.

Plan for pit-stops

Believe it or not… you don’t have to make it to your destination in one trip or even one day! Shocking, I know. Split your road trip up into intervals. For example: If you need to drive 8 hours, plan for a break every two. (During our trip to Nashville, we enjoyed staying the night at an Airbnb in Knoxville. Also, this way, we got to visit two towns!)

Take your time enjoying a sit-down lunch or go explore the state park you’re passing on the way. However, If you are in a rush, not all breaks need to be 30+ minutes. Instead, just plan to stop at an official rest area to stretch your legs.

If you’re feeling tired, state welcome centers and rest areas offer a safe and comfortable place to park and take a quick nap in the car.

Listen to audiobooks

I love reading, however, find it impossible to read during a road trip! Something about focusing on words on a page for too long makes me car sick. Audiobooks are the best solution to this problem! Instead of reading this month’s book club novel, listen to it on the way to your destination.

You can download audiobooks from Amazon, or check out some from your local library. My tried and true way to listen to audiobooks is through Audible. Audible has the world’s largest selection of audiobooks and original ad-free audio shows. Whatever your passion, your interests, or favorite authors, there’s a perfect listen for you.

Not into audiobooks? Or would rather opt for a free option? You can find some great podcasts on Spotify or iHeart Radio. Two of my absolute faves are My Favorite Murder and This Is Why We Drink. If you don’t love researching murders, ghosts, and other creepy shit in your free time than they probably aren’t for you!

Download Netflix shows

Thanks to technology, you can watch shows on the go! While this isn’t the smartest option if you are driving (don’t Netflix and drive), passengers can enjoy a movie or show from Netflix. Before your road trip, make sure to download what you want to watch on your iPad or iPhone for optimal road trip relaxation. No internet necessary.

This is a relatively new Netflix option that can really help the time pass during a long haul.

Call old friends

This one may just be me… but I love to catch up with friends on a road trip! My friends and I can talk for hours about nothing. Why not kill two birds with one stone? Plus, my car has a Bluetooth option that allows me to have a hands-free phone call. (Safety first, people).

Don’t have any friends? Call up your grandmother. I am sure she would love to hear from you.

Do you have some of your own tips? I would love to hear them below!

We may be driving to New Orleans this upcoming September and I want to be well equipped with things to do and other distractions.

The drive to Florida was the longest I have ever been on. I think twelve hours is my limit! Have you been in a car for longer than that?

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I have read a couple of Lane Moriarity’s novels but Big Little Lies is by far my favorite book she has written. Moriarity writes novels that you just want to engulf in one day and keep you hooked from start to finish.

Big Little Lies has many different themes including the bond of women, family expectations, domestic violence, and more. Within this one novel is numerous other stories that keep you on edge and eager to see how she ties it all together. And she does! In a way that you’d never expect. After reading so many novels, I find their endings to be a bit predictable or already told… Big Little Lies left me filling fulfilled and flabbergasted and at the same time.

Summary:


Big Little Lies tells the story of the mother’s of Pirrewee Public, a school filled with schoolyard scandal, politics, and secrets. Who knew that kindergarten would be not only stressful for the students but their parents too? While it may just seem like the typical school-related drama -a kid not being invited to another’s birthday, playground bullying, etc. A murder (or tragic accident?) on the school’s fundraiser night is not.

As the back cover of Big Little Lies says… “Sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal.”

My Rating:


Main Characters:

The story revolves around the friendship of three brilliant women: Jane, Celeste, and Madeline. They are all very different creatures with very different backgrounds and history.

Stop!! From here on there will be spoilers***

HBO’s Big Little Lies.

Jane is a young single mother who is new to town. She is quiet, passive, and named appropriately (Plain Jane). Her story is one of self-discovery. We learn she’s been bouncing around from town to town with her son, Ziggy, trying to find a home. She is reserved and lost because Ziggy is a child of assault. Although she loves Ziggy with all that she has and is, it’s important she loves herself too. Jane’s character development is impressive and inspiring.

Madeline is a ring-leader of sorts. She is the glue that holds her friends and family together. Jane describes her as “a glittery girl” in Chapter 3. Madeline is the woman who seems to have it all figured out and present herself in the classiest manner. She loves fashion, mimosas, and her children. However, a huge theme of BLL is that things aren’t always what they seem. Madeline comes from a messy divorce where she shares a teenage daughter with her Ex, Nathan. Their relationship brings jealousy, change, and chaos into her perfect life.

While I have no favorite character, I find myself identifying mostly with Celeste. Celeste is the kind of beautiful that makes the world stop and stare. She also married into money (more money than she could ever imagine) and has twins with her husband, Perry. But she is paying the price for the illusion of happiness. Perry hits her. Celeste’s story is the most detrimental. She is fighting for her life, trying to escape her abusive husband while struggling with the feelings that she still loves him and she’ll be breaking apart her family.

But… Celeste is rich and beautiful… how could this happen to her? Domestic Violence can happen to anyone.

Overall, Lane Moriarity did a wonderful job of creating and developing these characters. I am not a mother but I didn’t feel as if I had to be to imagine Jane, Celeste, and Madeline. Big Little Lies isn’t just a story about parenthood -it’s a story about the strength and bond of women.

These characters each have such a unique and special personality that makes the reader feel as if they are part of the friend group. Moriarity also uses them to show that no matter how well you think you may know another person, everyone has secrets. There is no such thing as the perfect life.

Themes:

There are multiple themes in Big Little Lies since there are so many storylines. Some themes include:

Domestic Violence
The bond between women
The bond of mothers and their children
The danger of secrets
Unrealistic standards for women
Families don’t need to be perfect

Seriously. Stop reading if you don’t want to ruin it for yourself***

The Ending:

Throughout the novel, we’re aware that there is a murder case under investigation. We are given snippets of the night and clues to whom the victim may be but I was never able to pinpoint Perry. Lane Moriarity wrapped up Big Little Lies in the best way for all the characters: Jane finds closure, Celeste is out of danger, and Madeline finds peace with her family.
When Moriarity flashes forwards a year, it gives me happiness to see how well the women are doing. They are all still friends and thriving in their new lives. I especially love that Celeste sets up a savings account for Ziggy after learning that Perry (Saxon Banks) is his father. Perry was a horrible man and Ziggy is nothing like him.

The only thing that kind of upsets me is Madeline’s guilt for not realizing Celeste’s predicament sooner. I feel as though Celeste would never blame her friends for not noticing it sooner. As a victim of Domestic Violence, you tend to hide any signs of abuse you can. Maybe out of fear… or embarrassment. Celeste’s situation was not Madeline’s fault NOR Celeste’s! There are “so many levels of evil in the world” (Pg. 460).

Talking Points:

I believe HBO has come out with a Big Little Lies Show starring Reese Witherspoon. I have not seen it yet but have heard great things about it. Have you watched Big Little Lies? Do you like the show or book better?

What did you think of the little snippets of the murder investigation interviews at the end of each chapter? I enjoyed the little hints to who the murder victim is and trying to figure it out. Did you get any of the hints? I wasn’t able to pick out Perry but did you?

I mentioned a couple of themes of Big Little Lies. Was there one that stood out to you more than others? Do you agree with the theme Lane Moriarity was trying to convey?

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I love sleep. I love sleep so much that I have a futon in my office so I can take a nap during my lunch break. So what? Why is it that kindergarteners only get nap-time?

A good night’s sleep is so important to our mental, physical, and emotional health. During sleep, our bodies get to work restoring, repairing, and growing.

Younger adults (18-25) should be sleeping 7-9 hours a night. While teenagers (14-17), should be getting 8-10 hours.

In recent years, it seems that sleep and exhaustion have been stigmatized. People have begun correlating exhaustion with how achieved one is. In reality, Exhaustion is not posh. You are depriving your body of its basic needs. The best self-care you could practice is getting the right amount of rest for your body.

While setting a bedtime routine is definitely a step in the right direction, it is no help if you are lying awake in bed for hours a night. Before maintaining better sleep habits, I would stare at the ceiling worrying about to-do lists, future activities, or when the world was going to end. (Extreme. I know. That’s anxiety for you though.)

So, how can we change this? In what ways can we aim for better sleep?

Let’s start with our foundation. In my early twenties, I was working part-time jobs and holding an internship. I couldn’t afford much, therefore, I always went for the cheapest option. Meaning a 12-year-old used mattress donated by a friend sounded like the perfect place to lay my head after a long day. I’d often wonder why I’d wake up irritated, still tired, and back aching.

It all begins and ends with a good bed. First off, all mattresses are not made the same. Some are more firm. Some mold to your body. Some are even filled with water! You’ve got to do your research before purchasing a mattress; Look around and find what is best for you. Certain companies will give customers a 90-day trial run to see how the mattress affects their sleep. I’m aware that mattresses aren’t cheap but it is better to save up and splurge than be stingy when it comes to your well-being.

The rest of your bed accessories are very important too: the pillow, your sheets, a nice comforter, etc. Treat yourself like royalty when it comes to making your bed. This will result in ultimate comfort and relaxation.

Did you know the location of the bedroom can affect your sleep? You want your bedroom to be a sort of oasis. That means, away from noise (like the kid’s rooms or living room) and any temptations (no getting up at midnight for a quick snack in the kitchen). The bedroom should also be in a dark, cold place. You’re basically a vampire in need of a dungeon. Kidding.

The ideal sleeping temperature falls anywhere between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit, and as you sleep your body temperature lowers naturally. Introducing your body to a cooler environment helps stimulate sleep and allows you to cycle naturally though the sleep stages.

So you’ve come to your wit’s end and feel like you’ve tried everything to possibly obtain a good night’s sleep… I understand. It’s time to look for further aid. While I do recommend melatonin and enjoy a good sleep-aid once in a blue moon myself, I agree that they can become addicting. Melatonin is a hormone produced naturally by the pineal gland in response to darkness. Levels remain high during sleep until the pineal gland tapers off production in response to light.

My favorite sleep-aid are the Olly Sleep Gummies from Target.

I truly believe our societies relationship with sleep needs to change. The extreme demand of a nine to five in the workforce and early morning classes for kids do more harm than good. These decisions were made in a time when humans didn’t know much about brain activity. Our brains are on “stand-by” mood up until 10 in the morning.

I hope more people start making sleep a larger priority in their lives. Sleep studies have proven that the right amount of Zzz’s can make us more productive, dependable, and happy humans. It’s not lazy or unambitious to see yourself to bed early or take a short nap midday. And if anyone tells you otherwise, they’re cranky and in need of one.

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Ryan and I try to get out and go on a date night at least once a week. Living in Raleigh makes it easy because there is always so much to do.

Whether you enjoy being outdoors, art, food, or etc., there is something for you! Even if you don’t have a significant other, you can head to these places with friends and enjoy.

NC Art Museum

The NCMA is a great date spot for you and your beau. The art museum is perfect, whether or not you’re an art lover! On sunny days, the grounds are wonderful to explore. The NCMA has an extensive park with acres of beautiful sculptures. Walk around the park’s path and you’ll find two large heads, a rocket-ship with a slide, and even a little hobbit hole.

Inside, you’ll find art displayed every inch of the building. Exhibits range from floral favorites to classic European paintings. Some of my favorite pieces include Judith and Holofernes by Kehinde Wiley and Three Graces: Les Trois Femmes Noires by Mickalene Thomas. As you go further into the museum, you’ll find marble sculptures from the famous, Musee Rodin. Take a few minutes to take in his work and contemplate the meaning behind them.

There’s also a wonderful little restaurant inside the museum to sit down at if you have the time. If you are in for a quick bite, they also offer a small cafe with sandwiches and coffee.

Keep an eye out for fun events hosted by the NCMA this summer. They will be hosting summer concerts, movies under the stars, and other activities for all to enjoy.

C. Grace

Ready to take your date to the 1950’s? C. Grace is one of Raleigh’s “best-kept secrets”. However, over the years, it’s definitely gained a bit more popularity! C. Grace is a jazz-club modeled after a speak-easy in the prohibition days. The setting is intimate, dark, and slightly bouje. You’ll be sure to impress!

Plus, the live music is absolutely phenmenal! C. Grace highlights different jazz artist each week who fill the room with lively sounds that make you want to dance! There are plenty of bars in the speakeasy seerving era-themed cocktails. C. Grace is a bit more expensive than your typical Raleigh drinkery -but well worth it.

For even more fun -dress up in your best Great Gatsby attire.

Bittersweet

The typical ice cream date is so last year, your date deserves more! And Bittersweet delivers! This downtown Raleigh dessert spot is your new upgraded ice cream date. Bittersweet has so much more than just ice cream.

My favorite is the Kraken coffee.

Bittersweet can get crowded on Friday and Saturday nights. Avoid a wait by going a weekday evening.

Umstead Park

I may be a bit bias since we live so close to Umstead but this park is filled with magic and adventure. I have been 50+ times and there is always something new to explore.

Umstead is Raleigh’s largest park with sprawling acres. The park is filled with gorgeous trails (ranging from beginner to advance) for you two to hike. There are plenty of streams for you to take a quick dip when you start to get hot. Or rent a canoe or kayak for the day and enjoy Umstead’s numerous lakes.

I especially love days when we pack a picnic for our trip to Umstead. The park provides various seating areas for you to enjoy your lunch outside.

Goodnights Comedy Club

There’s nothing like laughter to make your date the best. Goodnight’s comedy club is the cream of the crop. Well-known comedians, such as Chris Hardwick, often come and perform at Goodnight’s but you can also opt for more low key nights like open-mic and other themed events.

Goodnight’s offers food and drink options as well so you can fill your stomachs AND hearts at the same time. The space is small and charming. Additionally, it is located by other great bars and fun for you to enjoy after a show. Check out what’s going on this month by going to: https://www.goodnightscomedy.com/events

What is your favorite thing to do on date night? Have you been to any of these spots?

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Where To Eat

There are tons of great places to eat in Dublin but the Temple Bar District is your best bet to finding a delicious meal.

You may have heard of the Temple Bar Pub (an extremely popular bar in Dublin that tourists flock to) but when locals refer to Temple Bar, they are actually speaking of an area in Dublin filled with hip bars, restaurants, and shops.

The busy riverside neighborhood is filled with TONS of different cuisines. Whether you’re in the mood for Asian, Mexican, American, or Irish food; there’s a restaurant at every turn! My absolute favorite place we ate at in Temple Bar was The Seafood Cafe. Make sure to order the Fish n’ Chips.

For dessert, head to Bubble Waffle Factory. Their ice cream and waffle combination is to die for! They don’t make desserts like this in America.

Where To Stay

During our trip to Ireland, we actually did not stay in Dublin. We stayed right outside the city in an Airbnb in Lucan. Lucan was a nice, quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. However, if you are not into public transportation, Lucan is probably not the best place for you to stay. Lucan is about a 45-minute bus ride from city centre.

If you’re looking for a cheap option that’s IN the heart of the city, you should try Paddy’s Palace. Paddy’s Palace is a clean, safe hostel located downtown Dublin. A hostel is an establishment that provides lodging for travelers at a cheap price by sharing rooms.

Never stayed in a hostel? Iffy about the idea? I have slept in many hostels and never once had a problem arise.

Additionally, there are tons of wonderful hotels in the city centre. The Drury, Buswell, and Brooks are three highly rated hotels that are close by to everything.

Where To Play St. Stephens Green

St. Stephens Green is a public park in Dublin with a sprawling 22 acres to explore. The park is adjacent to one of Dublin’s main shopping streets, Grafton Street and even has a shopping center named after it. Most days, the park is filled with pedestrians enjoying the views, having a nice picnic, or taking their children to the playgrounds.

My favorite parts of St. Stephens Green are its large lake, gorgeous gardens, and numerous fountains. Take a couple of hours to stroll around the park and take in its extraordinary atmosphere. Plus, there are so many perfect picturesque locations for Instagram opportunities.

Christ Church

Christ Church Cathedral, more formally The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, is the cathedral of the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough. It is home to the famous 12th Century crypt, one of the oldest and largest in Britain and Ireland. 

The outside architecture of Christ Church is absolutely breathtaking and a lot of tourists go just to view the exterior. Yet, I believe the interior of Christ Church is the real show stopper. You can tour the inside for a small fee. The beautiful stain-glass windows illuminate the church’s open layout while looking down you’ll notice its exquisite floor tiles.

Walk around the church and learn more about its extensive history. In the basement, the church houses important manuscripts and ancient artifacts as well as a spectacular exhibition of original 16th Century costumes from the historical series ‘The Tudors’.

Trinity College

Trinity College is a public university in the heart of Dublin.
The college was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I as the “mother” of a new university and modelled after the collegiate universities of Oxford and Cambridge. While the university itself is beautiful, the main attraction is its historic library. (Unfortunately, we did not get to enter the library during our Dublin trip. Week hours are limited.)

The Library of Trinity College is a legal deposit library for Ireland and Great Britain, containing over 6.2 million printed volumes and significant quantities of manuscripts, including the Book of Kells.

The Book of Kells contains the four Gospels of the New Testament together with various prefatory texts and tables. It was created in a Columban monastery in either Britain or Ireland and may have had contributions from various Columban institutions from both Britain and Ireland. It is believed to have been created c. 800 AD. It is a masterwork of Western calligraphy and represents the pinnacle of Insular illumination. It is also widely regarded as Ireland’s finest national treasure.

Where To Shop

Grafton Street will be your main shopping spot. Grafton is a pedestrian street with tons of shopping opportunities. You can find high-end luxury stores as well as shops to buy your tourist tees in. They also have various jewelry boutiques where you can purchase your own Claddagh ring.

The buskers make your shopping experience especially unique. You will see wonderful performances… from musicians, artists, and even fire eaters.

Plus, there are plenty of places to stop for a bite. The rooftop cafe at M&S Food Hall made a great lunch.

Just remember that no matter how much research and preparation you do before your trip, things will always go differently once you get there. Dublin is very much a city in which you have to live in the moment. If you don’t hit all the stops you planner – so be it! Get lost and experience Dublin in all its magic.

I hope you enjoy your trip to Dublin!

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If you are heading to Ireland on holiday, you most likely already have the Cliffs of Moher in your itinerary. The Cliffs of Moher are a “must see” and one of Ireland’s most beloved landmarks. They attract about 1.5 million visitors per year, why not be one of them?

The Cliffs of Moher are part of the edge of Western Europe, they are 66% as tall as New York’s Empire State building and stretch for almost 10km. We spent about 1.5 hours at the Cliffs and found that was the perfect amount of time. Allot for enough time to enjoy the views, take some pictures, and pick up souvenirs at the gift shop.

My biggest tip for your trip to the Cliffs is: go left first. This walk is a much better alternative to just driving to the visitor’s centre.

However, please be aware that the trail may be rough and uneven in places with loose gravel and stone. The trail has a fence for part of the walk but opens up later on to the exposed cliff. Don’t be stupid if you walk in the un-fenced area.

The Cliffs of Moher are not dangerous if you take proper caution. Do not get too close or hang over the edge. Tragically, many lives have been lost at Cliffs of Moher.

If you go to the right, you can explore O’Brien’s Tower. The Ranger station on the ground floor is free to enter. However, a tower ticket is needed to access to the rooftop area that offers the best photo opportunity of the Cliffs, the O’Brien exhibit on the first floor and a souvenir historical information leaflet with a place name map of the Cliff area.

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to see the Tower since the O’Brien’s Tower is currently Undergoing Restoration.

Make a day of it

The cliffs are about two an a half hours outside of Dublin but there are plenty of places to stop along the way!

Stop by Doolin Village for a bite to eat. There are several great pubs serving seafood, soups, sandwiches and hot meals. Check out FitzPatrick’s, McGann’s and Gus O’Connor’s.

The Dunguaire Castle is also a great sight for you to see. Dunguaire Castle is one of the most photographed castles in Ireland for good reason — set against Galway Bay, the landscape of shimmering water and low rolling hills provides an unforgettable backdrop for the historic and charming tower. If you have the time, the castle itself has been restored and converted into a small museum for you to check out.

Enjoy your trip to the Cliffs of Moher and be safe! Share your own tips below.
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When planning our trip to Atlanta, I knew we absolutely had to visit the Georgia Aquarium. The aquarium houses
more than a hundred thousand animals and represents several thousand species, all of which reside in 10 million US gallons of marine and salt water. Making it one of the largest aquariums in the world (and the largest in the U.S.)!

This isn’t your typical aquarium, ya’ll. The Georgia Aquirium is so large that it deserves its own guide! So, I’m here to give you the run down and answer any questions you may have.

The Exhibits and Shows

After you enter the aquarium, you will notice there are multiple different exhibits. In total, there are six: Ocean Voyager, Cold Water Quest, Tropical Driver, Dolphin Tails, River Scout, and Georgia Explorer.

We started at Ocean Voyager, which is probably the exhibit you’ve seen in online pictures most! You step onto a human conveyor belt that takes you through an underwater tunnel. It’s super cool – keep an eye out for whale sharks, giant stingrays, and gorgeous fish!

I also really enjoyed Tropical Diver and Cold Water Quest.

Whale sharks, Belugas, Puffins

Viewing Portals

Another really awesome feature of the Georgia Aquarium is portal holes. These specially-designed areas make you feel as if you are in the encounter. In the Cold Water Quest, you can get up close with the penguins as they snack during feeding time, which also makes for a fun photo opp. Check out my picture below.

Dolphin Shows

Unfortunately, we did not get to see a dolphin show (My anxiety was extremely high at this point). However, The Dolphin Tales shows are a ton of fun and showcase the intelligence of bottlenose dolphins.

Just keep in mind… The arena is huge and attracts TONS of people. It is a widely populated, small area which may be difficult for others with social anxiety. Additionally, the showtimes vary so you kind of just have to keep an ear open for announcements or ask an employee.

The Fine Detail

Never in my life have I heard of an aquarium cost SO much! General admission tickets cost $32.95 for adults (ages 13 to 64), $28.95 for children (ages 3 to 12) and $30.95 for seniors (65 plus).

Quick tip: Get tickets beforehand so you don’t have to wait in an extremely long line.

They do have a parking garage as well. Parking costs an additional $12 but there are reduced packages for purchasing aquarium tickets and parking ahead of time. You can also park in the garage for the whole day, leaving your car while you explore nearby attractions!

You may also want to check their website for special offers.

What You Need to Know

Overall, I’m so glad we got to experience the Atlanta Aquarium and create memories that’ll last a lifetime. However, there are definitely things that I wish I knew beforehand!

As someone with social anxiety, the aquarium can get very overwhelming. The aquarium packs a lot of people into one place! It’s okay to take your time, find an out of the way space, and breath. You can get through the aquarium in an hour or six hours(especially with shows). Go your own speed, friend.

There is also a food court with a few different options in case you need to munch.

The best thing you can do if you’ll be in Atlanta for a couple of days, grab an Atlanta CityPASS! The pass gives you access to some of Atlanta’s best attractions at one great price and skip most main-entrance ticket lines. Spend less, experience more.

  • Georgia Aquarium
  • World of Coca-Cola
  • CNN Studio Tours
  • Option Ticket 1: Zoo Atlanta OR National Center for Civil and Human Rights
  • Option Ticket 2: Fernbank Museum of Natural History OR College Football Hall of Fame

Extra perk: CityPASS travelers skip most main-entrance ticket lines. CityPASS tickets are valid for nine consecutive days, beginning with the first day of use.

Atlanta is one of my favorite cities, there is so much to do and places to see! The city is full of great culture and life. I cannot wait to go back soon.

What’s your favorite thing about Atlanta?
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The post The Largest Aquarium in America appeared first on Beauty and The Beach.

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This post was sponsored by Adidas but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Ryan and I travel a lot. In the last 6 months, we’ve been to The Bahamas, Georgia, Tennessee, The Mountains, The Beach, and so much more. Yet, we still manage to maintain a healthy lifestyle!

Well, It’s coming up on Spring Break time! And with warmer weather means more people will be traveling! It’s important to stay active and be conscious of your decisions if you want to keep fit.

Today, I want to share some of my tips to being healthy while traveling. You can do these too during your next adventure.

Active Excursions

Unfortunately, your gym most likely isn’t going to be in close range when traveling. Choose activities that raise your heart rate. Ryan and I try to add a hike into every trip we take. Hiking is a fun way to get some exercise while enjoying your destination. Just make sure you’re wearing the right attire! Like this track jacket. It definitely gets colder at higher altitudes. (I forgot about that in Nashville and was left freezing!) You can take it off if you get hot.

Before your trip, check out Pinterest to help plan these activities. In Georgia, we went to the Botanical Gardens. While this may be the tourist thing to do, we also got a good work out in roaming the gardens!

Other fun ideas may be taking a guided city tour, dropping into a yoga class, or biking through the park!

Eating Out

During your travels, you may end up eating out a lot. Totally understandable! I love trying the local restaurants and getting a feel of the unique taste. Especially Georgia; there’s had so much delicious food!

But how do I not gain 15 pounds after all the trips I take? It’s easy! It’s all about balance and self-discipline.

If I know that night we are going to Tiff’s Treats for ice cream cookies, I’ll have a lighter breakfast. Or instead of going for the double mac with steak, I’ll opt for chicken with veggies! Be mindful of what you are putting into your body.

Drink Water

With all the excitement, you sometimes forget to chill out and stay hydrated. It’s important to keep up on your water intake.

So, there are many different opinions on how much water you should be drinking every day. I’ve always heard about eight 8-ounce glasses a day (or 2 liters).

Dehydration can turn your trip into a nightmare. All your travel plans go down the drain and you’ll have to call it a day. Get a cool water bottle to carry with you on your trips. The Adidas stainless steel water bottle will keep your drink cool throughout your explorations. Plus, the bottle includes a durable ring to latch onto your gear.

Walk Places

Last but not least, use your legs! Instead of taking the bus or uber-ing, try walking from place to place.

However, it’s totally understandable if you’d rather take a taxi when your excursion is thirty miles away. But if it’s only a 20-minute walk, go for it!

Walking from place to place will help you burn off lunch while also showing you more of the city! A 20-minute walk can seem exhausting or far, but can go by quickly when taking in the sights. You may even stumble across some interesting shops or cafes by taking the road less traveled.

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How do you stay active while traveling? Share your own tips and tricks in the comments below!

The post How to Stay Healthy During Your Travels appeared first on Beauty and The Beach.

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