Friday, November 21, 2014

Feeling Famous in the Hall of Fame

With the holiday break right around the corner, most of us are planning out what we can do when our loved ones come to visit us. Sure, there's the inevitable shopping trips and family meals, but what do you do when the food is all cleaned up, and the Big Game isn't on TV yet? 

Last weekend, my cousin came into town for the annual Georgia Tech-Clemson bout, and I was faced with the same question and wanted to make sure she had a great time on her visit. Luckily, I had earmarked a page from the paper from months ago, about the new College Football Hall of Fame, so we were set with a fun place to go!

Located in downtown Atlanta right by Phillips and the Dome, the College Football Hall of Fame relocated from South Bend and our beloved Fighting Irish back in August, and the new location just couldn't be cooler. It's an entirely interactive experience, anchored around the "all access" badge you receive when you walk in. Pick your team, and go explore! 

The entrance hall is pretty awesome alone. The helmets on the walls light up with a blue light as you pick your team. I picked Georgia Tech, Brad picked Auburn, and Erin picked Clemson. Then, as you walk through the museum, the badge is automatically picked up by the displays, and you get served up custom college content. Here's Brad checking out the interactive screen of Auburn videos and photos: 

And then right down the way on the same big screen, a section lit up to show me some Georgia Tech content. My favorite was watching the Ramblin' Wreck enter the stadium with the team :)

This museum is super-connected. If you participate in any of the interactive demos, the video and photos are tracked on your badge, and everything gets sent to your email address when you leave. So, in case you are wondering, YES, you can re-live that moment when you accidentally signed up for Fight Song Karaoke in front of the entire. freaking. room. of. people. and then had to sing and clap. Yep.


Goodness. Gracious. But if I can do it, so can you. #GoJackets #noshame #sorryimnotsorry What team would you sing a fight song for aloud, no questions asked? :)

In addition to the interactive content, there is just SO much to read and explore on your own in over two floors of museum displays. History, legends and traditions in college towns across the nation. Spotting your favorite college throughout is pretty easy, since most big NCAA schools seemed to be represented.

One last BB tip: GO SEE THE MOVIE. It is, in one word, AMAZING. I got chills and nearly teared up. If you are a sports fan, you are going to love it.

Happy Holidays, all, enjoy your Thanksgiving! And, Go Jackets, and War Eagle! 

Disclosure: I didn't receive any compensation from the CFB Hall of Fame for this post. We just had an amazing time, and I wanted to share this with you all!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Giveaway: Cirque du Soleil Amaluna

Part of my favorite part of living in the suburbs is the peace and quiet we have nearly at all times. This morning, a bird chirping woke me up. A bird. What has happened to me? I used to sleep through helicopters whizzing overhead, honks of cars on the nearby roads and the beeps of trucks backing up our high-rise driveway. Now? It's birds. Oh, and the school bus engine idling up the street at 6:42AM, every weekday morning. That's only if I am snoozing much past my alarm and not already walking out the door with this new commute :)

A part of me will always live in the city, though, and I just can't stay away for too long :) I still work in town, and most weekends, I am in town for something, whether it's hanging with friends, or checking out the big game (don't get me started on our Jackets this year, though. Sigh).

This past weekend, it was Cirque du Soleil that drew me into town, to the blue and yellow tents at Atlantic Station. We put on our matinee outfits, grabbed a quick pint next door at Meehan's, and strolled in for the Sunday afternoon show of Amaluna.

Side note: Isn't it amazing how quickly the Cirque du Soleil show seems to set up when they come to town? Those tents go up seemingly overnight, even though in reality, it takes eight days to set up, and three to take down, all via a team of 85 people. Either way, it always makes me think of that opening scene in Dumbo with the men singing as they raise the big top :)

Amaluna was a fantastic experience. First of all, the vibe under the tent is awesome. The crowd sits really close to the stage, all 2,600 of us, and the seats go probably three-quarters of the way around the stage. That means that there is not a bad seat in the house! If you want to see the action really up-close, you can grab seats up front. Or, you can sit a bit further back to get some amazing full-picture views of everything going on. On top of that, there are circular parts of the stage that revolve so that everyone can see everything from every angle.

One of my absolute favorite parts was the band. I noticed a big part of the show was made up of female performers. I found out later that my hunch was right -- the cast is 70% female! The band was all-female, and they brought out the electric cello for a number of the great ballads. I am a cellist myself, so of course I loved it! I always thought it'd be cool to play the electric cello. This woman rocked it. Seeing a show that's a self-titled tribute to the voice and power of women was empowering in and of itself.

From the costumes to the acts, the show was wonderful. Just wait 'til you see what this performer does with the pile of sticks at her feet!

Have you been to a Cirque du Soleil show before? What was your favorite memory? How about going to see Amaluna while they are in town? If you are game ... I have tickets to give away right here, y'all! So, get your raffle entry on because I am going to pick a winner later this week! First, read on to learn a bit more ...

About Cirque du Soleil 
Celebrating its 30th Anniversary in 2014, Cirque du Soleil brings a new show to Atlanta. Amaluna invites the audience to a mysterious island governed by goddesses and guided by the cycles of the moon. Amaluna's Tony Award-winning Show Director, Diane Paulus, drew from a series of classical influences when creating the concept of the show -- including tales from Greek and Norse mythology, Mozart's The Magic Flute, and Shakespeare's The Tempest. Now playing under the famed blue-and-yellow Big Top at Atlantic Station until November 30, 2014, great seats start as low as $35.  

Ticket Giveaway Details
I have four (4) tickets to give away to lucky readers for the Wednesday, November 5th show of Amaluna, at 7:30PM. Ready to win?! Be sure to enter your info in the below form! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Not so lucky on the giveaway? 
Buy discounted tickets here, thanks to Amaluna. Take advantage of this offer and buy four tickets for the price of three. Bring the whole family, or all the gals - and enjoy the show! 

Disclosure: I received two free tickets to the Amaluna show in exchange for this post. However, all opinions are my own! Thanks to Amaluna and Cirque du Soleil for the great afternoon! 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Letter

One week ago yesterday, we walked into an office, keys in hand. The night prior, we stood in an eerily empty living room, hearing our footsteps echo against the bare wood floors and voices ring on the bare concrete walls.

When we walked into that office, pens were raised and names were signed. In just an hour, my very first home that I purchased all by myself almost exactly six years prior, wasn’t mine anymore. We went from that office, to another, and did it all over again. Except that time, we left with the keys, rather than leaving them behind.

One week ago yesterday, Brad and I sold our condo in Buckhead, and bought a home in the gorgeous suburb of Roswell, GA. What followed have been seven days of absolute whirlwind, only just now slowing down now that we have most of the boxes unpacked. I find it hard to think that all of these things once fit around us in 1,000 square feet in the sky! Where did I keep these things then?!

Before moving in, six years ago this summer!
These days, we are going to bed hearing the sounds of crickets, and waking up to the sounds of chirping birds. It’s amazing how quickly one can adjust to new surroundings, if it’s something you have been waiting for. We loved the hustle and bustle of town. But something about this change, right now in our lives, is just right.

It was really hard to say goodbye to our first home. It seems like just yesterday, I was sitting in the middle of an empty living room, only a TV and a camp chair to be had. I was so proud and so happy that my hard work had paid off, and that the condo was mine. Today, we feel similarly. This home is ours, and we can’t wait to fill out these rooms here, too.

In honor of our first home, I have a letter to share. Our (amazing) realtors suggested that we write a letter to the visitors coming in while the unit was on the market, sharing why we loved the home, and what made it special. A little personal touch when we couldn’t be there in person. A single unit in a high-rise might not seem extraordinary. But, ours was, and we hope it will be for the next homeowner, too. 

And you know what? The letter worked! The buyer said she loved it, and it was one of the reasons that made her want to buy our place! So, lesson learned, y'all, for anyone else thinking of selling soon. Write a letter!

XOXO I will miss you Buckhead! More to come soon. From the ‘burbs :)

The Letter

Welcome to the Paramount!  We are so glad you stopped by. We’re excited to share with you a little bit about why we love this neighborhood, this building and, most importantly, this amazing home in the city, Unit “XYZ.”

The Paramount is a perfectly situated high-rise, located right in the heart of Buckhead. Buckhead is known for its celebrities, shopping and restaurant scene. But we love Buckhead and Paramount Unit XYZ even more for the less-noticeable traits.
  • Quiet weekend mornings on Peachtree Road, perfect for an early morning run or a quick stroll to the nearby Starbucks.
  • Late-summer dinners on the patio, overlooking the amazing sunsets against the Buckhead skyline.
  • Quick walks to Bistro Niko, our favorite restaurant in town. The patio and the mussels are to die for, and the staff always makes you feel like a VIP.
  • Lazy weekends spent reading outside in one of the cabanas, with the breeze blowing past as if you are at the beach.
  • Hardwood floors, granite countertops, built-in desks and shelves, arched doorways and tray ceilings; a modern feel, but with a traditional touch.
  • Summers spent grilling out with friends on the Viking Range, or laying poolside, gazing up at the skyscrapers.
  • Living at the start line of the world’s largest 10K, the Peachtree Road Race. And even better, living here for one of the city’s biggest fireworks displays, that 4th of July night!
  • Early mornings or late nights spent in the gym, with the in-house trainers ready to go whenever you are. 
  • Taking MARTA into town for the football game on a fall weekend, to the airport early on a Monday morning, or just to the office in Downtown.
On the last day. <Tear>
As we prepare to make the move closer to our families, this is a bittersweet time. This home has meant so much to us. It was our first home, and we have loved hosting friends and family here for events both small and large.

But, most importantly, not many homes can credit introducing a couple. This home did that for us. Brad came as a friend of a friend to Katherine’s housewarming party, nearly six years ago, and, as they say, the rest is history!

Unit XYZ will always be in our hearts. And we hope that soon, it will be in yours, too.

Brad and Katherine Lehmann