Chinese Lantern Festival – Atlanta

Dragon at the Chinese Lantern Festival

The Chinese Lantern Festival was the perfect way to spend a Saturday night. This event had been on my radar for a couple of months. I was pumped to be able to make it happen before it closed. It took place at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta. The city view surrounding the park, combined with the colorful lights of the lanterns, created a cool ambiance. We met up with great friends and the kids had a blast playing and weaving through all the lanterns.

There were several walkways that all felt a little magical while walking through them.  I would like to have the red set below hanging in my living room.

Red Lanterns at the Chinese Lantern Festival
Heart Walkway at the Chinese Lantern Festival
Lantern Walkway at Chinese Lantern Festival
Lantern Walkway at Chinese Lantern Festival

This giant colorful peacock was a group favorite. If you look closely at the dragon, you can see the kids’ shadows. This helps to get an idea of the size of these massive pieces.

Peacock at the Chinese Lantern Festival
Another view of the Peacock
Dragon at the Chinese Lantern Festival
Dragon at the Chinese Lantern Festival
More Lanterns in Centennial Park
Large Red Lanterns at Chinese Lantern Festival
More Big Red Lanterns at Chinese Lantern Festival

There were also quite a few smaller ones scattered through the park.


Mushrooms and Panda Lanterns

The different installations all worked together to send a colorful glow through the park. I will be on the lookout for more similar events to attend in the future.

Chihuly in the Garden

Sol del Citron

Last week, while in Atlanta, we decided to visit the Atlanta Botanical Garden and check out Chihuly in the Garden. This proved to be a great decision.

The exhibit includes 19 installation pieces that fit organically into the surroundings. The colorful glass sculptures range greatly in size. Some are small and well disguised, while others are large, grande and impossible to miss.

Here are a few that are well disguised.

Turquoise Marlins and Floats

Turquoise Marlins and Floats, 2015

Green Hornets and Waterdrops

Green Hornets and Waterdrops, 2016, Neodymium Reeds, 2014

Black and Green Striped Herons with Icicle Clusters

Black and Green Striped Herons with Icicle Clusters, 2015

These three are large, magnificent and hard to forget.

Indigo Blue Icicle Tower

Indigo Blue Icicle Tower, 2015

Indigo Blue Icicle Tower, 2015 - Up Close

Indigo Blue Icicle Tower, 2015 – detailed view

Sol del Citrón, 2014

Sol del Citrón, 2014

Sol del Citrón

Sol del Citrón, 2014 – detailed view

Sapphire Star

Sapphire Star, 2010

Sapphire Star

Sapphire Star, 2010 – detailed view

Fern Dell Paintbrushes, seen below, wins my vote for the piece that is incorporated best into the garden. The yellow and red of the installation paired with the blue Hydrangea are a perfect match.

Fern Dell Paintbrushes, 2016

Fern Dell Paintbrushes, 2016

Fern Dell Paintbrushes

Fern Dell Paintbrushes – detailed view

The Atlanta Botanical Garden itself is worth a visit if you have not ever been. These are a few beauties that live there permanently.



Blue and White, seen below in the Levy Parterre garden, is part of the permanent collection of the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

Levy Parterre garden

Blue and White, Levy Parterre Garden

And this Earth Goddess? I really just want her to come hang out in my back yard for a while.

Earth Goddess

Earth Goddess

Chihuly decorated her nicely.

Earth Goddess

Earth Goddess dressed by Dale Chihuly

If you live near Atlanta or will be passing through, you will not be disappointed by spending your day strolling through Chihuly in the Garden. The exhibit can also be seen at night. Chihuly Nights is on my radar. I think a fall evening sounds perfect!



Airplane Food

Airplane food seems to be a thing of the past. Some domestic airlines now provide food to purchase in flight, but it would be pretty awesome to think there would be a delicious meal waiting on board the next plane. This sure would beat finding your gate, only to realize there is no time to eat before your 3 hour flight, that passes directly through lunchtime and only offers peanuts or pretzels.

JetBlue Mint seems to be thinking about airplane food, as well as other flying comforts, and what that experience means for domestic flights. Teaming with Flying Food Group, a new food concept was created for their recently released JetBlue Mint. In this video, Stephen Parkerson gives some insight as to what this means for the food aspect of the experience.

With food like that, travelers will look forward to the meal that awaits. The service is currently limited and JetBlue does not serve all markets. Although, this has to make one think, what could this mean for the future of domestic airline food? Will there be additional changes in our future flying experience? We shall see.

If interested in reading more about JetBlue Mint, this article goes into a little more detail.

Daytona Beach, Florida

The beaches in Daytona Beach are large, the sand is compact and the waves are big enough to surf. With sand being compact, it provides opportunities not accustomed to having grown up going to beaches in the Florida Panhandle. Running is enjoyable, bikes are easily ridden, if it’s windy you don’t eat sand and using a stroller is actually an option.

Sunrise greeted our trip. Since adding our little early bird to our family, we now see more sunrises than ever expected. This turns out to have advantages. Watching the sunrise always seems to start a day in such an energetic and positive way. This started our week in Daytona Beach perfectly.

Daytona Beach, FL sunrise

sunrise Daytona Beach

Before sunrise Daytona Beach, Florida


Daytona Beach, Florida sunrise

sunrise Daytona Beach, Florida

sunrise Daytona Beach

Hello sunrise!

Luckily, the weather was great to enjoy the beaches. Flying kites, throwing frisbee, building sand castles, boogie boarding, surfing, there was plenty to keep everyone entertained.

Daytona Beach, Florida - Frisbee

throwing frisbee

flying a kite on Daytona Beach, Florida

flying a kite

Did I mention that since cars can get permits to come on the beach, this also means that ice cream trucks parade continuously back and forth? My daughter thought this was absolutely the coolest part about Daytona Beach. Although, I must admit, if there was a variety of food truck options, they would really be on to something.

ice cream truck - Daytona Beach, Florida

ice cream truck on the beach, Daytona Beach, Florida

Ponce Inlet is just south of Daytona Beach and the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and Marine Science Center are definitely worth a visit. Standing as the tallest lighthouse in Florida, we climbed 203 steps to get a view from the top. Climbing to the top with 4 children under the age of 8 was possible. The last flight was extremely steep, and the kids needed a little help getting to the top, but we were able to do it without a problem.

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse

stairs Ponce Inlet Lighthouse

looking down the stairs of Ponce Inlet Lighthouse

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse

view from the top of Ponce Inlet Lighthouse

Crabby Joe’s came highly recommended. The restaurant sits on top of a long pier with beautiful views and waves crashing underneath while you eat. The experience was enjoyed, as well as the delicious po’ boys.

Crabby Joe's - Daytona Beach, Florida

Crabby Joe’s

pier at Crabby Joe's

view from pier at Crabby Joe’s

A few things to take note about Daytona Beach: Some areas are cleaner and nicer than others, the Ferris Wheel seen in iconic photos is a bit sketchy and may or may not even be in working order (we never saw it move), there are lifeguards on patrol and alcohol is not allowed on the beaches.

Daytona Beach was a great experience and lots of fun memories were made. With so many places to visit, who knows if we will ever make it back but it was definitely worth the visit.