We love to hike and part of the fun is heading out of town an hour or more to find great spots to explore. Let me clarify “we love”. It’s always me coming up with the idea and “breaking the news” to the rest of the family. Pat is usually pretty quick to jump on board. I think he has already prepared himself for what he knows is coming as soon as the weather starts getting nice. The kids want to know “how long of a drive is it?”, “can we bring our iPads, iPhones, etc?”, “What time will we be back?”, “What about my friends?”. They give in pretty easily because they know I won’t give up! And, let me tell you, without fail, 100% of the time, the one who complains the most about going is the one who never wants to leave. Just sayin… Sometimes mom does know best. And, we are all just different people after a few hours in nature. There is just nothing like getting that fresh Georgia air into every last cell in your body.
So, while it’s fun to explore the endless options to hike around Georgia, sometimes you just don’t have that much time. For those days, we have so many great options right in town. I thought this Fall it would be fun to explore some favorites around the Chattahoochee. Please share your experiences, too. We are always looking for new places to explore.
First stop, Island Ford in Sandy Springs. This park is right off Exit 6 in Dunwoody. Very easy to get to, lots of parking and well-managed and staffed. It is open every day except Christmas! There is even a nice visitor’s center with clean restrooms and a park attendant to answer questions. For your little – or big – scientists, they have a cool microscope display where the kids can get up close and personal with things they see in Georgia.
We started with this hike because it is very easy. It is short and flat with breathtaking views of the river. You can even take your shoes off and wade into the cool water in some kid-friendly spots. We wish we would have brought a little snack because we wanted to enjoy a picnic on one of the rocks sticking out into the river – and because no one wanted to leave. Remember that “mom knows best” thing…. The kids want to come back next weekend with bathing suits and a picnic.
The trail is fully shaded the entire way, but you can easily step off the trail at many spots to get close to the river and enjoy the sun. I do recommend bug spray although we didn’t get bit, it seemed like a good thing to have along. There are also two huge rock formations along the trail that kids can explore. Great picture spots, too! People were fishing, rafting, kayaking and enjoying this river. We had a blast and we were back home right after lunch time with our lungs full of fresh air, our minds calm and plans for our next Chattahoochee adventure. Stay tuned…
For Red, White & Blue, look no further than MUMU. I built a list of 67 items that I would love to wear – every last one of them passes the “SMIJ-3-second-test” (Scroll all the way down to see all 67). I plan to spend the weekend at the beach and these MUMU pieces go very nicely in that environment. From the coffee shop in the morning, to the beach all day to walking up to get ice cream each evening – and especially to see fireworks. I know which one I’m wearing for the fireworks already! Click on any of the pictures to shop each piece. Have fun and get your RED, WHITE and BLUE on! U.S.A.!
Head bands and scarves are a cute way to say “summer hair, don’t care”. I often go to my trusty top knot or pulled back low pony tail, but sometimes I like to make my not trying look a little more like I tried. That’s where headscarves and bands come in. This one I got at the beach, which is the perfect place to wear these, but there are many choices around town now, too. See my current faves below. They look cute with summer dresses, shorts and tees or bathing suits. Reese looked at me on this day and said with her face all twisted up, “What’s that on your head?” She immediately stole it for herself. So, I’ll have to get two of whichever I want, I realize. Good thing, there are a lot of inexpensive choices around, too.
On the most beautiful day yet in 2016, we had a fun girl’s day in Atlanta at the High Museum’s Iris van Herpen Transforming Fashion Exhibit followed by lunch al fresco. The exhibit was very cool. I’m not sharing the pictures because I feel that would be a spoiler. I saw it at Mach 10 Speed since I did it with a 4 year old, but it was still very cool – and very inspiring. It gave me new perspective as I design this year’s Beach Cover-Ups. Today’s adventure was also about my favorite 2016 Spring Trend #2 – Stripes! I love stripes, especially in navy and white, and so excited that they are in for Spring this year. That means lots of great options. I found a few here that you may like. I know I do!
First stop, Jekyll Island. Last year we took a long weekend in Fernandina Beach and passed all the exits for Georgia’s Golden Isles. I don’t usually drive that part of Georgia and ever since then have been dying to visit the area. So, this year we took our long February weekend and headed to Jekyll Island to do some exploring. We were only there for 2 days and had a few things we wanted to accomplish.
Our first stop was Driftwood Beach. This is the best playground my kids have ever visited. You earn your fun with a fairly long, but extremely scenic, walk around (when you think you are there, keep walking…) the end of the island to a beach full of twisted driftwood to climb, swing on and crawl under. I’ll devote an entire post to this part of our trip soon. Needless to say, I took lots of pictures! We had dinner that night at Latitude 31 where we had great service and a different view of the island sitting on the Historic Wharf. Then, it was on to our history lesson the next day. We took a trolley tour of the historic district. It was a crisp, but sunny day and it was really fun being transported back to the time when the titans of industry and elite families were settling this beautiful island. This island has no doubt seen a lot! We ran out of time, but will come back to do the “can’t be missed” Georgia Sea Turtle center. Jekyll Island did NOT disappoint and I already can’t wait to go back. My kids made me promise to spend an entire day on Driftwood Beach for starters.
I really couldn’t start this anywhere else since this is where it all starts… Make sense? Stay with me for a minute – or 3 seconds. My #1 style rule is that I have to LOVE it, and I mean LOOOVVVVEEEE it within 3 seconds, to even consider buying it. (continued below…)
Have you ever bought something that you spent time convincing yourself would work – “well, it’s a little small here” or “I wish it were an inch longer” or “the color might work”…? I got this advice when I was in college and it has saved me lots of bad purchases.
If you don’t love it within 3 seconds it’s probably never going to see the light of day – from the store, to your bag to your closet where it will hang, tags attached, making you feel guilty, until you finally pass it along.
I share this picture because this camel cardigan (similar here) falls smack dab in the middle of my 3-second-practice. From the moment I saw this cardi years ago in Luna Buckhead, I loved everything about it – the cut, the color, the buttons, the texture. It was kind of expensive, but I bet I’m at about $1/wear at this point. It gets so much use and I still love it. That is the beauty of the 3-second-rule.
Stay tuned for the next 49 Elements of SMIJ Style. It is going to be fun to share the elements of style I can’t live without.
Finally made it out to Ponce City Market. This is just a few miles from my first, and most AWESOME, apartment in Atlanta. The area is still so fun and… now they have Ponce City Market. I love to see cities preserving some of history while making something useful instead of an eyesore. And, it seems the people of Atlanta like it, too. The place was packed last Sunday afternoon when we visited. There is too much to cover in one post so I’m going to do this in a Blog Series over the next few days. And, we did NOT conquer it! I plan to over the course of a few visits, some of which will not include kids because I need some serious concentrated shopping time there soon.
And, of course, here are my #OOTD details. This IS a fashion blog afterall…