Monday, July 20, 2009

Oh, Atlanta...

We just got back from the bead show in Atlanta. We had a great time there! I had a lot of fun meeting all the long-time (and some new) Green Girl Studios customers and chatting with them. I had a minor revelation while talking with one of the customers – I'm not a good salesman. There are some folks who are born with the innate ability to sell ice to an Eskimo and I'm not one of them. My joy doesn't come from numbers and dollar signs, but in talking with people and generating creativity. I can, and often do, sit for hours with people discussing creative solutions to everything from stringing to marketing. That's where my joy comes from.

Just down the street from the show was one of the coolest KFC's I've ever seen. The giant chicken's mouth opens and closes!

There's something about the South that puts me at ease and makes me feel completely comfortable. Maybe it's the sweet tea or sing-song accents? Or maybe Southern hospitality? I don't feel like I have to rush my words and hurry up to say what I want. I can meander with my words, like wandering in a garden... finding roses of sharon, crepe myrtles, all spice flowers, and Chinese button bushes along the way. Above are a couple of snapshots of different flowers that I found during my Atlanta travels.

One of the perks of doing the Atlanta show was the opportunity to visit with our friends Anne Choi and Lynn. They are both really awesome! Anne Choi is one of my all-time favorite bead-makers! Visits with her are always inspiring. Another benefit of the Atlanta show is being down the street from the Marietta Diner. The Marietta Diner was featured on the Food Network and for good reason! The food was delicious, the portions ample and affordable, and the service LIGHTNING fast! And let's not forget to mention the cake!

I love visiting cities where friends live. They know all the best places to find really good eats. For instance, Anne Choi took us to Paolo's for Italian Gelato. Look for the line, because folks circle the block for their summer-time gelato fix.

Anne Choi also introduced us to the Highland Bakery. What a wonderful place! It's another example of affordable, delicious, ample-portioned foodie goodness. I adore places with a great neighborhood vibe. The Highland Bakery has that and a hip, friendly staff to boot!

Above is a picture of Azalea trying out the blueberries on her ricotta pancakes. The center photo is a shot of my sweet potato pancakes that were absolutely mouthwatering and utterly delectable! The image on the far right is of Cynthia's French toast. When they say, "thick slices" – they mean it!

The show ended yesterday and today was our day to run around and have a little fun. One of the destinations was Zoo Atlanta. We all had such a wonderful time, but Azalea was beyond herself with happiness at seeing all the animals.

The zoo was studded with bronze sculptures of various animals, all worn bright yellow-gold from countless visitors posing for pictures with them. Above is a collection of photos of Azalea doing just that.

One day we'll get around to putting together a comprehensive scrapbook filled with just pictures of Azalea putting her face in the animal cut-outs. Above she is posing as an elephant, a lion, and a meerkat.

We walked all over the zoo, seeing everything from gorillas, meerkats, elephants, and tortoises.
We particularly enjoyed looking at the red panda, the river otters, the baby pandas, and visiting the parakeet and budgie aviary (there's over 2,000 of them in there!).

After the zoo, we stopped in Alon's for lunch. What a great little foodie market! They have a great selection of paninis, cheeses, and fancy sodas. Not to mention lovely desserts and baked goods!

Our time in Atlanta was good. The only thing we didn't particularly enjoy was the excessive traffic, but the opportunity to spend time with our friends and exploring the city where they live was well-worth it.


Marsha of Marsha Neal Studio said...

Thanks for taking us along visually! Always feel like I've been somewhere after reading your posts...

Unknown said...

Traffic is always crummy in Atlanta. And most of our directions (if they don't include a Peachtree Stree), include the Big Chicken as a landmark.

Glad you enjoyed our eats and zoo (yay,the animals showed themselves for you!) I'm sad I didn't make it to the bead show to meet you over the weekend.

TesoriTrovati said...

I have never been to Atlanta, but when I read something you have written about where you have been I always feel like I not only have been along with you, but now I really must go visit myself! That Azalea is such a peach (pun intended!).
I think it would be lovely to meander in a conversation with you rather than having to rush off to the next booth. And you are are a good salesman! I bought all sorts of goodies from you at Bead & Button! And I ever so enjoyed the conversation. That kept me there longer, lingering and buying more (clever sales trick!)
Enjoy the day!

Big Chicken said...

Ah, we didn't tell you the "BIG CHICKEN" tale. It has been a Marietta landmark since 1963. Get more details by clicking on the "Big Chicken" title to this post!


Andrew Thornton said...

Hey Marsha!

Thanks for coming along vicariously on my travels. It's good to know that I am surrounded by friends.

Andrew Thornton said...

Hey Kelley!

Yes, the traffic was pretty darn awful. I was mystified at some of the GPS directions, forcing the driver to go South on one highway to go North on another. Crazy.

I'm sorry that I didn't get a chance to meet you in Atlanta, but as I hear it... we'll have an opportunity to hang out in King of Prussia at Bead Fest!

Andrew Thornton said...

Hey Erin!

Whenever I go somewhere, I like to find the unique places to visit. Whether it's for food, fun, or just atmosphere... I'm always interested in seeing new things and getting to know a city outside of the generic chains that can be found off of every exit on the interstate system.

I think it's good if I make money, especially since I work for my family's company. However, for me, the goal of reaching out to people and finding creative solutions is much larger and far more important. I could sell a ziplock bag full of beads and if they don't know what to do with them... what have I really contributed to the world? I'd rather sell a smaller baggie, talk with someone, inspire each other, and know confidently that the beads I sell will be apart of some amazing design or will spark new ideas and creativity. It's all about forward motion.

So, no clever sales tricks from me! I just like to talk with people. Well... most people.

Andrew Thornton said...

Hey Lynn!

Thanks for the information about the Big Chicken. I will know for next time that in order to fully blend in with the natives, I must use "Big Chicken" in my direction giving.