21 February 2014

olympic biking.

while in search for things unique to atlanta, we came across the 1996 olympic mountain biking course. in doing some research we found that this was the first olympic mountain biking course--
pretty monumental and awesome, so we had to check it out.

hands down, this trail was the most fun we have ever ridden. through a series of quick, downhill switchbacks, it was easy to gain speed and zip through the track and fun little obstacles along the way. i also must mention there was hardly any uphill, which made for a great ride

 olympic riders? not quite, but we did finish the trail and a sweet ride.


17 February 2014

coca-cola.

 an afternoon of exploring atlanta led to the world of coca-cola, a museum all things coca-cola. it was pretty awesome as one can only imagine. first stop was a display of giant coca-cola bottles decorated in themes to represent countries and cultures from all over the world.
we also of course had to get a picture with the coca-cola polar bear..who we are pretty sure was a male

we also held one of the 1996 atlanta olympic torches, coca-cola a proud sponsor

and received a complimentary bottle of the freshest coca-cola you could ever taste

in the end there was an entire room full of coca-cola drinks from around the world, and of course austin made us sample a cup from everywhere. some of our favorites were from africa and south america, but in the end nothing can beat the original







14 February 2014

zipping.

valentines day. every year austin plans a well-thought-out adventure activity for us to do--the man knows the way to my heart. this years surprise...zip-lining and ropes course adventure at callaway gardens. heights are not my thing, and i will admit that at first i was a little hesitant, but by the end, i loved every minute of it...okay maybe except for the swinging logs, which you can tell by my face in the picture below...





  another perfect valentines day! 

24 January 2014

ranger.

61 days of hell for eternal glory. that is the only way to describe ranger school. since the day i met austin, young ROTC cadet, all he could talk about was his dreams of going to ranger school. for those unfamiliar with ranger school, if you watch the show surviving the cut, that is what ranger school is- pretty much no sleep, no food, and surviving in the georgia woods, appalachian mountains, and florida swamps for 2 months- sometimes longer if they do not pass the first time through, the longest i've heard was 180 days. the training is testing soldiers to their mental and physical limits and making sure they do not break under pressure. the coveted ranger tab is highly aspired for in the army, and only about 50% of those who go eventually make it through. training and missions are run around the clock and there is no communication home allowed during the school, only occasion letter writing on re-supply day. so 3 november i dropped austin off at ranger school and told him not to come out without that tab.

Day 0: November 3
after 42 days, i got to pick austin up for a 2 week christmas break, the only time during the year ranger school shuts down. at this point he had completed the first 2 phases in the georgia woods and appalachian mountains. he experienced freezing temperatures, rucked around with 100 lbs+ on his back, and averaged 2-3 hours of sleep a night with 2 MREs to eat a day; he lost approximately 20 lbs (i could see fully see his rib cage), got frost bite on his toes, and was very happy to eat 5 guys hamburger as soon as he could.

Day 42: December 16

after christmas with lots of sleeping and food, he headed back in for the final phase in flordia.
two and a half weeks later he *ran* out of the school gates a ranger

and two days later i got to pin the coveted ranger tab on his uniform





my awesome aunt and uncle drove all the way down from washington d.c. for the graduation too!

my favorite part of the whole experience was being able to put a care package together for him before he returned home from florida, loaded up with all his favorite goodies:
blackberry pie-in-a-jar



proud does not even begin to describe my feelings for this guy. way to go aust! i love all 140lbs of you!

31 December 2013

celebrations.

this year we spent christmas and new years in texas with the hatchs. we always have so much fun all the time that we end up forgetting to stop and take a picture or two. here are some favorites we did manage to get along the way:


favorite hatch tradition: blowing up gingerbread houses on new years eve. 
(i definitely scored the best family you could marry into) 
this year's theme--blowing up ranger school...mountain phase. 

21 December 2013

NOLA.

after several months of continuous army trainings, a weekend trip to new orleans was just what we needed. we stayed in a renovated inn hotel that had all the historical charms of the french quarter.


and the location could not have been any better. we were steps from jackson square, a popular hotspot of the french quarter, filled with historical architecture, musicians, and artists. 


we were two blocks from the famous bourbon street, which reminded us of an old time, and perhaps the original vegas strip.

we were also one block from the glorious cafe du monde, which has beignets to die for. we went there three times over the weekend, seriously could not get enough. 



overall the amazing food was our favorite part of new orleans. words cannot describe the delicious goodness we enjoyed during our stay.

we tried a little bit of everything new orleans is known for, and classics of grilled oysters (ACME oyster house) and red beans & rice (the Gumbo shop) were our favorites of the weekend. these were so good i  tried to get austin to go back to those restaurants twice during out stay. we also tried some gumbo, crawfish, and gator po-boys that were fabulous.

we fell in love with new orleans. in a town that truly never sleeps, we enjoyed the continued hustle and bustle of unique sights, sounds, and tastes. and we will definitely be visiting again sometime in the future. 



video
a snapshot of some holiday cheer from nola.

01 November 2013

yehaw.

we scored some tickets to a local rodeo in alabama and we spent saturday night watching bucking horses and roping cattle. this was my first rodeo and austin was so excited to show me what the rodeo was all about. we even dressed the part.

31 October 2013

painted faces.

halloween traditions. usually we do the normal pumpkin carving at halloween time, but because georgia is so humid, you can't really carve pumpkins because they will deflate into grandma pumpkins within 24 hours. so this year we painted our pumpkins instead.