Monday, April 7, 2025

In Which I Tell You How to Find Things on This Website

I thought it might help my readers to have clear, easy to read links showing them all the places I have written about and my favorite things to do in each place.

After careful consideration, I have decided that the perfect tourist day for me would be the following:

Breakfast: (Ideally somewhere local because trying out different breakfast traditions is the best.)
Museum: (Best when you are bright and alert!)
Lunch: (Something along the sandwich/salad/soup spectrum so there's room for dinner)
Exploring: (This can be a walking tour or on your own. You could also see a second museum here if the first museum is small.)
Sitting: (At a café or bar with friends or somewhere charming to read on your own. At this point in the day you will need to relax.)
Dinner: (Preferably a proper three course meal, but in some places something more casual might be more to your needs.)
Entertainment: (For me this would be theater, movies, concerts, pretty much anything but mimes because they scare me.)

Therefore I have classified each place I've reviewed according to the above seven categories. You may wonder why I have chosen to put some places in one category and not another. I wonder that myself! A woman's heart is an ocean of secrets.

I categorize restaurants according to Lunch or Dinner based on whether or not I think it would be better to have a large meal or a small meal there. Of course, you are free to do whatever you wish! And now, without further ado, are:

Saturday, April 25, 2015

In Which I Become One With The Creatures Of The Deep

SG's Guide to the Georgia Aquarium

Image Credit

You Shouldn't Spend Extra Money to Get the Special Aquarium Features If You Are An Adult

After my meal, I was so happy that I could have just gone straight home and been satisfied with the trip. Instead, I decided to head to the Georgia Aquarium. The Aquarium ticket is expensive and I suggest not getting tickets for any of the extra shows or events unless you are traveling with kids. There’s plenty to see in the main aquarium. I didn’t know this at the time, but there’s something called an Atlanta City Pass, which will get you admission to the Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola, the Atlanta Zoo, the CNN Studio, and a couple of other attractions of your choice. It costs half of what you would pay for each admission price separately, so if you are planning to see a lot of Atlanta, it is a good deal.

In Which I Eat A Meal I Have Waited Twelve Long Years To Eat

SG's Guide to Eating at the Varsity

Guides to packing or getting to the hotel from your airport are easy to write because you can just make a list of steps. However writing guides to sightseeing is a horse of a different color. I can't just give you a list of steps; you are presumably an adult and I can't tell you what to do. Therefore I would rather gently persuade you by suggesting what you must, should, may, shouldn't, and can't do on your travels. Having said that...
You Must Eat  A Hot Dog At the Varsity If You Are In Atlanta
Image Credit
There was one thing in Atlanta that I had been dreaming about doing since the last time I had been in the city as a teenager—eating at The Varsity. Atlanta’s fine dining scene is one of the best in the South, but to my mind The Varsity’s chili dog alone would make the city an appropriate foodie mecca. As soon as my bags were put down on the floor, I ran off to the train station and headed straight for the place.

In Which I Learn That All Roads Lead to Hartsfield

SG's Guide To Navigating The Airport
Image Credit
Step One: Figure Out the Fastest And/Or Cheapest Way to Get to the Airport.

Sometimes you will be able to take public transportation to the airport, and sometimes you will have to take a cab. In order to save money, I decided to take the train and bus to LaGuardia. Even as much as I hate getting up early in the morning, I felt a frisson of glee sweep along my spine as I arose on the morn of my travels because I felt so adventuresome, leaving my house at 6 in the morning to head off on my very first real solo adventure.

In more prosaic news, it's pretty easy to get to LaGuardia from Manhattan. I prefer to take the E or F trains to the Jackson Heights station and then get the Q70 bus to LaGuardia. You need to allow plenty of extra time because as unreliable as the NYC subway schedule is, the bus is eleventy times worse.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

In Which I Admit to Possessing Numerous Flaws

SG's Guide to Packing!

Step One: Make a List And Cross Things Off Only When They Are In Your Suitcase

'I give this advice based on my own bitter experience. I do not naturally possess many skills required to be a good packer. I am not organized or patient, and I have a poor sense of physical space which makes it difficult for me to determine how many things I can fit into a suitcase. The one thing I am is fast! I can pack for a two weeklong trip the night before, and we are talking in a matter of minutes. Of course, doing it this way, I usually leave important things behind, like underwear or my pajamas. This time I think I did a pretty good job because the only important thing I left behind was my camera. Still when you use a list, you are sure to leave no man behind.

In Which I Briefly Lose My Sanity But Regain It Fairly Quickly

SG'S Guide to Planning an Itinerary

Step One: Prioritize

You must have had a reason for deciding on going to your chosen location. If it’s very important to you that you see a certain show or eat at a certain restaurant, plan ahead and make sure you’ve taken care of everything. Aside from seeing my family, I had one special thing that I was determined to do in each city. I wanted to go to a Braves game in Atlanta, I wanted to eat some delicious food in Savannah, and I wanted to volunteer in New Orleans. I recommend that you make a similar list of Must-Dos for any trip.

In Which I Extol the Virtues of Guidebooks

SG'S Guide to Choosing Your Hotel

Step One: Decide If You Want to Stay In a Hotel Or In Someone's House

Now that the transportation was settled it was time to consider my sleeping quarters. I have three aunts, two uncles, three first cousins, and countless cousins-in-law living in the Atlanta metro area and its environs, so it would be extremely easy for me to find someone to put me up for two nights. However, just because you CAN do something, and it would save you money, doesn't mean you should do it.

When deciding whether or not to stay with a friend or relative, it is important to make a pro-con list in your mind. (Or on paper, but be sure to eat the paper afterward so the evidence will be destroyed.) I love my family but they don’t live anywhere near public transportation, and I didn’t want to be dependent on someone driving me around the city if I wanted to go out in the evening. Therefore I decided to stay in a hotel. If you are really on a budget, staying with anyone willing to put up with you for a night, like a relative or a prostitute with a heart of gold, might be the way to go.