A Weekend in Atlanta with Papa Jolie

Although I left Atlanta when I was 17 years old–and only officially lived there for 5 years–I think of it as my hometown.


With E. at Druid Hills Country Club

My father still lives in Atlanta, and I’ve been lucky enough to travel back several times in the past 12 months to see him. The lessons I internalized after losing my mother were only reinforced by this summer’s deaths: you never know how long you have with people (or how long they have with you) so don’t take them for granted and see them, talk to them, and tell them you love them as often as you can.

I still have to remind myself every once in a while. It’s so easy to get bogged down by life’s minutiae.


 Just married!

This past weekend was a doubleheader. First up: the wedding of my best friend’s little sister. My friend was officiating her sister’s wedding, and will also be officiating my wedding to E. in November, so we joked that this wedding was her dress rehearsal and that we would be making notes. (Sadly, she refuses to officiate in Rafiki robes.)


A. and I are the type of friends who can go a year without seeing each other, yet it’ll be like only 1 week has passed

The weekend was not only an excuse to hang with Papa Jolie and to introduce E. to various members of my family, but also to attend my 15 year high school reunion. I was emphatically not popular in high school, so even though I’m older, wiser, cooler, cuter, what have you, I entered that cocktail reception and I IMMEDIATELY felt like a dorky 14 year old with bad skin.

High school insecurities never really leave you, huh?


At my 15 year high school reunion, with Midtown Atlanta in the background. It was ten million degrees that night

Even though the first half hour of the reunion was un poquito awkward, everybody loosened up after a few drinks. I was surprised and delighted to learn that quite a few people there (and their spouses!) read my blog and have read my books. Shout outs to the Milton High School Class of 1998! I promise I’ll stay and chat longer at the 20th.


With E., my father, and A. at the Ritz-Carlton in Buckhead for a glass (or four) of Veuve Clicquot champagne after the reunion

E. wanted the “traditional” Atlanta experience on his last day, so we took him to the World of Coca-Cola and to the Georgia Aquarium.


Do you love long lines, pointless waiting, silly videos and tour guides who cannot measure the crowd? The World of Coca-Cola is for you! At least they have cool posters and a free bottle of Coke at the exit

Aquariums aren’t really my thing (I mean, you’ve seen one giant fish tank…), but E. was in heaven, which was adorable. I’ve promised that I’ll go scuba diving with him on our Australian honeymoon, and our time at the Georgia Aquarium was a nice sneak peek of what awaits me at the Great Barrier Reef.


Sharks, whales and manta rays inside the giant ocean tank at Georgia Aquarium

Or maybe not, because I have no idea what actually awaits me at the Great Barrier Reef other than water and coral. And hopefully a really talented dive instructor.

I was sad to leave my dad, but it was an excellent trip! See you again soon, Atlanta!

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