VACATION DAY ELEVEN: OCEAN GOOD-BYES, HUGE DRINKS AND “THIS IS NOT A SECRET BAR”

8 Aug

I practically forgot about vacation posts! Haha and here it is August now. Well on vacation time we are up to Monday, June 30th. Zach and I got up at our Hyatt Regency on Clearwater Beach and all traces of the huge storm the night before were gone. I woke up to take a picture of the sunrise before falling back asleep.

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It was a gorgeous morning and we utilized it to go for a run (what would end up being our last run of vacation which is a mistake!).

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Back at our room we packed up and Zach fed the seagulls some popcorn out on the porch. First one was interested…

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Then it got crazy! I told him it was a bad idea! Haha

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We said a last goodbye to the ocean-

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To our room and balcony-

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And to our cool hotel.

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We took off from Clearwater before noon and headed for Kori and Atlanta. Our driving went without too much incident until we had a veritable monsoon!

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As we closed in on Atlanta (and got out of the rain) we began to get a taste of that famous Atlanta craziness with some incredibly dangerous interstate drag-racers (going WELL over 100 in heavy traffic!!) and what appeared to be a legitimate drug bust on the other side of the interstate. Seriously. The left side was shut down with traffic completely stopped. People were lined up in traffic with no exits for over 8 miles! That’s hours of waiting. There were cops everywhere, a semi on the side of the road with a lot of Mexican guys standing outside it in trouble and package after package of what appeared to be cocaine stacked up on the interstate! It was insane. I was glad to get out of the madness and to Kori’s apartment and was especially glad to be re-united with my best friend!!

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Her boyfriend Larry was there too and he and Zach met for the first time. We all had some champagne and got ready for dinner and our evening.

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They took us downtown Atlanta to a really neat place called Nook where we sat outside on an awesome brick patio. The four of us shared this insanely large fishbowl drink that was practically comical in size!

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Of course we also HAD to get their famous “Big Bloody Mary” if for no other reason then to gawk at the ridiculous amount of garnishes on it!!

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A hard-boiled egg, tater tots, bacon, toast, bleu-cheese stuffed olives, pepperoncini, steak (cooked to order!!) and probably more. It was insane. For dinner I got a stuffed burger and Zach got some of their “tot-chos”.

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Tot-chos are their version of nachos and he got the redneck totchos which had mesquite smoked pork, coca-cola bbq sauce, jalapeños and cheese sauce. Weirdly awesome. My stuffed burger was crazy though!

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It was a beef patty stuffed with shrimp, andouille sausage, gouda cheese, then topped with andouille sausage and a gouda grit cake with a smoked tomato beurre blanc sauce. This place. Crazy awesome!! Kori and Larry partook of the incredible burgers as well and we had a good time visiting and celebrating our arrival to Georgia.

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After dinner we went to Porter Beer bar, a “must-do” for Zach. This apparently had a “secret bar” in it and the instructions said to go to the back, up the stairs and into a secret room. I marched like I knew what I was doing right through the place, up the stairs…and outside. Not it. Kori saw a door leading to a side room and asked a server if she could go in and she said no. We looked up the secret instructions and surmised that it had, indeed, been that room that we wanted to go in. I decided just to look like I knew what I was doing and once again marched back down there with Zach in tow. Kori felt too nervous to come yet but Zach and I walked right in there and Zach found himself in beer heaven.

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It was definitely NOT a secret bar, but rather a special beer cellar for elite beer drinkers. It was dark and castle-like with rare beers lining the wooden shelves. Eventually Kori and Larry joined us and we found out that this room had been randomly put on a secret bar list and that people sometimes wait in there for 45 minutes like “Where’s the bartender?” and tell them “There is no one coming, this is not a secret bar!!” Haha. We enjoyed some good beers out at one of the long beer-hall like tables and I got to have an Allagash beer that I haven’t been able to get since we were on the east coast last year!

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Zach geeked out talking beer with the workers and looking over the plethora of unique beers in the room.

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We felt cool for having found it despite it not being what we thought. 🙂

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We were tired by the time we left and it was back to Kori’s for the night to crash. She was nice enough to let us use her big comfy bed for the week we were there and it was lovely to be in air-conditioning still after our hot week in Florida. 🙂

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