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For my birthday this year Zach gave me such a thoughtful, sweet gift! A trip to Atlanta together that including a SHOPPING SPREE. I was soooo excited!!! I spent the time leading up to our trip going through my closet. I tried on majority of my clothes and have a HUGE stack of stuff to sell once I get my new computer hooked up for easier photo uploading 🙂
To kick off our trip Zach gave me an Ipad! Don’t go crazy thinking he bought the thing for me haha…you know we’re too cheap for something like that 😉 He won an Ipad with Aflac awhile back and had the opportunity to pick a prize with a recent Aflac competition so he chose to not get himself something and instead picked an Ipad for me. Such a sweet husband! To be honest…I’ve had the thing for almost a MONTH and literally have used it four times. It has been ON the entire time and is still running off the original battery charge when we first opened it haha. I know everyone says I’ll LOVE IT but when? I just don’t really have a need for that??? I used my little tablet ALL THE TIME while nursing but I’m in the process of weaning her and the Ipad is way too big to use while nursing anyway. I guess I need to make myself use it more??? I’m super appreciative that Zach got it for me and I’m hoping after I get some accessories for it I may put it to use more often (I mean I don’t have a cover on that junk yet…makes me nervous for sure!).
Originally Zach had planned for us to leave Friday afternoon, go to Atlanta and spend the night then shop Saturday and come home Saturday night. Yeah right. ONE DAY of shopping?!?! I knew we’d need more than that 😉 Luckily he was able to rearrange somethings with work and took the day off on Friday. We took the kids to Mrs. Charlotte’s (Kye was SO excited to spend the night over there!) and headed out pretty early. I worked out a plan for us and decided we’d hit up the outlets at Locust Grove first. We got there right at lunch time and decided to hit up Subway 🙂
The beauty of being an Aflac agent…you can work from anywhere haha. Zach had to handle a few business things so he just used the roof of his car as his desk and set up his little hot spot thing for some internet on the go 😉
We had a GREAT time. We walked majority of the outlet and had so much fun. I haven’t been shopping with Zach in AGES. I forgot how much I love shopping with him 🙂 He has GREAT taste and always makes me try on things that I wouldn’t normally pick out. My tendency is to buy all basics and to try to spread my dollar as far as possible. But he forced me to buy more “fun stuff” and to buy several “higher end” pieces (and by higher end I mean stuff that wasn’t super super cheap…I think the most I spent was like $30 something on a dress haha).
We hit up pretty much every store I wanted to go to (we saved Old Navy outlet for the next day but ended up not going back) and I had only spent less than 1/3 of my money! I was also proud of myself for avoiding the kid stores. Gah I love to shop for my kids, don’t you? But this trip was about ME so I resisted the temptation. Zach was already being sweet enough to shop with me for my own stuff, I knew I’d push the limits trying to shop for kids clothes too haha
We had to go ahead and leave to be able to get to our dinner reservations on time so we hit up McDonald’s for a snack on our way out since dinner wouldn’t be until 8. We split some fries and I got a HUGE iced frappe to keep me going energy-wise. I had actually packed my Spark but thought it’d be fun to get a special treat and assumed that it would make me super hyper like it usually does. Um. No. I realized then how LEGIT Spark really is. I gain energy and mental focus when I just drink a glass of Spark (plus, hello no sugar and low calories). I drank this HUGE, high cal, coffee drink and STILL fell asleep in the car. Like I was OUT. It made me hyper for like 30 min then I CRASHED. HARD. Never doing that again!
The sun was also SUPER intense and it was KILLING my eyes. We stopped to get gas and look at what a thoughtful husband I have haha he was blocking the sun for me 😉 Yes, I’m spoiled!
I ended up naming my own price for a hotel room on Priceline and booked it the day before our trip. Not my usual style but it took me awhile to map out our course and I wanted a hotel close to where we’d be shopping the next day as to not waste any time 😉 It was a nice room! I don’t remember the brand of hotel but they did charge $7.99 for their HOTEL BREAKFAST buffet. Like the one most hotels give for free!!! Ridiculous!
When planning my birthday present Zach had made us dinner reservations at Medieval Times! I haven’t been since before we started dating but I have always LOVED it. I went several times in high school…I’m not sure what prompted our first visit but I know I’ve been at least three times to the Orlando location. I have joked with Zach that one opening on Sugarloaf Parkway (like LEGIT down the street from where I grew up in Lawrenceville) was meant to be and that we needed to go sometime. He’d never been and I KNEW he’d enjoy it.
With my dad, brother and Aunt Donna at the Orlando location from back in the day 😉
The doors opened an hour prior to the show starting and I wanted to get there early to give us time to check everything out. It’s soooo strange how it’s located at a mall. Especially the Discover Mills (Sugarloaf Mills now?) one. I have NEVER liked that mall. We thought the big giant castle would be the entrance to the place but we actually had to go inside the mall to go in. Zach bought our tickets in advance (NEVER pay full price…there is ALWAYS a special…my ticket was free for my birthday!) so we just picked them up and headed inside!
The inside of the place is pretty awesome. It’s all very LEGIT castle like. It reminded me so much of Disney how the cast members took it all SO seriously and how every detailed fit the theme (and how expensive the gift shop was…). Really it’s a poor man’s Disney haha. It gave me a little mini-Disney fix to hold me over for awhile 😉
Cool owl who played no part whatsoever in the show?
Stuff like this is ONLY fun if you GET INTO IT. I can’t stand when people are lame and don’t get in the spirit of events. I love being hardcore 😉 Back in the day when I went before they gave out the team crowns and flags to cheer on your knight. But now they only give the crowns…I totally tried to get Zach to let me buy a flag but spending $1 on a cheap piece of fabric attached to a drinking straw did not seem worth it even to me! We wore our crowns with pride though 😉
While we walked around debating what, if anything, to buy the kids (Zach wanted to buy Kye this $30 wooden set with a sword and shield…we settled on buying them NOTHING haha) we also stopped to watch when people got knighted. The whole thing is all about getting you to spend more money and one of the upgrades you can buy is for someone in your party to be officially made into a knight. It was all boys who were celebrating their birthdays. They knelt down and the announcer guy used a sword to knight them. It was cute. One of the birthday boys was turning 21 years old. He was special needs and I don’t know why but I just LOST IT. Like legit couldn’t make it stop crying while watching him become a knight. His mom was taking lots of pictures and he was just so excited. I kept thinking about his mama and crying. Mama’s with special needs babies have such a soft spot on my heart for sure! It was a precious moment that has really stuck with me.
Anyways…the announcer guy was awesome. He did all the announcing. He had a great balance of kid friendly humor and adult humor and made it a fun event for all ages. I thought he did a wonderful job! Each team got called into the banquet hall by our colors and we cheered on our teams as we went in!
I think it’s super fun how you don’t get any silverware! It’s so authentic 😉 Our team was the newest knight it was the black and white one. Each section has their own server who passes out all the food. It was surprising that they would only be coming around twice for drink refills…we did our best to sip slowly haha
I LOVE this picture of us!!!! It turned out better than the $20 one they tried to sell us 😉
The knights and their horses
I know this may be biased but we had THE BEST knight. Seriously. He was so into it and smiled at the crowd and seemed like he was LEGIT.
I couldn’t really prepare Zach for what the food would be like…because I couldn’t remember? I think the whole thing about me not being able to taste much just makes food very low on my list of memorable things. When they brought out the soup I was surprised it was tomato. I mean I remembered liking the food and don’t see myself enjoy tomato soup? I don’t even like ketchup! This meal made me realize that SO MUCH of my “tasting” is really based on appearance. We ate in the dark since the show was taking place and I ate everything they served me…and I LIKED IT. I never would try tomato soup yet I drank the whole thing. I never would eat chicken like this, especially not with my hands, but it was super yummy! I guess I need to start closing my eyes when I’m served something new huh? 😉
Every time I’ve been to Medieval Times the knights throw flowers to the ladies in the crowd. I ALWAYS get jipped. Well not this time 😉
After the dinner and show they welcomed the guests to meet all the knights out in the lobby. Duh. I wanted to do that! Most people left but a few stuck around. It was pretty awkward because everyone was just STANDING there. So I made the first move and hit up the princess for a picture 🙂 I tried to get Zach to go too but he was good haha
Our knight!!! He seemed SO tall…but I think he must have been close to Zach’s height or shorter? It’s strange that I don’t really ever think about Zach’s height anymore? I guess I’m used to it 😉 Our knight didn’t win but he fought a solid fight for sure 😉
It was a VERY fun night! I know it’s pretty random that we went to something so family friendly without our kids but we enjoyed it! Until we went I had been wanting to take Kye…but now I think we need to wait awhile. I cannot see him eating that food, especially with his hands and in the dark. It’s FOR SURE more appropriate for an older age child. I also think it’s fun to cheer and boo and all but it doesn’t teach good sportsmanship. I have never been a fan of “booing” other teams. I understand they are the “bad guys” in the show but it still bugs me and I don’t want to encourage that! Once Kye is old enough to understand that it’s just for the show then we’ll def have to take him. It’s NOT cheap by any means…but it is an experience worth doing!!! And the food is all tasty too!
We were WORE OUT after the show and slept so solid. It was great cuddling up in the super dark hotel room. I always sleep so good at hotels. I know most people don’t but I love how cold the rooms get and how dark it is!
When Zach told me we were going to “Atlanta” (now that I live in the south I consider anything north of Macon to be “Atlanta”) I was hesitant to ask him about seeing some of my friends or anyone b/c it was a special trip just about us and I didn’t want him to think I’d rather be spending time visiting people than spending time with him ya know? Since we were going to the Mall of Ga the next morning and since our hotel didn’t have free breakfast I figured it’d be okay to meet up with Rachael somewhere near the mall. Give us a chance for some face time without taking away from quality hubby time 😉 It couldn’t have worked out better!!!!!! We met up at Mimi’s (was that the name of it? I’m too lazy to google…) and had a FEAST for breakfast!!!
We saved this muffin for later and oh my goodness SO TASTY
I am truly blessed with AWESOME friendships. I adore Rachael. I mean, duh, everyone does. She’s so fun to be around and I could seriously hang out with her every day and never get sick of her. If we lived closer we would drive our husbands insane I think 😉 What’s great is ZACH likes Rachael too AND we both like Greg so much!!! That is rare and I’m thankful! I love Rachael for a lot of reasons but mostly b/c she “gets” my need for pictures hahaha
I left off the HILARIOUS one of you taking off your shoes…it’s still saved on my computer if you want a copy 😉
Wait Brady…take out the paci…then BAM! Instant SMILE!!!!! Why can’t my kids smile like this?
I was SUPER mad they didn’t have Macy. I kinda wanna steal her away 😉
Sugar High from all the Muffins!
Breakfast was WONDERFUL. I ate toooo much and totally took up some quality shopping time in the bathroom at Nordstrom Rack (I think I was texting Rachael while in the bathroom actually haha told you I don’t get sick of her!). Have you ever been to Nordstrom Rack??? I wanted to go there first before the mall because I hadn’t been in YEARS and wanted some department store looks without having to deal with a legit department store. Other than their Nazi ways regarding trying on the clothes…it was an AWESOME store. I spent a big chunk of my shopping money in one place 😉
After that we went to the Mall of Georgia. I have always LOVED the mall. It was as nice as I remember it being and it brought back soooooo many fond memories. I did not hit up Delia’s while we were there. I was OBSESSED with Delias as a pre-teen/teenager and legit CRIED when they were opening one the mall! We actually didn’t even make it halfway through the mall. I spent all my money before we got that far haha.
Express took me a LONG time. I had SO many coupons and it was so tricky to figure out how to spend the smartest to get the best prices. I rocked it and it was SO worth the time it took…but it pushed Zach to his limit. He was WORN OUT. I’m so thankful he was so sweet and patient with me and we still had a great time, he was just ready to be DONE. I don’t think it helped that we skipped lunch and were STARVING.
The one thing I planned in the trip was a stop at Johnny Carino’s. Gah. I LOVE that place. I have been to Provino’s several times when I go up to visit my friends and such but haven’t been to Johnny Carino’s in AGES. I was glad we were starving so we could PIG OUT 😉
I promise I was pumped for the dessert…I was just on a downer from the shopping excitement haha
We drove straight home and opted not to stop back through at the outlets on the way. I can’t remember if I fell asleep or stayed awake the whole ride??? Knowing me I probably fell asleep. My foot was KILLING me. Which I expected. Two days of a TON of walking will cause that to happen when you have a foot injury 😉
We got home and I HAD to get some pics of us with all of
our my bags! We used to take pictures like these back in our old school UOT (Ultimate Outlet Team, duh) days and we had to do it again. Yall know me and my traditions 😉
In a coma from all the money spent hahaha
I really racked up!
I did manage to sneak in some Christmas shopping while we were on our shopping spree and Zach was SO cute when he saw these little Nike sneakers and said he just really, really thought they were adorable and wanted to get them for Brittlynn. $22. On shoes. BUT he picked them out himself! That is so, so precious to me!!! We had to get them! We bought a size up from where she is now in hopes she’ll be walking by the time they fit and we are giving them to her for Christmas. I think it’s so special that her daddy wanted to get her something 🙂 She’s so blessed in the Daddy Department for sure!
We woke up early that next morning and went to pick up the kids before church. It was SUCH a great little getaway together. I know how lucky I am, trust me!!! To have a husband who is thoughtful enough to even think of this present…who is willing to go shopping WITH me…and who actually enjoys picking out clothes for me to try on and who actually has good taste?!? Hard to believe he’s even real, isn’t it? 😉 We had SUCH a blast and it was THE perfect birthday present!!!