TRAVEL DIARIES || ATLANTA, GEORGIA

Whew, it's been a minute since I last blogged! It's been kind of weird month, and I decided to take a bit of a break from blogging, just to feel a little more grounded. At the end of June, over the long holiday weekend, we took a family trip to Atlanta and Savannah, to visit my younger brother Trinish, who is currently stationed in Atlanta for his summer internship with AT&T. I'm back from this short trip feeling refreshed and re-energized, and ready to dive headfirst into my to-do list!

Atlanta and Savannah were both lovely, but in different ways. In both cities, we got to eat some amazing food, take in a bit of culture, and see beautiful things. You'll see a TON of food photos in these upcoming posts from this trip, because everyone who knows me knows that I love to eat! 

Without further ado, a glimpse of our trip in Atlanta! 

Our first meal was in Ponce City Market, located in the historic Sears, Roebuck & Co. building in midtown Atlanta. I loved Ponce City Market for its vibrant and lively feel - there was something about the mix of industrial steel beams paired with a worn wooden floor and warm lighting that made me feel right at home. We decided to try an Indian eatery called Botiwalla Indian Street Grill - and let me tell you, good thing we did! We had some of the best, most fresh naan wraps I've ever had. The naan - a staple Indian flatbread made in a clay tandoor oven - was thick, pillowy and buttery, and wrapped around freshly grilled paneer and freshly roasted veggies, and accompanied by yogurt sauce, tangy mango pickle, and hot sauce. Absolutely delicious! Besides the really good food, Botiwalla had some amazingly nostalgic decor - we found shelves lined with mango pickle, steel tiffin boxes, glass bottles of Limca (my favorite soda in the world - it's the Indian equivalent of Sprite, but SO much better!), mango Frooti juiceboxes and tiny packets of Parle-G biscuits. The walls were lined with vintage movie posters, and the "rules" for the restaurant were hand written on one of the pillars. We felt right at home eating there! 

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We followed up the meal with some fresh lavender-honey gelato from Honeysuckle. After a long stroll around the market to help us digest all that goodness, we called it a night and headed back to our AirBnb for the night. 

The next day, in search of more delicious food (naturally), we made our way to Chai Pani, in the outskirts of Atlanta (Decatur, to be exact). I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted by more quirky decor - very reminiscent of the brightly colored trucks (or lorrys as they're often called) that you often see in India. Everything had a hand-made touch to it, making it all the more homely and inviting. Just like in Botiwalla (which is a Chai Pani affiliate - so the cool decor in both places makes total sense!!), vintage movie posters adorned the walls, along with beautiful photos, drawings and paintings. Even the bathroom was covered in art! Here too, the food was absolutely mouthwatering. We each tried a different burger, and of course shared. Now, I really am not a seafood person - I don't enjoy the taste, smell, anything. I eat it rarely, and only if it's really good. At Chai Pani, I happily gulped down a Bengali fish fry burger, while my family looked at me like I had two heads! The burger was made from fresh North Carolina tilapia, and the fish was perfectly cooked, flaky and delicious. If I could have fish like that everyday, I'd definitely be eating more seafood! It was a rainy day in Atlanta, and Chai Pani gave all of us some intense Indian monsoon nostalgia - the vibes were so friendly and wonderful, I hope to go back next time I'm in Atlanta for sure!

After lunch, we took a tour of the CNN studios and got to see the World of Coca Cola, both of which were very cool in their own ways. I don't have many photos from CNN as photography isn't allowed past the first point of the tour. It was so amazing to see the studios that national television shows are filmed on! My favorite was getting a glimpse of the newsrooms, where hundreds of employees worked like busy bees on hundreds of computers, gathering news, fact-checking, and getting things ready for broadcast. I did take a ton of photos at the World of Coca Cola, as I was going gaga over all of the the beautiful Coca Cola art we saw there! We even got to try Coca Cola sodas from all around the world there, which was pretty freaking awesome.

As we drove around the city, I also fell in love with all of the street we saw just about everywhere. It makes the city look so vibrant and artistic, and while I didn't get to photograph a ton of it because we were driving, I loved seeing it in person! 

Going to Atlanta, I didn't have very many expectations of how the city was going to be, but I loved the little of bit of it that I got to see. If you're into delicious food and some really cool art, it's a must see for sure! 

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