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Checking CNN, Highlands and Oysterfest Off the Bucket List

Checking CNN, Highlands and Oysterfest Off the Bucket List

Sigh. I’ve been really slow at blogging the past few weeks, but it’s not for a lack of trying. Life has been a little crazy between work, wedding planning, going away for Valentine’s Day weekend, food poisoning, snow, Rexford’s surgery (don’t worry this post is coming soon too) and much more.

So I’m going to tell you about everything I’ve checked off the bucket list!

Checking CNN, Highlands and Oysterfest Off the Bucket List

CNN headquarters tour

CNN Headquarters VIP Tour

If you remember a few weeks ago, my mom came to visit me in ATL (and we survived the Hawks game) and one of the items I had on the bucket list was to visit the CNN headquarters. One thing that my mom LOVES is 24 hour news. We grew up watching Fox, CNN, MSNBC, etc. of hours on end.  Whether it was the OJ high speed chase or Jon Benet’s murder mystery, we watched it from the time we got up in the morning to eat our Eggo waffles with strawberries, to the time my mom was wrapping up dinner and cleaning the dishes.

There were no breaks in news for our family, and I can safely say that this has probably contributed to her lack of trust in the world.

That said, she loves studio tours of different TV and news sets. When my sister lived in NYC, my mom and I frequently went to visit her, and we would see live shows and tour studios when we could. We’ve been to Kelly & Regis, NBC, ABC, and a few more. It’s always so cool to see how big these studios are, and the different types of equipment they have.

And it’s even crazier to realize how small the studio audience seating actually is for live shows like Conan  O’Brien and the Tonight Show.

We took the VIP tour (which is well worth the $35 ticket) and got to see the actual headquarters, the HLN studio, and how the cameras prepare the content and switch the views from one screen to another. If you’re at all interested in this sort of thing, it’s an awesome way to learn how the studios do what they do.

In the HLN studio, three or four of their cameras are actually robots, which are controlled (like Mario Kart) from behind a screen. Pretty awesome stuff!

Little fun fact: the world’s longest freestanding escalator is what you take up to the tour, so if you want to check that off your list, you can do it in one fell swoop 🙂


Highlands, North Carolina

highlands north carolina
Like many of our fun adventures in the South, we planned a “romo” (our short word for “romantic”) weekend away. Highlands had come recommended to us from some good Emory friends of ours who got married there last summer. We decided to come up to the Old Edwards Inn for Valentine’s Day weekend for a quick getaway from the city. The best part is that Highlands is only a 2.5 hour drive, which makes it a perfect weekend trip away from the A.

Oh my gosh, can I just tell you how fabulous Old Edwards Inn is? It is simply so luxurious. Upon arrival, one of the 5 hotel attendees provides you with a fresh glass of champagne. For those of you who know me, that’s basically like music to my soul. The rooms are luxurious AND adorable. It reminds me of old English style with classic floral pattern drapes, white blinds, classic wood details, and way too many pieces of furniture for a room. We had our own private balcony, and the bathroom was a dream. If you haven’t experienced heated floors, let me just tell you – they are uhhhhmazzing.

The property is huge and never understaffed. There are multiple lounges, sitting rooms, Madison’s the restaurant, a fitness center with all types of classes, and a world-class spa, which has to be the absolute highlight of the trip.


  • Madison’s has fabulous food (seared foie gras, scallops & mussels to die for, and an incredible wine selection)
  • The spa – spend a whole day here. Come early, enjoy your paper by the fire, get your treatment, have a glass of champagne in the quiet sitting room, enjoy lunch at the Spa Cafe, and then indulge in the 12-shower head shower, mineral spa, sauna and steam room. Everything about this spa is impressive.
  • Just stay at the Old Edwards. It will be good for your health.


Next on the list: Oysterfest in ATL. I do love me a good Oysterfest. What can be better than brews, oysters and music? Pretty much nothing. When I saw that there was an Oysterfest in ATL, I quickly got tickets for Leo and I. Despite the rain, we toughed the cold, wet weather to check it out for a few hours. I must say that the amount of oysters there was pretty disappointing…. There were about 2 stations where you could get oysters – likely another reason why SF has ruined me. But, we ran into a bunch of friends, and that was awesome!


The coolest thing is that I ran into a girl who is born and raised in ATL. She mentioned that she had read my bucket list and that she was so impressed with how extensive it was that she was adding some of the items to her own list! Neato speedo!

Overall, we had a great time, and the music was fun, but it’s no San Francisco Oysterfest. Also, one big recommendation: DON’T EAT THE OYSTERS!!!

Lucky me. I got food poisoning. I got the warning a bit too late and had already indulged in an oyster Po’ Boy. This kept me in bed for a solid 24 hours, and we sadly had to miss the Sweetwater 18th Anniversary Party the following day – another item on my bucket list!

So, Sweetwater is still on our bucket list, but I have a feeling that by the time spring rolls around, their outdoor patio will be a much more attractive spot than the current sleet and snow conditions 🙂

Until next time! xoxo

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