More travel? You betcha. This time its down south to one of the southern charm cities: Atlanta. I haven’t been in about 10 years when I drove down to visit my cousins in University of Florida for fun. I made my way back up and stopped by Atlanta to visit my Uncles family for a night. Oh boy was it quite a drive. 5 hours from Gainesville, FL and then 8 hours all the way home to Washington D.C. I can remember quite a few police arrests, crazy highways, some nice suburban neighborhoods and best of all good Chinese food.
This time it was a big family fun with Cindy and Henry and my brother family in one big happy kid filled adventure for my cousins wedding. It was quite an experience watching both of our families take on three or four luggage, car, seat, or strollers all the while having three kids cling to us for life. Though I have to say my youngest niece Katelyn was the most chill about it all! All the children were super good and just enjoying the trip. We as a family couldn’t ask for better children. From different foods, Georgia Aquarium, and a wedding all in 3 days, it was a pleasant short trip.
I have to start off and say I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy to have it rain so hard on my cousins wedding. And a thousand “likes” to his new wife for taking it like a champ and being positive about it all. She was cheery and upbeat about it all and appreciating the fact this is still her day and happiness was everywhere. Plenty of family and friends were all around. A buffet of food and not to mention an open bar surely helps in the happiness. Lots of talking and catching up with family members we see every few years. And old friends you realize you might not ever see again. Thats life right? Too busy to enjoy the simple things. People live too far, work and kids, and time flies by. Thanks Andrew for noting all night we might never see each other again.
Back to the main stuff, the food, i mean that’s what most this blog is about anyway right? I’ll have to plead guilty that I did eat some meat for one meal. Sometimes I get lost in the joy of family and forget things in which food is one of them. Its so easy mentally to ignore this part of your life that has been done 10000 times over with no issue. I ate meat sadly and didn’t think about it. But I didn’t forget the whole trip and got right back on track the next meal. And that’s what you have to do, when you make a mistake, you just hop right back on and move on. You’re not going down a dark tunnel and can’t climb back on. Every meal and threes a next meal which you still have a choice and decision to make. And compassion choices face us every time.
I’ll have to say i’m getting more and more confident around family to simply say No I don’t want to eat meat. Family and friends are more conscious about this new lifestyle I choose and provide options and choices for me. This makes me very happy. That though they may offer me meat, its just a kindness to feed me. I can simply decline and move on.
We ate at the (apparently famous) Canton House that is a Top 50 rated Chinese Restaurant in the US. Who knew? A large selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes. Then we had our ole familiars friend Kung Fu tea which has so many locations nation wide. I remember going the first time and witnessing the madness at the Annandale, VA location. I think my proudest moment was not eating any Chicken at Gus’s famous fried chicken. Its a staple of the south and just about anywhere to have Southern Fried Chicken. I mean look how Popeyes has boomed. I knew there were plenty of options for me in the sides that I wouldn’t give in. Thank goodness for fries! A wonderful vegetarian and vegan option to always save the day. Mac and Cheese, beans, and collard greens can fill up the rest of my belly. There was still quite tasty Vegan Pho at a Viet restaurant we encountred. And at the wedding, I devoured the salad and pasta dishes. All said and done, it was a successful compassionate eating trip which I’m proud of. I continue to improve and grow stronger each time. And hopefully my influence rubs off on people. I think my niece Kendall is already on that track since my Sil in law tells me all she wants to eat is fruit and vegetables! Haha!
I came back to make some additional comments. I can’t believe I forgot to talk more in depth about th Georgia Aquarium and all the sea life. It was extremely pleasant, wonderful, educational and entertaining visit. Though I might not fully condone the dolphin and seal show; I hope in the best interest of animals they are well taken care of and at least it’s not for-profit. These places are needed to provide a space for the public to learn and have admiration for our sea and marine life. That the world is vast and much more to it then what we experience.
Hopefully some kid experiences it might be the key to any pollution or overfishing problems. You never know. If there is no exposure in some form, how can we expect current or future generations to give a shit. Without knowledge, there is a foggy seperation of all these places in nature. The experience can be memorable. And I’m glad Georgia Aquarium was able to make it a valuable learning experience. Cheers to an optimistic future.