In January, I had the opportunity to revisit my TravelingRD roots, traveling to Atlanta for the Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietitian Association (CPSDA) Boot Camp. The workshop provided a great opportunity for me to hone my sports nutrition skills but at the same time visit the city where I began my Dairy Council career.
Landing in Atlanta, my well-respected original supervisor from Southeast United Dairy Industry (SUDIA), Cheryl Hayn, picked me up. We ventured to the popular Atlantic Station shopping area for dinner at Strip. Strip claims to be Atlanta’s place for those craving both style and substance. They market the multilevel steak house with lively bars and patios on each level as having new meaning in the world of steak houses. This unique venue allows diners the experience of enjoying a great steak in a super hip environment. After a long, heart-felt visit dining on a wonderful filet with caprese salad and three-cheese macaroni and cheese, she dropped me off at my hotel near Georgia Tech where my conference took place the next day in the Wardlaw Center.
The conference day was beautiful and sunny as I walked down through the Olympic Village built to accommodate the 1996 Summer Olympics to Georgia Tech. After the conference, a local, hard-working dairy farmer took me to dinner. We dined at an Atlanta icon, Pitty Pat’s Porch. The restaurant is known for the down-home southern fare. We enjoyed fried chicken, greens, black-eyed peas and biscuits followed by a large slab of chocolate cake with ice cream. I love the country décor complete with unique dinnerware. We split the entrée and dessert. Later, we walked off our indulgences wandering through the Olympic Park viewing the Coca-Cola Museum and watching ice-skaters on the temporary rink.
All in all, I had an enjoyable and educational trip. Visiting Atlanta brought back many fond memories of my early years with the Dairy Council. Most of all, the trip emphasized the importance of cherishing good food and good friendships no matter where you roam!
This past weekend, I got to get back on the road and headed down to Georgetown to see my daughter, Megan, who was visiting her sorority and boyfriend at Southwestern University. Megan graduated in December and quickly whisked off to Washington, DC for an internship at Emily’s List. The organization assists women throughout the country with political aspirations build the skills and tools to obtain political office.
As always, Megan and I had a great time together pursuing our favorite pastimes; dining, shopping and movies. We started our adventure at a new restaurant in Georgetown, El Monumento. The upscale southern style Mexican restaurant with an elegant but casual feel is located on the banks of the San Gabriel River showcasing a beautiful glimpse of the hill country landscape of Texas. Owned by the same family who has owned The Monument restaurant also in Georgetown for years, the new restaurant we found just as delightful.
The portions are fairly large and since we ordered a cup of their Queso Blanco made from Oaxacan Cheese, to enthusiastically scoop with their thick, yummy chips, we split the El Mon Sunday Brunch Casserole which was served with cubed, roasted potatoes and fresh fruit. Oaxaca cheese is a mild tasting, gently salty, stringy white cheese with a deliciously chewy, full and filling bite.The casserole combined eggs, chorizo sausage, pablano peppers, corn tortillas and cheese into a light but satisfying blend of breakfast heaven. Eggs are a great source of protein and help provide a feeling of fullness and satiety while providing a number of important nutrients which play a role in good health. Each egg provides 6 grams of protein which is important to me as a runner trying to preserve lean body mass or a mom’s hard day playing and shopping. Pablano peppers are high in vitamin C and fiber also good for the antioxidant properties and digestive health. We enjoyed every nutritious and delicious bite and left satisfied and content.
After lunch, we headed down to Austin for some shopping at The Domain. The Domain is an upscale shopping and dining complex off the Mopac at Braker Lane that features a pedestrian friendly, open-air style experience true to the Austin spirit. We specifically visited Macy’s, H&M, Brighton and Forever 21 but there were many more shops we did not get to as we headed next to the movie theater to see Silver Linings Playbook, a must see movie in my opinion. All in all, our experiences and food were much enjoyed and would recommend them all on your next girls’ weekend, mother daughter trip or romantic getaway!