Venturing Out: Athens or Augusta

Just a short drive away from Atlanta, Athens and Augusta provide a nice little escape if you need to mix it up.  I have just recently visited both cities so I have some recommendations.

Athens:  Only 1.5 hours from Atlanta and more black and red than you can shake a stick at, Athens is a great college town that even adults can enjoy.  My favorite unsuspecting hotel here is Hotel Indigo if you plan to stay the night but you can certainly make it a day trip.  That hotel is so great and trendy inside but it used to be an elementary school so from the outside it’s very unassuming.  Don’t judge a book by it’s cover – a Gold Leed Certified Hotel.

For dinner:  The National is walking distance and provides great fare and atmosphere. Their website describes it perfectly:

The idea behind The National is simple: to provide a casual neighborhood gathering spot reminiscent of the bars and cafés we’ve enjoyed on travels to Europe. Mediterranean inspired food and wine is served for lunch and dinner in the dining room and throughout the day at the bar. While our menu points to culinary traditions from abroad, we value our local farmers and our dishes reflect the changing seasons in Northeast Georgia.

If you want to make a day of it, plan to go in the summer and tube on Broad River.  Just make sure you keep an eye out for those pop up thunderstorms.  Lightening + water = danger!

Augusta:  A little farther of a drive, Augusta provides that overnight getaway with so many options.  Home of The Masters, it has over 30 golf courses from which to choose, but it also lots of other options to keep you busy.  The North August Greenway is perfect whether your a walker, runner, or biker (and FREE) but I love the option to kayak on the Savannah River, too.  Warning: it’s a slow flowing river so be sure to take that into account when you decide where to drop in.

For lodging, the Augusta Marriott is a personal favorite because it’s right on the river and you can earn/use points.  For dinner, the Bee’s Knees is walking distance from the Marriott and offers that local color or drive over to Rhinehart’s Oyster Bar for a casual meal.  If you opt for Rhinehart’s, make sure you find a sharpie to make your mark – all the walls are covered with quotes from the patrons.  See if you can find mine.

There are so many options in our lovely state of Georgia and I’m sure there are so many like that in other states.  Find out what yours has to offer by using the CVB of nearby towns in your area.

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To coupon or not to coupon

A letter to the editor:

shutterstock_165910619Dear Date Escape,

I’m new to the 2013 dating scene and so much has changed.  I love your blog and the great ideas you share.  I just started online dating and I’m wondering how soon is too soon to whip out a deal coupon or app?

-40 and Single

That’s a great question!  So you’re on your first date and you have only just chatted via text/email/phone briefly and you’re wondering if you should try one of those deal sites to test her adaptability to your frugalness? Absolutely not.  There are many factors that should be considered when considering to use a coupon on a date but none of them matter on the first few dates.  I think you’re first safe date is date 5 and even then there are many factors to take into consideration.  I would definitely warn her the first time via email.

Hey check out this cool date idea on one of those deal sites.  Do you have plans next Thursday?  I was thinking we could try it.

As you start to learn more about her, find out how frugal and budget conscious she is.  If that’s important to you, pull out another a few dates later.  Don’t do it every time and make sure it’s a cool date idea so that she’s focused on that and not that you used a coupon.

Good luck!

Dinner and a Show

ScoutMob (a personal favorite when it comes to deal sites) is running a deal for Plaza Theater tickets for one of two shows:  “Gremlins” or “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”.  The ticket is only valid for the shows on 12/11.

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Need dinner before or after?  Atkins Park just two blocks north for yummy burgers or step it up a notch and head south on Highland Ave to Babette’s Cafe.

Side note:  Babette’s has a fantastic brunch if you are searching from something for that but you must make reservations.

Westside Hop

This is my favorite little nook in Atlanta and it has been for years:  The White Provisions area- so many great options all within a block!

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Does your date like beer? Start her/him off with beers and darts at Ormsby’s.  Then head over to Yeah! Burger for a low key but still delicious meal and then to Yoforia for dessert or back to Ormsby’s for bocce ball.

Is your date into wine?  Start at Perrine’s for a wine tasting (there happens to be one on 12/11 at 5:30).  Then dinner at JCT Kitchen or The Optimist (further than a block but worth it as noted in a previous blog) but make sure you have a reservation since 8p is prime dining time. Still have room for dessert?  West Egg has a bakery if you can get there by 10p or Six Feet Under for yummy key lime pie, banana bread pudding or brownie sundae.

Happy Hopping!

For the Redneck Woman

So I’m a closet redneck…shoot me…errrr…don’t actually.

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Here’s my latest date weekend excursion that I can recommend for you because I’ve actually done it and it was a blast – quail hunting.  My date found a place close to our cabin in South Carolina but there are places all over that do it – gts.  Here’s my recommendation from someone that’s never quail hunted before and doesn’t fire off a shotgun regularly:  take her/him to a gun range or clay shooting so she/he can get comfortable with how it feels to fire one of those things.  I bet I fired off a dozen or so shots just to get comfortable with the gun.

Rules for newbies:

1) Never point your gun towards or on the ground
2) Don’t shoot your guide or the sweet dogs (watching the dogs in action ended up being the best part)

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Here’s where the deal comes in: 48% off for two people at a local shooting range on SweetJack.

Happy Hunting!

Chilly Date Night

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It’s freezing outside in Atlanta right now and I feel like that makes people a little less inclined to get out and date, but don’t let that stop you from finding love or at the very least having a good time.

Today’s date night deal is brought to you by SweetJack*.

The Deal

  • Just $10 gets you admission, skate rental and hot chocolate for one at the Southwest Rink At Park Tavern, a $20 value
  • Skate your way to the best date ever or your family’s newest holiday tradition!

Ice skating is the perfect date night to initiate physical contact if you need a little assistance in that area too.  “Whoops I fell right into your arms! Thank you for catching me!” (said in my best damsel in distress voice)  You’re welcome.

Park Tavern serves food and drinks so you’re all set there as well. A one-stop-shop date night.  Bam!

*While I hate that there is yet another deal site spamming my inbox, they did create a catchy jingle and anytime I hear their commercial it’s stuck in my head. #geniusmarketing

Thursday Date Night: Local Color

These delicious lunches are really giving me some ammo for date night creations!  Today way Souper Jenny.  Yum.  Homemade yumminess and adorable shabby chic atmosphere. Then on my way out I saw a sign for dueling pianos (so fun!) every Thursday at Park Bench a block away.  When I got back to my desk, I investigated further so here’s the plan:

Step 1:  Dinner at Souper Jenny at 7:30p (I don’t think she serves alcohol but you’ll survive and there will be plenty at Park Bench. Have a Fresca and some old fashion sober convo.)
Step 2:  Walk to Park Bench at 9p for the show.

Happy dating!

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