That time the bridge fell.

So I feel like I witnessed one of those defining events that happen in big cities. Like, in 20 years my children might say, “mom, what was it like when the interstate collapsed in Atlanta?” And my response will be “it was weird. And it sucked.” But I won’t use the word “sucked” because I hope to use better vernacular by the time I have children (so I can in good faith get onto them for using poor word choices). I disgress.

But yes. The bridge fell a quarter of a mile from our house and we are 5 days into the aftermath. For posterity sake I think it will be intriguing to have a record of “where I was” when it happened, so here we go:

On Thursdays I take a gym class with my friend, and that night (known as “the night the bridge fell”) the instructor ran really, really late. He ran so late that we walked out of class and went shopping instead. We both wanted to find some dresses (and found NONE), and I needed to find my Mr. a bday present. We shopped around and lingered for about 20 minutes past we usually do. My friend drives us and when we were leaving (after grumbling about paying for parking because we ran so late) I looked over and saw a TON of cars stopped on 85 and commented “weird.” We got onto the road, then hit a TON of traffic on West Peachtree. We were grumbling about the traffic, and I was perplexed to see the GPS saying home was 6 miles away when I knew it to be only 3. Then our phones blew up. Jamie’s finance called her right when one of J’s friends called me. After saying hello I was greeted with “where are you?” I commented “I’m in some bad traffic on West Peachtree” and he goes, “I was calling because the bridge just fell by your house.” W.H.A.T.?!?!?!?! I then immediately launched into panic mode of thinking, “why are you calling me and not J?!” He then heard my tone and quickly shared that he called J first (who had no clue what was happening), who was safely at home, and that his phone was dying and J wanted him to call me to check on me (and share my location).

I looked into the awful traffic and asked my friend if she’d be cool with me bouncing to the MARTA station that was about 2 blocks behind us and after assuring me I was not being a terrible human being, I bolted home. Riding up MARTA was surreal. 85 South into the city was completely empty, and on 85 North cars were at a standstill with their drivers walking around the interstate. As soon as I got off the train I could smell the smoke in the air and saw the power out around my area. The traffic lights were out so when it came time to cross the road, I waited for someone else to get to the crosswalk; after someone else arrived I turned to him and said, “safety in numbers, let’s go” and had a buddy to run across the street with. I got home, called my BFF and greeted her with “turn on the news” and went to our balcony. We could easily see the smoke and lights, and that night eagerly watched the news on Twitter for updates.

The next morning J left early for work and I took myself to MARTA. Crossing the North Avenue bridge over the connector was spooky, as the volume was dramatically reduced. On Friday night we went to meet some friends at a location about 3 miles from our house and we spent over an hour in the car to go those few miles. They beat us to the restaurant and they were coming from Marietta.

Traffic was awful the entire time the bridge was being rebuilt. We again, live very close to it, and had to do a lot of rerouting (and sitting in traffic). We were THRILLED (as was the rest of the city) when construction was done (early!) and the bridge reopened. I knew a lot of people who said “oh, I’m going to wait to drive across the bridge” and my response was “let’s go.” Of course, my attitude is helped by being married to a traffic engineer who knows some of the ins and outs of bridge building!

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Usually not a hole there.

New job, new clothes.

The lack of blogging can be attributed nearly 100% to my funemployment switching over to real employment. I cannot be more thankful for where I work at and working is a blast. One fun part of the new job was getting to begin a total big-girl, business professional wardrobe.

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New love: Talbots. #dontjudge

I logged lots of time in dressing rooms in the week before I started work looking for appropriate duds. Hindsight says I should have gotten a few outfits then gone for more once I was in the office. I thought I’d be all about wearing trousers in this new job, forgetting I hate them. Guess what? I still hate them, but I now have quite  a few really nice pairs that I force myself to wear on a regular basis.

I did consider how I bought shoes one of my shining moments though! I hate buying shoes. Hate-hate-hate it. One night while I was lamenting my lack of finding acceptable shoes it hit me to order a boat-load, then return the extras.

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It was fantastic. I had a great time AT HOME trying on ALL the shoes I was possibly interested in, and returning the 4 pairs I did not like. The only drawback was hauling them up the stairs and then back out, but hey, small price.

I did want a grown-up lady bag, so I enlisted the help of my favorite Aunt C to aid in finding me one. She found a stellar one on sale in Wisconsin that I ordered (and visited in real life the next day to confirm how much I loved it). With it being cold now I prefer a book bag so I can keep my hands in my pocket, but I can’t wait to use it in the spring-early fall.

And that’s my work wardrobe! Spring edition will include NO pants, and more dresses.

Day in the life | Atlanta Housewife

Funemployment is coming to an end soon (to make way for real employment!) so I figured I needed to document and remember this special time that I way too often took for granted. As mentioned earlier, there are perks that I love (namely, seeing hubs during the day, visiting friends, running errands at my leisure, etc.) and I don’t want to forget them when my next season begins. So here’s a mostly-typical day in the life.

6:00 a.m. | Wake up

Hub’s awake, I’m awake. While he showers I steam his outfit (I’d say I steam mine, but the regular uniform for me is running shorts with a t-shirt), make his lunch, fix breakfast, and make the bed/straighten up.

Why yes, I do write messages in mustard.

Why yes, I do write messages in mustard.

6:40 a.m.

We’re out the door and I’m driving Joe to work. Drop off, kisses, and then to the gym.

This picture makes it look like the roads are not busy. THAT IS A LIE.

This picture makes it look like the roads are not busy. THAT IS A LIE.

7:30 a.m.

Head into the gym (after reading some news on my phone in the car). Contemplate how much I want to do, enjoy some weight lifting while praying to not kill my back, and get my butt kicked on the stairclimber, aka beast. I’m a sweaty mess after 20-something minutes on it so I call it a day.

My goal is to make it to 45 consecutive minutes. I'm at nearly 30 now.

My goal is to make it to 45 consecutive minutes. I’m at nearly 30 now.

9:00 a.m. – Noon

Breakfast (gluten free waffles with PB, banana, and honey; woofed down too fast to take a picture), coffee, quiet time, internet time. Research clothes and purses (#firstworld), blog, realize the internet is stealing my life, and head down to wash Joe’s car. Realize when I start my job, this job won’t be mine alone anymore! #win

1:00-2:00 p.m.

Mop, make sure all dishes are done, clean myself up (slightly; as that I’m in funemployment I do not bother to wash my hair all that often), and snack (foreshadowing: should have snacked more)

2:00-5:00 p.m.

Head out to check out some shoes and bags.

Leopard heels to replace leopard crocs.

Leopard heels to replace leopard crocs.

No shoe stores have sizes I need, everything is mildly uncomfortable, and hangry sets in. Panic in the store at the idea of not finding anything and peace out and then get stuck in traffic. Check google maps which tells me it’s going to take me over 30 minutes to get the 1.6 miles home. Reroute myself to a path that takes 12 minutes.

Parking lot.

Parking lot.

5:00-7:00 p.m.

Dinner (leftover greek chicken and salad) and reading. Bemoan traffic.

7:15 p.m.

Husband’s home early! Wine and games–specifically, Carcassone!

8:30 p.m.

Bestie from NYC calls! Pause the game.

Not from yesterday, but we did talk about August 1 a lot.

Not from yesterday, but we did talk about August 1 a lot.

9:45-10:30 p.m.

Game resumes, I get owned.

10:30 p.m.

Teeth brushing and face washing and time for sleep.

And that’s my current typical day in the life not working in Atlanta–gym, errands, reading, cooking.

FUNemployment

While on the way to the bach weekend the girls and I were talking about my impending unemployment (I loved my job in Athens but commuting was not something I was willing to do, so I knew I had some unemployment in my future). I was not crazy about it and all of a sudden Z goes, “it’s not unemployment, it’s FUNemployment!” Since funemployment sounds about 100 times more fun than unemployment I ran with the rebranding of this special time of life. Funemployment, while lacking on benefits and a salary, has other perks, which include:

Grocery shopping at Your Dekalb Farmer’s Market during a weekday (it’s like Ikea…great on the weekdays, terrifying on the weekend).

The sun shines on this place! And it's affordable produce and meat.

The sun shines on this place! And it’s affordable produce and meat.

picnic lunches with my husband,

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Happy birthday plates are standard lunchtime china.

planning and finding fun dates and new adventures,

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Pulling into this planned adventures, hubs goes “I’ve been here a few times!” Of course.

sorting out, cleaning, and organizing our home, and visiting friends in Athens and getting sweet Athens treats, among many other perks.

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Since my days are mostly spent solo, they make me value all the more the weekends with the hubs. Even when he has to be my chauffeur so I can ice my head after getting slammed between the eyes with a frozen bottle of heavy cream while looking in the freezer.

At least he probably knew how clumsy I was before marrying me.

At least he probably knew how clumsy I was before marrying me.

Marta is Smar-ta | My Marta Tips for Success

Home in Atlanta is conveniently close to a well-kept Marta station. One of my biggest hopes in the Atlanta job hunt is that I will be able to take Marta to work like my husband is able to take Marta to work and school. One day after seeing the Mr. off to work I knew it was time to go get my name officially changed over to a T so I thought Marta would be far superior to use than driving deeper into the city. I got myself ready, grabbed all necessary documents, and collected what I consider to be the Marta necessities (see end of post for full list).

With all items in hand, I hurried across to the Marta station, double checked my destination, and hopped on the train! And then quickly realized I was on the train in the wrong direction. At the next stop I hopped off the train, waited for the correct one, and got back on my way! It was a bit of a hike into the city so I was able to make good way on my book, while also checking my stops repeatedly. Marta tip: Take a screen shot of the line map on your phone and save it to your photos. Doing such lets you check the map compulsively while you’re underground without phone service. The Social Security office was near the Marta station so it was easy-peasy.

Inside a Marta Train

Inside a Marta Train

After the SS office was taken care of I had plenty of time to go get my new license. My husband had told me that it was too far to walk from the Social Security Office to the DMV. A quick google map search revealed that it was only 1.7 miles away and I definitely didn’t want to test my Marta skills too much yet so I figured, “1.7 miles isn’t too bad of a walk! Let’s go!” Well, yes it is true that 1.7 miles it not a bad walk normally. However, 1.7 miles through downtown Atlanta by yourself is mildly scary, to put it lightly. As I was crossing the interstate my husband called, asking me where I was. He didn’t understand why I walked, and that’s when we had a discussion over word choice. “Shouldn’t” means not safe to me; “Couldn’t” means a challenge. Anywhos, a sweaty 35 minutes later leads to a new license.

After getting my new license, I asked where the nearest station was, not caring if it was a east/west or north/south station, I’d figure it out. She tells me, I set off (ignoring vulgar cat calls) and make it to Marta, get on the proper train, and make it to my husband for lunch.

From my Marta experience I learned:

  • There are four lines: red, gold, blue, yellow. Red/gold run north/south; Blue/green runs east/west.
  • If you need to change directions (start off going south then you need to go west or something like that) you’re going to be changing at the 5-Points Station.
  • It’s not scary to change trains.
  • It is no big deal to be on the wrong north/south (red/gold) train. Just hop off at the next stop, maybe wait a bit, and then carry on.
  • Do not forget your Marta Smart card and a cross body bag packed with a smart phone (with the screen shot Marta map), book/magazine, water, snack (if you’re the sort that is prone to hanger), and hand sanitizer if germs creep you out. About the Marta Smart Card—if your bag has an outside zippered pocket, that’s a great place to keep it at, as that you have to scan it to get in and out of the station (and it’s not great to be fiddling in your wallet in the station).