Behind the Scenes at Porsche – CHOA’s Rolling for a Reason

A few weeks ago, we had a chance to go behind the scenes at the Porsche Driving Experience for a charity event benefiting the Aflac Cancer Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. We’ve said this before, but Children’s holds a place near and dear to our hearts, so we are always grateful for the opportunity to volunteer at these events and bring awareness to such an amazing cause. This night was nothing short of spectacular, and we’re sharing some behind the scenes photos from this incredible event!

The new facility was opened in 2015 and is located just south of Atlanta right next to Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson International Airport. The best way to describe the Porsche Driving Experience is a real life “Test Track” for car enthusiasts. From the history of Porsche, to their wall of paint colors, to the driver development track, this place is a car lover’s dream!

If you are looking to go on a drive, we heard rumors that the blue car was the fastest!

Our evening started with a cocktail reception on their patio, which overlooks their test course and has views of the planes taking off and landing next door at the airport. Combine that with a gorgeous sunset, and it’s hard to find a view that will beat this one! The CHOA VIP attendees had the opportunity to go for a ride around the test course in one of the many Porsche models. While we didn’t get to fulfill our need for speed this time, the Porsche Experience Center offers a variety of different driving experiences here. Prices vary depending on which experience you choose, but still are a bit out of the Local Bells’ budget – guess we’ll have to make do with getting our fast car fix at Test Track this November! (Stay tuned for our tips and tricks on how we saved hundreds on our Disney vacation!)

When the sun went down, the games began and the stakes were high! You had your pick from whatever your game was – whether that was roulette or blackjack, craps or Texas hold’em. Everyone started out with $1,000 worth of chips to gamble as you pleased. For some, they went big but didn’t have to go home early thanks to a donation buy-in that let them stay in the game. Midway through the evening, we heard a moving speech from the Blythes, the honored patient family this evening, about their son’s battle against cancer and the love and support they’ve received from the Aflac Cancer Center and CHOA. Hearing those stories and knowing that the proceeds from this evening go to real people like the Blythe family truly puts everything into perspective.

Shout-out to ONEHOPE Wine for the amazing wine this evening! They donate to a different cause with the purchase of every bottle of wine – a winning combination in our book!

At the end of the evening, we traded in our chips for raffle tickets for some amazing prizes – if you’ve ever been to a CHOA event, you know the silent auctions and raffles are outstanding! Let’s just say Grant and I shouldn’t quit our day jobs to play blackjack professionally…

If you are interested in ways to support Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, we invite you to check out their website, www.choa.org. There are so many ways to give back, whether through amazing events like this or volunteering in their hospitals. For one of their exciting events coming this October, be sure to check out Polo in the Pines at the Atlanta Regional Polo Center! Two days of polo, delicious food, fantastic silent auction prizes, and supporting a great cause. We hope to see you there!

Follow us on Instagram for more of our fall fun to come – www.instagram.com/thelocalbells!

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Big Apple Circus – Special Opening Night Discount!

After a week of freezing temperatures and some unexpected snow, we were so excited for a sunny (and warm!) Sunday at Avalon to get a sneak peek of the upcoming Big Apple Circus show next week at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Alpharetta. Opening night isn’t until January 26th, but we got a chance to have a special meet and greet with some of their amazing performers, including juggling clowns, an extremely talented face-painter Twinklz, skating pros Dandino and Luciana, and Frankie the miniature pony!

Big Apple Circus is celebrating their 40th anniversary this year! Founded in New York City in 1977, Paul Binder and Michael Christensen brought a new style of circus to the table, by focusing on the intimacy and personalized experienced of a European one-ring circus. The group adds new acts each year, and this one looks to be the most exciting yet with both Nik Wallenda, the “Greatest Daredevil of Our Generation” and the Fabulous Wallendas joining the circus to perform their daring acts.

One thing that we love about Big Apple Circus is that the only animals in the show are rescued dogs and horses. It is so heartwarming to hear about these rescued animals and the joy that they bring to the audience in their new job! We loved getting to meet Frankie the miniature pony and can’t wait to see the rest of his friends on Friday!

Big Apple Circus has teamed up with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, our local children’s hospital, to fund-raise for the incredible patients and families there. This is a charity that is truly near and dear to our hearts, so we are so excited for this partnership! 100% of the proceeds from opening night will go directly to the hospital! Help us to sell out their first night in Atlanta! And to help you out, we have a special discount code for anyone attending!

To buy your tickets for opening night, use code “CHOA” here to get an extra $5 off at checkout. To learn more about how the event benefits Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and to see what other events they have coming here, check out their website here.

Follow along with our adventures on Instagram at instagram.com/thelocalbells

Bad Daddy’s Burgers and Bar

What are the most important things when looking for a great sports bar? Great drinks, great food, and lots of TVs!

If you haven’t been able to tell so far, all of the posts thus far have been written by my lovely wife, Meagan, but now it’s my turn! This is Grant Bell (the other half of The Local Bells), and I am here to tell you about a new place in Brookhaven/Chamblee called Bad Daddy’s Burgers and Bar. Now if you are from the North Carolina region (where this chain originated) you have probably heard of Bad Daddy’s but this is the first location here in Georgia and you should be excited about it.

Meagan and I were fortunate enough to be able to attend the soft opening for Bad Daddy’s this past Saturday. Before I go into what Bad Daddy’s is all about, I do want to mention the coolest thing about this soft opening. Instead of charging for food and drinks, they said everything was on the house but they would accept donations that night for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Seeing a new restaurant in the area already be this involved with a local charity is awesome to see and they haven’t even opened yet!

We started off with an appetizer of the Backyard Chicken Nachos. These things were killer. The nachos came with BBQ chicken, corn, black beans, pineapple, and topped it off with queso and BBQ sauce. The best about these nachos is that the toppings were spread evenly across the chips. Now if you have ever gotten nachos at a restaurant, the biggest complaint for me is always that they give pile on all these great topping on top of a top off only 10 chips and then you have another 15-20 chips that have nothing. These Backyard Chicken Nachos had almost the perfect ratio of toppings to chips. I know what your thinking, this is probably the most in-depth analysis of nachos that you have ever read. But these are legitimately the thoughts that went through my head eating these awesome nachos.

Now to get down to the what his restaurant is all about: burgers. There are a lot of great burger places in Atlanta, but they all have some big competition now. They have a large menu (but not huge like a diner) that included lots of different types of burgers from a monster bacon cheese burger with two different types of cheese and two different types of bacon, a classic mushroom and Swiss and your basic good old American cheese burger. Now if beef doesn’t tickle your fancy, you had other choices of turkey and chicken burgers. Bad Daddy’s also has a wide variety of salads, but I wasn’t about to get a salad at a brand new burger joint.

Now with this soft opening being a charity event I’ll admit, I did not take too much into account how much I was theoretically spending. That being said, you could order from the menu of the preset burgers OR you could create your own. In an almost sushi type ordering system, you could fill out a check list choosing exactly how you want your burger. Starting with the type of meat, the bun, the cheeses, the toppings, sauces, and premium toppings (like bacon and a fried egg). Pictured below are the two burgers Meagan and I had!

This is Meagan’s: a turkey burger in a lettuce bun with white cheddar cheese, bacon, avocado, mushrooms, and truffle aioli with a side of truffle fries.

This is mine, I called the “I didn’t have lunch” burger: two beef patties on a brioche bun, with pimento cheese, pepper jack, grilled onions, jalapeño bacon, a fried egg, onion straws, raw jalapeños with the buffalo tots!

These burgers are INCREDIBLE! The burger was seasoned and cooked perfectly and the fries and tots were the perfect partner for both burgers. You could tell the bun was fresh and toasted (which is key to a perfect burger), the bacon was hot and perfectly cooked, and the egg was just how I ordered it!

Not only were the burgers great, but the drinks were great too! I highly recommend the Bad Ass on the rocks Margarita; apparently only two are allowed per customer since they are so strong. If your a beer fanatic, they have their own brew that is produced by Full Sail out of Colorado and is a great ale to pair with burger, fries and sports!

We highly recommend to give Bad Daddy’s Burgers and Bar a try, and see if you can make a bigger burger then the “I didn’t have lunch” burger!