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!

Why We Love Horseback Riding at Barnsley Gardens

By now, you’ve seen some of our posts about our love for trying new things and exploring new places. Barnsley Gardens continues to top our list for one of our favorite closeby places to visit. In case you missed our first post about Barnsley and how much we love it here, check out our post from earlier in the spring here. Last Christmas, my parents gave a horseback riding trail ride to Grant and I along with my sister and brother-in-law. After a crazy first half of the year and a hot summer, we finally booked our trail ride at Barnsley Gardens this past weekend.

My sister, Morgan, and I grew up riding English and have been comfortable around horses for most of our lives, with our horses even living at home for part of our time growing up. Grant has always helped out with the horses, whether it was hauling hay from Mr. Gantt’s feed store down the street or going to visit Dakota with me and bring his favorite treats. We went on our first ride together last fall at Brasstown Valley Resort, so he was excited for this ride at Barnsley. Morgan’s husband, Stephen, had never ridden a horse, so we had quite a range of experience and comfort levels with horses going into the day’s trail ride.

Here are our top 5 things we loved about our experience at Barnsley:

  1. Amazing horses – Barnsley truly has the most incredible horses! Such sweet dispositions and manners make the trail ride enjoyable for any rider – regardless of past experience. They also have some great names. Grant’s personal favorite was his horse, Mr. Deeds. I think he might have tried to take him home with us if we lived closer (and actually had grass in the backyard)!
  2. Fantastic staff – Growing up riding, I was always taught that for every hour you spent riding, you spent two taking care of your horse. It was a special treat to have the amazing Barnsley trail guides that saddled our horses and had everything ready to go for us. The trail guides were so personable and informative during our ride, and they had a story about each of the horses. It made it feel like it truly was a little family and community, rather than just a job and a paycheck.
  3. Trail route – Barnsley offers several different trail ride options that include a one hour ride, a 90 minute ride, and a history ride. Their trail rides are an awesome way to see the property before exploring on your own. With the trail heavily wooded, it was a nice reprieve from the hot sun even this early in the morning! About halfway through the ride, we also rode past some of the immaculate holes of their Jim Fazio golf course. The end of the ride concluded with a ride down the lawn, starting at the Woodlands Grill back past the ruins.
  4. Other animals by the stables – So if you didn’t know already, we are huge animal lovers. And one of us in particular (Grant) absolutely loves pigs! On our last visit to Barnsley, we discovered their new porky buddies, so we were excited to visit them again. We also saw goats, llamas, miniature horses, and chickens. They are all super friendly and makes us want our own little herd of farm animals!
  5. Getting to make a day trip – With Barnsley less than 60 miles away, it’s the perfect day trip that makes you feel like you’ve left the real world behind. We only wish we had more time to explore and enjoy! We had a great lunch at the Woodlands Grill, but still have yet to spend the night at the new Inn. With cooler weather ahead, we just might have to plan a weekend trip back to take advantage of their cabins and fireplaces and s’mores in the evening!

Looking for a fall escape? We highly recommend Barnsley Gardens and be sure to stop by the stables to visit some of our favorite friends! Be sure to follow along for more fall adventures on our Instagram www.instagram.com/thelocalbells

Top Springtime Dates

It is finally starting to feel like spring in Georgia! Fingers crossed that the beautiful weather stays and we get to enjoy more of these warm and sunny days. With the days getting longer, we’re excited to enjoy some of our favorite outdoor places and events in the coming weeks. Here are some of the springtime date activities that we are looking forward to most.

Zoo Atlanta – Who doesn’t love the zoo? We love getting to learn more about all of the amazing animals at Zoo Atlanta and typically try to go at least once a year. Spring is great before it gets too hot and humid during the summer months. If the heat and crowds aren’t for you, they have a lot of awesome evening events throughout the year, like Sippin’ Safari and Brew at the Zoo (coming up Memorial Day weekend!).IMG_1409

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Taste of Alpharetta – It’s been awhile since we’ve gone to this, but we are making plans to attend this year with it being walking distance away for us! On Thursday May 3rd, downtown Alpharetta shuts down for over 60 local restaurants to set up booths offering small plates and drinks of some of their most popular menu items. You can purchase tickets for the food and drink items, and it’s a great way to try a taste of so many great restaurants. Plus, there will be live music throughout the evening!IMG_2100

Barnsley Gardens – If you want an escape from the hustle and bustle, a trip to Barnsley Gardens in Adairsville may be just what you need. From their beautiful pre Civil War manor house ruins to their championship golf course to their gorgeous new Inn, it’s the perfect weekend or day trip from Atlanta! The Woodland’s Grill and Beer Garden are perfect to enjoy the nice weather and they have several walking trails if a picnic is more your style.

What are your favorite springtime dates that we should add to our list this year? Follow along with us on Instagram at www.instagram.com/thelocalbells

Sushi Making Class – Everything You Need to Know

Meagan here to tell you all about our awesome sushi making experience at the Cooking School at Irwin Street! Grant gave me the class as a Christmas present, and we finally had the opportunity to book a class. One of our goals as a couple in 2018 was to cook at home and together as much as possible. We’ve made pretty good on that so far, though we sometimes get in a rut of making the same things every week. We were really excited to try something new at cooking class and settled on sushi making – something neither of us have done before. But since we love eating sushi, we figured it would be the perfect class for us!

Living in Alpharetta, we typically only venture ITP for work or special events. We quickly remembered why we love suburbia life when there was no parking at the cooking school and Grant had to put his parallel parking skills into action. Luckily, it turned out to be a nice day, so the short walk wasn’t bad. The Cooking School at Irwin Street is located in the Irwin Street Market, right down the street to Krog Street Market and the Beltline.

We waited in the market for class to begin, then were brought back to the kitchen by Chef Mihoko. Other than us, there were only another 9 people, which made it great to follow along with the Chef’s instructions and ask questions along the way. Each pair was given their own station complete with all the prepped ingredients. We had sushi rice, nori (seaweed), fresh salmon, crab, shrimp, avocado, peppers, cucumber, and asparagus.

The Chef showed us first how to make the “inside out roll” with the rice on the outside, as opposed to the traditional method with the nori outside. We started by placing our nori on the bamboo mat (covered in plastic wrap to prevent any sticking), then spreading a thin layer of rice across it. TLB Tip: Make sure to dip your fingers in water before ever touching the sushi rice – this is very sticky rice and you’ll end up with more of it stuck to your hands then to the nori! Once you get an even layer of rice, you flip the nori and rice layer over and can start adding your fresh ingredients for the center of your roll.

After placing the ingredients about an inch away from the edge, then slowly rolling it up with the bamboo mat. Once it’s completely rolled, you use the bamboo mat to squeeze it a little more to make sure everything is locked in. Then voila! You have a perfect California roll!

Once we made our California rolls, we had the chance to do whatever we wanted. The whole process is fun and relatively easy once you get the hang of it! You do realize that less rice is more – it goes a lot further than you think. Grant and I each made our second roll, then realized we didn’t have much rice left to do anymore. Luckily, the wonderful Chef shared some of her rice (and salmon) with us so we could make one more!

From instruction to eating, the class took less than an hour and a half. We had no idea how simple it was to make your own sushi and it was delicious when we got to enjoy our own creations! TLB Tip: Most classes are BYOB (with the exception of their knife skills classes), so it would be the perfect date night or activity with a group of friends.

After class ended, the ice cream shop that shares space with the cooking school gave everyone a free scoop of ice cream! Needless to say, we were absolutely stuffed afterwards! We ended our adventure with a short walk down the Beltline, mainly looking for cute puppies.

We are really excited to put our new skills to the test! Next stop for us will be the Buford Farmers Market or H Mart to get all of our sushi making ingredients. We would highly recommend the Cooking School at Irwin Street and will be keeping an eye on their future classes. TLB Tip: They sometimes offer a Groupon which can be a substantial savings! However, classes book up quickly and not all are eligible for the Groupon offer. (New to Groupon? Sign up here!)

Hope you all check out the classes they offer on their website: https://www.irwinstreetcooks.com/ We had an awesome time, and you realize how fun it is to try something completely new. When was the last time you did something for the first time?

Keep following along with us on Instagram at Instagram.com/thelocalbells

Top 5 Best Eats & Drinks – Park City Adventures (Part 3)

When we weren’t skiing, we were eating our way through some of the best food and drinks Park City has to offer! Here are our top 5 places for food and drinks in Park City:

5. The Spur Bar & Grill – Our first afternoon in Park City, we dropped our stuff at the Airbnb and headed to check out downtown Park City on Main Street. There are so many options for any occasion of the day on Main Street, and we spent about 30 minutes just taking note of some of the restaurants and menus that we wanted to come back to. Once the snow started to pick up, we decided to take a quick break and grab a drink at The Spur Bar & Grill. We said cheers to a great start to our vacation at the upstairs bar, and got a peek of their outdoor patio for the nicer days. While we just had a drink, they looked to have a great menu and have live music several times per week.

4. High West Distillery – We had heard a lot of recommendations for High West and even tried to go our first day in Park City but it was so packed! We finally got a chance to stop by our our last night before dinner to see what all the buzz was about. A local watering hole for locals and skiers to unwind after a cold day on the slopes, High West transforms their outside patio area into the perfect afternoon social hotspot. With the fire going, hot cider and whisky flowing, it was the best spot to still enjoy the beautiful crisp air while staying warm. We tried the American Prairie Bourbon and their signature hot cider. Next time we are here, we definitely want to check our their tour and tastings to really understand the history of High West.

3. Blue Iguana – We love a good Mexican restaurant, and with as funny of a name as Blue Iguana, we couldn’t pass it up! With a vibrantly colorful atmosphere, we reminisced about our wonderful honeymoon in Mexico. The Blue Iguana featured a salsa bar with 6 different all you can eat salsa varieties. TLB tip: Chips refills are not free here (Whattttt??). Blue Iguana charges $2 for a chip refill, so we sparingly ate our chips so we didn’t run out! No additional chips were provided with guacamole either. Despite having to ration our chip supply, we both left full after our delicious dinner. We started off with margaritas (we recommend the frozen over the on-the-rocks version) and the signature guacamole, which was so fresh and a surprisingly a good portion size. Meagan had the chicken quesadilla and Grant had the enchiladas with rice and beans. While it is a Mexican restaurant, it was a bit pricier than our usual La Parilla visits, so be prepared to tack on a few extra dollars for each entree if you stop in.

Tied 1. Buona Vita – As much as we love Mexican, we equally love delicious Italian food! We had an incredible meal at Buona Vita after our first day of skiing. Since we had another day of skiing, we figured why not carbo-load?? The intimate and authentic atmosphere of Buona Vita was surpassed only by the rich, delicious flavors of their food. We had a romantic table for two right by their stone fireplace and started off our meal with a great Italian bottle of wine and the appetizer special of the night – garlic bread. We typically go for a salad appetizer, but we couldn’t resist the bread once we caught a whiff of the garlic! Meagan decided on their mushroom ravioli while Grant went with the tried and true Chicken Parmesan. Both dishes were amazing, and it looked like you couldn’t go wrong based on the empty plates at other tables. We highly recommend Buona Vita for the Italian foodies, couples looking for a romantic evening, or for anyone craving warm, comfort food. Entrees range from about $18-$30+, so plan to take your time and enjoy your meal to get the best experience.

Tied 1. Butcher’s Chophouse – Tied with Buona Vita, Butcher’s Chophouse was a completely different atmosphere and food, but equally as delicious. With it being our final night in Park City, we wanted to relax and enjoy a leisurely dinner. To “cheers” a successful first post-honeymoon trip, we started with some of the signature cocktails – Blackberry Bramble for Grant, and Bubbly Bee’s Knees for Meagan. Now we just need to learn how to make them at home! For our appetizer, we went with the Mazza Plate – a perfect sampler platter of hummus, pita bread, roasted red peppers and tomatoes, goat cheese, and olives, all drizzled with a balsamic glaze. With a huge amount of food, we definitely felt we got the best bang for our buck with this $14 appetizer!

Butcher’s is known for it’s fantastic cuts of meat and fresh seafood options, so it was a difficult choice to decide our entrees. Meagan went with the Butcher’s Signature Chop Chop Salad, and Grant ended up going with the 16 oz. Prime Rib, asparagus, and jalapeno bacon mac. It was the perfect way to cap off our trip!

Bonus: Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory – It wouldn’t be a vacation without a few sweet treats! We found some great chocolates and truffles on Main Street at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. $15 worth of yummy chocolates later, and we were ready to stock up on even more before we left town! TLB Tip: If you don’t get a chance to stop in at the Park City location, RMCF is a national brand that has locations all over the world! 

Curious about other parts of our Park City trip? Check out our tips for snow activities here and our awesome accommodations here.

Follow along on Instagram at www.instagram.com/thelocalbells

Chops Lobster Bar Review

We had a great Valentine’s Day celebration Wednesday night, cooking and relaxing at home instead of fighting the crowds and bad service with all the other couples. Instead, we decided to have our big celebratory dinner Friday night and visit one of the most iconic Atlanta restaurants – Chops Lobster Bar.

To put it simply, Chops Lobster Bar is home of some of the best steak and seafood in Atlanta, and consistently ranks in the top 10 steakhouses in the U.S. The intimate cavern-like dining room creates an inviting atmosphere as you walk in and see the seafood bar front and center. While we waited for our reservation time, we had a seat at the “Lobster Bar” and settled in with a cocktail to kick off our evening.

When it was time to be seated, we were escorted to a table towards the back, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the dining room. One thing to note about Chops Lobster Bar is their incredible staff. We were always addressed as Mr. and Mrs. Bell, making it feel very personal to us and almost as if we were regulars.

Since it was a special occasion (and also because we had a gift card to offset some of the cost), we decided to take our time through each of the courses. We started off by splitting the signature lobster tail – you can’t go to the iconic Lobster Bar without eating lobster! The 1/4 lb lobster tail was flash fried and served with warm drawn butter and a Greek honey mustard aioli. The batter was light and crispy, though not overpowering for the juicy, buttery lobster. Definitely recommend this as a shareable starter!

For our next course, we selected the French onion soup and the Chops chopped salad. The soup was served in the tradition crock with copious amounts of cheese, making it a truly decadent soup. The salad had some of the freshest romaine lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, endive, and onion and was tossed in a creamy basil vinaigrette. For appetizers, both dishes were generously sized and could easily be shared by two.

When it came to entrees, we decided to get one steak and one seafood option, representing both of the specialities of Chops Lobster Bar. We chose the 20 oz. bone-in ribeye and the horseradish crusted black grouper. Both were incredible! Though I don’t think there is a bad option on the menu. All of the steaks are custom aged and broiled at 1700 degrees, locking in the juicy flavors. The fish was flaky and light, with a subtle rather than overpowering flavor of horseradish. Again, generous portion sizes for both. We split a side of the smoked Gouda mac and cheese too, which was so decadent and delicious that not a noodle was left behind.

After stuffing ourselves with appetizers, soup, salad, and entrees, we were too full to properly enjoy the dessert course and decided to pass this round. All in all, an incredible experience from the food to the service to the ambiance of the Chops Lobster Bar. Such a great experience comes with a comparable price tag, so it’s unlikely we will become regulars but definitely a place to remember for special celebrations.

TLB Tip: Interested in checking out Chops Lobster Bar or one of the other Buckhead Life Group restaurants? Order an Ultimate Dining Card to get an extra 10% added for future purchases.

Homemade Pizza (with cauliflower crust!)

February 9th was “National Pizza Day,” so it only seemed fitting that we had pizza night this weekend! Homemade pizza night has always been one of our favorite (and cheap) date nights, but we actually haven’t had once since before we were married. Since it was a rainy Saturday, we decided it would be a perfect evening to break out the pizza stone in the new apartment!

We usually buy the pre-made pizza dough from Kroger or Publix, but I had heard a lot about cauliflower crust as a dough substitute. I wasn’t able to convince Grant, but I did decide to give it a go on my own pizza. We had bought cauliflower rice from Costco, which is essentially just finely chopped cauliflower florets. I steamed 2 1/2 cups of the riced cauliflower in the microwave for 7 minutes as the package directed. Next, I wrapped the steamed cauliflower in several paper towels to squeeze out the excess water.

After getting out as much of the extra water as possible, I mixed in one egg, oregano, salt, garlic powder, and mozzarella cheese. Once the mixture comes together, I shaped it into a circle resembling a pizza on a cookie sheet lined with foil. The recipe called for parchment paper, but since we didn’t have any, I had to improvise!

I baked the crust at 400 for 20 minutes before taking it out to officially assemble my pizza. I let it cool for a few minutes and then coated the crust with a mixture of olive oil, fresh garlic, and oregano. From there, I added my favorite toppings – Greek olives, portobello mushrooms and goat cheese and finished it off by topping it with a lot of mozzarella cheese!

Back into the oven for another 20 minutes, and after a brief cooling period, it was finally ready to try! Appearance wise, it looked (and smelled) delicious!

The foil instead of parchment paper proved to an issue when it came time to remove the pizza. It stuck a good bit, but with Grant’s help, we were able to cut a few pieces and transfer them to a plate for dinner. Next time, I plan to make the crust a little thinner. It didn’t get super crispy this time, and I had to eat most of it with a fork and a knife. Overall, the flavor was really good and I felt just as full as I would with real pizza crust (though with a fraction of the carbs and calories!).

Final consensus, definitely give the cauliflower crust a try if you love pizza but are looking for an alternative to the traditional gluten crust. I recommend making the crust fairly thin and using parchment paper. If you love picking up your pizza and a thick crust, then this crust probably isn’t for you (AKA Grant). Check out the full recipe I used here: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/katie-lee/cauliflower-pizza-crust-2651381.amp

Roswell Restaurant Week – The Mill Kitchen & Bar

Last Saturday, we had the opportunity to try out one of the fabulous restaurants that was participating in Roswell Restaurant WeekThe Mill Kitchen & Bar!  We’ve heard about all of these different “restaurant weeks” in Roswell, Alpharetta, and Atlanta, but have never actually visited during the promotion period. This time, we made it a goal to plan one of our weekend date nights at a participating restaurant!

Before we ultimately decided on The Mill Kitchen & Bar, we scoured through over 30 participating restaurants’ prix-fixe menus to narrow down our options. For those of you who are unfamiliar with restaurant weeks, typically the restaurants will offer a set two or three course menu with a handful of their specialty options at a fixed price. For Roswell Restaurant week, most menus were either $25 or $35 per person for two or three courses. We usually don’t order dessert when we eat out, so restaurant week was an excuse for us to make date night extra special!

The Mill Kitchen & Bar holds a special place in our heart – we celebrated our engagement with our families at brunch the morning after Grant proposed. So it was already high on the list before looking at the food options! After looking at the menu, we came to the conclusion that it had some of the best options that appealed to both of us (and we had never been there for dinner). For the appetizer, we each had a choice between Pimento Cheese Fritters, Fried Pickles, or a Wedge Salad. Entrees included Fried Chicken, Shrimp & Grits, and Short Rib. And finally, dessert was either a Flourless Chocolate Torte or Bread Pudding. Additionally, they had some beer and wine flight options that included either 3 beer tastes for $7 or 3 wine tastes for $11. Take a look below to see what we decided to try!

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(Wedge Salad; Pimento Cheese Fritters; Domaine Bousquet Malbec, Slow Press Cabernet, Bortoluzzi Pinot Grigio; Eventide Highlander Strong Scotch Ale, Lexington Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, Scofflaw Porter; Shrimp & Grits, Flourless Chocolate Torte; Bread Pudding) 

So, was Restaurant Week worth it?

Despite it being Restaurant Week, we were able to score a great reservation on OpenTable only a few days in advance. In terms of cost, we saved $6 by ordering from the Restaurant Week menu as opposed to ordering the exact same thing during a normal day. Their appetizer and dessert portion sizes were HUGE! We easily could have split both on a normal night out. All of the flavors and food quality were amazing; you definitely felt like you got what you paid for. On a downside, the restaurant was super busy with it being Saturday night and Restaurant Week, so service was a little slow – we didn’t get water until our first course and our beer and wine didn’t get there until the entrees. They also were out of quite a few wine options from their tasting flight menu, so I probably would have preferred just ordering a glass of wine rather than scambling to pick tasting options from what they had left. Also, if you are someone that likes to substitute or ask for special requests, there are no substitutions from the Restaurant Week menu, so something as simple as switching out blue cheese for ranch dressing with the salad could not be accommodated.

All in all, we had a great date night and would definitely recommend coming back to The Mill Kitchen & Bar! Neither of us left hungry and it was fun to try something new! We’re glad we tried out the Restaurant Week menu, but think we’ll probably stick to the regular menu next time, as well as plan to go during a time when it’s not so crazy to try new places.

Did you visit Roswell Restaurant Week? Any recommendations on new places for us to try?

Be sure to follow along with us in between blog posts on our Instagram – instagram.com/thelocalbells

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

The Lion King on Broadway

Last night, we had the incredible opportunity to see The Lion King on Broadway at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre. Growing up, we both loved The Lion King and have grown to appreciate musical performances and plays more as adults. When we heard the show was making its way to Atlanta, we knew we had to go!

The Lion King has won six Tony awards and is now in its 21st season on Broadway, making it the world’s #1 musical. To create the life-like effects of the animal characters, the show uses over 230 handmade puppets to bring them to life. The costumes are beautifully handcrafted with vibrant colors and homage to the African culture that you feel transported in both time and place (or to the Animal Kingdom Lodge at Walt Disney World Resort!).

There is no bad seat in the house at the fabulous Fox Theatre in Atlanta. The picture above is a view from our seats in the left orchestra – definitely one of our favorite spots! Every time we get to enjoy a show here, we are reminded of the timeless beauty of the theatre.

The performance was absolutely amazing, especially the music! “The Circle of Life” kicked off the show with a procession of the animals down the aisle to the stage, and Young Simba stole the show in “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King.” Our favorite song was “Hakuna Matata” – a great motto to live by! It means no worries, for the rest of your days!

Whether you are a local Atlantan or just visiting, a trip to the Fox or to The Lion King on Broadway wherever you may be is highly recommended! The show is currently in Atlanta January 10-28, so be sure to check it out!

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