Tippins Sisters Reunion

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Flag of United States  , Georgia
Saturday, March 10, 2012

After nearly three years, my dearest, darling-est sister Jessica and friend Caleb made the trip north to visit me in Hotlanta. Jessica had but one request for her 4 day visit: drink the legendary local blueberry beer straight from the tap at the Sweetwater brewery. Rufio picked our guests up at the airport, picked me up at home and we headed straight for the Thursday night tour.

We were remiss in not bringing Maho to Sweetwater this time. The Wednesday and Thursday tours are much less crowded (and thus more dog friendly) than the weekend tours. The four of us even found bar stools in the main barroom to sit comfortably upon and drink one 420, IPA, Georgia Brown and Blue right after the other. After last call, we headed to the Highlands to try the uber hip newest ATL foodie craze, haute dogs, at Richard Blais' HD1. Since the line was out the door and Rufio was already dog-gone cranky, we ran across the street to Pura Vida for quick tapas and cocktails instead. After three rounds of everything from goat to mussels and enough mescal to drown a fish, we retired for the first evening, although not before Rufio and I entertained our guests with a 30 minute debate on immigration status and gambling. But that's for another blog...

After an untimely vet visit for poor Maho the next afternoon, we took a late lunch at our favorite Buford Highway taqueria, El Rey del Taco. We then introduced the newbies to the wonder that is Buford Highway Farmer's Market. Jessica was amazed at the selection of produce, meats, fish, desserts and plethora of foreign foods and goodies. We picked up a few staples -  cacahuate, Ting, Eastern bloc pastries, back and kidney energizing tea - then headed home to ready for the evening. Thanks to Savored Atlanta, we secured a reservation at Imperial Fez along with a 30% discount. We spent the night drinking Moroccan red wine, eating a feast of Cornish hen, quail, lobster and more, and marveled at the belly dancers from our cushioned seats on the floor. Just when we had thoroughly impressed our guests, we decided to introduce them to our most beloved gem in the city: Pub 71. 

Since Caleb and I were signed up for the Spartan Sprint the following day, we actually took it easy at Pub that night. Though not there long, the night provided a handful of laughs for us nonetheless. Jessica even convinced Early, our burly bear bouncer, to pretend to throw Rufio out, since he is the last of our crew to have not been kicked out of Pub 71 for one instance of debauchery or another. 

The next day was dedicated to the Spartan Sprint in Conyers, GA. As we pulled up to the event Caleb pondered, "I wonder what they have in store for us at this thing?". No sooner than the words escaped his tongue we came upon a man, covered in mud and bleeding profusely from a cracked skull, being ushered into an ambulance. I immediately regretted this decision.

We signed in and I immediately collected my complimentary pre-race war paint (Seminole colors of course) and massage. The gunshot rang for our 1:30 heat, and Caleb and I were off in a dash. One hour and 37 grueling minutes later, the two of us crossed the finish line, fighting off a gauntlet of gladiators with what little feeling we had left in our extremities. The race covered nearly 4 miles of (mostly uphill) trails, spotted with 18 back breaking obstacles. I was lucky to have a SWAT trained athletic beast helping me pull through every obstacle and sticking with me along the trails. Although I inevitably decimated what his time would have been, Caleb helped me achieve the #26 rank for my age group. I was quite happy with the ranking, given I have averaged 1 gym session a week this year. The fact that typing this story is still hurting my biceps suggests I may need to step up my training regime this year. Look for my running tour of London in this year's coming blog...

We left the Olympic grounds utterly exhausted but pleased to have completed the course. Guzzling celebratory beers, we wiped away as much mud from every crevice we could before heading back to the A. With just enough time for a hot shower and quick nap, we barely made our 7:00 reservation at Sushi Hayakawa. We ordered our favorites, the Chef's special sashimi platter and monkish liver appetizer. Jessica ordered quite possibly the best spicy tuna roll this city has to offer. We were all set for a night of Buckhead bars and the infamous Clairmont Lounge...except we stopped by the house to check on sickly Maho, and everyone's energy came crashing to a halt. The night ended with sushi and Asahi.

Sleepy Sunday turned into Big Breakfast Sunday. Rufio made his famed bacon wrapped eggs, and Jessica and I combined forces to make a twist on our mom's famed dried beef gravy, all washed down by my famed pink mimosas. Brunch ended with the four of us cheering on the NOLES TO AN ACC CHAMPIONSHIP! GO NOLES! We spent the afternoon with Maho, now feeling better, at the Lenox Park dog park.  The boys later delighted us with a courtyard grill-out under the stars to end another fun-filled weekend in Atlanta. 

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