Thursday, December 31, 2015

wanderlust ATLANTA's 2015 Photo Review

One of my favorite annual posts is wanderlust ATLATNA's year-in-photos review, particularly because it's an opportunity to look back over the last year and relive so many of the fantastic experiences Atlanta offers.

The photos in this post are all ones I made myself! I attended a significant number of performing arts shows this year and most of the photos from those posts are not mine, so I invite you to search through the blog to see the photos and articles from those shows.

In no particular order, here we go...

wanderlust ATLANTA | Atlanta Botanical Garden
wanderlust ATLANTA | Atlanta Botanical Garden

THIS is my absolute favorite 2015 photo. Serendipity can be a photographer's best friend. And it indeed was on this particular day when I visited Atlanta Botanical Garden. The 25-foot Earth Goddess is a visitor favorite and one of mine, too. 

[Summer in the Garden]

wanderlust ATLANTA | Swan House Capitol Tour | Atlanta History Center
wanderlust ATLANTA | Swan House Capitol Tour | Atlanta History Center

I've not yet seen Mockingjay Part 2, but I've toured President Snow's mansion many times. The Swan House Capitol Tour at the Atlanta History Center is brilliant! I highly recommend this tour.

[Swan House Capitol Tour]

wanderlust ATLANTA | 360 Degree Birthday | SkyView Atlanta
wanderlust ATLANTA | 360 Degree Birthday | SkyView Atlanta

I had the BEST birthday in 2015! My dearest friends joined me for a 360 degree tour of downtown Atlanta! We started in the VIP gondola on SkyView Atlanta, had dinner at Sun Dial Restaurant and finished with dessert and drinks at Polaris! It was an awesome celebration.

[360 Birthday Celebration]

wanderlust ATLANTA | Jackson Street Bridge | Big Zombie Tour | Atlanta Movie Tours
wanderlust ATLANTA | Jackson Street Bridge | Big Zombie Tour | Atlanta Movie Tours

I made this photo the second time I went on Atlanta Movie Tours' "Big Zombie Tour - Part 1"...totally awesome! If you're a fan of The Walking Dead, you know this vista well.

[Big Zombie Tour - Part 1]

wanderlust ATLANTA | Big Zombie Tour - Part 2 | Atlanta Movie Tours
wanderlust ATLANTA | Big Zombie Tour - Part 2 | Atlanta Movie Tours

Atlanta Movie Tours' "Big Zombie Tour - Part 2" was amazing! You get to see so much from The Walking Dead series and I met some pretty amazing people!

[Big Zombie Tour - Part 2]

If you live here or have visited regularly, you know that Atlanta is the land of festivals! Seriously, I would be rather shocked to learn that we didn't have some kind of festival every weekend of the year in the Metro area. Yes...we have a LOT of festivals!

One of my favorite, though, is the Atlanta Dogwood Festival, and as much fun as the 2015 festival was, I can hardly wait for the next one—the 2016 Atlanta Dogwood Festival will be the 80th!

[Atlanta Dogwood Festival 2015]

One of my favorite Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) perks is their "Field Trips"! The one pictured above was a visit to Formations Studio where the new sculpture "Stealth" was made. It's now installed near Peachtree and 15th Streets in front of The Castle.

[Stealth Field Trip]

I love seeing Atlanta Ballet's Nutcracker at the Fox Theatre and the balance of their season at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center, however I equally love seeing their off-season, off-campus Wabi Sabi performances! The performance above was on the front lawn at the High Museum of was magnificent!

[Atlanta Ballet's Wabi Sabi]

As strong a proponent as I am for effective public transit, I'm still a car enthusiast. The Atlanta International Auto Show is a great time and relatively inexpensive, with superhero performances, test drives, and stunning automobiles! 

If I recall correctly, the 2014 BMW i8 pictured above was priced at $142,000. Unfortunately, I'd left my checkbook at the house. Silly me!

[Atlanta Car Show]

I'd never been to a convention like Dragon Con until I moved back to Atlanta in 2010 and now I can't imagine not going! There's so much fun going on during this four-day fan convention that I wrote six posts about this year's Con! 

Cosplay, one of my favorite aspects of the Con, is wonderful and absolutely super!

[Cosplay at Dragon Con 2015]

The number of programs offered by the Atlanta History Center is amazing...there's something for everyone! Truly!

It's hard to pick a favorite program, but I have attended a number of the "Party With the Past" events, which take place at various historic sites around town. They're consistently loads of fun, educational and I always manage to meet new and interesting people. And the beer is good, too.

[Party With the Past]

It can be great fun when worlds collide. Being a baseball fan and a fan of The Walking Dead, I absolutely had to go to the Atlanta Braves game on Zombie Night at Turner Field, which is where I first met Stan the Zombie!

[Zombie Night at Turner Field]

Orchid Daze at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, an annual event at the Garden, is one that I don't miss. It's consistently gorgeous and oftentimes quite interesting. Starting in February, it's a fun wintertime excursion! 

[Orchid Daze 2015]

My friend Summer Loftin, designer and super-fun human being, had been trying to get me to go to Howard Finster's Paradise Garden for a couple of years. I went this year and had such an incredible experience! This is another must-see!

[Howard Finster's Paradise Garden]

You don't see a lot of peach trees if you live in Atlanta, unless we're talking about street names, but that's a whole other story. I love the dwarf peach trees at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, which typically bloom during the Garden's "Atlanta Blooms!" exhibition.

[Atlanta Blooms 2015]

"Scarecrows in the Garden", another of the Atlanta Botanical Garden's annual events (this one in October), is also great fun. The scarecrows are more fantastical every year. This year, one of my favorites was the "train-farmer" pictured above, which was cleverly placed near the model train display at Alston Overlook.

[Scarecrows in the Garden 2015]

Dragon Con 2015 fun started early in the year with a Dragon Con Night at Medieval Times! There was a significant number of people in the costume contest and we enjoyed the regular dinner and tournament.

I've been to Medieval Times on many occasions—great fun! This particular evening was another example of worlds colliding in a wonderful way...Dragon Con AND Medieval Times!

[Dragon Con at Medieval Times]

Yet another example of worlds colliding was Dragon Con Night at Georgia Aquarium. They sold out! And there was a magnificent costume contest for Dragon Con conventioneers, as well as the whole of Georgia Aquarium being open for our enjoyment. It was an awesome evening!

Pictured above, in a jellyfish costume, is Yaya Han, one of the preeminent cosplayers in the world!

[Dragon Con at Georgia Aquarium]

This is another photo from Dragon Con. It was a happenstance meeting of the Joker and I just love the photo...the vibrant colors of his costume in contrast to the Gotham-esque background was brilliant!

[Reasons to Attend Dragon Con]

I snapped this photo when I was at the High Museum of Art to see an Atlanta Ballet performance, part of their Wabi Sabi program. These "tops" were part of an exhibition called Los Trompos, which was scattered throughout town. Visitors and locals alike had great fun spinning on them and they truly brightened up the High's Sifly Piazza.

[Wabi Sabi & Los Trompos]

I had the pleasure of going on a Peachtree Food Tours tour earlier this year. I enjoyed EVERYTHING about this tour AND I found one of the best burgers I've ever had—the Sublime Doughnut Burger at Cypress Street Pint & Plate! This was such a fun food tour!

[Peachtree Food Tours]

I've long been a fan of The Breman Museum. Their special exhibition "Where the Wild Things Are", which was on exhibit for all of 2015, was magnificent on so many levels. I can hardly wait to see what they bring next!

[Where The Wild Things Are]

The "Victory Tour"—based on The Hunger Games— offered by Atlanta Movie Tours is a brilliant way to spend an afternoon...and see quite a lot of Atlanta! You'll be surprised to see just how much of our grand city is in the movies. I was surprised!

[Victory Tour]

In 2015 I went to the annual Walker Stalker Con for the first time...and quite an experience it was! The cosplayers were brilliant. There were fewer zombies than I expected—but still quite a few—and more diverse theme-relevant costumes.!

[Walker Stalker Con]

I love going to local farmers markets and especially so where there's a local celebrity chef doing a cooking demo. I always know that the days I go to a farmers market that dinner that evening will be one of the best!

[Grant Park Farmers Market]

My blogger friend Terry Kearns—author of Architecture Tourist—was honored by a local artist by painting his face on the side of a building in East cool is that! Terry has been a longtime supporter of wanderlust ATLANTA and an was super exciting to see him honored in this way.

[Big Terry]

I mentioned earlier that the Atlanta History Center has a significant amount of programming for tourists, local and visiting. In addition to the programming they have gardens, historic homes and quite a few museums.

Their Shutze museum opened in 2014, but I didn't post the photos from my first visit—I've been many times throughout 2015—until early this year, the one above being a favorite.

[Mandarin Shutze]

Any excuse to get to experience the Fox Theatre is a good excuse...getting to see "Ghostbusters" was an awesome one! The Fox's Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival is an event that I and thousands of Atlantans look forward to with great anticipation.

[Ghostbusters at the Fox Theatre]

Blogging has afforded me many opportunities to do things that I might not otherwise get to do. It also keeps me aware of a LOT of what's going on in Atlanta. Earlier this year The Cook's Warehouse invited me to a Bloggers-Only Champagne Brunch...great fun! 

I got to hang out with owner Mary Moore, Chef Jennifer Booker and got to meet Chef Hugh Acheson...all during the same outing!

[Hugh Acheson at The Cook's Warehouse]

I'd wanted to see Avenue Q for years and got to see it twice in 2015! I saw the PG-13 version in Piedmont Park and the full version at Conant Theatre at Oglethorpe Univerisity, both productions by Horizon Theatre. I had the great fortune of seeing a number of Horizon Theatre shows this year and I'll be back to see more!

[Avenue Q...twice!]

The Atlanta Botanical Garden's summer exhibition, "Bruce Munro: Light in the Garden", was spectacular! The photo above is one I made when seeing a Wabi Sabi performance by Atlanta Ballet.

[Wabi Sabi at the Garden]

The finale of my 2015 holiday season was seeing The Santaland Diaries at Horizon Theatre...I laughed and laughed and laughed...and got a fun photo with the cast! This was their 17th year and I have no idea what took me so long to see this delightfully wonderful show...I'll definitely be back!

[The Santaland Diaries]

I appreciate your support and encouragement and look forward to bringing more exciting stories and news of events to you throughout 2016. Be sure to follow wanderlust ATLANTA on Facebook!

Happy New Year, everyone! 

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