My Top Four Atlanta Activities

For the first few weeks of summer, my life became super repetitive. During the week, I would follow my morning ritual, go to work, hit the gym and then have dinner. By the time I had finished eating, the day would be over, and I’d soon have to get up and do it all over again. My weekends were spent catching up on sleep and being completely lazy. I fell into the very rhythmic trap I swore I would avoid. But then I remembered that I lived in the heart of Atlanta and that opportunities for entertainment were endless.

Here’s a breakdown of my top four things to do in Atlanta over the summer:

4.       Watch a movie at Flicks on Fifth.
       
This event is absolutely free and open to the public. Every Wednesday during the summer, weather permitting, the Georgia Tech Student Center puts on a movie on the 5th Street bridge when the sun sets. Guests are welcome to bring blankets, chairs and snacks to the event. Watch a movie on the big screen and go to a Flicks on Fifth showing.

3.       Picnic at Piedmont
        Summer fun should include a ton of sunshine, and what better way to soak up some sun than with a picnic in the park. Of course if you do decide to picnic, be sure the bring the following essential items:

  • Red and white checkered blanket
  • Big wooden picnic basket
  • Sunscreen
  • RaceTrac taquitos
  • Friends

2.       Go to an improv show

        If you need a laugh, attend a Dad’s Garage improv show! They are so hilarious and, from my experience, aren’t afraid to pull you onstage and make you part of the show. During the summer, they typically perform Thursdays – Saturdays. Be sure to buy your tickets early though since all the cheap ones run out fast.

1.       Attend a concert

        This one is pretty self explanatory because honestly, who doesn’t love music? I heard Ke$ha is playing at the Arena at Gwinnett Center on July 30th. If you’re not into Ke$ha’s musical stylings (how could you not be?) there are always plenty more concerts to go around.

Have a wonderful summer!

The Special Projects Intern, Reem

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A Sweet Southern Summer

Jessica, a Human Resources Intern gives her thoughts about her first summer in Atlanta:

The sweltering heat, walking outside, and then right back in, the palmetto bugs are just a few things I was not ready for this summer in Georgia. Although I’ve been going to school in Athens, Georgia for three years now, I never could have braced myself for my first southern summer.

Born and raised in northern Ohio, the summer’s heat tip toed around the low 80’s. As a kid, I believed that anything above 60 degrees was warm.  Boy, was I in for a surprise. In the south, the relentless heat does not let up until past 9 pm and even then the humidity transforms the outdoors into a sauna.

Although the heat can become too much, at times, I certainly would never trade a summer in Ohio for the exciting adventures that are available in Atlanta. It’s the place to be in the summer.  From Brave’s games, pool days, cookouts, and concerts, I have loved every minute of it!

I think I’ll choose to stick out a little bit of sweat, the big hair the humidity brings, and the harsh sunburns that the sweet southern sun brings.

An Ohio Girl at Heart,
Jessica

The Perfect Formula for Summer Fitness; Part 5, Floaties

FLOATIES:
As I lay by the pool, the image of my six-year old self flashes back to me. There, in the 3-foot high pool, my legs kicked and my arms flustered as I struggled to keep from sinking. The only things keeping me afloat were my Little Mermaid arm floaties and my Flounder and Sebastian themed pool toys that obviously coordinated ever so well with my matching bathing suit. As my swim instructor yelled and whistled, “Kick Harder,” I was determined to rip those arm floaties off and deflate them for good.

Now, as I lay poolside, I remember my vow to never again return to those arm floaties and pool toys that it took so long to let go of. While I am no mermaid, I can certainly swim a few laps and float on top of the water, however; I’d be much more active if I did return to those pool toys. Water is one of the best fitness tools. The resistance strengthens muscles and increases cardio intensity. In addition, water can support weight make exercising easier on joints.

It’s time to put down the latest People magazine and grab a pool toy, like a swim noodle and begin some great pool exercises. One exercise, entitled “Noodle Up,” requires a pool noodle be held, with both hands, horizontally above one’s head. As one stand’s in chest-high pool water, he or she should lean back as far as possible, allowing the noodle to touch the surface of the water without bending one’s arms. Once the noodle hits the surface, the noodle should return to the horizontal position. By repeating this exercise 10-15 times on each side, then rotating sides, one can obtain a great water exercise, all with pool toys from the past!

At the age of six, I may have vowed to never return to floaties and pool toys; however, I have also vowed this summer to exercise poolside, while soaking up the sun, so something has got to give! Besides, even treading water for a minute can burn almost 11 calories, which certainly sounds like I can add sprinkles, hot fudge, and oh wait, an extra scoop of ice cream to tonight’s sundae.

Summer Kisses,
The Brand Management Intern, Ariel

The Perfect Formula for Summer Fitness: Part 2, Fun

FUN: Whether you are “Driving your Chevy to the levee” or “Getting your kicks on route 66”, everyone has to get to work somehow.

After fueling up on a quick breakfast of fiber and protein, like step number one of “The Perfect Formula to Summer Fitness” recommends, it is time to hop into my car and drive to work. While this may be a typical long and grueling drive in the Atlanta traffic, it is in fact the best time to have fun and let loose.

It’s time to turn up the radio and sing to everything from Lady Gaga to The Rolling Stones. The driver’s seat is now my stage and my morning coffee cup may not be the highest quality microphone, but it surely suffices. Although, I intend to get a few looks when I roll down the window and belt Celine Dion’s, “My Heart Will Go On,” the health benefits singing provides are far worth the stares.

Each morning, I am sure to walk into work happier, as singing elevates one’s mood. I have more energy, an improved memory, and an increased concentration all from my Grammy award winning performance that just happened to take place on I-75 south. For those that are seeking lower blood pressure or relief from asthma, singing can be a great exercise to facilitate these health needs. In addition, the oxygen intake is a fantastic way to stay healthy, look younger and tone one’s facial muscles. Now, we all know the secret to Justin Bieber’s fresh look, singing of course!

So, as Just Bieber would harmonize, “Never Say Never” to being too embarrassed of a highway concert. Whether, it is Madison Square Garden worthy or just shower time worthy, either way singing provides an excellent jumpstart to one’s morning.

Summer Kisses,
The Brand Management Intern, Ariel

The Perfect Formula for Summer Fitness

Ariel, an Intern, gives her tips to a successful summer:

Summer has arrived. The weekend forecast predicts it is time to whip out the bathing suits, lay by the pool and of course eat tons of ice cream!  But, the real question is how to snack on my favorite chips, sip on my favorite fountain soda and still be ready for that beach weekend family photo.

Like any other employed person’s workweek, my weekdays are busy and my weekends crave relaxation. In order to ensure the most important components of my summer are fulfilled; ending my work days with reality television marathons and spending my weekends in the sun, I had to create the perfect summer formula for fitness. While this quick weekly mathematical calculation may not be full proof, it will surely be a hoot, and hey laughing is a great exercise!

So, follow along as I equate the ideal way to spend summer.

My perfect formula for summer fitness involves only the most important things food, fun, free, friends and floaties.

Summer Kisses,
The Brand Management Intern,
Ariel

RaceTrac’s College Colors: National Champion Auburn Edition

Today’s entry comes from Amy in our Human Resources department

In the waning hours of an Auburn Football Saturday, you’re likely to hear one thing repeated throughout the Plains. “It’s great to be an Auburn Tiger. I said it’s great to be an Auburn Tiger.” For those of you not fortunate enough to be familiar with Auburn, you may ask yourself why it’s great to be an Auburn Tiger. While it would be simple to run through images of Heisman Trophies, Sullivan to Beasley, Bo over the top or Cadillac completing a half-back pass for a touchdown against UGA, a few words really sum it up in a multitude of ways: History, Tradition, and Family.

Much like many Southern Universities, Auburn University is home to a great history. Founded in 1856, Auburn University is seated in the heart of a town named after an Oliver Goldsmith poem describing the loveliest village of the plain. Auburn University became the State of Alabama’s first public land grant university. It has become one of very few land grant, sea grant, and space grant Universities in the United States. Having nationally recognized architecture, veterinary science, engineering and business programs have lead to Auburn being recognized as a Top 50 public university for 15 consecutive years. Knowing that you are a part of something so long standing and diverse creates a great sense of pride. However, many of you are probably thinking that many other universities have similarly impressive histories. Auburn University, while inseparable from its history, is defined by its tradition and sense of family.

Auburn University is home to many proud traditions including Tiger Walk, rolling the oak trees found at Toomer’s Corner after a win, and knowing that every day at noon you will hear the bells at Samford Tower chime the fight song. However, to many, Auburn University tradition can be defined in two words: “War Eagle.” First, War Eagle is a battle cry and not a mascot or a nickname. You cannot properly refer to a person as a War Eagle or to a team as the War Eagles. The legend of War Eagle dates back to a football game against the University of Georgia in 1892 and the phrase has become an everlasting emblem of the Auburn Spirit. The University flies an eagle into Jordan-Hare Stadium before every home game as the embodiment of this spirit. These two words unite members of the Auburn Family both at home and abroad and provide a universal greeting to instantly identify one another no matter where you may find yourselves.

This connection is much more than just the battle cry. The Auburn family is more than just a collection of graduates from a single university in the Deep South. This family is a bond of spirit and understanding that resonates within each member and has been captured by George Petrie in the Auburn Creed. The Creed sets forth those things that each Auburn man and woman believes in, including education, honesty, a sound mind, and Country among others. The final line of the Creed sums up why so many of us think it is great to be an Auburn Tiger as it reads: “And because Auburn men and women believe in these things, I believe in Auburn and love it.”

Atlanta Traffic Sucks.

Being in the working world has given me the ability to appreciate what life is like outside Atlanta. I know people from big northern cities say that the pace is slower in the South, even in Atlanta. But let’s get real – the pace of life is much faster in Atlanta than most places. I grew up in Gwinnett County, and suburban life was all about having enough space to be comfortable. I then went to the University of Georgia in Athens, where the school controls the pace of the town and “industrial” isn’t one of the first 500 adjectives which spring to mind.  In short, I’ve lived my life with the ability to get where I wanted to go whenever I wanted to go there. Then, I moved to Atlanta and met my first taste of real traffic.

My stint in Athens was filled with complaining and rage over any traffic time at all. Whether it was a five minute logjam for no reason or game day traffic, traffic was always a mood-killer. When I first got to Atlanta, my blood pressure spiked every time I stepped foot in the car for about two weeks. Everywhere I went took an hour of travel. Then, I finally acquiesced to it and now rival a Buddhist monk in patience. Now, I have fun with the traffic system. I have devised many ways to live with a terrible traffic system that allows me to stay interested and not frustrated. These “games” that I play with the traffic system include:

  • Trying to be on the roads at the most obscure times of the day.  Driving at 4:48am is quite blissful.
  • Trying to make a science experiment out of the situation, only without the cool explosions. I try to leave at the same exact time to make sure the factors around traffic are the same no matter what.
  • Trying to listen to the same things on the radio every time. This allows me to call in on different contests and feel like I know the DJ’s personally.   I’ve already made friends with The Other Guys and the Bert Show gang, only they don’t know it.
  • I try to find new and fun things to do by taking different routes in the city. Instead of going around 285, I’ll just start driving and hope I end up at my destination.  I’ve gotten to explore some really interesting locales, though my boss isn’t quite as excited about my explorations when I show up at 10am accidentally.

    Like I said, Atlanta has made me a better person on the roads. When I am driving around and hit a small patch of traffic, I always have the horribleness of Atlanta to compare it to, so I don’t get mad in the slightest bit. It also has given me a Christmas Vacation attitude about it, “Well, it’s Christmas, and we’re all in misery.” We might as well get happy cause we’re are definitely all in misery out there on these roads.

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