How to gain 12 pounds in one weekend: A step-by-step guide

Bryan and I just returned to Indy after spending a fabulous long weekend in Atlanta, GA. As you know, Atlanta is one of my absolute favorite places, but Bryan had never been there before. I was so excited to show him around!

The trip started with a teensy bit of drama when our hotel reservation got a little screwy.  I may have slightly overreacted to the situation by yelling ridiculous things at Bryan that I was sure were true at the time, like “OUR ENTIRE VACATION IS RUINED!” and “THIS IS LITERALLY THE WORST EVENT ANY HUMAN HAS EXPERIENCED IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE!”

Thankfully, things got cleared up relatively easily, and we were able to check into our hotel room. Not before Bryan secretly took a picture of me yelling at him, though. Notice the raised eyebrows and bulging eyes. I may look like I’m singing, but apparently this is what I look like when I’m in a fit of public rage:


Sadly, this was the only picture Bryan took of me on the entire trip. So that’s cool.

We stayed in a room on the 22nd floor with an amazing view, stretching from the Atlanta skyline all the way to Buckhead.

Shockingly, (and I’m still not quite sure how this happened), Bryan was able to make himself right at home in our room within a matter of minutes. I swear, I walked into the room, set my pink suitcase down on the chair, and turned around to find Bryan’s stuff strewn everywhere! It was like an Act of God blew through that room while my back was turned. Bed unmade, pairs of shoes thrown around, socks everywhere…

Once we got settled in, we changed from travel clothes to going out clothes and headed downtown. We grabbed a quick bite at Publik, then attended a live taping of the NPR show “Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me” at the Fox Theatre, one of the most beautiful, historic buildings in the city.

On Friday, I grabbed breakfast with my dear friend, Regan, while Bryan did some work. Then, Bryan and I drove to lunch at the Busy Bee which was, in a word, scrumptious! The restaurant makes good, down home Southern cooking, and it was packed with customers! We grabbed seats at the lunch counter next to some tall guy who I thought was just a really lanky regular who everyone knew, but who actually turned out to be an NBA player whose name I don’t remember.

(Bryan’s) smothered fried chicken, string beans, and mac and cheese. (Jillian’s) mac and cheese, fried green tomatoes, and fried okra. UHHHHH YUM.

After lunch, we headed to the King Historic District where Martin Luther King, Jr. lived and worked. The district is actually a neighborhood which has been made into a national park; The homes and buildings in the district have been maintained just as they were when Dr. King lived there. It was pretty amazing to walk around the block knowing we were walking in the footsteps of such an amazing man.

We had a mouth-watering dinner that night at JCT Kitchen on the Westside. The chicken and ricotta dumplings I ordered were so good, I thought I was seriously going to explode with ricotta-coated joy. It’s hard to eat like a lady at a fancy restaurant when the food’s so good, all you want to do is shovel it in your mouth with the side of your fork and then lick the plate clean.

After dinner, we went to Ormsby’s, a nearby bar filled with games. We played shuffleboard and ski ball for hours, and I won every single game because I’m über talented and amazing at everything I do. (No need to ask Bryan for confirmation. He’s still reeling with embarrassment from his many, many losses and we wouldn’t want to rub it in any more.)

Afterward, we ventured to another bar, Sister Louisa’s Church, at the recommendation of an Ormsby’s server. When we got there, we were surprised to find that the bar was across the street from the MLK Historic District where we had spent the whole day! I found it rather surreal to be in a bar next door to such a historically significant neighborhood.

On Saturday, I drove Bryan around Buckhead and showed him the sights up and down West Paces Ferry Road, including my old stomping grounds. Then, we traveled to Little Five Points and enjoyed a bacon cheeseburger, onion rings and Bloody Mary’s at The Vortex, a famous Atlanta burger joint shaped like a skull. Afterward, we went back to Ormsby’s to recover someone’s lost debit card and to play a few more games of shuffleboard, which I also dominated.

We met my good friend, Dustin, and his friend, Van, for dinner at Serpas in the Old Fourth Ward that night. We dined on delicious tuna tartar, trout, and pork chops and caught up on life. Bryan and I ended the night at Joystick, a bar filled with vintage arcade games, where we played Galaga and Mortal Kombat, among others.

And when I say “we played”, I’m describing this: Bryan played for 3 minutes, then died. Jillian (who has no experience with video games) played for 7 seconds, then died. Bryan played for 5 minutes, then died. Jillian played for 14 seconds, then died. So, mostly I stood around holding Bryan’s beer and watching him play video games. Though, he did get the high score more than once, so I was super proud to be at his side and tried to make a big scene of it so everyone would know how cool we were.

On Sunday, we got up early and headed to church, then to lunch with my friends, Derek and Micki and their children, before heading to the airport. Neither Bryan nor I wanted to leave — we had such a great weekend! Good thing we did return to Indy, though. I think our wallets — and our waistlines — appreciate it!

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