Travel Date: Monday, Dec 15 2014

I left Jacksonville a bit later after breakfast and began the long drive back to Atlanta.

The weather was great.

I drove to Lara and Kim’s house. I went to their wedding in 2013 and the last time I was traveling through Atlanta they were traveling in Vietnam. I told them on my way back I would definitely stop over for at least a day. They are both amazing people. Lara and I went to high school together at St. Marys in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. And over the years we’ve kept in touch.

Kim breaks out the home brewed beer.

I meet their beautiful black dog Ninja that they found stranded, and then they adopted and fell in love with. I chase her around their backyard until I get exhausted and fall over. She is keeping her distance. Such a bitch! 🙂
For dinner, they tell me they are going to take me out to ‘Doraville’ which is known for its authentic ethnic restaurants. Oh yeah they are major major foodies. And love to make and cook food using their own ingredients. So I definitely trust their food judgment and just along for the ride. Check out their blog: Panda and Mango. Guess who is panda??

First up a Mexican restaurant: El Rey Del Taco

I get the Cabeza (Cow’s cheek) taco. Absolutely delicious. Seriously never tasted tacos this good. Sorry San Diego and Dallas, you’ve got competition.

I try another out Christmas style (with green and red sauces).

We then to a Korean Restaurant: Han Il Kwan where Kim and Lara had their first date.

I even got a certified Kim & Lara (Panda and Mango) tour of the place. Where they sat, what they ate, and where Lara lunged in for her first kiss. Yes, boys … Kim just played it totally cool.

We get the Bibimbap (pronounced Bi Bim Bap) to share. I love just saying it. It sounds funny.

Well they didn’t sit there for their first date, but we all did for ours (3).

I’m totally ready to dive into that. But I’m also starting to get really really full.

Next up we stop at the Parista Baguette.

Apparently this is a Korean Bakery… Yes. A Korean Bakery called Paris Baguette.

Kim and Lara start picking up some treats.

There is a WIDE selection to choose from.

Time to check out.

Every couple has disagreements. They decide to finger sword fight it out.

We get a to-go box, and head over to the next restaurant, a Vietnamese place called Pho Bac. Yes, we are NOT done eating – even though my stomach is telling me otherwise.

I’m really excited about this.

And obviously I get some Pho… the smallest dish possible. Spirit is willing but the body is weak.

And Kim orders some special coffee for me.

Who am I to refuse – even though it is 8 PM ish.

Quite strong and quite good.

After dinner we head back to the house. I watch some Saints football and get closer and closer to Ninja. She is beginning to warm up to me.

And of course try a delicious goodie from Paris Baguette.

Reflections:

Today was insanity!!!

It was great to see Lara and Kim. And also spend time chasing Ninja around their backyard and lose some weight before the crazy food festival. It was great to catch up with them and learn all about their trip to Vietnam: the people, food, and the culture.

I am impressed with Kim and him brewing his own beer. I think that is a hobby that I want to partake in someday. Might have to get some advice from you.

Dinner was off-the-hook. We went to three different ethnic restaurants (Mexican, Korean, and Vietnamese). The food at each was unique and piqued my taste buds in a variety of different ways. And course my company was just outstanding. And then finally a Korean Bakery called Paris Baguette, How much more multi-cultural can you get??

This was one of the best food experiences on my trip across America and with some great friends. Thank you for the generous dinner treats, great conversation, lots of laugh, and woo-ing Ninja opportunities. 🙂

Expenses: $24.80
Gas: $17.59 (Pilot)
Lunch: $7.21 (McDonalds) Yuck, I know especially now know what was in store for me. We all make mistakes.