Where has NICOLE been? I know, I know... shame shame on me for being a bad blogger. But rest assure, I have plenty to catch you up on!
For one, last week was a SUPER busy week work-wise, community-wise, and personally. I can go back as far as Tuesday and say, "Yes - what a week!"
Let's break it down:
Tuesday: Got up around 5am for another Leadership Macon retreat/day. Now for some of you, 5am is nothing, but for someone who sets her alarm for 7:45am, that's pretty tough. I met up with my classmates and community leaders at the Chamber of Commerce by 7:45am. We had a quick breakfast, loaded up on the buses and made the 1hour and 30 minute trek north to Atlanta. It was officially "Macon Day" in Atlanta. (Interesting concept, right?) We started out with a stop by the Coverdell building and learned about how our local agendas are moved through the House and Senate. Granted, I've probably sat through a bazillion type convos in other areas, but it is always good to get another refresher course. Then we braved the cold and rain and made it across the street to the Georgia State Capitol, where we sat in for the opening of the House of Reps. Our District Representative, Nikki Randall, introduced the key reps from Macon to the House and talked about Central Georgia in general.
After our "day" at the Capital we made our way to the old Train Depot for a lunch and learn with our Representatives and Senators. It is always interesting to pull community leaders, a panel of our district representatives, senators, the mayor of Macon and the county commissioner into one room asking questions. I was lucky enough to sit at the table with one of our local reporters and listen to some of her major questions dealing with partisan voting. Outside of getting answers, we enjoyed a wonderful lunch.
I ended the "informational" portion of the day after three hard-core economic development seminars. We went from a training program the state of Georgia has in place to help recruit manufacturing jobs here to Georgia economic development to Macon economic development. After I cleared the dust from my tired eyes, we made our way back over to the "Taste of Macon" at the Train Deport. Here people from all over Atlanta (and our representatives) come to learn a little more about our culinary delights. We had several open bars, a little music and food from many of our local restaurants.
Side note: I often hear people talk about good Barbecue. I have to tell you, I always said - "BBQ is BBQ. It's basically all the same." I can honestly say - I was wrong. Yes, you heard me. I tried mini BBQ sandwiches from Fincher's, Satterfield's and Fresh Air. Hands down - Fincher's BBQ won in my book. I suppose you really have to have a sandwich from each in your hand to truly do a taste test. I knew it as soon as I finished. (It's a local thing..)
Anyway - got home super late AND I was super full.
The next few days were a blur... but I did make it to a Leadership Macon social at The Tic Toc Room on Thursday night. I genuinely like the people in my class. We had a wonderful conversation about poverty and the school system over cocktails and gourmet horderves.
Friday night I went on a little Gallery Hop for First Friday in Downtown Macon. I started off at The Gallery of the Macon Arts Alliance and saw Kirk West's photography show. Hands down, one of the coolest things Macon Arts has done in a while. You can read more about it HERE. Basically West was a longtime photographer for the Allman Brothers Band (also from Macon,) and over the years, Kirk befriended and photographed musical legends such as Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, The Rolling Stones, Muddy Waters and Etta James.
Want to see what fun I had? Check out my pics on Instagram HERE.
After spending a little time there, I headed over to the 567 for Renewal (another Gallery) and saw an amazing art show from Bibb County School students. Then I bopped down the block a bit and went into Cherry Street Ink to see a friend of mine's art show.
I went in to see art, came out with a piercing. Ha!
Later that night Autumn (my niece) came over and spent the night with me.
Saturday was a ton of fun also. I spent most of the day watching Season One of my True Blood DVD collection ( YES, I FINALLY BOUGHT ALL FOUR SEASONS.) That night I met up with some true theatrical divas (friends of mine from the theater community I used to perform with waaaaay back in the day,) and we went to see "Hot on Broadway" at The Grand Opera House in Macon. This was a traveling review of the hottest shows on Broadway. There were probably 12 or so of us - all somehow immersed in the arts. Later, we hopped on over to Kashmir, this new upscale lounge in Macon and enjoyed the perfect girl's night out of laughter, catty jokes and excellent drinks.
Sunday - ANOTHER busy day. I actually got up and went to mass, then headed over to Market City Cafe for brunch with two friends. I had my usual - corned beef hash and french toast. As always, TO. DIE. FOR. I ran into three of the "girls night out folks" and of course, one whispered to me, "Don't say anything, but do you notice I have on the clothes I wore last night?" I could not help but laugh.
And here we are- MONDAY.
So.. I never did a 'THINGS I LEARNED THIS WEEK'.. but I tell you what - I did learn something. I learned to live. I learned to indulge in the arts again. I surrounded myself with good conversation - intelligent/culturally advanced people - decadent food - amazing art - stimulating theatrical performances - and civic minded practices.
All in all - it was a GREAT week.
Tell me about yours....