Shellmont Inn Bed and Breakfast

821 Piedmont Ave N E, Atlanta, Georgia 30308
Innkeeper(s): Ed & Debbie McCord
 

Atlanta Botanical Garden, Orchid Daze: Pop! 7 Feb 2015, 8:57 am

 

Atlanta Botanical Garden, Orchid Daze: Pop! opens Saturday, February 7th thru April 12th,  2015.  When the days are a little longer and the Camellias begin to blossom I know the opening of the Orchid Daze exhibit is just around the corner. This years Atlanta Botanical Garden Orchid Daze: Pop exhibit is the third in a trilogy of art inspired exhibits.  The Pop Art exhibit combines floral icons with references to Pop Artists, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Keith Haring.

You will love the brightly colored and fragrantly scented Cattleya Orchids that will be the centerpiece of this years Orchid Daze.  These hybrids that have been around for more than a century and are known to be difficult to grow. I am hoping to pick up a few tricks that will help mine.

The Fuqua Orchid Center has one of the largest collections of orchids in North America.

Some of the Orchid Happenings at Atlanta Botanical Garden Orchid Daze:  Pop!

Orchid Market Weekends will give you the opportunity to purchase supplies and mingle with local growers.  They will be happy to answer your questions about growing orchids..

Orchid Care Clinics allow you to bring two orchids in for expert advice from the staff at the Fuqua Orchid Center.

Valentines in the Garden is the perfect place to spend Valentines Evening with your sweetie!  Enjoy strolling thru the orchids by starlight.  There will be music, dancing, cocktails and desert. There will be treats from some of Atlanta’s top chefs and specialty drinks available for purchase.  This is the only time the exhibit will be open in the evening.

Vanilla Sunday is one of my favorite happenings.  All you chefs will enjoy learning about the Vanilla Orchid and how the beans are processed into vanilla extract.  Vanilla is one of the key ingredients in some of the deserts and breads we serve our Atlanta Bed and Breakfast guests.

When planning your Atlanta getaway be sure and put the Atlanta Botanical Garden, Orchid Daze:  Pop! exhibit on your Must Do List.

 

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Valentines Weekend in Atlanta 22 Jan 2015, 7:22 am

Valentines Weekend in Atlanta is a great time to experience romance the southern way.  Start your weekend off at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History at the Martinis & IMAX.  Held every Friday evening (except holidays), the doors open at 7 p.m. and the live music begins at 7:30 p.m.   Enjoy their own special cocktail menu and small plates, live music with dancing and the opportunity to see a film on the biggest screen in town.  After a night of “culture and cocktails” it is time for sweet dreams.

If you are looking for a little quieter way to start your Valentines Weekend in Atlanta, the High Museum of Art maybe just what you want.  The museum offers half price tickets after 4 p.m. on Fridays and is open until 9 p.m.  Each Friday evening at 6:30 you can experience Friday HIGHlights Gallery talks.  This thirty minute docent lead tour features a specific part of the High Museum’s permanent collection.  After touring the High Museum of Art, head over to Table 1280 for a romantic dinner.  They feature a local farm to fork menu.

Valentines Day enjoy a delicious breakfast at your favorite Atlanta Bed and Breakfast.  Some of our guests favorite dishes to indulge in are Baked Pears with Maple Syrup,  Three Cheese Eggs, Homemade Blueberry Muffins.  After breakfast head over to Piedmont Park (circa 1822) one of Atlanta’s oldest parks and stroll around the lake.  If you prefer a little retail therapy head up to Peachtree Street or over to Virginia Highlands.

Enjoy one of Atlanta’s most romantic spots, The Atlanta Botanical Garden, Valentines in the Garden!  Enjoy a romantic night of music, dancing, cocktails and desert set with a backdrop of their latest exhibit Orchid Daze, Pop!  Custom design your sweetheart their own specialty perfume with the assistance of BLEND.  If you prefer an intimate dinner on Valentines evening, select from over fifty restaurants, from casual to fine dining all within walking distance of our Atlanta Bed and Breakfast.  Ed or I will be happy to help you find the perfect dinner spot.

If just want to sit back and get lost in the moment, don’t miss The Atlanta Symphony, From the Heart – Valentines by Conductor Michael Krajewski and Singer/Songwriter Tony DeSare.  They will perform Romantic Songs to celebrate Valentines.

See you Valentines Weekend in Atlanta!

 

 

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Happy New Years Eve Wishes! 31 Dec 2014, 3:38 pm

 

Shellmont Key Lime Pie

Happy New Years Wishes!  It has been a busy 2014 at our Atlanta Bed and Breakfast!  As we look back at some of our highlights we had the privilege to participate in The Great Urban Race.  This is an Urban scavenger hunt that uses your city as puzzle pieces to solve clues and challenges.  Best of all, the proceeds go to fund St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

We were also selected to be on the Atlanta Preservations Center Phoenix Flies Tours, not once but twice.

In late summer,  we were chosen as a location for the filming of “Vacation” with Chevy Chase, Christine Applegate, Ed Helms and Beverly D’Angelo.  It was quite a large production and we are anxiously awaiting for its release and will let you know when that happens.

New Years Eve is the perfect time to reconnect and celebrate this evening with your friends and neighbors, family or just the two of you.  We have had the pleasure of celebrating with you, your anniversaries, birthdays, Atlanta weddings and other life milestones in 2014.

As you celebrate this evening, when the clock strikes twelve and the Peach Drops in Atlanta, Ed and I will raise our champagne flutes to you sending you our Best Wishes for a  Healthy, Prosperous and Happy New Year in 2015!

 

Shellmont Key Lime Pie

We always ring in New Year’s Eve with Key Lime Pie.  After all the heavy deserts from the Holidays it is nice to have a light and refreshing desert.  Hope you enjoy this pie as much as Ed and I.

9″ Graham Cracker Pie Shell

1 Can of Sweetened Condensed Milk

1 TBLS of Lime Zest

3 Egg Yolks

2/3 Cup of Key Lime Juice, Freshly Squeezed

1 Cup Heavy Cream

2 1/2 TBLS Confectioners Sugar

Beat 3 Egg Yolks.  Add Lime Zest.  Add Sweetened Condensed Milk, mix well.   Put in pie shell.  Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.  Let cool, then refrigerate.  Put Bowl and Mixer Beaters in frig until cold.  Beat Heavy Cream and gradually add Sugar.  Beat until Fluffy.  Serve on top of Key Lime Pie.

 

HAPPY NEW YEARS EVE!

 

 

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Georgia Aquarium, Swim with Whale Sharks! 5 Nov 2014, 8:19 am

Georgia Aquarium Swim with the Whale Sharks

Georgia Aquarium is the most visited Atlanta Attraction!  They have something for everyone.  Our guests have been thrilled to Swim with the Whale Sharks.  The Georgia Aquarium is the only place, you will be guaranteed to swim or dive with the Whale Sharks, Manta Rays and much more!  Whale Sharks are the largest fish in the world.   Guests will swim at the surface with help from a flotation devices and snorkels or small air compressors.  The experience last  2 1/2 hours, with 30 minutes in the fish tanks.  Best of all you experience behind the scenes at the Georgia Aquarium.  Recently one of our mother/daughter Atlanta getaways had this unique experience (photo compliments of them).  There only comment,  it was one their Best Life Experiences!

Another of the unique Georgia Aquarium programs is the Beluga and Friends Experience.  This encounter puts you up close and hands on with the Beluga Whales.  Best of all you will be suited up in your wet suit, side by side with the Beluga Whale trainers.  In addition you will get to know the other fish in the Cold Water Quest Gallery.  There are only eight slots available at a time.

If you love Dolphins don’t miss The Dolphin Encounter and Experience.  It allows you behind the scenes, poolside with the opportunity to feed and play with the dolphins from the AT & T Dolphin Tale Shows. This will be an experience your children will never forget!

One of our guests favorite tours is the Georgia Aquarium Behind the Seas Tour!  Experience what goes on behind the closed doors at the aquarium and makes it such a magical place.  See the impact the Georgia Aquarium is having on Conservation and Research!  Learn about one the most important resources at the aquarium, water.  Lastly, you will tour each gallery from the other side.

If you miss seeing all your favorite animals at the Georgia Aquarium, be sure and click on the Beluga Whale Webcam or the African Penguin Webcam to see all the happenings at the Georgia Aquarium!

 

 

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Navajo Peak Winter Climb 30 Oct 2014, 7:00 am

Navajo Peak in the Indian Peaks Wilderness

A Navajo Peak, Colorado winter climb…where do I start?  Two years ago in February, my friend and climbing partner Stefan, travelled to Boulder, Colorado to visit his Dad, Stan and brother, Serge. Stan literally lives at the base of the Flatirons and the Front Range. Stefan asked me to accompany him on this trip as we could venture into the Indian Peaks Wilderness and attempt a winter climb of a local peak. The initial objective was Apache Peak but it had been snowing excessively for almost a week and we were concerned about avalanche potential. Checking the mountain weather and avalanche reports confirmed our observations. Apache was out of the question. We decided to venture on into the Indian Peaks and see what alternatives existed. A quick trip to Neptune Mountaineering in Boulder secured our rented avy beacons so we were set to go.

We parked the vehicle at the unmanned parking lot amongst groups of other hikers, skiers and climbers sorting gear and similar activities. We departed heading North in mountaineering boots and followed the snow packed road for what seemed like hours. Finally, time to go off trail and convert to snowshoes. Serge lead most of the way as he was most familiar with the route. After weaving through trees and underbrush we arrived at the lake outlet where the snow reared up and the overflow had iced up. Also, evidence of recent avalanche was visible so Stefan yelled to go wide right. Several minutes later, we emerged out onto the frozen lakes edge and followed the contour around the right side. It was almost dusk, the wind was beginning to howl and the temp was dropping dramatically. Time to find a suitable campsite, level a platform and pitch the tent. This was accomplished in short order after we nixed the first location in a depression among some trees and opted for next to a gigantic boulder. This was a far better site as it gave us a good windbreak. We brewed up water and prepped supper. A tasty meal indeed.

High Camp near Navajo Peak

It was a cold night indeed. Even though I had my zero degree sleeping bag, in the middle of the night I opted to slip on my down parka. The wind buffeted the tent all night with occasional gusts to ensure an interrupted nights sleep. Morning dawned semi-clear with high whispy clouds which was not particularly encouraging. We brewed up water for breakfast as I noticed a lone skier heading downstream along the frozen lake. We yelled to him to stop by for some hot chocolate but he was intent on heading for the barn. He had bivyed the night farther up.

Exploring camp site options

We discussed options and decided to cross the frozen lake and head up the cirque toward Navajo and inspect the Queens Way Couloir. We pretty much knew at this point that the couloir was out of the question as the weather was deteriorating and our time window was running out. So, near the base of Navajo Peak, we stopped for a snack, took some photos and returned back to camp. The return to the car was uneventful and a trudge. Returning to Boulder, we met Stan at a local Asian restaurant and enjoyed good food and company.

Let’s come back another day!

In summary, the Indian Peaks Wilderness is a very special place and a unique visual experience in the winter. I hope to return in the future and catch the view from the top! In the meantime, I have to thank my Boss, Debbie, for sparing me from Inn duty for this short trip for without her support, none of my climbing adventures would exist.

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AJC Decatur Book Festival 25 Aug 2014, 6:27 am

 

AJC Decatur Book Festival

AJC Decatur Book Festival opens August 29th thru August 31st, 2014. This is the ninth year that Decatur Square has hosted the largest independent book festival in the country.  This year there will be over 600 authors attending.  Best of all it is located in Decatur, just a short drive from our Atlanta Bed and Breakfast.  They have made it easy to find your favorite authors by dividing it into 18 tracks to choose from.

Since I love reading cookbooks and finding and adapting recipes to use at the Inn I am looking forward to hearing Brent Ridge and Josh-Kilmer-Purcell  who founded Beekman 1802.  They will prepare a dish from The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook.  Also, Martha M. Ezzardis, who wrote The Second Bud will be at the AJC Decatur Book Festival.  She and her husband are owners of one of our favorite Georgia Wineries, Tiger Mountain.  Springer Mountain Farms is sponsoring the new outdoor cooking stage.  There will be nine cooking demonstrations from renowned chefs.

One of questions our guests always ask is where can we go for a hike in Atlanta, without driving far.  Jonah McDonald author of Hiking Atlanta’s Hidden Forests will be at the AJC Decatur Book Festival.  Learn about sixty hikes within thirty miles of the Georgia Capital.  His hikes include wetlands, historic ruins and urban art.  So put on your hiking boots and explore Atlanta from another side.

The AJC Decatur Book Festival will feature one of my all time favorite Southern writers, Pat Conroy.  Many of you will remember Prince of Tides, The Great Santini, Beach Music  and The Death of Santini: The Story of a Father and a Son to name a few.

After hearing your favorite author head to one of Decatur’s wonderful restaurants or pubs.   Recently named one of the top ten foodie towns in the south!   There will also be food vendors at the festival.

Hope to see you Labor Day Weekend at the AJC Decatur Book Festival!

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Opening The College Football Hall of Fame 1 Aug 2014, 7:25 am

 

The College Football Hall of Fame

The College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience opens on August 23rd, 2014 and is adjacent to Centennial Park and the New World of Coke.  Enjoy the traditions of College Football in the 94,000 square-foot event facility.  As you enter the College Football Hall of Fame and Entry Tunnel you will be greeted by large images from the 11 Conference Champions, changing yearly.   Wind your way thru the tunnel to The Quad.  The Quad is anchored by 768 college football helmets.  The All-Access Pass allows you to check in and select your favorite team.

The greatest players are saluted in The College Football Hall of Fame.  Reality and video displays capture the memories and stories of your favorite College Football players and coaches.  The Chick-fil-A Building Leaders exhibit focuses on how playing sports and football can instill character and leadership qualities that will follow the players for life. These are the tributes to athletics in players who have went on to achieve excellence in the community and business world.  The Kia Building A Champion looks at the dedication, commitment and demands of student athletes and the coaching staff that guide them.  One of the exhibits I find fascinating is the Under Armour Evolution of Equipment.  Learn about the cutting-edge technology for protective gear that keeps the football players safe.  The At & T Game Time exhibit will remind you of the school rivalries, passion and fun that football brings to schools and communities.

The Game Day Theatre takes you behind the scenes of Game Day from the players and coaches perspective. There are plenty of places to test your football skills.   As you enter the Playing Field exhibit, that is 45 yards long and 30 yards wide, you can participate in various gamand activities that change daily.

Two Chick-fil-A Kick-off games will be played at the Georgia Dome you will not want to miss.  Boise State vs. Ole Miss on August 28th and Alabama vs West Virginia on August 30th.  Of course, all of you know we are Georgia Tech fans and they play Wofford on August 30th at 12:30 p.m.  Our Atlanta Bed and Breakfast is conveniently located near The College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience and Georgia Tech is just blocks away!

If you are in Football withdrawal, make your plans to come to watch your favorite college team and tour The College Football Hall of Fame!

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Live Music in Atlanta 20 Jul 2014, 7:57 am

Live music in Atlanta at the Atlanta Botanical Garden

Live Music in Atlanta is always nearby.  Our guests always enjoy listening to Live Music Outdoors this time of year.  These are some of Atlanta’s best places to sit back and listen to your favorite performers and bands. Delta Classic Chastain Park Amphitheater is celebrating 41 years of entertaining locals and visitors alike.  Imagine sitting under Southern Magnolia and Oak trees with your favorite picnic foods, listening to your favorite performers.  You will not want to miss seeing the elaborate table settings that attendees bring for the reserved tables.  If you like Jazz, Chris Botti and Will Downing are in town on August 2nd.  Contemporary Artist Charlie Wilson will be at Chastain Park Amphitheater on September 13th.

Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park is located in Alpharetta on forty-five acres.  This beautiful venue is surrounded by native trees and plants providing a unique venue to listen to live music.  It is the summer home of the Atlanta Symphony.  Mark you calendars for some of the following concerts you will not want to miss.  James Taylor will  be at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre on August 5th, Keith Urban on August 24th and Country Fair staring Miranda Lambert on October 18th, 2014.

Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood is located on the 75 acres on the south side of Atlanta.  It has the latest sound and lighting technology, making it a favorite for performers, such as Phish.  Upcoming concerts to put on your list are Luke Bryan on July 25th and 26th,  Brad Paisley on August 14th and Rascal Flatts with Sheryl Crow & Gloriana on September 11th.

Atlantic Station hosts outdoor concerts year round. One of the cities most popular alternative music festivals is the Atlanta’s Shaky Knees Music Festival in May each year.

Centennial Olympic Park is great place to listen to your favorite artists.  Enjoy Wednesday WindDown from 5:30 to 8 p.m. featuring jazz to contemporary artists.  Grab a bite to eat and head over to Olympic Park on Tuesday and Thursday from noon till 1 p.m. for a mini concert with some of our local artists.  Best of all these are free concerts.

Lastly, I wanted to let you know one of my favorite places to catch Live Music in Atlanta, the Atlanta Botanical Garden.  Enjoy live music in the best garden in the city!  A couple of the upcoming concerts you will not want to miss are Lyle Lovett and His Large Band on August 29th,  Keb’ Mo’ and Mavis Staples on September 19th, Chris Isaak on September 21st, 2014.  Best of all the Atlanta Botanical Garden is just a short stroll from our Atlanta Bed and Breakfast.

Live music venue at the Atlanta Botanical Garden

If you are looking for Live Music in Atlanta look no further!

 

 

 

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BB&T Atlanta Open 11 Jul 2014, 6:57 am

BB&T Atlanta Open is near our Atlanta bed and breakfast. Photo credit: Ron Cioffi

 

BB&T Atlanta Open will be at Atlantic Station July 19th through July 27th, 2014.  The ATP World Tour and Emirates Airline Open officials all agree that Atlanta is the perfect spot for the tennis games.  This is the fifth year the BB&T US Open, an ATP World Tour event has been held at Atlantic Station.  Atlanta is the first of nine cities to host the Emirates Airline Open.   This Atlanta event draws over 30,000 fans. The qualifying  tennis tournament is July 19th and 20th, 2014.  The Main Draw is July 21st thru July 27th, 2014.  Professional players will be vying for $568,000 in prize money.

Be sure and cheer for John Isner, last years winner, from the University of Georgia.  John Isner is an ATP World Tour top 10 and is one of the most successful players at the BB&T Atlanta Open.  All you tennis fanatics, whether a beginner or a seasoned player, Atlantic Station is the perfect place to see these professional players at work. A few of the other players you will not want to miss are the French players Gael Monfils and Richard Gasquet.  Gael Monfils  is known for his acrobatic swings and celebratory dance moves.  The highest ranking European player, Richard Gasquet, will play for the first time at the BB&T Atlanta Open.  He is known for being an all round player and has a beautiful back hand swing.  A couple of local players to keep your eye on are Donald Young.  He is a resident of Atlantic Station.  Also Georgia Tech’s Nathan Rakitt from Marietta has been awarded a wild card spot.

They have constructed a temporary stadium that will seat 4,000 fans in comfort back fitting seats. Atlantic Station has wonderful restaurants, shops and even a movie theatre if you want to take a break from the BB&T Atlanta Open or between matches.  If you are driving, there is on-site parking.  For all you Lexus drivers, there will be special parking in the 20th Street Parking Lot, the north end of Atlantic Station.  There are also Complimentary Shuttles from the MARTA Arts Center Station.

The best thing about the BB&T Atlanta Open is that it is just a short stroll  from our Atlanta Bed and Breakfast!

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July Events 1 Jul 2014, 6:57 am

July Events in Atlanta starts with  the Peachtree Road Race , on July 4th,  the world’s largest 10K.  It begins at Lenox Square and ends in Piedmont Park.  Bring your chair and find the perfect place to cheer the runners with 150,000 of your closest friends!  After watching the last runner cross the finish line, it is time to try one of the many great Midtown restaurants located around the park. Then its off to take an afternoon nap and get ready for some of the Southeast’s largest fireworks including live entertainment at Lenox Square.  Two other favorite places for fireworks are Centennial Olympic Park and the Atlanta Braves.  We have the perfect place nearby for you to watch the fireworks and avoid the traffic!

If you are looking for a cool place to spend a July afternoon, don’t miss this July Event, the High Museum of Art, Dream Cars thru September 7th, 2014.  You will have the opportunity to view 17 prototype cars from 1939 to present.  The cars are from Europe and the United States and represents some of the rarest cars.

Just a short stroll from our Atlanta Bed and Breakfast is the Margaret Mitchell House.  See where she wrote the famous novel “Gone With the Wind”.  It is hard to believe they are celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the movie.

All you foodies looking for July Events in Piedmont Park that will tempt your taste buds try the Atlanta Street Food Festival  complete with music on July 12th, 2014.  Enjoy the just for fun Ice Cream Festival on July 26th.  Try some of the refreshing and unique mouth-watering ice cream flavors.  Start your Saturday at the Piedmont Park Green Market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  There are local farmers, homemade pastas, dog biscuits and even teas.

We look forward to seeing you at the July Events in Atlanta this year!

 

 

 

 

 

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