Shellmont Inn Bed and Breakfast

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

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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Enjoy Dinner at Campagnolo Restaurant 10 Jun 2014, 8:01 am

Campagnolo

Our guests have been raving about another Atlanta Restaurant,  Campagnolo Restaurant this spring, so I thought I would let you in on the secret. Atlanta Restaurateur, Maureen Kalmanson is the face behind this little gem.  Campagnolo means “peasant” in Italian.  For all of you that are foodies that remember the wonderful Peasant Restaurants, Maureen was a fixture at the The Peasant and The Pleasant Peasant restaurants. She remains passionate about food and her guests by providing the perfect place to have a wonderful dining experience.

The traditional off-white brick building anchored with a large patio will entice you to just sit back and watch the hustle and bustle of Midtown go by.  Don’t forget to try the Campagnolo Signature Martini that has Bombay Gin, Dry Vermouth, St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur, Crème de Violette and Orange Bitters.

Campagnolo Signature Martini

Campagnolo serves a rustic Italian menu with influences from their Mediterranean neighbors. Some of our favorites are the Mushroom Carpaccio with Sundried Tomatoes, Fried Capers, Shaved Pecorino, Arugula serve with a Lemon Vinaigrette. Caprese with Tomatoes, Mozzarella, Basil Roasted Garlic served with a Balsamic Reduction and Basil Oil.  If you like Risotto, be sure and try the Arancini.  It is fried Pancetta Risotto Balls with Aioli and a Balsamic Reduction.  It is one our Guests Favorites!

Italian cuisine at Campagnolo

There is always room for desert at Campagnolo Restaurant,  so save room for the Flourless Chocolate Torte with Pistachio and Ganache or the Semifreddo that has Bananas, Pecans, Salted Caramels and Zeppoles.

If you love just sitting back and listening to music, be sure and catch one of Atlanta’s favorites, Robert Ray on the piano from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings at Campagnolo Restaurant.  Best of all, Campagnolo Restaurant is just blocks from our Atlanta Bed and Breakfast, Shellmont Inn.

 

 

 

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High Museum “Dream Cars” 22 May 2014, 7:06 am

Bubble Car? at the High Museum

High Museum “Dream Cars” arrive on May 21st, 2014.  This much anticipated and unique exhibit will feature seventeen of the rarest concept cars from Europe and the United States, designed by Ferrari, Bugatti, General Motors and Porsche from 1930’s thru the 21st century.   “Dream Cars,  Innovative Design, Visionary Ideas will be open through September 7th, 2014.

The High Museum “Dream Cars”, concept cars were never mass produced and many of the features took years to make it to the everyday cars we drive today. Let me share a few of my favorite cars, I know you will find your “Dream Car”.   One example is the 1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt.  It was rolled out in October 1940 for the New York Auto Show, showcasing a sleek aero dynamic shell, that was tested in a wind tunnel.  It was the first American car to feature an electric operated hardtop and disappearing headlamps from push buttons on the dashboard.  Eight cars were planned, five built and four survived.  All were sold to wealthy clients.

Paul Arzens, French artist, industrial designer and engineer built the 3 wheeled L’Oeuf electrique during World War II (1942) for his personal use around Paris.  This simple vehicle was the world’s first bubble car.  It was nicknamed the Electric Egg.  This Mini car was low cost, light weight and energy efficient.  It could go up to sixty miles out of town with a top speed of 37 mph. If you have ever driven in Paris, you will know why the L’Oeuf was important in establishing France’s dominance in the mini car industry and today’s Smart Cars.

Lastly, the Firebird XP 918  Spyder Concept Car, 2010 by Porsche. The Firebird XP 918 was developed for Porsch’s clients interested in owning a luxury car with green technology, the impact on the environment and of course they demanded Porsches high performance.  With the push of a button on the steering wheel, you have four options to choose from, E Drive ( most green) to optimum performance, Race Hybrid.  This car has recently come on the market and is just waiting for you!

While you are at the High Museum of Art, be sure and have lunch or an early dinner at Table 1280.  There menu features local farm to fork offerings, from fresh sandwich’s, soups and salads to entrees.  It is one of the High Museum’s best kept secrets!

1956 Buick at the High Museum

On your next visit to Atlanta, don’t miss the High Museum “Dream Cars” exhibit, just blocks from our Atlanta Bed and Breakfast!

 

 

 

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Atlanta Festivals in April 9 Apr 2014, 11:24 am

Atlanta Dogwood Festival

Celebrate spring and warm days at some of our Atlanta Festivals in April. A few of my favorite Atlanta Festivals are the Atlanta Dogwood Festival, April 11th and 12th, 2014 in Piedmont Park.  Sweetly fragrant dogwoods are the backdrop for one of Atlanta’s top artists markets.  This juried Art Show and Artist Market will tempt you.  It is so hard to choose just one piece to  bring home! In addition to the Artist Market there are two stages featuring a Main Stage that will showcase different types of music from Bluegrass, Jazz, Indie to Latin and R & B.  The International Stage will feature performances from around the world.   The 23rd Annual Disc Dog southern Nationals are on Saturday and Sunday. Sit back and watch these true canine athletics.  New to this year’s Festival is Backyard Barbecue and Brews.  This all-inclusive outdoor tasting event will showcase local brews, wine, moonshine and barbecue.  The Atlanta Dogwood Festival begins on April 11th, Friday, Noon to 9 p.m., Saturday, Noon to  11 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Best of all it is just a short stroll from our Atlanta Bed and Breakfast.

Atlanta Dogwood Festival Disc Dog Competition

The Sweetwater 420 Festival is celebrating its tenth year on April 18th thru the 20th, 2014. This Atlanta Festival is moving from Candler Park to Centennial Olympic Park featuring three stages.   In addition to the Music Stages there will be an artists market, comedy tent and kids area.  Relax and grab your favorite brew and enjoy the music!

On April 25th thru April 27th, 2014 come and enjoy the 43rd Inman Park Festival.  This Atlanta Festival has something for everyone.  If you love houses, then don’t miss the Tour of Homes.  Enjoy seeing all types of architecture from bungalows to elaborate Victorian homes.  On Saturday at 2 p.m. is one of Atlanta’s favorite parades, the Inman Park Parade.   A couple of my favorite marching groups are the Precision Attaché Case Drill Team and the Seed and Feed Marching Abominable Band.  The Artist Market will feature over 150 artists working in photography, sculpture and painting.  At the Market Place you will be able to find over 250 Antique and Handcrafted Wares.

Atlanta Dogwood Festival action ride

Hope to see you at one of our Atlanta Festivals in April.

 

 

 

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