On the weekends, Ryan and I have been trying to get out of the city and out into nature whenever possible. After spending the week in my little apartment, staying home on the weekends when it’s 75 degrees outside is just not a great option when it comes to my mental (or physical) health. Plus, we have found most of the outdoor options in the city tend to be way too crowded for proper social distancing- I have been avoiding Piedmont Park and the Beltline like the plague (no pun intended, sorry haha).
Driving fifteen outside the perimeter has made a world of difference for us as a way to escape the crowds, and it’s been a fun way to explore other parts of Georgia. We’ve been to a few state parks, but I have been trying to get more creative, and wanted a day that felt like a real ‘date.’ Yes, hiking and sitting by a lake is fun (albeit a little boring sometimes), but I have been craving a day where I could put on a dress and pretend that this virus reality isn’t really happening.
I stumbled upon Gibbs Gardens when I was looking for a place with spring flowers and I realized they were still open, and being very diligent about social distancing. The gardens are very large, so it was easy to avoid people while walking through. Unfortunately, we missed their famous daffodils by about a week- we definitely will have to go back next spring when they are in bloom. Even without them, I couldn’t stop taking pictures of all the flowers and greenery.
It was the perfect escape from the city- after just the long drive past a bunch of quaint farms to get there, I could tell it was what we both needed. The gardens were just beautiful- we had perfect weather and it was so nice to be outside and in the fresh air. It was extra sweet because Gibbs reminded us of Longwood Gardens, which we used to go to all the time when I needed an escape from college life while I was at University of Delaware.
We stopped at the cute, one street town of Ball Ground on our way back to Atlanta for a snack and to explore a little. It’s such a sweet little town to walk around in, and we ended up going to Dominic’s Food Trucks and Dining for wood fired pizza. The restaurant portion was closed, but the food trucks were open- the pizza was amazing. I whipped out the lysol wipes in my purse, and Ry and I had a little picnic on a park bench splitting our custom-ordered pizza. It wasn’t without hand sanitizer, but it felt like a real date, and it was so fun to explore a new town together in the midst of the crisis.
We decided we weren’t finished “supporting local businesses” (read: snacking), so we got ice cream at Jill’s. Sitting in the sunshine with ice cream was the perfect end to the perfect day.
We definitely want to come back to Gibbs and Ball Ground when everything is open- but even with most businesses closed, we had a wonderful, much needed escape from our busy city life in our little apartments. 🙂