It’s a Snow Globe Life in Avalon

By Rachel Turner

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et’s talk about southerners and ice for a second. Honestly, there’s not a whole lot to talk about except to say that we’re not used to it. A few years ago, when the temperature dropped so fast on a rainy evening that half the city found themselves stuck on roads and highways in an impressive, even for Atlanta, 18-hour traffic jam. People all over the country couldn’t help but make fun of our inability to handle a few inches of frosty precipitation. Each year, there is at least one school closing for a snow and ice event that inevitably doesn’t happen. In fact, kids in the metro area and south often celebrate their annual “snow day” without any snow or ice whatsoever. It’s just our way.

While the rest of the snow-covered states may find this hilarious and ridiculous all at the same time, we’ve gotten into the habit of wearing our ice covered (or more accurately ice threatened) caution with pride. Rather than get into another impassioned debate about the absurdity of keeping an army of snow plows or the expense of being prepared like we’re New York City or Boston to handle our annual one day of snowfall, I now have a different response. I simply indicate that southerners choose to use our snow days to collectively reduce our carbon footprint by staying home. It makes us sound environmentally conscious and they don’t argue with me further. People living in the south are an easy target, but we know what we’re doing.

Rather than ridiculing us for being unable to navigate the harsher elements, everyone should take a page out of our books and use the day to slow down. Besides, you’ll never be more impressed than when you see what a couple of Georgia kids can do with an inch or two of snow.

I say all of that to make the following disclaimer: Due to my lifetime of minimal to nonexistent winter precipitation exposure, I am extremely limited in my familiarity of all sports and hobbies that involve snow or ice. I have experienced more than a foot of snow maybe once or twice in my lifetime. As for ice, if it’s not the black kind that I completely avoid driving on a few times a year, then it’s the kind that comes out of my freezer in cubes to chill my glass of tea so sweet you can chew the sugar granules.

While the rest of the snow-covered states may find this hilarious and ridiculous all at the same time, we’ve gotten into the habit of wearing our ice covered (or more accurately ice threatened) caution with pride.

When I was asked if I wanted to go ice skating at the seasonal ice skating rink at Avalon, my first thought was, not really. My second thought, not far behind the first, how do they keep that ice from melting when it’s like 65 degrees outside?

Avalon is a beautiful, accessible development in Alpharetta that consists of residences, shopping, and all sorts of amazing restaurants. Walking through it is like experiencing the little town you’ve always wanted to live in, but with all the higher end shopping and chef-driven restaurants that little towns can’t sustain. It’s a great place to bring a date, the family, even your fur babies. The people are friendly, the area is bustling, and the parking isn’t too complicated.

In the past few years, Avalon has introduced a seasonal ice skating rink. It’s metro Atlanta’s answer to ice skating at Rockefeller Center. The idea is to set the perfect seasonal village-like scene with beautiful decor, bustling shoppers, and visitors taking a few moments to throw on some skates and do a few laps in the rink. It really does look like a scene out of your favorite snow globe, minus the snow obviously.

I enthusiastically took my sister with me because, when trying something new, I always bring a friend with equal or lesser skills than I. While she did not skate, she did enjoy watching me take my turn at balancing on knife blade shoes over ice, something at which I was really not good. She mostly enjoyed watching me fight for a place on the handrail and getting lapped by small children who were clearly transplants.

I wish I could tell you that I loved ice skating. I wish I could tell you that gliding across the frozen water was a magical experience that I took to like a duck to water. The truth is, I don’t and I didn’t. This is due mainly to the fact that I don’t enjoy falling. That is a lot of what skating was to this Georgia-raised girl who can’t name more than two winter Olympic sports, much less hold her own at them. While there are no middle-aged skating titles in my future, I fully embrace what Avalon is doing and I’m behind it 100%. After all, there were many people in the rink who were enjoying themselves immensely, though they may have been ringers.

I can tell you that the joy I personally experienced from the seasonal rink at Avalon was taking in the whole festive spirit. There is something different about shopping at this adorable village-like development that has somehow escaped the pent up anger you find all around you at the malls of yore. I enjoyed walking around, enjoying a delicious lunch at one of the many great restaurants, and watching the families reveling in the day. The rink is the perfect addition to the winter spirit of what Avalon promises.

More than coming away with a great new hobby, I came away having had a great day. It was the feel of Avalon that was the most impressive to me. Maybe it was coming on the heels of some frantic seasonal shopping days, or the fact that I was sharing some much needed time with my sister. Whatever it was, I have now found my new go to spot for those not so icy Georgia days when I want to spend some time slowing down my pace and taking in the winter sports.

Rachel Turner is a freelance writer and humor blogger. She also runs a traveling murder mystery party business called Make it a Mystery. Georgia born and raised she lives in Woodstock with her husband and two sons. Drop by her blog, www.rachelshumor.com or email her at justpeachy1123@gmail.com.

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