A Family Friendly Experience at Gwinnett Braves Coolray Field

Gwinnett Braves Coolray Field

A Family Friendly Experience at Gwinnett Braves Coolray Field

Experiencing a Gwinnett Braves Game is a must do for any family in our area. Obviously it’s not Forsyth County, but it is just a short 30-minute drive from downtown Cumming. (TIP: We took a MUCH shorter alternate route using the Waze app. It took us Old Atlanta to McGinnis Ferry over 85 to Horizon and then taking Old Peachtree Road NE. This saved us literally 30+ minutes of travel time). This was our third Gwinnett Braves game to go to as a family. This time we chose to go to a “promotional” game which was Star Wars Night. Let’s just say it wasn’t our previous and normal experience.

NORMAL EXPERIENCE:

Parking is easy and a simple walk to stadium (It is $5 for parking). Usually the concessions have no lines and really purchasing seated tickets doesn’t really matter because it is pretty open and relaxed. Kids can run up and down the aisles if they want. The game is the game. There are lawn seats behind the outfield that is just an open lawn that we take the kids to run around, body roll down, and get the wiggles out during the 7th inning stretch. We have gone just the four of us and we have gone with a large group of 50+ and both times it was fantastic!

PROMOTIONAL NIGHT EXPERIENCE:

Parking was abysmal. We parked in beyond overflow and still paid $5 when we were no where close to actually being on property. We arrived at 6pm for a 6:05pm start & were not all seated together as a family until the bottom of the 6th inning because the lines were SO long for the concessions. Good to know: The promotional opportunity of pictures with Star Wars characters was not worth it. My boys didn’t want to wait in those lines either.

The game lasted exactly 3 hours. The element that saved the entire evening was the excellent firework display that occurred 20 minutes after the end of the game. It was A-MAZE-ING! It lasted just under 10 minutes and really felt like a ‘finale’ show the entire time the fireworks were going off. They were shot from the outfield of the stadium so they were very close. It was so wonderful and enjoyable that we already have tickets to attend the July 4th game as our holiday fireworks show.

Gwinnett Braves Coolray Field

Recommendation

My recommendation is to take your family to a Gwinnett Braves game! Tickets are as cheap or as expensive as you desire (ranging from $7-$40 a seat). {TIP: We have always sat in the $13-$15 seats behind the visitors dug-out. It’s under the overhang. The reasons we choose to sit there is because it’s always shaded and has a great view.} There are inflatables behind Left Field that are $2 per ‘ride’ or $10 for a wristband that is unlimited but only until the bottom of the 8th inning. Concessions were typical concession pricing = pricy! For dinner we paid almost $60 for the four of us to eat (hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, & drinks). Then an additional $20 on snacks (ice cream, pretzel, & popcorn). However if you compare the total pricing of an experience at the Gwinnett Braves to the Atlanta Braves, you will most likely end up spending a lot less at a Gwinnett Braves game.

Gwinnett Braves: 2017 Schedule | Tickets

Have you been to a Gwinnett Braves game? What has your experience been? We’d love to hear your feedback and please share any other tips you may have.

Gwinnett Braves Coolray Field


Ashley Jansen is wife of 14 years to Mark and mom to three boys, Hamilton (10), Luke (5), and Garrett (2). Originally from Texas, she has lived in Forsyth County for the last 13 years. She loves Mexican food, watching football and baseball, reading a good book, making Excel spreadsheets, and prefers candy over chocolate and Dr. Pepper over Coke. She is a recent breast cancer survivor, but still prefers purple over pink.

To learn more about Ashley and our other contributing writers, click here.

What is Character?

The following article is written in honor and in memory of Mike Brennan. He was a man of great character and is truly missed. Today we celebrate the life of Mike… 

Also a BIG thank you to Julie Brennan of MyForsyth Magazine for sharing Mike’s powerful words with all of us!

What is Character

What is Character? Character is…

-the calm ability to stand against the opinion of the mob, not from obstinacy, but because the facts are on your side.

-telling the truth, not only when the lie may profit you, but when the truth may cost you.

-not turning your back on a friend when his foot slips from the straight path, or when hard times arrive.

-doing what you know to be right, without being coerced, even when it may appear wrong to others.

-acknowledging openly and readily when you have erred.

-being humble in victory, and gracious in defeat.

-helping a stranger in distress, not because it is your duty, but because it is the human and right thing to do.

-refraining from cruelty to people and creatures weaker than you.

-not cheating, even when you can get away with it.

-refusing to pass along scurrilous stories about others, even if they are true.

-a readiness to truly admire in others the talents and virtues that you lack.

-the willingness to do your work as well as you can, even with no reward or praise, because you know that excellence is its own reward.

-giving a hand-up to someone striving to improve himself, even if he will become better than you.

-not engaging in stupidity or mischief, just because “everyone else” is doing it.

-the habit of thinking of others at least as much as you think of yourself.

-realizing that learning is not only a lifelong process, but the key to understanding our existence.

-the determination not to acquiesce to intimidation.

-the understanding that evil is to be engaged and defeated, and that it is not overcome by fleeing from it.

-knowing that the first step in having a good friend or neighbor is to be a good friend and neighbor.

The character of any group, whether a family, a church, a community or a country, is determined for good or ill by the character of the individuals who comprise it. If we want a good country, we’d better be good people. It’s up to us.

Character isn’t something we’re born with, like the color of our hair or the size of our feet. It is something we consciously and unconsciously mold every day, even in our smallest actions and decisions.

Character is a matter of choice. Every day, let’s choose to be just a little bit better than we were yesterday. It’s just as simple as that.


 Mike Brennan passed away at the young age of 59 in June of 2014. He loved his country, his father, family, and friends – with true passion, tenacity and wit. He was an eloquent writer, avid reader, and opera buff. He loved life, in his own pithy sort of way. He is deeply missed yet his legacy lives on through his family, friends & anyone else who encountered him.


The mission of My Forsyth Magazine is to provide readers with stories and information about their communities & its people. Subscriptions are available for $25 per year.

Phone: 678.614.8583

MyForysth Magazine Online: Website | Facebook | Instagram

A Review of Disney On Ice Worlds of Enchantment

Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment

Picture this – The best parts of Mickey & Minnie and all their friends, Toy Story 2, Little Mermaid, Cars, and Frozen movies all being played out on an ice skating rink. Can you even imagine it? Today I’m going to give you a sneak peek into this amazing show – Worlds of Enchantment. We recently went to Disney On Ice Worlds of Enchantment at Infinite Energy in Gwinnett and it was fantastic! I took my 5 year old daughter and one of her friends to the show.

Watch this preview video that Disney on Ice has shared:

The show opens with Mickey and Minnie plus all their friends inviting us to come along to find out what happens when Andy (from Toy Story 2) leaves for college. This whole section of the show was my absolutely favorite. The Barbie and Ken fashion show was one I found myself singing along with.

After Toy Story 2, we were taken Under the Sea by Ariel and her friends. My daughter and her friend loved the bubbles that came down into the audience in this section of the performance. My daughter’s friend, who came along, was wearing an Arial dress and was on her feet this whole performance!

All the Cars blaze in with fire and we get to see a race right before our eyes on ice. It’s amazing how you really forget that they are on ice skates. What talented skaters! 

Last but not least, we are taken into a world of cold. The Frozen sights of Arendelle, Anna, Elsa, Olaf & more! Both girls sang along with the audience to every song. I also loved being able to see Prince Hans (Rhys Anderson) perform. He’s the performer that I was able to interview before the show. Great job, Rhys!

All in all, we had a blast and the kids were glued to the entire performance. Even at the intermission they stayed in their seats ready for action. I highly recommend you get tickets to this show in your city! There is nothing quite like entering into the Worlds of Enchantment.

Rhys Anderson

Connect with Disney on Ice online: Website | Facebook | Twitter


About Feld Entertainment: 

Feld Entertainment is the worldwide leader in producing and presenting live touring family entertainment experiences that lift the human spirit and create indelible memories, with 30 million people in attendance at its shows each year. Feld Entertainment’s productions have appeared in more than 70 countries on six continents and include Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®, Feld Motor Sports, Disney On Ice and Disney Live.

Disclosure: Phase 3 provided 3 tickets to the Disney on Ice Worlds of Enchantment show on April 21st at Infinite Energy. All opinions stated in this article are 100% my own.

Farewell from Christina LaPlaca

The following post is written by Christina LaPlaca, a high school student and part of the Honors Mentorship Program at Forsyth Central. This will be her last article for this school year. It has been such a privilege having her on the Cumming Local team this past year! Thank you Christina for all your hard work!

This year, through the help of the Honors Mentorship Program at Forsyth Central High School, I have had the magnificent privilege to be one of the writers for Cumming Local. And quite truthfully, this whole experience has been a dream come true. Since I was a little girl, I have been obsessed with words, an interest that, I assure, has not lessened as the years have passed. (Seriously, if we were to have a conversation, you’d soon wish you hadn’t doubted my warning in the first place.) Once I got to middle school, however, I began to see my love for the spoken language transform into a tangible and creative outlet. I soon found out that writing was a distinct and intense passion of mine. While I seemed to only want to write novels and other forms of creative writing, it became apparent that there were many other ways in which I could express myself while also putting the pen to paper.

This internship, for instance, has consistently taught me new ways in which I can showcase my abilities while also learning as much as I can about the craft. While I have been more accustomed to writing stories or recounting a personal experience, this process has forced me to step more outside of my comfort zone. Earlier in the year, I was able to write an article that focus on the crime of my generation: feeling left out. Because this hit so close to home, I was able to write this with a certain amount of ease. That was the type of writing in which I felt like I shined the brightest, after all. Throughout my internship, though, I began to realize that not everything would be able to come as easily. I found myself having to write multiple articles that simply relayed information, rather than having to write anything particularly opinionated. At the beginning, this kind of put me in between a rock and a hard place; I just wasn’t used to doing anything like it. But because of this, and any challenges that it may have encompassed, I am now sure of my abilities in all realms of writing.

This process has pushed me in directions I didn’t know I could even go, allowing me to grow in more ways than I could have ever imagined. I am eternally grateful to Rachael and her never ending grace, patience, love and guidance. Because of her and the website, I have been able to not only learn as much as possible about this career and all it entails, but I have also discovered a new part of myself, one who wants to continue to strive for greatness, while also being able to meet all of the expectations placed before me. She has been the best mentor I could have asked for, and I will miss every second of being able to study under her.

The following links will take you to all the posts that Christina wrote this year:

Introducing Christina LaPlaca

Top Nine Things to Do with your Teenager This Fall in North Georgia

Favorite Places to Eat in Cumming GA {Teenager Edition}

An Interview with Mr. Mitch Young

Forsyth Central Stage Presents Pippin

Dunkin Donuts or Donut Connection?

Gift Ideas for Teenagers

Movie Review: Rogue One – A Star Wars Story

A Peek Inside Cumming’s Bookstore – Humpus Bumpus

New Year Resolutions {Teenager Version}

The Feeling of Being Left Out

prom in forsyth county

All Things Prom in Forsyth County & Cumming GA

7 Hidden Gems in Forsyth County

The Wonders of Writing

Summer Job in Forsyth County for Teenagers


Christina LaPlaca is part of the Honors Mentorship Program at Forsyth Central High School. She recently shared some facts about herself. You can read that article here.

To learn more about Christina and our other contributing writers, click here.

Summer Jobs in Forsyth County for Teenagers

Summer Jobs in Forsyth County for Teenagers

The following post is written by Christina LaPlaca, a high school student and part of the Honors Mentorship Program at Forsyth Central. Today she is sharing some ideas of summer jobs for teenagers in Forsyth County.

As summer approaches and school begins to make its final stretch towards the finish line, we as teenagers begin to long for more freedom: freedom from classes, responsibilities, and worries. What most of us don’t realize, however, is that everything always comes with a price, and this independence is no different. The price at this point in time, of course, is actual money, and for many of us, therein lies the problem. By now, most of us have been able to scrape by through the use of our parents’ money, allowing us to buy lunch and snacks at school, or maybe even go out with our friends from time to time. Now that we have been graced with privileges like a driver’s license and a car (and we have more time on our hands), I think many of us have come to the conclusion that it’s time to become our own source of income. Maybe we should get our own jobs to pay for our needs and wants.

Of course, there are still some of us who are too stubborn to want to even think about getting off of the couches this summer. For those of us who still need an extra push to get out into the work force, here is a list of opportunities and ideas to pick and choose from!

Fast Food:

One of the most go-to jobs for teenagers nowadays are those in the fast food industry. Not only are these jobs readily available for teenagers (especially around this time of year), but you can also get some free food or discounts from time to time, which always sounds like a good idea. There are, however, certain places with more welcoming environments for teenagers than others. Chick Fil-A, for one, is always up for new, dedicated recruits. And while I may be a little biased here, considering the fact that my first job was in this establishment, this really is a wonderful place to work. On top of being Christ driven, they also pursue the long-lasting effect on their employees that encourages leadership, responsibility, good character, and relationships. Add all of this with a side of fries, and your teenager will be gaining experiences that will help them with future job opportunities, as well as allow them to have the resources for a great summer!

On top of Chick Fil-a, places like Dairy Queen and Zaxby’s are also great restaurants to make their first step into the world of adulthood. Here, your teenager will not only be able to learn the basic mechanics of the industry, but they will also take away necessary communication skills that will allow them to prosper in the years to come.

Lifeguarding:

Another seasonal job opportunity for teenagers is lifeguarding. After all, who doesn’t like to spend their time by the pool? While this job does entail much more than relaxing their days throughout the summer, it will help your teenagers gain responsibility and allow them to take on leadership roles, all while getting a paycheck! Opportunities like this are available through AMS (Aquatic Management Specialists) and the Cumming Aquatic Center.

Grocery Stores:

Another possibility for a summer job is one within particular grocery stores. Whether it be Ingles, Kroger, or Publix, each pride themselves on the high standard to which they hold their employees, building on their character in the process. Because of this, you can rest assured that, should your child work here, they will continue to gain professional attributes, even though they may only be working in a store.

Boutiques:

In almost every shopping center you enter, whether it be the Collection at Forsyth, Vickery Village, or the Outlet Mall –  there is always a new local boutique around every corner. Because most of us are amazed by the stores because we mainly want to spend money there, we often miss the fact that with options continually opening up, job openings tend follow. And if your child is lacking basic skills in the realm of, say, hanging and folding (which I hear are necessary to adult life), this may be the perfect solution! Let’s also not forget the inevitable discounts on amazing clothes!

With this plethora of opportunity just behind our backyard, there should be no issue in finding a job that will specifically suit your teenager’s need for this summer’s activities. Hopefully this list can help point you and your teenager in the right direction for summer!

TIP: We have a post on Facebook where we have shared current job opportunities for teenagers. You can see that conversation, by clicking here. Also, Forsyth County Schools has a listing of job opportunities specifically available to high school students in Forsyth County and they are listed by employment category. Visit the FCS Job Board for more information. 


Christina LaPlaca is part of the Honors Mentorship Program at Forsyth Central High School. She recently shared some facts about herself. You can read that article here.

To learn more about Christina and our other contributing writers, click here.

The Wonders of Writing by Christina LaPlaca

The Wonders of Writing by Christina LaPlaca

The following post is written by Christina LaPlaca, a high school student and part of the Honors Mentorship Program at Forsyth Central. Today she is sharing what she learned being an intern for Cumming Local this school year. 

This year, through the wonderful aid of the Honors Mentorship Program, I have had the great pleasure of working closely with Cumming Local, and even been able to write for them as often as I can. While you all may have seen my articles on this website, there has been a whole other part to this experience that took place behind the scenes. Because I was given this opportunity through my interaction in the Honors Mentorship Program, I also have several obligations through the Program, the most important of which is my capstone. This project, an accumulation of everything I’ve done all year, embodies all of the research I have conducted regarding the journalism and all of its inner workings. Because I only post certain articles on this website, I thought that it would be a nice change to let everyone see the final product of what I have worked so hard to accomplish.

Here, you’ll be able to find an online presentation overviewing the entirety of my project:

If you are interested in taking a look at her final capstone online, visit her blog at The Wonders of Writing.


Christina LaPlaca is part of the Honors Mentorship Program at Forsyth Central High School. She recently shared some facts about herself. You can read that article here.

To learn more about Christina and our other contributing writers, click here.

An Interview with Disney On Ice Performer Rhys Anderson

Rhys Anderson

An Interview with Rhys Anderson

Last week I had the opportunity to interview Disney on Ice performer, Rhys Anderson. He skates as Prince Hans, the evil villain in the popular production of Frozen. My kids (ages 4 and 7) helped me come up with the interview questions to ask him. I hope you enjoy!

Because I know you were curious (like me) – his name is pronounced like “Reese.” And he has the nickname is “Reese’s Pieces.”

Also, just as a reminder, Disney on Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment will be at Infinite Energy Arena this week! Click here to purchase tickets

Rhys Anderson

At what age did you begin skating? And share any details about this experience. 

I started ice skating at 4 years old. During my first couple of skating lessons, I cried a lot. I started skating because my sister was taking lessons, and since I was already at the rink watching, my mom signed me up.

Do you have any role models that you look up to?

I have four role models that I look up to. They are Kurt Browning, Elvis Stojko, Alexei Yagudin, my father, and grandfather.

What are some of your interests or hobbies outside of ice skating?

I used to bartend and I think its fun to do flair bar tending. I don’t have a signature drink to make. It’s more of a performing act with spinning bottles around and pouring drinks creatively. I also enjoy cycling, snowboarding, watching movies, and PC gaming.

How did you become part of the Disney on Ice Show?

I just decided to send in my audition video online. And I was chosen to be part of Feld Entertainment’s Disney on Ice shows. 

What made you decide to audition?

One of my life goals is to bring creative and innovative skating that connects with the audience emotionally. I love to perform for audiences so it just made sense to audition. I knew it would be a great experience and I’d be given an opportunity to travel all over the world!

How do you like performing as Prince Hans?

Because Frozen has been so popular, that has made this a really fun experience. I have enjoyed being Prince Hans in the performance. 

What does a typical day look like for you when you are on tour?

Well, we are in a new city each week. Every city has unique qualities that I get to experience. On show days, the team gets everything ready for the show. That means we will do a dress rehearsal, exercises, practice on the ice, and spend time warming up before the show. 

What is your favorite city that you done a show in so far?

Man, that is a hard question because I’ve really liked every city I’ve been to so far. But if I had to choose – I’d say it’s a tie between South Africa, England, Manchester, Miami & Vancover. 

What is one message you’d like to share with Cumming Local readers?

Please come out to a show this week!  It will be a great family experience for the parents and kids. Opening night is April 20th at 7:30pm and then we have 6 other showtimes you can get tickets to. Hope to see you there!

More About Rhys Anderson:

Rhys Anderson is from Cobble Hill, B.C., Canada, which is near Victoria, B.C., Canada. At his hometown, he performed at Kerry Park FSC. Rhys has been skating since he was 4 years old. In 2014, he auditioned and join the Disney on Ice team with Feld Entertainment. Here’s a fun fact about Rhys – he always puts his left skate on first.

 

Connect with Disney on Ice online: Website | Facebook | Twitter

About Feld Entertainment: 

Feld Entertainment is the worldwide leader in producing and presenting live touring family entertainment experiences that lift the human spirit and create indelible memories, with 30 million people in attendance at its shows each year. Feld Entertainment’s productions have appeared in more than 70 countries on six continents and include Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®, Feld Motor Sports, Disney On Ice and Disney Live.

 

7 Hidden Gems in Forsyth County

7 Hidden Gems in Forsyth County

The following post is written by Christina LaPlaca, a high school student and part of the Honors Mentorship Program at Forsyth Central. Today she is sharing what she believes to be the hidden gems in Forsyth County. I think we all can agree on  her choices! And as a bonus, I (Rachael) added a hidden gem to the list. 

Throughout this wonderful town in which we live, there are places where we can all go to get away and enjoy ourselves. They allow us to escape the hustle and bustle of our normal, everyday lives, even if only for a short while. Whether it be a soft and comfortable coffee shop to relax in, or a fun-filled restaurant to take everyone for a celebration, we all have special places to take our family. But what about the places that we’ve never even heard of? Well, worry no longer. This week, I’ve made it my mission to find all of the most sought after hidden gems of Forsyth County & Cumming, GA so that you and your family are able to fully enjoy this town to its fullest extent.

Marie’s Italian Deli

Located right in the heart of Cumming, Marie’s Italian Deli serves mouthwatering and authentic Italian food, never failing to disappoint anyone who walks through their door. Open for both breakfast and lunch, Marie’s offers a multitude of different options, ranging from breakfast pizzas and pancakes to calzones and Stromboli’s. No matter what time of the day, Marie’s Italian Deli has made it their mission to make sure that every one of their customers is well taken care of and filled to the fullest with delicious, authentic Italian food.

Connect with Marie’s online: Facebook | Website    

Lake Burrito

Serving both lunch and a uniquely-styled Mexican breakfast, Lake Burrito is a restaurant filled to the brim with great food and quality prices. On top of all of that, it also has an astounding atmosphere. The employees are always more than willing to do whatever they can to help make your day better, and the restaurant itself even has a welcoming and calming feel to it. Every customer always knows that the quality of their food is valued as much as their time, and so they are treated with a great amount of respect. At Lake Burrito, you’ll find that everything you need is right at your fingertips, and you’ll leave satisfied every single time.

Connect with Lake Burrito online: Facebook | Website

Baba’s Gyro and Kabob

Sometimes, we all need to spice up our dinner options and venture out of the usual “burger, tacos, and pizza” phenomenon. What better way would there be to do just that than to try out Baba’s Gyro and Kabob? Serving brilliantly prepared Mediterranean food in a comfortable and intimate setting, this restaurant will allow you the opportunity to expand your horizons while also ensuring that you’ll leave satisfied. Don’t judge this gem by the cover! Even though it shares a building with a gas station, you would never know that once you are inside the restaurant.

Connect with Baba’s online: Facebook | Website

Rendezvous Café

A little step away from your usual Starbucks, Rendezvous café is not simply a tasteful coffee shop. It is also a restaurant, highlighting many delicious specials (like Paninis, soups, salads, and pastries), while also having a cozy feel to it. There, you can either sit and have lunch with friends and family, or simply catch up on your work. It’s a great place to get away from the daily stresses life presents us with, and a place in which all of its customers can take a deep breath and relax.

Connect with Rendezvous online: Facebook | Website 

Los Rios

If you’re looking for a worthwhile, lively Mexican restaurant to take your family out to, Los Rios is most certainly a great pick. With its amazing food, low prices, and great customer service – this is a place that should most certainly go in the books. Parents and teenagers alike have both fallen in love with this restaurant; most of my friends have visited as frequently as possible! It’s most certainly the place to go when you and the whole family are craving some Mexican food. I promise that you won’t be disappointed.

Connect with Los Rios online: FacebookWebsite

Ferguson’s Meat Market

 

Even on days when you feel as though you just want to stay home with your family for dinner, Ferguson’s Meat Market is certainly the place to gather whatever it is you want, while still making sure that your meal tastes as good as any other homemade meal! From delicious selections of meat (like steaks, chicken wings and sausages), to savory southern cooked sides, this shop is the perfect place to gather everything you need to make dinner both tasty and memorable. And to make matters even better, their service is nothing short of impeccable.

Connect with Ferguson’s Meat Market online: Facebook | Website

The Chill Hill (An added gem by Rachael)

Tucked away inside of Vickery Village is this little gem – The Chill Hill. At Chill Hill, you can enjoy a delicious dessert out with friends, family, or a date night in the heart of Vickery Village. This summer they are the location of the Outdoor Summer Movies in Cumming, GA.

NEWS: Chill Hill doesn’t charge by the weight of your soft serve anymore! They are NO OFFERING a fixed pricing (small, medium and large) for your soft serve and toppings. As a mom, this is a HUGE WIN!

Connect with The Chill Hill online: Facebook

So whether you’re looking to try something new, or are simply trying to explore our city to its fullest extent, these hidden gems are most certainly wonderful places to begin. Spending time at any one of these locations will guarantee you and your family’s satisfaction, while also acknowledging the significance of these local businesses.


Christina LaPlaca is part of the Honors Mentorship Program at Forsyth Central High School. She recently shared some facts about herself. You can read that article here.

To learn more about Christina and our other contributing writers, click here.

Review of Monster Jam 2017 {The Last Event at GA Dome}

Monster Jam 2017

Monster Jam 2017 at the Georgia Dome

March 5th, 2017 will always be a special day to me and my family. Why, you ask? Because we were able to attend the very LAST event at the Georgia Dome. We said goodbye to the Georgia Dome with dirt, diesel gas,  popcorn, sweets, and MONSTER TRUCKS! That’s right – we attended Monster Jam on Sunday, March 5th at 3:30pm.

Monster Jam 2017

As seen in the photo above, ear protection was a MUST! It’s super loud in the arena with all those trucks. We all wore ear protection and I’m so glad we did! 

I realized a few minutes into the show that I hadn’t been to Monster Jam since I was in college. And I didn’t really remember that particular show because I was too distracted with the handsome guy I was with. This time around I was all into the show. Oh and that handsome guy is now my husband! Both of my kids are BIG Grave Digger fans and they were loving cheering him on. Last month, Finn (age 7) got to interview one of the drivers of Grave Digger. You can see what Finn asked Morgan Kane by clicking here.

Monster Jam 2017

Let’s talk for a minute about the tricks these guys and gals did in the monster trucks. I was amazed at the way they can navigate such a large piece of equipment. At one point of the show, Monster Energy flipped the truck and landed back up after being upside down on the hood. Crazy! The Grave Digger also had quite the spectacle performance during the freestyle competition. Watch this video to see what i’m talking about…

After talking with my family, we believe that Monster Jam is a great date night or family night (or afternoon) out. The show keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time. Our show lasted 2 1/2 hours with an intermission but it certainly didn’t feel that way. And actually when it was over we said that we could have easily watched more.

Monster Jam 2017

The overall winner of the show we saw was…. Monster Energy

And it was a close competition the whole time. Great job to all the drivers and staff of Monster Jam 2017! We really enjoyed being there for the last event at the Georgia Dome.

See you in 2018 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Monster Jam!

To read more about the history of Monster Jam at Georgia Dome, click here.


Disclosure: We were provided with four tickets to Monster Jam. However, my opinions are 100% my own. 

All Things Prom in Forsyth County

prom in forsyth county

All Things Prom in Forsyth County

The following post is written by Christina LaPlaca, a high school student and part of the Honors Mentorship Program at Forsyth Central.

Since we were little girls, we have always dreamed of elegant dresses and handsome princes at the dance; for most of us, it was all that kept us from leaping out of our seats in our fifth grade math class. Once we got to high school, however, we began to notice the tangible lack of actual princes and elegant balls; instead we were exposed to more math, and yes, the dreaded chemistry course; nothing really seemed all that glamorous. What we all eventually came to realize, though, was that there was a way in which all of our dreams and fantasies could come to fruition, even in such a seemingly bland time in our lives: we had Prom to look forward to. Finally, there was a time set aside just for us and our peers to have fun and dance the night away; finally, we could just run with our imagination, even if it was in a more practical way than a royal ball. The breathtaking possibilities that come with prom cross everybody’s mind, leaving us all sitting on the edge of our seats with anticipation. This is especially true for juniors like me who haven’t been able to focus on anything else all year long. We are all ready for Prom to be our own dream come true.

Still, we have to find some way to plan this evening out; no matter how hard we wish, things like this don’t simply fall into place. This is why Cumming Local has put together a list of tips and tricks that will help all of us survive the days leading up to the infamous Prom.

Top three dress styles for 2017:

An issue most young ladies face this prom season is deciding on which style fits their personality the most, while still wowing everyone they see… a combination much easier described than found. With all of the styles, colors, materials, lengths and sizes… I know I personally feel like I’m constantly drowning in an ocean of opportunity every time I look through a catalog. Thank goodness for modern-day trends lighting my path to the perfect dress, otherwise I’d be lost in this madness!

This magnificent, high neck, beaded and sleeveless chiffon (A-line) dress is certainly one of the more elegant ensembles available. While it’s more modest, its long and flowy nature paired with the jeweled top is sure to capture the attention of everyone at the dance while you have the time of your life!

Princess V-neck, long sleeve chiffon dresses (A-line) like this are taking the market by storm! Both conservative and stunning, this dress epitomizes the combination of class and modern style!

This modern, two-piece mermaid dress is captivating the attention of teenage girls across the country! It’s both a stunning and a flattering piece that will help ensure your night to be a great success.

Places to get dresses:

There is, of course, a mild bump in the road that these ladies must also face: how can they possibly find the perfect dress, and where can they even look? They can find amazing deals online without any issue, but most of the time, they always seem too good to be true; even then, the size never seems to quite fit them as well as they had envisioned. Even if they choose to go down the electronic route, they then find ourselves opting out of the sacred prom shopping experience! And yes, I promise it’s a real, fun, activity to have with your friends, family, and of course over-protective dads.

Well, fear no longer! Below are lists of all of the prime shops and stops, located in or around the Cumming area, that are perfect for buying your perfect prom dress and having fun at the same time!

  • Cinderella’s Wardrobe Rental (located at 1465 Dahlonega Hwy Suite 4, Cumming, GA 30040)
  • Bravura Bridal and Prom (located at The Collection at Forsyth, 410 Peachtree Pkwy #376, Cumming, GA 30041)
  • Girli Girl Prom and Pageant (located at 74 E Main St NE, Buford, GA 30518)
  • Treasures Formal and Bridal (located at 7300 North Point Pkwy, Alpharetta, GA 30022)
  • RSVP Prom and Pageant (located at 111 W Crogan St, Lawrenceville, GA 30046)

Places to get tuxes:

And, of course, the men mustn’t be ignored! While this particular time of year may just seem like a season filled with high expectations paired with a semi-expensive dinner, it too can be filled with laughter and excitement! From dancing, to good food, to simply hanging out with your friends, prom can be a night of splendor, even for the guys.

One issue remains at large, however; where can they rent tuxes for this special night? Don’t they have enough to worry about already? When will they even find time to research for a place in which they can browse?

I guess it’s good that we’ve compiled a list for the young men to peruse as well!

  • Jim’s Formal Wear (located in Marietta at 1977 S Cobb Dr #290, Marietta, GA 30060)
  • Tuxedo Warehouse (located at 3345 Hutchinson Rd A, Cumming, GA 30040)
  • JCPenney (located at North Point Mall and the Mall of Georgia)

Places to eat:

Whether you’ve got a date or are flying solo, most of the time, prom-bound teenagers create a larger group of their own. They meet up to take pictures, carpool, and, undeniably, eat a substantial amount of food together before the big night. It’s, of course, common knowledge that before the night truly takes off, both dresses and tuxes alike must be a little snug from dinner. After all, they’ll be dancing like there’s be no tomorrow, so stuffing themselves beforehand is acceptable… right?

At any rate, a nice, tasty dinner is a must. But, because there are so many delectable options around every corner of every street, it may seem difficult to even find a place worthy of our attention. Even if the options are narrowed down, there will most certainly be confrontations regarding the final decision; what will be the best choice for everyone? Well the good news is that no matter where you go, it’s sure to be a restaurant worthy of your imminent satisfaction. From Osaka and Kani House to Longhorn and Texas Roadhouse, the possibilities are endless! And even if you or your group isn’t up for indulging in Japanese restaurants or family steak houses, Italian will never fail! From the classier stores, like Provinos, to a simple pizza joint like Sydney’s Pizza, there’s a fit for everyone.

Even though this is only one night of your teenager’s life, it’s a time in which they can truly let go and have fun with their friends. Hopefully, through this little tips, tricks and guidelines, we have helped turn this prom into even more of an entertaining, magical night.

(Photo Source for Dress Photos – Dress 1 | Dress 2 | Dress 3)


Christina LaPlaca is part of the Honors Mentorship Program at Forsyth Central High School. She recently shared some facts about herself. You can read that article here.

To learn more about Christina and our other contributing writers, click here