Mar 10 2013

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A Weekend in Atlanta

IMG_20130222_175459Well, I am finally getting around to writing about my latest new destination for this year. A couple of weeks ago, I took a visit up to Atlanta for the weekend to visit my college mate Steve who I hadn’t seen in a few years. We last saw each other on a visit to Walt Disney World but, this was the first time I had the chance to get up to Atlanta, GA and visit him and see his place and to visit Atlanta for the first time. Sure, I have driven through it several times when gong back and forth between Florida and Minnesota over the years but, this was the first time I actually got to spend any amount of time in the city exploring. While only there for two nights and weekend, it was a great city to see and explore.



I flew up on Friday night right after work which actually worked out perfectly for me and arrived at a decent hour and headed straight to Steve’s place for a nice homemade curry made by his girlfriend which was just amazing. Saturday morning, we started off with a walk through Centennial Olympic Park and over to CNN for a VIP tour of the newsrooms and studios for CNN and HLN Networks. This was pretty cool to me and I enjoyed it as someone who loves looking at the technical side of things. So if you are a news junkie like me and enjoy the behind the scenes of things, it’s worth doing. Hopefully I will be able to do the same with the BBC later this year. After CNN, we headed to the Georgia Aquarium but it was closed so decided to do World of Coke instead. This is to me just a larger version of what we have at Epcot but was somewhat neat to see the bottling process and the history of the product. I would say though that the highlight of the World of Coke for me was seeing the Olympic torch from the torch relay. Those that know me know I am a huge fan of the Olympics and was addicted to watching London 2012 last summer so it was a fun treat to see and hold. Personally, it was about the best part of the tour for me. Unless you are a huge Coke fan, I think it’s safe to say you can skip it.

IMG_20130224_145922Sunday while I had a late flight, we still had the whole day to go to the Georgia Aquarium. First off, one needs a full day to see everything that is here and then more time to just sit and watch the massive main tank. This tank is HUGE and has  three amazing whale sharks. It is the world’s largest indoor aquarium and I could have spent hours along just watching the sharks, fish and rays swimming around in here. Aside from the amazing ocean size tank, there are some fascinating other exhibits covering all the different other types of aquatic life out there. from the arctic to the bayou.

IMG_20130309_215100One of the fun exhibits in the arctic section was the penguins. You can either walk by or crawl through this tunnel and pop up literally in the middle of the flock. It’s pretty cool to see. This is definitely worth a visit if you can spare the time to truly explore all of the great things to see. Included  in our tickets was for the aquarium was the dolphin show that used to cost extra I guess. The dolphin stunts were pretty cool considering it was all inside but the theatrical parts of the show were really corny and pretty lame in my opinion. If you have the time and want to really see the dolphins I guess it’s worth it but, I wouldn’t make time to see the show again in the future.  If you really want a dolphin show, I would say you are better off going to Sea World.

That’s it for all of the tourist places we went too. The nice part about visiting a friend who lives in a city is you get to experience the local food places rather than sticking to the chains or other tourist locations. It was nice to try some new restaurants and even do a great lunch at a food truck park which I think was very well setup and really hit the spot. Overall, a great trip and a great weekend catching up with old friends. I need to make visit will have to be longer!



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