I’m back from an awesome trip to Atlanta, Georgia with, among other people, Johnny 5. We had a fantastic trip! There were lots of highlights. Even out in Atlanta, we were immersed with Disney stuff. There was a big billboard outside our hotel promoting Disney Junior. At the business conference we were attending a Disney Dream cruise was won by a bunch of people. A video from last year’s cruise aboard the Disney Wonder was also shown. Here’s hoping they do more as we definitely would love a free, all expenses paid, trip aboard ANY Disney ship!
I also found an alternative to coffee that really blew my socks off. It’s an energy shot with ZERO caffeine or sugar and works WAY better than coffee. I’m still a bit in shock over that. Needless to say, this was an awesome trip for all who went. One of the highlights was also a day trip that Johnny 5, our friend Delia, and I took to downtown Atlanta after the conference ended on Saturday. On Wednesday when we had flown in, we stopped by the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Site and saw the house where he was born in. With the conference over though, we thought it’d be fun to see some more of the town! With that being said, thoughts are always easier than actions. There were a few obstacles.
First obstacle, it turns out that the complimentary van we had been using to get places was not available after 3 o’clock on Saturday afternoon. What time were we ready to leave? Yep, you guessed it… 3:00. Undeterred, we decided to walk to the bus station. This didn’t seem very far when we had ridden back in the van from the bus station after seeing MLK Historic Site on Wednesday… however, it turns out that the walk round trip to the bus station is a little over three miles. †No problem…although it was a bit windy and cold. We had thin jackets and were bright enough to not bring our scarves… not a problem though. We arrived at the bus station and sat down to wait. We waited and waited and waited and waited! FINALLY the bus showed up and we made our way to the Arts Center station where we could catch the MARTA (subway) to downtown Atlanta. Upon arriving at Arts Center station, we quickly hopped aboard a southbound train and quickly found ourselves at the Five Points Station and shortly after, on the streets of downtown Atlanta!
Our goal in this adventure, by the way, was to find the Coca Cola museum, the aquarium, and The Varsity restaurant. We stepped out of the station and soon found a big Coca Cola sign and we thought we were there. Unfortunately, this was not so… We quickly found a sign pointing towards the Olympic Park, which we believed was next to the museum and aquarium. We headed off in that direction in the 40 degree weather in our light jackets. Wasn’t too bad but wasn’t overly comfortable either. After walking past the Georgia State University campus, we finally decided to ask directions as nothing looked quite right. The guy laughed at us and said we were going the complete wrong way. So… with our mantra for the day “it’s an Adventure!” we turned around and made our way back to five points and then on towards the REAL Centennial Olympic Park and what we hoped would be our destination.
We finally found ourselves outside of Centennial Olympic Park which was also coincidentally right across the street from the CNN building. As we took pictures of the building, we were slightly amused as we noticed the curtains inside of the building. You see, we had been watching Anderson Cooper broadcasting the night before from an “undisclosed location.” All you could see behind him were these beige curtains…. that looked strangely liked the ones in every window of the CNN building. Could it be that this “undisclosed location” was actually in Atlanta? The world will never know. We were amused by how many times he did say “undisclosed location” though. Anyway, as we were about to walk into Centennial Olympic Park, a homeless gentleman walked up and asked Johnny 5 and I if we were the Blues Brothers and if we were going to the big Super Bowl Party down the street. We laughed and said no. He then proceeded†to ask if Johnny 5 and Delia were engaged… we said no to this as well. Then he asked for money and we asked for directions.
The end was in sight! The museum and aquarium were just through the park. We made our way through the park, which really was beautiful, and what’d we find? Ballerinas taking pictures in the freezing weather! We were shocked and appalled. But we were more relieved what was just beyond the ballerinas… our destination! We made our way down the hill and across the street only to discover…. CLOSED! Oops! Apparently pretty much everything closes in Atlanta after 5:00 PM. Undaunted, we repeated again “it’s an Adventure!” and took some pictures anyway. We did ask a cop if there was anything to do in the area. He said no.
At this point it was well past five and our stomachs were well past hungry. So we turned our sights on finding some food. Lisa, from Babes in Disneyland, had†recommended†we hit The Varsity. This is the world’s largest drive in restaurant. After a quick consultation with the GPS, we decided to continue our adventure. It was only a mile away, no big deal right? After all the walking we had done it didn’t really seem to matter. We just wanted to get there. We continued our trek.
We did make it to The Varsity and let me tell you, it was worth the walk. I had a bacon double cheese burger that was awesome. Their onion rings were also incredibly. It also is really a blast from the past. It felt like you were transported back to the 60′s once you walk in. I highly recommend this if you are in Atlanta and don’t mind food that can give you a heart attack.
Once we were done with our food, we were happy to discover that there was a subway station just up a couple of blocks from The Varsity. The temperature had cooled considerably by now so we were thankful the walk was short. Once at the station, we realized that we had basically walked what we could have taken on the train…several stops…. but repeating our mantra “it’s an Adventure!” we didn’t let it get to us. †We boarded our train and soon found ourselves waiting on a cement bench at the Arts Center station waiting for the bus…. it was colder still but it was an adventure! Finally the bus came and we returned to our bus station and made the trek back to the hotel where warm beverages and a fireplace waited for us!
Overall the adventure, while not smooth, was just that… an adventure. It produced memories that we’ll hold dear for years to come. On a side note, we did find out that downtown Atlanta isn’t safe at all at night for tourists. Thankfully we left before it got TOO late at night. We did take a ton of pictures and rather than make a gallery, we included them in our Geeks Corner episode. I hope you do enjoy them. Johnny 5 and I did add commentary.
Make it a GREAT day!