Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Our Atlanta Trip Recap!

I wrote a more involved and detailed post on my other blog: The Art of Random Willynillyness. So if you want more information on Atlanta, make sure you go read that post. This post is more personal and will have more pictures.

Now we only live 2.5 hours from Atlanta and have been there a zillion times but it is only to go to the airport and fly somewhere else. We have always wanted to visit and see the city but we never did until now. I have to disclose that thanks to the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Atlanta Hotel and the Atlanta CVB, we were able to visit Atlanta. The Hilton Garden Inn hosted us for two night and the Atlanta CVB gave us two (2) Atlanta CityPASSes to visit local attractions.

We left the house early Sunday morning to get to Atlanta early. We arrived at the hotel and the room was not ready but that was because we were wicked early. But we had planned to leave the luggage, go have lunch and head over to the Georgia Aquarium. We did just that. We found a Baja Fresh right across the street. And then headed over to the Aquarium.

The Georgia Aquarium was great. It was packed though but with the Atlanta CityPASS, we were able to go ahead in line and get in. There was so much to see. Our favorite thing was the Ocean Voyager tank. You walk in and then head to a moving walkaway that takes you through an underwater tunnel where you get to see all the animals in the tank. Then the best part is once you get off, you go to a room where you can sit and see the huge tank and everything in it. It was pretty amazing. I would go back just for that. The Dolphin show was really cheesy though although I liked the dolphins.

After the Aquarium we headed back to the hotel and checked in. The room was great and we had an amazing view from the 12th floor. I will have a whole post on my other blog so if you want to know more about the hotel, head over there. Because we had some time before dinner, we headed to the 7th floor where the outdoor pool is located. We were able to take a dip in the pool and hot tub before we had dinner
at Legal Seafood that was in the hotel.

The next day, we got up early and Tom went to get us some bagels and cream cheese before we headed out to the CNN Studio Tour. We walked through Centennial Park to get there. I loved that everything we did was walking distance although I hate walking.

The CNN tour rocked the house. It was so interesting. I am a certified news hound so anything news related is up my alley. Luckily, Tom had gotten the tickets for the  tour the day before. There were few people on the first tour but when we came back, there was a huge line for the next tour. We got to see how producers and directors get the news on the air. We saw some of the guests set to talk with Wolf Blitzer in the studio. We saw the newsrooms and saw some of the anchors in action. It was great and if you are ever in Atlanta, do this tour.  and headed over to CNN for the studio tour.

After the CNN tour, we headed over to Centennial Park and since we knew we would have oodles of time left after we went to the World of Coke, Tom found an electric car tour that would take us all over Atlanta. Since the tour wasn't for a few hours, we headed over to the World of Coca-Cola.

I can only tell you that unless you are a huge Coke fanatic, don't waste your time on the World of Coca-Cola. I am glad we didn't pay to go in because if we had, I would have been mad. It is one giant Coke Commercial. Now that's okay but not for $15+. Basically, you go in and they show you a 6 minute commercial that Coke that was geared toward kids.

Now don't get me wrong. I LOVE Coke. I really do. If I could, I would drink it every day all the time but it is not good to do that. So I don't. I do indulge every so often and, when I do, it makes me happy. But it is my crack so I avoid it when possible. Anyway, there was not that much to do except see a few smaller exhibits and take your picture with the Coke Polar bear, who I love. I wish they would have had a movie about how Coke came about, that would have been cool. Anyway, you also get to go to the tasting room. But that gets old if you are not a Coca-Cocla and/or sugar fiend.

After Coke, headed off to find the tour place Tom found. We walked over to the Underground Atlanta area. We found ATLCruzers. The tour consisted of getting into a little electric car with a tour guide. This was the best thing we did in Atlanta. It was fantastic. The cars were comfy and we were only with one other couple. Our tour guide, also owner, Amir was fantastic. We toured all of downtown, the Sweet Auburn area, we drove by the Ebenezer Church and the Martin Luther King, Jr. center. At one point, our little car broke down.

This is probably me jinxing drivers. Remember, when I was in Cincinnati the car that picked us up at the airport broke down about 2 blocks before we reached out hotel. The best part of us breaking down was that it was in front of a little restaurant called LottaFrutta. Amir, called for another car and then treated us all to smoothies and fruit cups.

This place was funky and cool. We also were able to meet the owner, Myrna who is a Latina as well. She told us how she got started and how her business has grown. She was a hoot. The smoothies were delicious and a welcome treat on a hot day. By the time we ordered, our new car was already there. So we grabbed out drinks and headed out to explore more.

We headed to the Inman Park area which was amazing. We headed to Midtown and Amir gave us names of places to eat. He was great. This tour made me want to move to Atlanta. It was great. The customer service was wonderful. And if you are ever in Atlanta, look up ATLCruzers. We are so glad that on a whim, we did.

After the tour, we walked back to our hotel and stopped into Stats Sports Bar that is across the street to have a drink and a snack. Then we headed back to the hotel and went for a swim.  After the pool, we headed off to dinner at Der Biergarten. This was also walking distance from the hotel. The restaurant was funky and the food was delish. We headed back to the hotel to relax after a long day.

The next day we checked out and headed over to the High Museum. You all know I am not a museum
person but this one was okay. They had some interesting stuff but after an hour or so, my eyes glazed over. But Tom got his museum fix. Then we headed back home. But we made a stop to visit my friend Lizzy.

She made us guacamole, empanadas, rice and beans and we visited for a while. It was great. Then it was back home. Our trip to Atlanta was great.We definitely want to go back again. We scratched the surface and need to see more. I especially want to go back and do a foodie tour of restaurants. Amir also mentioned that there is an Atltanta Movie Tour that his friend runs. I am so there!

What a great town and it is only 2.5 hours away from our house!! Look below for a zillion more pictures!

Disclosure: The Hilton Garden Inn hosted us for two nights and the Atlanta CVB provided us with CityPASSes.

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