Saturday, March 10, 2012

Hello Hotlanta

I have finally finished going through all my pictures from my trip to Atlanta. It's pretty normal for it to take me forever to go through pictures, usually for two reasons. One, I take a lot of pictures—sometimes I have to work up the energy to import and sort through all of them. And two, going through vacation pictures too soon after vacation makes me wistful and sad that I'm not still wherever I was in all the pictures.

The downside of waiting too long to get my act together is I start having to try to remember what days I did which things. But honestly, I'm not going into specifics. I'm just excited to finally be sharing the pictures with you guys!

So here we go.

I was, of course, really excited to go. I'd been planning the trip for months ahead of time—Naturally I waited until the last minute to pack. That's when my dog started getting the idea that something was up. He's a smart little dude, and I'm sure once he realized I was exhibiting all of the signs of a person soon to head out the door, he decided to start telling me how much he didn't want me to go. He followed me around while I packed, shivering and looking sad, and when that didn't work, he tried to sneak himself in my luggage.

My hopeful little stowaway.
I love my dog. He's so precious. But sadly he couldn't make the trip with me. (Spoiler alert—he lived through my almost-two-week absence just fine, but was super excited to see me when I got back).

The flight out was smooth, at least as smooth as flying can be what with baggage check, TSA, wasted time, pat-downs, and boarding. I don't have a whole lot of flying experience under my belt—this trip made my third flight ever. But as far as flying goes, it wasn't half bad. The flight was pretty short, our pilot was funny, and I read the whole time.

Landing was the fun part—walking off of the plane and into a different state. I may not fly much, but that's something that's kind of wild to me every time. I sit down on a plane and step off thousands of miles away. Crazy. Flying is awesome.

We had arrived.


The view from my hotel room.
Welcome to the Omni Hotel!
We stayed at the Omni Hotel at the CNN Center, which was amazing, I'm not gonna lie. For starters, the room was really nice, and the hotel had a few places to eat and a couple or so bars. And then there was the fact that it was connected to the CNN Center itself, which had a whole food court full of things to do. A Starbucks, for instance. At which I spent a lot of time—or at least made a lot of runs to. That little glorious Starbucks kiosk was on my route to street level almost every day I went out, which made it the perfect place to grab a cup of coffee every morning.

But I digress.

The purpose of my visit to Atlanta was to see an old friend of mine who's recently relocated from Texas to Georgia. So needless to say, I was pretty darn excited. It had been...what, something like a year? Maybe more? You don't know—and obviously I can't remember for sure.


My friend, Heather, was also basically my wheels while I was in Atlanta, as I didn't have a car there. So she was kind enough to tote us around town and drive us to all the things we wanted to see.

Guys, Atlanta has SO much to offer, I didn't come close to seeing it all. And what I did see I'd like to do again. It was so much fun.

We visited the zoo, which was great. The weather was awesome—it pretty much was for the whole trip—so we took our time looking around, taking an insane amount of pictures of the animals. We even took time out for lunch there, completing our zoo experience with a couple of slices of pizza. I love zoos. And I can honestly say I really regret not buying the cute little panda stuffed toy I saw there. Maybe next time.

On our way in!
This pouty gorilla was my favorite, all huffy under his tree.
Panda chows down.

I think maybe my favorite place we went was the High Museum of Art. It was fabulous, and we didn't even have time to walk through the whole thing! But they had a great exhibit of Warhol and Picasso. I absolutely love Andy Warhol, so seeing his work in person was amazing. I took a ton of pictures there, too—I'm always careful to ask about policies on photography before I whip out my camera in these types of places; just a reminder to always check before you snap photos! I took a lot of pictures of Warhol's work, but just to be safe (I'm not sure how the museum feels about pictures of their special exhibits being plastered online) I'm only going to post one from that exhibit. It's my favorite!

LOVE the soup cans.
Inside the museum.

Since I was staying in the CNN Center, I thought it only appropriate that we take their tour as well. And, as luck would have it, we ran into a lovely couple who'd purchased a City Pass but hadn't used it all yet—and one of the things it got us in to (for free!) was the CNN Tour. I was pretty excited. Honestly, I never really watch CNN. I'm more of a Fox girl, but to see their facilities and tour their floors was really awesome. And our tour guide was great. Really personable, chatty, friendly. He told us that the center has the largest freestanding escalator in...I think the world? Possibly just the United States. Don't quote me. But seriously, the escalator was wildly tall. We toured their newsrooms, saw a mock studio—one woman got to read the prompter and give a news cast, which was cool. We saw how they use green screens for weather maps and the like. It was really cool. We even got to see Wolf Blitzer, which was really neat because he's usually out in D.C. and not in Atlanta. We watched him through the glass and saw in person what the rest of the world was seeing on live TV. Pretty rad.

And I'm not even all the way at the bottom at this point.
CNN, y'all.
One of the mock newsrooms.

And another absolute must-see, especially for me—lover of books and writing—was Margaret Mitchell's grave. (She wrote Gone with the Wind, for those of you who have no idea who I'm talking about.) Which turned out to be a little gem of a surprise because it wasn't on the agenda; I honestly didn't know she was buried in Atlanta. But she is! At Oakland Cemetery. Maybe it's weird to call a cemetery beautiful, but this one really was. It had a lot of trees, some really elegant statues and headstones. And for being in the middle of Atlanta, it was very peaceful. It took us a bit of hunting to actually find Margaret Mitchell's headstone—it's not wildly big or extravagant, so it blends in. But eventually we followed the signs and found it. People had left some coins there. I added my own.

Oakland Cemetery.
Peaceful. I loved all the trees.
One of the really elegant tombstones.
Thank you for Gone with the Wind, Mrs. Mitchell.

We also hit up the Georgia Aquarium, which was actually the most expensive thing we did. Go figure. Probably because our ticket price included a 4D movie and a dolphin show. (The dolphin show was totally better than the 4D movie, just sayin'.) The aquarium itself was really cool. A maze of fish tanks, interactive exhibits, seals, penguins. I even got to touch a stingray! They feel slippery and wonderful. I love them. It's hard to take pictures of moving fish in a tank with no flash—but using flash just makes the glass reflect. So I didn't get a ton of great pictures in the aquarium. But that didn't stop a girl from tryin'!

The aquarium. Ta-da!
Me and my new best friend, Mr. Stingray.
I'm not sure what kind of fish this is, but it's pretty!
Sea dragon! I love these guys.

We also hit up another museum, the Fernbank Natural History Museum. My favorite part of this was the dinosaur bones in the atrium. They were pretty rad. Our walkthrough in this museum ended up being interrupted by a fire alarm—false alarm, thank goodness. Ironically enough, we also had a fire alarm go off while we were walking through the High Museum of Art. Apparently Heather and I are just too hot for our own good. (I kid. But seriously.)

A trio of dinosaurs welcoming us to the Fernbank.
Giant atrium dinosaur. :)
All in all, the trip went by way too fast for me, as vacations often do. Atlanta was a really great city, and it sure has a lot to offer. I hope I can go back to Georgia soon—next time I really want to make it down to Savannah!

We visited a couple of other museums and checked out a lot of restaurants, but honestly this post is way out of control in length, so I think I'll do a Part Two of sorts, talk about a couple of other places we went, and then rave about the food we ate. Stay tuned!


Bennett said...

Come back!

Sarah said...

Trust me, I want to! <3 you!!!

Debbie said...

Loved the post and the photos are great.

Sarah said...

Thank you, Debbie!