Thursday, March 15, 2012
Spring break in Atlanta, Georgia
If you have never been the short distance to Atlanta, Ga., it is very much worth the trip! Gene, Caitlyn, Grady and I, along with my sister, Laura, left Friday for a long weekend with my daddy, Hank Wheeler, who lives in a bedroom community of Atlanta, Newnan.
Friday night after arriving, we went to a great little place for dinner, Taco Mac. This place was founded by two men who were making a cross country trip and stopped off in Atlanta. When the men got there, they were disappointed in the food, saying they could cook better. They had just enough money to either replace the sign on this business they were renting or to buy the food to cook. They decided to buy food. The sign was from a previous restaurant that had gone under, Taco Mac. The restaurant is renowned for the different types of beer they sell, both in bottles or draft. Their selection has hundreds of types. For frequent customers, they offer a punch card type of thing. Each time you dine and order a beer, they register it on your card and give you a printout. After a while, you receive different rewards for the amount of beer you have consumed. The catch is, you can’t have the same beer twice or it won’t be counted towards your total. Fun place to eat and they certainly offer more than tacos!
Saturday, we hit Fernbank Museum of Natural History. There were many things in the museum for children to do and an IMAX theater. There are different choices on the movie, which lasts about 40 minutes. There were conservationists there with different animals for everyone to touch. We saw a bearded dragon that was born with an abnormality -- his bottom jaw outgrew the rest of his face. His tongue hangs out all of the time!
We toured the campus of Emory University. It is a beautiful campus surrounded by trees in a funky little area of town. The funniest thing was a T-shirt they sell in their bookstore -- Emory football, still undefeated! Funny in the sense they do not have a football team.
Sunday, we headed into Atlanta to the aquarium. It was amazing! They have any variety of fish you could possibly imagine! There are a lot of touch and feel stations and interactive exhibits for everyone to enjoy! They have a dolphin show that is really a sight to see. I figured it would be like a dolphin show you would see at Sea World, but it was more like a production with actors and singing. It was worth the time!
We walked around Centennial Park, which was constructed for the ’96 Olympics. It’s hard to look up and see sky scrapers everywhere and realize you are in a large patch of grass with folks playing frisbee, football and having picnics!
Monday, we were back in the city for our final day. We went to the Atlanta Zoo. They actually have four pandas. They originally had two on loan from China and since then, have had two born in captivity. Their African animals were not on display. They are currently working on a new habitat in which you can walk up and feed the giraffe. It is slated to be open soon.
After leaving the zoo, we headed to The Varsity, which is famous for their hotdogs and hamburgers. It was really an experience like no other! We hit it right during the lunch rush. There were folks everywhere, but because there are tons of registers, it didn’t take long to get our order placed and out.
The World of Coca-Cola was our last stop. The experience there was really fun! They have a tasting room, which offers hundreds of types of Coca-Cola offered all over the world. There is a 4-D movie that is interactive with the crowd -- seats move, water spews, etc.. If you have a bad back, it’s best to sit in the non-moving seats or you will be jerked out of place!
You can buy a city pass that will get you into all of the attractions, which is a large savings compared to purchasing tickets to the individual attractions. We had one more ticket in our book to tour the CNN Center, but just didn’t have time to get to that!
Mini-History Tour this Saturday
We missed and needed the hour we lost over the weekend. When we spring forward, it always throws us but in the fall when we fall back it’s nice to have an extra hour.
I first remember Daylight Saving Time when I was in college during World War II because school days began in the dark before daylight. When Pearl Harbor happened, the next day Daylight Saving War Time was started to save energy which lasted the whole war and made two hours difference.
Benjamin Franklin thought it all out and how we could save energy if we just saved an hour of daylight.
Did you know that one of our explorers, George Anderson, has a mountain in Antarctica named after him? He’s the only person we have or have ever had on the History Channel. We are so proud of him.
Let me tell you another story one of our guests told me. He is a photographer. He said he was visiting his daughter in Virginia and early one morning he wanted to take a sunrise photo of the sun coming up over the mountain in the morning mist. He climbed to the top of the mountain and was really surprised at what he saw.
There on the mountain ridge was a facsimile of a town. It was a movie set-up town of old houses, churches, and businesses. It was like walking through a ghost town. It was where the television series of the John Adams epic was shot. He said he got great photos but didn’t have them with him.
Tourists are like the birds. They come in the spring and leave in the fall. That’s why we have delightful December and the Christmas tour for something great in the bleak wintertime.
Spring brings in inclement weather sometimes.
My granddaughter lives in Tornado Alley. She has a new neighbor and he built his house of steel. I asked him if he thought it would withstand a tornado. Inside his house, he is building an airplane from scratch.
Our mini-history tour on Saturday, March 17, will be incredible and it will be like a whirlwind trip. On the tour we will see where fascinating history happened and now where new history is being made to begin again. We will see where the Govan plantation was, where the Crump family came in the 1830s. We will see where Delia Scales lived on a high hill and could see the panoramic view from her front porch on the hill with thousands of Yankee troops camped in her front yard.
We’ll see the trestle the soldiers were guarding. We will see the site where General Vaughan’s plantation was, which was half in Tennessee, half in Mississippi.
The mini-tour will originate at the museum, 220 East College Ave. Reservations must be made. Our telephone number is 662 252-3669. The tour begins at 1 p.m. and travels around the circle until we come back to the museum. Cost is $10 each.
This is a no-frills tour, no rest stops, no food on this trip. If the weather is inclement, the tour will be cancelled until the next weekend. Wear your walking boots and bring a sweater.
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