Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Home Sweet Home

I think this is the longest stretch I've gone without posting anything since I started this blog.  But, we were on vacation most of last week, and spent most of the time before that getting everything ready and taken care of for us to be on vacation.  I think that’s a good
enough excuse.

We went to Atlanta September 25 – 29th for our anniversary, which was on the 28th.  We had a great trip, and it was especially nice because we hadn’t been able to manage an anniversary trip since our first anniversary.  (This year was our fourth.)

We went to the World of Coca-Cola, the zoo, the Jimmy Carter Museum, and the Margaret Mitchell House, and had an epic fail with our attempt to use the public transportation system there.

The World of Coca-Cola was interesting, though it was a little more geared toward kids than we expected.  The bottling part was closed for renovation, so we didn’t get to see that.  We both enjoyed the history parts, and I really enjoyed the part about the public outcry when they introduced “New Coke” in the early 80s.  I’m a purist when it comes to Coke.  I believe they will never improve on Coca-Cola Classic, so I enjoyed watching videos of demonstrators who felt the same way.

The tasting room was fun.  It was interesting to see how different the sodas available other places are from what we’re used to here.  My husband tried all (I think it was 65) flavors.  He liked most of them.  I probably tried about 30 – 35, and didn’t really care for most of them.  Like I said, I’m a purist.  I like the Coca-Cola Classic.

Zoo Atlanta, my favorite part of the trip, has got to be one of the happiest places on earth.  They have Giant Pandas; four of them.  I have loved Giant Pandas pretty much all of my life.  I can remember my panda bear obsession as far back as when I was seven.  My mom says it started before then, though she’s not sure of an exact age.  It’s safe to say I’ve loved them for a very long time.  I have always wanted to go see them, but it just never worked out before now.

We arrived at Zoo Atlanta when the gates opened, snagged a map, and made a beeline for the Panda Bear Exhibit.  Seeing photos and videos of them just doesn’t do them justice.  Seeing them just a few feet (or inches, depending on the enclosure) away was a trulyamazing experience.

Giant Pandas spend a large part of their day sleeping, so we came and went from the exhibit all day long.  We’d go watch them eat and play,
and then go move on to something else after they fell asleep.  We were
also able to chat with a few very knowledgeable volunteers about the
pandas, and how things worked with breeding them, conservation
efforts, etc.  These people know their panda bears!

We also saw tigers, gorillas, went to the petting farm (where I found
a fat goat I wanted to adopt), and went through a living tree house
(that was really neat) with various birds and monkeys.  Quite a few of
the exhibits had volunteers just kind of hanging out around them
talking to people about the animals, their habits, status in the wild,
etc.  It was nice; they weren’t in your face forcing you to have a
learning experience, but would answer any questions and tell you as
much as you wanted to know.

The next day we attempted to ride the MARTA, which is Atlanta’s
public/mass transportation system.  At least that’s what they say.
They also say it’s convenient and easy.  They lie.  I could say a lot
more than that, but I try not to use profanity on my blog, and I
really don’t know how to share the full MARTA experience without

After about four and a half hours of mostly walking, being approached by panhandlers, talking to two very nice police officers (I’m sure we were their “honey you won’t believe these yokels from NC” stories when they got home that night), riding two separate buses for about 15 minutes each, being dropped off on the side of a highway, getting really sweaty and cranky, using all of the dirty words we know, and walking several miles we arrived back at our motel still never having reached our destination of the Jimmy Carter Museum.  Yep, MARTA is that convenient.

We then decided to print out directions in the motel lobby and drive to the Jimmy Carter Museum.  Even with all of my missed and wrong turns we made it there in about a half an hour.  It was much more interesting than I thought it would be.  I didn’t really know what to expect, and I half-way thought it might be a little self-serving, or a blow your own horn kind of thing, but it wasn’t at all.  It was very,
very interesting.

There was a lot of focus on people who helped to shape his life and
ideas, and a lot of information about Rosalynn Carter and her work.  I
knew practically nothing about him and nothing about her, going in, so
it was a nice learning experience.  We left with a very long reading
list of books by and about them that we want to read now.

The Margaret Mitchell House was very interesting, though it was much
smaller than we expected.  It’s mostly a gift shop with tons of Gone
With the Wind items.  There’s also a gallery with magazine and
newspaper articles about the book and movie, and some information
about her career as a journalist.  There’s also information about the
charity and volunteer work she did.  I didn’t realize how much she had
done, and how many causes she quietly supported, including things that
weren’t necessarily very socially acceptable at that time.

The house was converted into apartments at the time that Margaret
Mitchell lived there and you tour the apartment she lived in while
writing Gone With the Wind.  It’s very small, but is cozy and cute.
It’s not furnished with any of the original furniture, but is
furnished with antiques from that time period, as close to what they
had as possible.  The history of the house, and the efforts made to
preserve it was also very interesting.  We left there with even more
books added to our reading list.

All in all, we had a really great trip; we went to some fun places,
and had some really great food.  It was also really nice to just get
way from everything for a few days.

However, we were very happy to come home.  We missed the fur kids and
were very happy to see them again.  And there’s just something about
being at home, in your own space.  It’s comforting and familiar.  The
sheets and towels smell like our laundry detergent, the lamps are in
familiar places, the bed cradles you just right, and it just feels
like where you belong.  There’s no place like home sweet home.


  1. Welcome back....glad you had a good trip.

  2. Welcome back.

    Sounds like a wonderful time. Happy anniversary!

  3. Happy anniversary, Danielle. I've been to the Coca-cola factory but never to the Margaret Mitchell house. It sounds like a place I'd like to visit. I'm always happy to get home from vacation too. The only time I wasn't was when I took one without the hubby and kids. ;-)

    1. Thank you! The Margaret Mitchell house is definitely interesting; I thought it was neat to look out the same window she did while she was writing. I'm sure your hubby and kids were very glad for you to come home!

  4. 65 different flavors of coke? Awesome! I will have to go one day. lol! No Georgia Pacific Aquarium?

    1. It's a pretty intense sugar rush! And if you're a major Coke addict it does just make you happy to see so many Coke fountains in one place. :-)

      We wanted to do the Aquarium, but it just didn't work out this trip. I really, really want to go back and see the pandas again, so we're hoping to make it to the Aquarium on the next trip.


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