Over Valentine’s Day weekend, I won a trip to Atlanta with my best friend, Tamara. They covered our airfare, hotel and gave us a $200 visa card. We flew out Friday morning before dawn to arrive in Atlanta by noon.
Us before dawn. Damn Tamara for having her eyebrows done at 4am. We both struggle with anxiety, but somehow managed not to freak out during the trip. This is practically a miracle. When we arrived in Atlanta, we picked up our rental car. We got a veloster, which had a back up camera. I really want one now!
Then Tamara did a lot of this:
We headed right to the Georgia Aquarium, where we had special tours booked. I couldn’t get us tickets to the same animal encounters, but I got myself in with the otters and her in with penguins. Mine was scheduled first and she was able to watch through the otter enclosure.
They taught us all about otters and got one out to show us his tricks. We got to pet the otters paw and nose. It was a lot softer than I imagined it’d be. For a reward for letting us pet him, we got to feed him clam popsicles and take pictures with him.
Right afterwards, Tamara had her penguin encounter. They did those in the back, so I didn’t get to watch, but she got a picture too.
Once we were off a schedule, we explored the rest of the aquarium.
After all this excitement, we headed to our hotel and ordered up some Chinese food with GrubHub. Which I highly recommend. It’s so easy!
On Saturday, we got up and got breakfast at Highland Bakery, which was crazy packed. We followed that with second breakfast at Cacao Atlanta. We got some sweets to take home, but the main thing was their sipping chocolate.
I somehow got a parking ticket with the car in full view of the shop front. Oh well, I have to give props to Atlanta’s apparently Ninja parking enforcement. Next we headed to Jeju Sauna in Duluth for a good soak.
We didn’t get any pictures inside since the baths are all nude. We ran around naked and soaked in the hot pools for awhile. I almost ran into the common, co-ed area where the saunas are, but Tamara was smart enough to read and get me to put on our little prison outfits. They had several saunas in the co-ed part, where you could go lay on straw mats and sweat. We checked out the gold and silver room since it’s supposed to help neuroses. They had a carbon one and a gem one that had a whole ceiling of amethyst crystal. We’d intended to eat there, but I wasn’t feeling any of the soups they had there, so we headed to Buford Highway Farmer’s Market. It’s kind of like a massive Ta Lin Market (a place we have in Albuquerque) it’s got all kinds of strange products. We had a blast looking through it all and got so much stuff we had to check a bag on the way home.
We checked out Underground Atlanta before getting dinner at Legal Seafoods. Underground was pretty neat, they had an arcade down there, but I got the impression that it used to be a lot bigger. It seemed like a dying mall. I should have realized it was Valentine’s Day before going to get lobster, but it wasn’t really that bad.
On Sunday, we hit the World of Coca Cola first thing and tried a bunch of gross sodas from around the world. They did have some pretty cool visual effects including a 360 degree projected screen that moves to create doorways. It was willy-wonka-esque.
We stopped a Scott Antique Market on our way to the airport, but everyone was in the process of packing up, so we didn’t hang out long. Our flight got us home by 9 Sunday night.
The vacation’s over face. Atlanta surprised me. I’ve only ever been through their airport and it’s always been horrid. The people were nice, the weather was a little cold, but we missed the worst weather, the architecture was beautiful and we had a blast.