Monday, October 22, 2007

I-75 AKA The Real Reason Scarlett fled Atlanta

I think it was Dorothy who said, "There's no place like home."

I have no idea how she walked around in those uncomfortable looking, red sequin shoes, but she was so right.

We just returned from a long weekend getaway to Hotlanta. To be clear, I had fun. Lots of fun. But anytime we go out of town for more than, say... a day, I am ready to come home. I like my own bed. I like my own bathroom. I am just a teeny bit whiny when it comes to home.

This might suggest that one day we could be the um, proud? owners of an RV. But, no. My husband and I would then have to eat crow because we have made fun of every single RV on the Interstate.

Mostly, we like to make fun of the names of the RV's like "Roughing It Smoothly" (actual name, by the way.) The only reason I think we would ever purchase one of these recreational vehicles is just so we could park it in our relatives' yards and say, "Now that there's an RV."

But a funny quote from a National Lampoon movie is no reason to spend 100 grand on a motor home with a micro fridge and faux wood trim.

So we just stick with the hotels with free breakfast.

But I digress.

I grew up in South Georgia. From an early age, I was taught the dangers, the hazards, the horror stories, the urban legends. About the tragic endings of innocent, happy lives and about the special ones who were spared from it all.

I'm talking about Atlanta traffic.

People who do not live in Atlanta or the Metro area try, at all costs, to avoid it completely. I think that if you ask my Daddy, he could tell you how to get from Alabama to South Carolina through Tennessee just to avoid the Atlanta traffic and still make good time.

And if it's really good time, it would be railroad time. Yes, M'am. You have really done well to make railroad time. Seeing as how we were driving into Atlanta, Daddy, I am ashamed to say that we did not make railroad time.

We visited the Georgia Aquarium and World Of Coke, both of which I highly recommend (even though they are in the heart of Atlanta.) My husband is much more brave than I so he drove and I navigated.

I have found that when you are giving directions, if you don't really know what you are doing, keep unfolding the map. The more you unfold, the more competent you appear. Once the map is completely unfolded, you must then flick it a little, as if you are trying to straighten out the creases or just shake some sense into it. This really makes you look like you know what you are doing. If this doesn't work, tell the driver that it must be an old map and somehow the streets on your map do not match the streets in real life.

Because we all know that they change the streets in Atlanta on a daily basis. And that someone is working on the Guinness World Record for Longest Time To Complete Road Construction because I-75 has not been finished since the time we went to Helen when I was 8 years old.

I have to give my husband credit. He is sooooo patient. And I am a pretty good map reader, folded or unfolded. No one screamed. No one cried. No one died. These are good goals while driving in Atlanta.

The Aquarium was phenomenal. The layout was great. Unlike some museums or theme parks, every exhibit takes you back to a central location so you don't have to walk from one side of the attraction all the way to the next and then back again. Mr. Architect Designer Man- you are a genius. Please talk to the Disney people. Thank you.

The Georgia Aquarium is home to whale sharks, beluga whales, jelly fish, an octopus, and much more. There are a few hands on exhibits that my daughter loved. I loved the fact that there were guides pretty much everywhere reminding people to handle the animals gently. Although it is self-guided, there are plenty of people available to answer questions.

My daughter carried a little journal with her everywhere we went and documented what she saw. She even stopped to draw some of the creatures. It was so sweet and the journal will surely be a treasure for her to keep.

During our World of Coke visit, we sampled more soda than should be legal. They have flavors from across the globe. My favs were from South Africa. We also watched a small assembly line bottling Coke and then we were able to take one home for free as a souvenir.

One night we ate dinner at The Varsity Downtown. The Varsity has been around for decades and is the largest drive-in in the world. Their chili dogs and onion rings were fab. We topped ours off with a chocolate shake. Even though my husband referred to his dinner as a "gut bomb" he still said it was good.

While eating her own hot dog and fries, our daughter said,"What is so cool about this place?"


Hubs and I just laughed and told her she would think it was cool one day because it is famous and one day she will be watching a show about it on Food Network and say,"HEY! I've been there!" or ""HEY! My parents dragged me there once on vacation."

Her favorite meal was at Carrabba's. Not necessarily historical or regional, but they do bring kids a ball of pizza dough to play with while they wait on their meal. She carefully wrapped it and we brought it home with us.

We drove all the way to Atlanta for a ball of pizza dough.

We could've just stayed home and made railroad time.


Aunt Boo said...

That is funny! I live pretty close to those places and do you know I have never been. I will have to go now. Thanks for the post and I hope that yall had a great time!!


Linda said...

World of Coke? Really?? Too funny. I didn't know if I would comment or not because i tend to hijack this blog, but when you said your girl carried her little journal around--forget about it. I have to say it--That is the cutest, sweetest thing. I'm glad you have fun and can enjoy home now.

Lynne said...

Amen sister!

We live in an Atlanta suburb and we do everything we can to avoid traffic. Luckily my husband works from home and can schedule most of his appointments around it.

We haven't been to the new World of Coke, but are anxious to go. I'm glad you had a good time. Altanta does have a lot to offer even if it does mean fighting traffic.

Roxanne said...

And I am a true, true Southerner, 'cause no matter HOW much Diet Coke I drink (and I do dearly love a Diet Coke over Sonic ice), I NEVER, EVER, EVER find a "real" Coke too sweet. Real Coke is the stuff of which dreams are made.

nancygrayce said...

yes, yes, get an rv. no kidding you are a rolling bathroom, kitchen bedroom living room and more, much more! I love going in ours. plus everynite when you go to bed, those are YOUR sheets. and as an added bonus you can take your doggies!!!!!

Susanne said...

"gut bomb" That is funny!

I'll bet you carried a little journal around too when you were little. I see a novel coming from that little one.

{Karla} said...

I've been wanting to go to the Georgia Aquarium. I hear it is amazing!


Anonymous said...

Live within an hour of those places and love them. The Varsity rocks. But the best advice is this: always try to avoid driving in downtown - it is never good!

Julie said...

I will never forget getting stuck at a Subway with a friend of ours who lives in Atlanta because the time had passed that we could drive anywhere. Apparently there are certain times that no one who lives in Atlanta will go anywhere! I dont know where all the traffic comes from since everyone is waiting wherever they are for "rush" hourssss to be over.
We went to the World of Coke on our honeymoon. I thought it was great.