Tara and I just got back from a long weekend in Atlanta. It was nice to see the town. I'd passed through before, but had never stopped to look. The first touristy thing we did after eventually finding our hotel — the downtown Courtyard-by-Marriott, picked out by Tara, which was much better than the Motel 6 I would've gotten us! — was to ride the MARTA subway down to Turner Field for the Braves game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
It was the highlight of the trip for me. It's a nice new ballpark made to look old-fashioned, like Baltimore's Camden Yard, I guess, though I've never actually been to that one. Best of all, the Braves lost the game! It should have been a real pitcher's duel, given that it was Cy Young Award winner Tom Glavine versus perennial all-star Randy Johnson, but the final score was a relatively high 8-3.
Matt Williams, formerly of the San Francisco Giants and one of my favorite players, is now on the Diamondbacks. For some reason, the guy in the row behind us kept mentioning to his friends that Matt Williams is bald. Yes, he is bald, but it seemed an odd thing to keep bringing up.
We saw the Coca-Cola Museum, which was a waste of time and money. It's basically just one long 3-D Coke commercial, including a 15-minute Coke commercial that is billed as a movie. As we were leaving the little theater, the guy in front of us felt the same way and joked, "I'm a better person now." I guess I was hoping for a real live bottling plant tour, which this isn't. The free Coke-made drinks at the end was nice, though.
They had this thing where you put your cup in the right spot and push the button and your drink comes shooting out in a giant arc and into the dispenser that then pours it into your cup. A little later on, they have a tasting booth with various Coke products from around the world. Rex, a friend from work, had warned me in advance about this one called "Beverly" (yes, that's the name of the drink). It's sold in Italy. Everyone in line in front of me was making faces tasting it ("Tasting Beverly", how's that for a movie title?!), but when I tasted it I realized it's just carbonated water with no real "taste" at all. Still, I can't imagine anyone actually paying for such a drink.
Next stop, this thing they call "The Underground." It's just a below-ground-level shopping mall! Nothing special at all. I hate to be so negative, it's just that people had built these sights up as something worth seeing, which they really weren't.
I liked the Margaret Mitchell ("Gone With The Wind") House. I normally wouldn't have included it on my itinerary, but Tara wanted to see it, and I'm glad we went. It's been completely rebuilt twice due to arson, though, so it's not the "real thing." Oops, my Coke brainwashing is showing! We took the tour through the house in which she wrote her famous book. The tour guide was good.
The Jimmy Carter Library was interesting, too, for a while. But, like politicians in general, it didn't hold my interest long.
In the Mid-Town area that we drove circles through several times as we went looking for things, we couldn't help but notice the large gay population. I decided that Atlanta's city motto should be: "Atlanta: A great place to be gay!" But, as Jerry Seinfeld would say, "Not that there's anything wrong with that!"
We visited the CNN building, but after walking around a bit gawking through the glass at the CNN/SI and CNN-Interactive staffers who, in turn, were generally gawking at computer monitors, we decided that a full-fledged tour wasn't really necessary.
In the end, we both enjoyed the trip. We left town Monday morning, apparently right before that construction worker on the crane had to be rescued by a helicopter from above the warehouse fire that's been on the news.
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