Yesterday, we headed to Atlanta because we had four tickets to the Atlanta Hawks vs. Oklahoma City Thunder game thanks to Clint's bidding at the St. Peter's auction. After looking into the area we were going to be staying in, I saw two others attractions I thought would be fun for us to visit. So, we packed up and Summer, my dad, myself and Clint headed south. My dad and Summer napped a little on the way down, but that was interrupted by a stop at Red Lobster for lunch. Summer wanted clam chowder and popcorn shrimp, so what do you think she got? Yep, both. Of course, I helped her finish them both too which I wish I could've resisted, but I could not. After that, we were on our way to downtown Atlanta.
After checking into our hotel. which turned out to only be one block from the arena where the game was held, we walked across Centennial Park heading to the World of Coca-Cola. We came across two playgrounds while we were walking through the park. Summer just had to stop and play. We had a little extra time, so she monkeyed around for a while. She did the monkey bars, several slides and lots of climbing. When I was finally able to pry her away, she asked if we could come back after we did the soda factory. I said we'd have to see if we had enough time before the game.
At the factory, which Clint and I visited with Amanda six or so years ago, we looked at lots of Coca-Cola memorabilia from years past. Summer was only focused on when we were going to get to taste test the different sodas which in hindsight I wish I would not have told her beforehand. Then, maybe she would've been a little more patient with the history/memorabilia part. She did enjoy looking at the different machines they use in the bottling process. There was a really cool polar bear you could have your picture taken with at the beginning of the self tour. Summer thought it was a robot, but I'm pretty sure there was a human in there. It was very silly and made us smile numerous times whiles we were waiting our turn. Of course my camera died right after that picture. There was a 4D movie with moving seats which Summer and I both enjoyed. My dad and Clint got sucked into the sampling part first and missed out on this neat experience. When we came out of the theater and found them, Clint had already picked out his favorite - grape Fanta. He insisted on Summer trying it first. Then he tried to get my to try the nastiest one - Beverly - which is an Italian soda. I had been there before so I knew what he was up to. After filling up our bellies with carbonation, we left through the gift shop. Guess who wanted a souvenir? She tried to get her daddy to buy her a polar bear a few times with no luck. On our way out, we came across some pins which I told her she could pick from if she really had to get something. She ended up getting one that said something like give a coke and a smile. I can't remember exactly right now. But, she was happy and so was I.
It was too late for another visit to the playground when we finally got out of there. We needed to eat dinner and get to the ballgame. We settled on the closest and fastest thing, Subway, which Summer does not eat (at least I've never seen her eat a sub). Her daddy said she could just have cookies and that suited her fine. She had a chocolate chip cookie and apparently that was enough for her. At the game, we got a bottomless popcorn and Coke. To be honest, it was the worst popcorn I've had. It definitely couldn't compare to the movies or even the stuff we got at the Lady Mocs game. I thought maybe it was just a fluke, but after a refill, I realized it just was not good--very plain tasting. Summer spotted the cotton candy man shortly after the game started and just had to have some. However, he did not come back to our section until half time so she had to wait to get some. Our seats were pretty good, about seven rows up from the floor. She thought they were not high enough because the Chic-fil-a cows that parachuted from the ceiling at one point in the game never got to seat that were as low as ours. She and I cheered the Hawks on throughtout the game, and she actually impressed me with her increased level of excitement from the Lady Mocs game. At that game, she said my cheering hurt her ears, but this time, she was right there with me. I wonder if I have a future cheerleader on my hands? Her daddy hopes not, but I just want her to do something that she enjoys. Only time will tell......
After the game, we headed back to our rooms and wound down until we all fell asleep. After a decent night's sleep and a yummy breakfast at the hotel, we headed back across Centennial Park for another stop at the playground while we waited for the aquarium to open. She had a blast all over again. I'm so happy that they had something cool like that for kids. It was a great surprise for her and I both.
The Georgia Aquarium was pretty cool. It is set up quite different than the Tennessee Aquarium, having several different sections in the building rather than flowing exhibits where you don't have to decide what to see next. The dolphin show was entertaining, although Clint feel asleep due to his last of interest in the musical theatrics that accompanied the performing dolphins. Summer and I definitely did our share of oohing and aahing. There were several exhibits that I thought were very cool, including getting to touch sea stars, sea urchins, live shrimp, and sea anemones. They also have shark and ray petting, but that was nothing new for me. The lion fish and whale shark exhibits were both pretty cool in my opinion. Summer liked the play area they had with tunnels and slides. Of course in her mind, she did not get to play on them long enough, but we had to get to the dolphin show. It was good times for sure, but Summer got hungry about half way through it so she was not in the mood to stay in linger any longer than it took to see it all.
I'm not sure what the best part of the weekend was, but it was good times with people we love. What else could we ask for?
2 hours ago