Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Florida Wrap Up: Atlanta

Shortly after the ice hockey I ventured to Atlanta with a couple of my flatmates, Marine and Steph.
 We grabbed an overnight bus which actually wasn't hell unlike other overnight buses I've taken, despite the fact that it broke down for 3 hours at 4am. Our fare got refunded and we finally made it there at 11am.

 We grabbed a late breakfast in a diner after checking into our hotel. Tom Petty's Free Falling was playing as we had our coffee and pancakes and I felt very American.
 Various signs around the place amused me.
The very American 'y'all'
Hole. Just in case you weren't aware. Strangely, these were everywhere on one particular street - there must have been over 10 of them in varying sizes. 
Atlanta was substantially more wintry than Orlando despite being only a 7 hour drive North.
Atlanta looking cold.
Given that we only had two days there we tried to be as touristy as possible. First we hit up the Coca Cola Museum/Factory. Atlanta is the home of Coke after all.
I shared a drink with this dude

At the entrance
 During the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 Coke asked countries to decorate giant coke bottles with a theme from their country. NZ HAS THE BIGGEST ONE!! I have no idea why, or how, but NZ had one of the biggest bottles sent in and it has pride of place when you walk into the World of Coke.

I was a tad excited. 
 These bottles are actually really cool to look at and were spread around the interior.

Some badass pants from decades past that you could purchase as an old Coke promotion

The Coca Cola Polar Bear - it gave me a huge fright when it moved.

The Australian found her bottle! No luck for our French companion however.

Some of the displayed bottles.

Can you guess the countries?

The vault where the secret recipe may or may not be found

This guy - posing with the original inventor of coke who is working on his recipe.

A working demonstration of coke people bottled and packaged.

There were about 60 different coke brand drinks to try from around the world, organised by continent. This one is potentially Africa.

Our Coke family living room.

Steph getting comfy

Me showing her how it's done

Marine trumping all of us with her French flair
 We then walked to the Atlanta Underground Mall via a cool statue!

 There were inexplicable livestock heads around the place.
 There were also some randomly placed exhibits of old school Atlanta such as this guy and his bear on a leash. Seems like Atlanta would have been a ad place to live back then!

 There was also some strange street art about the place. The only interpretation we could come up with for the one below is God taking away someone's sin?

The communist/Chinese fire extinguisher. Can't say I got this one either.

Or this one.
The others then indulged me and we checked out the Capitol building which had a gold dome! I didn't know any American government buildings had gold domes!!

Tiny statue of Liberty

And Cannons!!

The next day we headed to the Martin Luther King Jr. museum - he was born in Atlanta. It was probably one of my favourite things that we did in Atlanta.

From memory this is MLJK as a baby being held up. It reminded me a little of the Lion King - in an awesome way.

This is a model of one of the marches. You could go and stand amongst the statues.

Examples of protest signs for the Jim Crow laws.
 We also visited the house that MLKJ was born in. It was crazy to be in the actual place and not just a memorial site.

We also visited the grave of him and his wife and the eternal flame there. I bought a copy of the "I have a dream" speech.

One of the random cool things in Atlanta was the dance steps included in the train and bus stations:

I got involved trying to Cha-cha
There were also some interesting signs!
 And of course I found he biggest most unhealthy ice cream I could!
 We caught the overnight bus back and while waiting for it to arrive I was offered a pregnancy test by this lovely young man. When told that I had no need of one he brought up the Virgin Mary - I must say I have never had immaculate conception be used on me as a sales technique before!

So that was Atlanta in 2 days, we also checked out the Braves stadium. It was freezing in comparison to Orlando and upon returning I had 15 minutes to grab my stuff and run to catch the bus to work!

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