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Published: March 13th 2006
The North got the South, and the South got this.
Atlanta, Atlanta, ATLANTA!! We love Atlanta. After a 10 hour drive from Memphis thru Nashville to Atlanta we arrived in Fayetteville just 10 miles South of Atlanta. Our friends Phil and Jane were outside to greet us as we pulled in to their 5 acre property. While in Atlanta we enjoyed lots of outdoor activities because, fortunately for us, we brought the warm weather (that’s a first, right Texas?). The weather was wonderful with not a cloud in sight. Phil and Jane guided us through the wonderful Stone Mountain Park. Not only is it a great place for kids with a large playground area, but we also saw a blacksmith presentation and a glass blowing workshop. There were 2 main highlights (not including Jane’s super picnic), the relief carved into the mountain - see picture, and the hike to the top. The carving was done by the same artists that finished Mt. Rushmore. Due to the weather, there were many people out running, biking, fishing and just hanging out in the grass plaza with their pets. We decided to climb “the hill”; typically an easy prospect but…it was a big hill. There were hundreds of people ascending this hill - more
Up and Up
Hand rails! We don't need no stinkin' hand rails!
than Phil and Jane had remembered seeing in hikes past. Stone Mountain offers a great view of Hotlanta and the surrounding area. We had a great time enjoying the outdoors. We liked the outdoors so much we hit up Callaway Gardens the next day where we enjoyed a butterfly gallery and a big coy pond. It really is amazing how close wildlife can be to downtown city life.
Our last day in Atlanta, Josh and I ventured to the very new, very busy Atlanta aquarium. The aquarium opened in November and has been more than popular the last 4 months. Apparently, for the weekends it is a reservation only affair. We arrived on Tuesday, passed by 9, yes 9, school buses on our way in and without a reservation in hand, they let us in anyway. The aquarium was like a Vegas hotel - lights, shadowing, bells and whistles. It was almost overwhelming how much there was to see, not counting the thousands of people. The exhibits were well done and the varieties of fish and mammals were amazing. I especially liked the beluga whales - I made a friend. After the aquarium, we ventured over to the CNN
On top of Geogia
Marisa with Jane and Phil. Don't step back.
center where we took the tour (which we recommend) and I got to read the news…..to our tour. It was interesting seeing how it all works behind the scenes. If I worked there, I am not sure I would be so cool with tour after tour looking down at my computer, but probably keeps the employees pretty honest with their time. After finishing up downtown, we embarked on a mission to find Buckhead. Around and around, up and down until FINALLY we found it! It was…..nice. We stopped for a beer and enjoyed the local Irish pub.
After waving goodbye to Phil, Jane, Gypsy and Sweet Pea (thank you so much for your hospitality and the wonderful cake), we hit the road towards Tampa.
Stopping in Gainesville, Florida made both Josh and I nostalgic for the college days. A huge college town, there were young people everywhere. After lunch at the Swamp, we hit the road again and met up with Scott at his new home in Tampa. With the great weather, Tampa reminded both Josh and I of Waikiki minus the beaches. Our first night, we had yummy tapas and sangria to include Josh’s order of snails,
We have so many ideas for a house some day.
which were actually pretty yummy (everything can be yummy in garlic and lots of butter). After dinner we hit the bar next door for great beer and a wonderful live 2-man band. The following day, Josh and I explored the city, the bay and the houses around town. After a 6 mile + walk, we collapsed back in Scott’s apartment. Our night included the play, “I love you, you’re perfect. Now change!” Scott’s friend was in the play and it was great. The critics describe the play as a Seinfeldish description of love and marriage set to music. It was hilarious especially being newlyweds. After the play, we hit up a reggae bar called St. Bart’s and danced the night away - and it was only Thursday! Friday we made our way to the large Dali museum. For those that do not know the artist Dali, his work includes very modern style paintings that have hidden pictures and symbolism everywhere. Josh took the tour and I strolled at my leisure. We both were amazed by the unique detail in the paintings. The collection was private, donated for viewing for tax purposes by married local retirees. Their collection is currently valued
Looks like Josh at a steakhouse.
at over $150 million. After the museum we enjoyed the local St. Petersburg beaches - lots of hotels, retirees and manicured beaches. Josh enjoyed a boys’ night as I fed my Food Channel addiction and went to bed early.
Saturday came the well awaited Yankee - Braves Spring Training game. We arrived to a sold out game, procured tickets and made our way in to the stadium. Our tickets put us just right and behind home plate. The crowd was fun and the players seemed happy to be there. After the game, a BBQ dinner with Scott’s friends finished off a great day. Our last day in Tampa, we enjoyed the sun by Scott’s local pool and made our way to Ybor City. Ybor City is a local area in Tampa that is in the process of a revival. It reminded Josh of Bourbon Street with skinny streets and old buildings. Lots of shops, restaurants and people out and about!
Thanks Scott for a super time. Can’t wait to see you in Savannah. We are heading to southern Florida today to check out the Everglades - I will see an alligator. Hope all is well.
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Where's my audographed baseball?
Hope you had a good time at the ball game. Don't try to preserve the ink by putting a solution on the ball... I doubt if you remember when Josh. Keep having a great time. Dad
ooh la la
i'm enjoying the photos. glad that you guys are having fun. and the sakyong is in gainsville, if you guys go there, you should visit him. :)