Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hotlanta... Not So Much.

A few weeks ago M had a training session in Atlanta so I took some time off work and flew there to meet him for the weekend. Thank you MasterCard points for my free flight!

Although it wasn't "hot" in Atlanta, it was definitely warmer than Chicago and I busted out my flip flops and capris. On the first night I joined M and his colleagues at a bar where the beer was flowing, and I'm pretty certain I was the only sober one there. After a late night out I was happy to sleep in the next morning while M attended more training. Sucker! For I think the second time in my life, I ordered room service for breakfast. It was magnificent.
Why do so many restaurants in this country insist on covering everything with cheese? Does my egg white omelet really need a thick later of grease? I digress...

After M's training finished up on Friday afternoon, we headed to Piedmont Park, where we relaxed on a swing set overlooking the water while we made a game plan of what to see and when to see it. Since the weather was nice, we took the MARTA (holy terrible transit system) to the Martin Luther King, Jr. historic site and wandered around there for a while.
At some point over the weekend we walked around Little Five Points neighbourhood which is full of hippies and homeless people. I have never seen so many homeless people in such a small radius. I liked the little area in the picture below the best, with its outdoor seating around all of the restaurants. Very laid back atmosphere where I'm sure a lot of pot smoking takes place!
We decided to eat lunch at The Vortex, which is known for its no idiots allowed policy and good burgers that have been featured on Man Vs. Food. I thought my burger was tasty enough, but nothing extraordinary and it certainly wasn't as good as DMK :)
Over the weekend we also made it to a hockey game, Atlanta vs. Ottawa, with the Sens being defeated in a shoot out. We got amazingly good seats for $15 each. Ridiculous!
We took the CNN studio tour which was pretty interesting but rather short (45 min) for the admission price ($15). BUT, we did get to ride the world's longest freestanding escalator, so it made it all worthwhile!
We were also able to visit with M's friend for a night and he took us to the Brick Store which is a really cool pub, especially if you're a fan of beer. We sat upstairs in the Belgian Beer area and M was pretty much in heaven with the pages and pages of beers to select from. I was in heaven because I finally got to eat the fish and chips that I'd been craving for a long long time. Win, win. If I lived near Atlanta, I'd like to live in the area where this restaurant was - Decatur - so cute!

Kymani also came along with us and here he is at the Centennial Olympic Park which was used as the "town square" in the '96 Olympics, also the site of the bombings that took place that year.
Of the four American cities that M and I have travelled to in the last year (New Orleans, Philly, Nashville, and now Atlanta), Atlanta is our least favourite. I think the reasoning behind this is that there's nothing really special or different that distinguishes Atlanta from any other large city. It's not really known for any particular must try foods or tourist attractions, which makes it a bit blah, if I can be honest. Now, this isn't to say that I didn't have a great time or I didn't enjoy my Atlanta experience, it's just that it wouldn't be the first city I'd recommend people to visit!

ETA: I forgot to mention that Atlanta does house the Georgia Aquarium which is the world's largest aquarium with more animals than any other. This is a huge tourist attraction, but we'd recently been to the Shedd in Chicago and weren't interested in walking around another aquarium so soon. So there ya go, a redeeming quality for Atlanta!
Have you ever been to Atlanta and if so, what'd ya think?


  1. I've never stopped and visited Atlanta but I recently drove through it or maybe around it...I think it's great that you and M are able to check out different U. S. cities. It interesting to read about them.

  2. I had a chat with a coworker about Atlanta. He really enjoys the city, while it doesn't have a niche is does have everything a big city should have. Bit really the big thing about it is that it is the big city of the South East area.

  3. :O I think Atlanta has the largest aquarium in the world (next to Okinawa, Japan). It's on my list of places to go.

  4. S, you're absolutely right. I forgot about that. Atlanta does have a huge aquarium, but we'd recently been to the Shedd in Chicago and didn't feel like walking around one again so soon. Too bad because I hear it's amazing!

  5. I've never been but I did meet a couple ladies from Atlanta last weekend and they were so nice - real southern belles. But as friendly as they say the south is, they dont find Atlanta friendly and if not for the weather they would prefer to live in Canada.

    Good job seeing all you could though!!