When we planned our trip to Nashville, we noticed that there were two distinct routes. Birmingham was one way, so we went up through there, but it turned out that going through Atlanta was an alternate route. "IKEA!", I thought to myself. My birthday was going to be the day we traveled back so I requested that we go there. That turned into a plan for IKEA and then a tiny amount of sightseeing before going back to Tallahassee.
We left Nashville on Sunday and drove to Atlanta, about a 3.5 hour drive. It wasn't bad and there was lots to see. We stopped around Chattanooga for a snack that we decided would tide us over for a late dinner, and I spotted this building on top of a mountain. I remembered that my friend Catherine went to college at a school on a mountain in Chattanooga (click on that link for a pretty picture of it) and what do you know? The very same school. Isn't that the neatest location ever? I can't imagine the view!
We got to Marietta at about 6:30 and there was a little mistake with our hotel, so we scrambled and found a new one quickly. It was one of those shady motels with an outside door which I HATE but I guess it's one of those things we can look back on and say "Well, we didn't die!" to our children.
We set off for IKEA at about 7 and 11 minutes later we were there! They close at 9 so we power-walked around the whole place and definitely could have spent a great deal longer there.
Exploring the room set-ups was so fun. We discovered that we are in agreement about just about everything kitchen related, and it was fun to plan our future kitchen for a house we may or may not ever build. We liked this one a lot: white backsplash and counters, double farmhouse sink, and gray cabinets. The ones with white cabinets caught our eye too. I'm guessing making these decisions for real is decidedly less fun, but this was great! Overall I was surprised at how much we agreed on colors and styles of things.
We got some fun stuff for our house and didn't totally break the bank.
We thought these bunnies were so cute. We didn't buy this though.
YAY! Carson does the creep face in lots of pictures, if you hadn't noticed.
It was dark when we left IKEA and headed for The Cheesecake Factory. We ran over something mysterious which gave us a flat tire, so we had a later dinner than planned while Carson put the spare on (don't worry, he got it patched first thing the next morning and it was not a big deal. Whew.)
No pictures from dinner because... there were already enough in this post and I didn't take any anyway. Our waitress was from Tallahassee though! It was an excellent birthday dinner.
My actual birthday was Monday. Carson left to get the tire patched before I woke up and so I got ready while I waited for his return. We had gotten a piece of cheesecake to go the night before (it's hard eating that much food AND dessert so late at night) so he sang and served that.
I encouraged him to grab wrapping paper and tape before we left, which he did, and then couldn't find the tape when it came time to wrap presents on birthday-eve, so he used duct tape. "Didn't I do a good job?" he asked. Well, it certainly was wrapped, so yes.
I'd dressed for the warmer temperatures but didn't factor in things like wind, so I changed before we actually went into the city.
We found a parking spot on the street behind the Georgia Aquarium and went walking around that area exploring.
We decided to go to the World of Coca-Cola. It was a fun experience, and a very well set-up museum. I was surprised that it appealed to people of all age groups in a really engaging way.
Here's the vault where they keep the secret formula.
They have a thing where you can mix things to make a "perfect formula" for Coke. Carson's, as you can see, was "somewhat refreshing". Mine was a dud.
Here's the vault where they keep the formula. It was a little adventure getting to it.
They have a little bottling assembly line so you can see how it's made. Really high tech and impressive. They give everybody one of these bottles at the end of the time there.
We went into a little hall with memorabilia. Here are some of the Olympic torches.
Things they make in different countries. It was fun to see different or old versions of drinks.
Carson wanted to get a picture with the bear. I definitely did not, as I don't like people in costumes. Carson was convinced that the bear was all mechanical, so he asked people. As I expected, all of them insisted that it was instead a very well trained REAL bear. Sure.
We saw a 4-D movie, Carson's first.
And last, we went in the tasting room.
They have sodas from all over the world. Some of them were DISGUSTING.
Here's our little souvenir coke.
For lunch, we went to The Varsity. It's an Atlanta place, and it was SO CROWDED.
You can see the 1996 Olympic torch from there.
He wouldn't smile.
We left Atlanta right after that. We liked this statue on the way out.
Oh and here's Georgia Tech; my uncle Mike went here. You can also see this building and the stadium from Varsity Burger.
Aaaaannnd then we went home. It was about 4.5 hours to Tallahassee, down back roads and through little places in Georgia.