Southern USA 2013: Day 2 - Atlanta


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Southern USA 2013: [Day 1: Atlanta] [Day 2: Atlanta] [Day 3: Orlando] [Day 4: KSC] [Day 5: Wellington] [Day 6: Jekyll Island] [Day 7: Chapel Hill] [Day 8: Raleigh] [Day 9: West Virginia]

Sunday, June 30, 2013: We started our day with a visit to Jim and Jessica's home.
We brought surprise balls for twins Benji and Cecily. Benji opened his as quickly as he could, but Cecily opened hers slowly, savoring each new surprise that dropped out of the crepe paper.
Sorry for making a mess of your house, Jim and Jess!
We had a delicious gourmet brunch, including homemade granola, bread, cinnamon rolls, yogurt, and the most exquisite Eggs Benedict ever, all prepared by Chef Jessica. After brunch, Benji took Debbie out to see his awesome back yard.
Cecily was ready to go play, so we got a photo of 3/4 of the family.
No time to dawdle with good friends -- we had to get downtown to see the Georgia Aquarium!
Debbie feels compelled to photograph any set of painted identical statues, ...
... such as these friendly dolphins.
A dolphin in an Atlanta Falcons jersey? Sure, why not?
Can't get enough statues? Visit our Statues page!
The entrance to the aquarium is mesmerizing.
Tall, skinny aquariums on either side of the darkened corridor feature these large silver beauties, swimming by in an endless loop toward the entrance. How do they train them to all go in the same direction? We'll never know.
We headed to the really, really big aquarium first, but were sidetracked on our way by these incredible jellyfish ...
... and these seahorses. If you've learned anything on this website, it is that chicks dig seahorses. Oh, yes, it is true.
We got our first glimpse of the huge tank for which the Georgia Aquarium is famous. We started out with some basic attractive tropical fish viewed through a window, ...
... then graduated to the popular acrylic tube with moving walkway for newbies, ...
... taking a brief moment ourselves to be stunned by the site of a hammerhead shark with its posse of rays swimming overhead, ...
... and then we ended up in this room. Boom! That is stunning!
The stars of the show are the huge whale sharks who dominate the glass every time they swim by.
Behold his awesomeness.
Nearly as awesome is this sawfish, who would be king in any other aquarium but this one.
Next: an up-close look at the many colorful creatures in tidal pools, ...
... followed by freakishly large Japanese spider crabs ...
... and beluga whales, who were very busy getting fed.
Here's a large whale skeleton, ...
... and a sneaky octopus slinking his way up the side of his aquarium.
These are African black-footed penguins.
Pretty!
This collection of African cichlids was mesmerizing -- so many different shapes, sizes, and colors of fish, and they're all the same fish family!
This handsome guy was one of two albino American alligators.
Eels are spooky even when contained safely behind glass.
But they're not as scary as these piranhas. We were fortunate (or perhaps unfortunate) to be there during their feeding time. This picture shows two dead fish on hooks being eaten by a school of piranhas.
Let's change the subject. Look! Adorable otters!
Lion fish -- absolutely the most fun fish in the world to photograph.
Apparently cowrie shells don't just appear fully formed in Ye Olde Curiosity Shop in Seattle. They start out as actual homes for cowries and this is the first time Debbie had ever seen one in use.
These are Pacific cleaner shrimp, colorful and hilarious to watch.
We headed upstairs to see the frog exhibit. Here's the view of the center of the building from up there.
And now, the frogs: this gentleman is a waxy monkey frog.
There are at least four poison dart frogs in this photo.
Sorry, we didn't catch this guy's name.
Having dashed through the aquarium (and no doubt missing a few exhibits), we rushed across the lawn to the World of Coca-Cola.
Debbie had been to the previous World of Coca-Cola in its old location in 2001 but was not prepared for the wonder awaiting her.
Groups are admitted to the World in shifts, and await their turn in this room filled with giant Coca-Cola bottle statues and these monitors.
The monitors put on a coordinated show of Coca-Cola logos, ...
... happy Coca-Cola product drinkers, ...
... ice-cold Coca-Cola beverages, ...
... and names of Coca-Cola products from all over the world, including our friend, Inca Kola, from Peru.
Next, we were ushered into this room filled with Coca-Cola memorabilia.
Finally, we were unleashed on the museum and could visit the exhibits in any order we wished.
We were very, very thirsty and headed straight for the tasting room. It is a magical land filled with soda dispensers grouped by regions of the world.
Here are Africa's selections: Bibo Candy Pine Nut from South Africa, Sunfill from Mauritius, Bibo DJ Kiwi Mango from South Africa, Spar-berry from Zimbabwe, Sunfill from Djibouti, Seagram's Ginger Ale from Mozambique, Stoney Tangawizi from Tanzania, and Fanta Exotic from Uganda.
Asia's selections were Fanta Melon Frosty from Thailand, Vegitabeta from Japan, Lemon Crush from Bahrain, Fanta Apple Kiwi from Thailand, Thums Up from India, Smart Watermelon from China, Ice from Korea, and Smart Apple from China.
Europe's selections included Fuze Tea from Israel (in Europe? Really?), Fanta Pineapple from Greece, Fuze Tea Limon from Turkey, Kinley Bitter Lemon from England, Fuze Tea Strawberry from Georgia, Fanta Magic from Estonia, Mezzo Mix from Germany, and Beverly from Italy (which is so vile-tasting that it has its own t-shirts in the gift shop).
North America's selections were all familiar names: Powerade Mountain Blast, Hi-C Poppin' Lemonade, Hi-C Orange Lavaburst, Barq's Red Creme Soda, Fanta Wild Cherry, Sprite Zero, and Mello Yello.
Latin America's selections were a little more exotic: Delaware Punch from Honduras, Ciel Aquarius from Mexico, Seagram's Ginger Ale from Mexico, Fuze Tea from Venezuela, Fanta Kolita from Costa Rica, Manzana Lift Kola from Chile, and delicious Inca Kola from Peru.
A side room offered a huge selection of North America flavors, including Powerade Fruit Punch, Minute Maid Lemonade, Fanta Strawberry, Pibb Xtra, Gold Peak Tea, Mello Yello, Fanta Orange, Fresca, ...
... Hi-C Fruit Punch, Fruitopia Strawberry Passion, Minute Maid Light Pomegranate Lemonade, Fanta Grape, Barq's Root Beer, Tab, Fanta Orange, and Sprite. Debbie had to drink a splash of Tab for her friend Gillian and a cup of Fresca for 16-year-old Past Debbie.
Our thirst quenched, we returned to the atrium to continue our visit.
This way to the Coca-Cola memorabilia!
Ohhh! It's a genuine Japanese vending machine! We enjoy these every time we're in Japan. And yes, that is our beloved Royal Milk Tea on the top row of warm beverages (denoted with the red stripe below the prices), accurately priced at 110 yen.
After that excitement, this display of mint-condition vintage vending machines is a bit of a letdown. They bring back good memories of the chest-style vending machine Debbie had in her basement as a kid.
Coca-Cola!
Olympic Torches!
Coca-Cola products, old and new!
This is the display that finally convinced us that our beloved Royal Milk Tea is actually a Coca-Cola product. Dear Coca-Cola, please sell this in the US. Thanks.
Shhh! Don't spook it! It's a rare sighting of the legendary Tab Clear!
There were many pretty Coca-Cola statues in the atrium, some off-limits, ...
... and some we could approach closely.
We are showing remarkable restraint ...
... by only featuring three here and on our Statues page.
This display was devoted to the train wreck that was the New Coke release of 1985. Debbie still owns and cherishes one of the original formula Coke cans she hoarded when all of that went down.
Exiting the World of Coca-Cola involves going through the tasting room again. Additional options there include several Coca-Cola Freestyle machines for mixing your own perfect beverage, ...
... and the classics for purists.
Each visitor receives a commemorative bottle filled on-site ...
... just before being launched into the huge gift shop, where we limited our purchases to a pair of red Coca-Cola bottle-shaped carabiners.
We left town famished, and vowed to stop at the first barbecue restaurant we encountered that contained someone's first name in the title. It took very little time to find Sonny's BBQ, where we immediately ordered the fried okra as an appetizer.
It is very possible that we overdid it when we both ordered the Super Combo with pork, brisket, chicken, ribs, Texas toast, and two sides, but we had big appetites.

Our hotel was three hours down the road, and we raced an oncoming storm to see which of us could get to Tifton, Georgia, first. The storm won, but just barely.

Day 3 >


Southern USA 2013: [Day 1: Atlanta] [Day 2: Atlanta] [Day 3: Orlando] [Day 4: KSC] [Day 5: Wellington] [Day 6: Jekyll Island] [Day 7: Chapel Hill] [Day 8: Raleigh] [Day 9: West Virginia]

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