Travel: Hotlanta!

I have to be honest, Atlanta is not my favorite place.  Of course I enjoyed our trip but Georgia left some things to be desired.

The trip started out with a red eye flight from Los Angeles to Atlanta.  We had just found out we were pregnant and I was exhausted.  I was hoping to get some sleep on the flight as we had a long day ahead of us the next day.  Well, sleep did not happen, at least no sleep of quality.  The woman next to me (I was in the middle seat), felt is was a great idea not only to elbow me all night but also snack on crunchy foods all night that were housed in a grocery bag that made lots of noise every time she opened it.  To all you red eye flyers out there, please don’t do this.  People take red eyes in hopes of making the most out of their travel time and catching some zzz’s.  Don’t be that person.  Okay enough, sorry.

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We landed and we were both tired from the long night.  We decided to grab some food at one of our favorite spots that cannot be found on the west coast, Waffle House.  Breakfast was quick and yummy so that definitely helped change the mood a bit.

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We had some time to kill before the Georgia Aquarium opened (the real reason we really wanted to go to Atlanta) so being the Walking Dead fans we are, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit some of the filming locations.

This was a lot of fun!  We got to see Woodbury, Alexandria and a few other miscellaneous locations.  We saw so many old, abandoned buildings which the earth had began to take back.  It was just so beautiful in a weird sort of way.

After our fun excursion to the land of Walking Dead we drove back into the city to visit the aquarium, which fun fact, is the second largest in the world!  We love aquariums so this has always been on our list of places to go.  Getting there was fairly easy and parking was a breeze as there is a parking structure connected to the aquarium with plenty of parking and for the same price parking lots around the area are charging.

We got there as soon as it opened, jumping on the discounted “early bird” ticket and hoping to beat the crowds.  Well let me tell you, there is no “beating the crowds,” it is always extremely packed.  I think we would have enjoyed the experience a lot more had we not been so tired and had the crowd been a little smaller.  The aquarium is sectioned off into different “themed” areas, for lack of a better word.  It was very well put together and my favorite thing had to be the five playful beluga whales we got to see.  We did the entire aquarium in about two hours, however we did skip the shows.  If you plan to see the shows when you go, I would definitely tack on a couple of hours.

After the aquarium we made our way to the Atlanta Speedway to get our passes and see the booth where Jon would be working the next two days.  That was quick and we were soon on our way to the hotel.  We got a quick nap in before we were supposed to head back into the city to meet my childhood best friend and her wife for dinner.  We haven’t seen each other in over fifteen years but unfortunately that fell through.  With no dinner plans we decided to try out a BBQ place we found on Yelp.  Holy Smoke BBQ & More did not disappoint.  I’d have to say this is some of the best BBQ we have ever had, and we have had a lot.  Not only was the food amazing but the Southern hospitality of the owners was the icing on the cake.  Read Jon’s review here.  After dinner we decided that of course we needed dessert.  We have been trying to get to a Culver’s to try some of their highly rated custard and this was our chance.  I have to say, it wasn’t all it is made out to be.  Jon was much more impressed than I with this one.

With dinner and dessert under our belt we headed back to the hotel to catch some zzz’s before Jon’s long day at work the next day.  The next morning we woke up bright and early and headed to the speedway where I dropped Jon off and then ran to Target for a few things before I went back to the room for a bit.  After a quick 30 minute nap I went to go pick up lunch for Jon and I at Bojangles.  We have this thing where we like to try chain fast food places that are special to that region where ever we travel to.  I was pregnant at the time, and craving everything in sight so I went a little crazy when ordering.  I got the chicken tenders & biscuits, mashed potatoes, macaroni & cheese, french fries and the sweet blueberry biscuits.  Of course we didn’t eat it all, but we did eat most of it, haha.  Everything was good, except we would skip the mashed potatoes and sweet biscuits the next time.

After Jon’s long day at the show we headed to dinner at Krystal, another chain out in Georgia, for dinner.  Think White Castle but better, that is what Krystal is.  So yummy!  After dinner we stopped at one of Jon’s customers and before heading back to the hotel for the evening.

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Our last full day in Georgia was spent with Jon doing the show at the speedway, me bringing us breakfast from McDonald’s and lunch from Culvers, the burgers are definitely better than the custard, FYI, and finishing off the evening with dinner at one of our favorites, Cracker Barrel.

The next morning, we were up early and off to the airport for our long flight home.  Overall this was another trip for the books.  Like I mentioned, Georgia is not one of my favorite places but it was fun and they have amazing food.  Our trip could have been put off a bit by my pregnancy, we were definitely anxious to get home and have an ultrasound.  I have to close by saying we are so blessed to be able to travel all the places we do and have the amazing experiences with each other that we have.

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Until next time Hotlanta…

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