April 30, 2015

The Dargatz Family Heads South. . .Urban Exploration

With my wife and I being HUGE sports fans and it being Opening day for the Brewers and the National Championship Day for Badger basketball, it made sense for us to be in. . . Georgia???  Either way, our trip was planned and we would make the best of it even though are hearts may have been back home.

With just a few hours to kill before tip off and the Brewers already losing big, we decided to scout the area near our hotel for some late afternoon fun. We decided to hit up Centennial Park, the epicenter of Atlanta's 1996 Olympic Games. Whether it was our Badger gear or our proudly displayed paper map, it wasn't shocking when a gentleman just outside the hotel doors provide us a shortcut to the park. What was surprising was that he, along with anyone else who offered directions, expected a tip for their information. Whatever happened to just being kind? Atlanta wasn't as easy to navigate as we though it would be, especially when. . . .

TRIP TAKEAWAY #2 - Every other street in Atlanta is named after a peachtree. Peachtree Street, Peachtree Avenue, Peachtree Boulevard, Old Peachtree Street, and so on.

Either way, when scouring the surrounding are for things to do to entertain ourselves and a toddler, we ran into many different options. The National College Football Hall of Fame. . . closed. The Georgia Aquarium. . .open extended hours, but pretty packed. A sweet ferris wheel with scenic views. . . .too pricey. A bar. . .now we are talking. With a very energetic baby girl, we enjoyed some bar food and beverages before then venturing back to the park and taking in all the sight and sounds. We especially enjoyed the amazing Olympic-themed sculptures and as Embry calls them, the "free falls" or fountains.

Before the lights went out on downtown Atlanta, we headed back to the hotel to enjoy a nightcap at the hotel lobby bar and a big screen view of the Badgers in the National Championship game (something that still sounds a bit odd when said out loud). Unfortunately, Mother Nature was against us as she sent sporadic downpours and thunder claps that led to satellite issues for the television. With phone updates and Embry running up and down a ramp in the lobby, we held it together before retiring to the room at halftime. With subsiding storms, we were able to watch the entirety of the second half, but based on what happened, I wish it would have kept raining.

We weren't going to let some rain and a Badger defeat end our fun. we were ready for the next day's adventure:  whale sharks. . .ahhhhhhhhhh!

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