Monday, July 20, 2009
We board the train and headed to Five Points to catch the train heading east. We were going to the zoo and wanted to catch the 397 bus. Well we got to the station where the 397 bus was suppose to be and we waited and waited and WAITED. I know that waiting is part of public transportation and have even mention that in the past blog about our vacation BUT when you have to go to the bathroom really bad and there is no bathroom, waiting is no fun. Preston was having a good time terrorizing the pigeons, but I was to the point of tears. I finally called the number on the Breeze card and found out the little van that had come earlier with no number on it was our bus. I hung up and the boys and I headed back up to the trains, went back to Five Points, found a bathroom in a Burger King nearby and thanks to a homeless man found the bus to the zoo.
Once we got there, the zoo was great. Not really too crowded and some nice looking animals.
Timon looking for Pumba because he smelled my boys....
Oh I so wish I was doing what he is doing...sleeping!!!
Preston just loves Zoo-boo-ma-foo!
And of course the zoo had some fun statues and play things. We rode the Merry-Go-Round and the train and played around for a while as you can see.
I really enjoyed Zoo Atlanta but being an animal lover I can honestly say there aren't many zoos I don't like.
We headed out of the zoo and over to the Cyclorama which is next door and of course it was closed. We walked to the bus stop to wait again for a bus to go back to the station and then we were headed to CNN.
I want to add a little side note here. The boys came up with a commercial for Marta. Every time they swiped their Breeze cards they would sing "It's so Breezy" (you know like the Windex commercials). I told them they need to call Marta and try to sell them that slogan. I have digressed...back to the trip.
We walked to the CNN center past the Georgia Dome and the Phillips Arena. Harrison was in awe. I so hope I can take him (or at least his dad can) to the Alabama/Virginia Tech game there in August.
Now I tried to prepare Preston the whole time about the 8 story escalator ride that you have to take to tour CNN and that it wouldn't be that bad (see the trauma caused by the Peachtree station escalator ride in Day 2 blog). If you don't already know, CNN has the largest free-standing (only connected at the top and the bottom) escalator in the word. I was already not looking forward to the drama that might happend. We got to CNN and had a "wonderful" time convincing Preston that it was not that bad as we stood in line to get our tickets. The nice lady at the counter told him she would take him up in the elevator and it calmed him down some. We then shopped in the Cartoon Network Store and the Braves store plus got some food (actually Dunkin Doughnuts-FINALLY!!!!) while we waiting for our tour time. The only really bad part of our waiting time was that Harrison bought a Yankees hat.
Then, the time came. We went to the front of the line like the nice lady ask us to, but she was busy and unfortunately the YOUNG MAN (and that is all I am going to say about him) was not as nice. He told Preston that he was in a hurry and didn't have time to take him on the elevator. It was up the escalator or nothing. I tried to explain to him that the lady at the counter was taking us on the elevator because Preston was deathly afraid of heights, but he would not even hear it. Preston was getting harder and harder to calm down because he just really didn't want to go up there. The RUDE YOUNG MAN (oops I did say more) just kept making it worse, so I took Preston through the metal detectors and picked him up, set him on the escalator and blocked his way. He leaned back against me and whimpered the whole time. I just kept whispering in his ear and rubbing his tummy. I hope that YOUNG MAN's children are scared of everything and no one is understanding to them either.
The tour was cool and the boys actually enjoyed it. I think I would have enjoyed it better if the drama of the escalator could have been avoided.
We left CNN and this is the day that Preston discovered mice in the tracks of the train station. The things this child notices.
We got back to our car and headed to the Varsity.
The boys enjoyed their Naked Dogs and Varsity Oranges.
We then rode around Georgia Tech's campus. We stopped by the football stadium for Harrison to take a picture and Preston noticed that there was place to our right where they had been digging up some lines or something. He is looking over that way and finds a dinosaur toy that the workers must have unearthed and of course we had to bring it home.
We finally made it back to the hotel and go swimming. After swimming, we enjoy a game of Phase 10 in which the boys stomped my tail.
The day was long but fun. I just hate that one person who is supposed to be in customer service can spoil part of a child's vacation.
Day 4 to come....
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
After we ate and got dressed, we headed out to find a close Marta station. We jumped in the van and programmed Roxie to what I thought would be a Marta station. BOY WAS I WRONG! Roxie led us to a parking lot. The boys just laughed and laughed and made the comment that Roxie must have finally gotten so mad at us for not following her directions that she purposely got us lost. We laughed and laughed on our way to the real Marta station.
The next step was to buy a Breeze card for the Marta. The 7 day card was our best bet at $18.00 each. So we each bought one and the boys proudly swipe their Breeze card to get into the station.
As you can see by the picture, Harrison was a regular with his IPod in his ears like everyone else. The ride to the station went off without a hitch. We waited patiently for the bus which in itself was a miracle. It was a long an interesting ride but we got to the Fernbank stop and walked down the hill. This is what we saw...
To say the least, Preston was amazed, excited and a little speechless.
Fernbank is awesome and I would recommend it to anyone going to Atlanta.
After spending about 3 hours or more there, we walked back up to the bus stop. Now part of riding public transportation is the waiting but Preston wanted none of that. He is not very good at standing in lines either (thus no Six Flags on this trip to save my sanity). He and the two ladies (who happened to be teachers from NY) complained the whole 5 minutes we had to wait. When we finally got on the bus, something happened. A City of Atlanta truck sideswiped the bus mirror; therefore our driver had to stop and wait for another bus. YES we were in an official MARTA wreck on our first day out. What a story to tell. Another bus came and took us to the station. Thank goodness it was there in 10 minutes.
The next thing we had to tackle was the HUGE escalator at Peachtree station. This is supposedly the largest escalator in the Southeast. Preston was not happy as you can tell by the picture below
(To be honest this picture was taken later in the week after we had already ridden it a couple of times.)
So the escalator ride set the tone for the walk to The World of Coca Cola. We were not happy campers due to Preston being upset about the escalator and us getting him on it. Also, I made us turn the wrong way so we had to walk 2 extra blocks. When we got there, you guessed it. We had to stand in another line. Oh the torture and I was just making his vacation something awful.
All was forgotten as soon as we got inside and he was picked for the Coke Trivia game again. He had been picked when we were at the mueseum on his field trip in April. At least this time he didn't say his favorite drink was Mountain Dew.
After watching the movie and having pictures made with the Famous Polar Bear. We began our tour and to be honest-they went slow and enjoyed all the exhibits. Preston didn't want to ride the 4-D thing so Harrison went and got in line and we started tasting. Preston sampled the new Orange Power-Aid (he called it Gatorade and was corrected by the Coke Representative immediately). After Harrison came out of the ride, he began his adventure in trying to taste all the Coke Flavors from all the Continents. He made it through
Europe and even the Infamous flavor-Beverly
He then hit the North America and South America areas but he just didn't make it through them all. He had to go over to the Classic Coke to wash his mouth out from the weird tastes.
We got our souvenir bottle and headed to the gift shop. The boys got allowance for each day to spend and spend they did. I was proud of Harrison because he saved money for the next day. Maybe I have taught him something.
We made it back to the Peachtree Station and caught the train with no problems. When we got to the car, we decided we wanted McDonalds, so I programmed old trusty (yeah right) Roxie. This time it wasn't Roxie that messed up it was me. I got in the wrong turn lane. Oh well, win some lose some.
We got our Mickey D's and headed to the hotel. Of course we had to go swimming. Then I decided we needed to make a Dunkin Doughnuts run. Thanks to Roxie we found every Dunkin Doughnut around but they were all closed. I am just use to Krispy Kreme and the all night doughnut runs. I finally settled for a Publix to just grab us a snack and maybe some breakfast for the next day and GUESS WHAT I FOUND IN PUBLIX-Krispy Kreme doughnuts. All was well and good with the world. :-)
We went back to the hotel munched down and settled down for a good night's sleep. Believe me we were going to need it.
Day 3 to come soon.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Preston and I got home for Cub Scout camp around 10. This gave me time to clean up and pack. The packing went a lot easier than I thought it would. I cleaned out the van and left the doors open so I could start the loading. As I started loading, I got a surprise-A BIG BLACK FUZZY DROOLING SURPRISE. Vader (the dog) had gotten out of the backyard and was lying in the back of the van. Doggie need vacations too. Since he was out I knew that meant I had to run to Dollar General to buy a collar. All I could think of was "Great already a kink in our plans". I was so afraid this was an omen.
We finally got Vader settled and we were off. The actual drive went pretty smooth. I listened to 6 Magic School Bus Episodes and wishing the whole time Ms. Frizzle would come and field trip us there already. The GA Welcome Center was our only big stop and we loaded up with brochures to help us plan and hopefully get us some discounts.
When we got on "THE LOOP" in Atlanta, traffic wasn't that bad; however when I got to our exit it was backed up a mile. I didn't realize this until I was about 1/4 of a mile from the exit. I had to bypass that exit and go on down. Luckily, Roxie (our GPS system in the van)could tell us exactly where we were going.
We got checked into the Hilton Suites and as I opened the door to the room, I wish I could have been on the inside with a video camera. The boys' expressions and words could have won me some major money on America's Funniest Home Videos. All Preston could say was "Sweet!" Harrison found this rather punny (sorry couldn't resist). They had to check out every aspect of the room. They were so excited and amazed. Preston even said he felt like Zake and Cody.
After we got all our junk unloaded, the boys had to go down to the pool. Once again I should have been filming. The Hilton had an Indoor/Outdoor pool and they were just in awe of it. It also had a spa which I couldn't stay out of myself.
After we got tired of swimming, we decided that we wanted pizza for supper and the boys found out that we could order "Monsters vs. Aliens" on the TV. We had a relaxing rest of the night in the room eating, watching and planning for the next day.
Funny Note-We had two room keys and just so you know, I didn't have one.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
I know you are waiting on pins and needles. :-)