Atlanta was quite an adventure! We took 6 Americans and 18 International students to spend three days in Atlanta.
Monday! It was nothing short of a miracle that we made it at all. After some craziness, I ended up being one of the drivers. In my car was an American girl and two students from Brazil. We planned to leave BR around 830, in hopes of actually leaving by 930. We actually left around 9, which was a good start to the day! After a slight mishap of following the wrong vehicle, we got on down the road with ease. We stopped for lunch somewhere in Alabama, then dinner right outside Atlanta. Eddy and Erica both had all Chinese students in their cars, and the boys had a mixed group. I can only imagine what the ride was like for the others, but we did English lessons! Naming body parts (knuckle=weird word if ya think about it!), and talking about church and family and every other topic under the sun. We finally made it in to the GA Tech BCM, which is where we stayed for the week. Monday night was mainly getting settled, and then I crashed pretty hard. Driving is tiring!
Tuesday! Erica and I started the day with a 7am trip to Sam’s for food for the week. That’s about the best time to shop – we were about the only ones there. When we got back, everyone was just starting to get moving, so I took a power nap before heading to the World of Coke. This included a 4D movie, several Olympic torches, and all the Coke advertising you could dream of. I’m not a Coke drinker really, but it was pretty neat to see. After that was lunch in the CNN center, and some hangout time in Olympic Park. Atlanta hosted the Summer Olympics in 1996, and there’s a huge park with all the country flags and giant torches and fountains shaped like the Olympic rings. I’m self-proclaimed Olympics obsessed, so this was lots of fun! Being mature adults, Emily, Erica, and I decided to play in the fountains.
It was such fun to run around like a kid! We laughed so hard and got completely drenched. Certainly one of the highlights!
After the park was the Georgia Aquarium. It’s the largest in the world, so I knew it was going to be good. Emily and I ended up going through everything together, including the kid slides and every single touch pool. We squealed for delight at the penguins and watched the whale sharks for forever.
After the aquarium, we made the one mile walk back to the BCM. That may not sound like much, but this was the slowest-moving group of people you’ve ever seen. It probably took 30+ minutes to make the trek. We rested for a little while, then went to Atlantic Station for dinner and shopping. H&M and California Pizza Kitchen make for a good end to the day! I crashed pretty fast again Tuesday night.
Wednesday! We rolled out about 930 to go to Stone Mountain. It’s a large open-face granite mountain, whatever that means exactly. It was an absolutely BEAUTIFUL day to hike and enjoy God’s creation. After making 1245323 Hunger Games references on the hike, we got to the top and just spent time admiring the scenery and taking fun pictures.
We hung out with everyone on the top of the mountain for a while, then it was time to head down. At one point, there were rails because the path was steep, so we decided to mix things up coming back down:
After resting a little at the BCM, the Americans made dinner! I was semi-in charge, and working with a quadrupled recipe. I knew everyone would eat a bowl out of kindness, but when they went back for seconds I knew I couldn’t have messed it up too bad!
We also made cupcakes with homemade icing, which was super yummy and sent everyone into a sugar coma for the night.
Thursday! In the morning, I went with four others to the Margaret Mitchell house. She wrote Gone With the Wind, and spent her whole life in Atlanta. I love the book and movie and had several book nerd moments while touring her house and the exhibits. My mom may deny it, but I’m convinced she named me after GWTW. It’s her favorite book and movie too, after all.
After the tour, we walked back to the BCM to load up the cars. We took a vote on Tuesday and decided to just drive back to BR Thursday afternoon, which turned out to be a great idea. But first, we headed to the International area of town. Erica and Eddy’s cars headed to Chinatown, and my car ended up at this place called White Windmill Bakery and Cafe. It was American food, like club sandwiches, but all the breads/cookies they sold had English and Korean names. And then we had French soda to drink! It was a nice little lunch. We went to this massive farmer’s market after, then hit the road. Emily and I did lots of singing and caffeine drinking to stay awake, but we made it back to BR around midnight. I slept really good that night!
It was one amazing trip! There are so many more stories to tell, but I just don’t have room for them all! We took lots of fun pictures, made new friends, got closer to old ones, and had one unforgettable trip.