Tour of Atlanta, GA

 

Merle and I received a gift from Paula Lingelbach of a bus tour of Atlanta as a gift for my birthday.  We took the tour on 7/8/06.
 
We started at an area call Underground Atlanta
This five block area downtown was revitalized in 1989, and now houses a variety of shops and restaurants.  It's still downtown, as demonstrated by some of the people asking for spare change....
They had an old Helms Bakery truck...how many of you remember those days?
When I was a kid, the Helms man would come by our neighborhood in his truck.  On a special occasion, we might get a fresh donut.   Ah, the good 'ol days....
Coca Cola Visitor Center
They had some pretty amazing facts, like that they're selling thousands or millions (insert large number here) of drinks every minute through their various brands around the world.  It is staggering to ponder.
They had some examples of old time ads and imprinted items, watching the logo evolve over the years.
Aside from the usual Coke, Sprite, Mr. Pibb stuff, they had samples of other products they sell all over the world, with some interesting flavors, like ginger, apricot, and watermelon sodas.  The kid in the picture thought the different flavors were pretty funny. 
 
Merle was glad to taste them all.
And then....
The Carter Center/Presidential Library
This area probably deserves more time to visit than was allowed on our tour.  Lots of history was there, including a warehouse sized climate controlled room with all the original documents signed by Jimmy Carter.
The tour started with a visit to the rose garden.  
 
I think this picture was taken before Merle had her coffee.
The Carter Center even admits people with bowed legs.
Jimmy Carter's actual Nobel Peace Prize.
Merle at the replica of the Oval Office.  It seemed very realistic...we expected Martin Sheen to walk in any minute.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Center
 
It was very crowded, although you can't tell so much from these pictures.
We crossed right at the "No Crossing" area, but, to this day, this crime goes unpunished.
Here lies the body of MLK, Jr.
Closer view of the tomb.
Back to Underground Atlanta for lunch and to check out the local happenings.

Off to see the house of Margaret Mitchell, famous Atlanta citizen, author of Gone With The Wind. 

The house backed up to Peachtree Street.  Ms. Mitchell was born and later killed by a taxi on that same street.  In the gift shop, they have a continuous loop of Gone With The Wind playing.  The lady who worked there said she doesn't get paid extra to endlessly watch the same scene.

Photo of Margaret Mitchell working.
The actual typewriter she used (looks like it to me!).
Here Merle and I are in the Mitchell House courtyard.  Behind us on the bottom floor is a museum highlighting the philanthropic work done by Ms. Mitchell.

Interestingly, when the tour started, some other people wandered up and were looking.  The guide stopped immediately and asked if they were part of our tour.  They responded that they weren't.  The guide told them to wait right there, called for them to be escorted away as if they were terrorists, and didn't say another word until they were gone.

Tour of Buckhead
This part of Atlanta is where many rich and famous people reside.  The homes were amazing, and ranged in price from $15- $200 million.  The pictures were taken through the tour bus window.

 

Here is the Swan House, apparently very famous, as bus driver said it was used in several movies.

Some other examples.
Our tour guide was fairly entertaining, except he pronounced the "ch" in architect like in the word "chips"...ar-chi-tect.

We sat right behind him.  For the record, however, I'm not that into back of head shots.
Merle petting the stingrays.
Here, stingy, stingy....
Glad I don't have to mow this lawn!
The final stop:  The Georgia Aquarium
Also, very crowded, but with our Gray Line stickers, we got to go to the front of the line.
There were different exhibits, deep sea, cold water, rivers...
The giant aquarium was pretty cool, with two whale sharks and schools of fish.  Compare to the size of the people in front.
We were in a staring contest with this big fish... until the very moment when I snapped the photo. 
 
Fish can be so difficult sometimes.
It got pretty crowded in the exhibits.  This picture taken by just putting up my camera and snapping it.  Not recommended for claustrophobics.
Several of the exhibits have tunnels through the aquarium, allowing you to walk as if you're in the tank. 
 
Here the whale shark swims overhead.
When Merle sees fish, she can't help wanting to eat them.
When we saw a seal taking a nap, Merle felt compelled to do the same.
As we left Atlanta, I bought a car, '05 Honda Civic.  It had a cool stereo.  Plus, I could only borrow the green truck for so long.
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