After Christmas with my family this year, we flew down to Atlanta to visit with Dave's family. It was great to see them again, and we stayed at John and Kerry's beautiful home once again. They are such wonderful hosts, and we love walking their dog Ati.
They really showed us the sights of Atlanta, including several museums downtown. First we went to the Coca Cola Museum, which was a gigantic advertisement for Coca Cola products (obviously).
What is more, an extremely creepy movie gave a little insight into behind-the-scenes action at the company.
Then we walked over to the Georgia Aquarium, which is just a really, really fantastic aquarium. They have multiple habitats for river, ice, ocean, and tropical creatures. One of the best exhibits is the ocean exhibit for its massive habitat for thousands of fish and four enormous whale sharks.
I love watching the fish move in the tank. We also came during feeding time for the ocean fish (as well as the polar otters), which was very neat to watch.
The aquarium also featured the same Titanic exhibit that I saw as a teenager at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. It was really neat to see all the artifacts again, as well as to read the timeline of that fateful night.
Interestingly, we each received a card to correspond to an actual Titanic passenger, as I had in high school. Deb and I were first-class female passengers, so we obviously survived. Dave, Big Dave, Kerry, and John were all third-class male passengers, but apparently Big Dave and John managed to survive. We're thinking mischief was afoot.
As our Christmas gift, John and Kerry took us to the King Tut exhibit at the Atlanta Civic Center. It was a very well-done exhibit. Much of it was similar to the exhibit that came through the Field Museum two years ago, but much of it was new. We love seeing the beautiful and amazing artifacts from ancient Egypt. It's astonishing not only that they were able to craft enormous stone sculptures, but also tiny bead jewelry. And, of course, Dave's family loves re-living their Egypt trip, which must have been one of the culminating events in their lives.
On our last full day, John and Kerry took us to Stone Mountain, a jutting granite block above the wide plain of the Atlanta area. Somehow this stone has become associated with the Confederacy, as there is a monument with flags, as well as an enormous relief of the traitors Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and "Stonewall" Jackson.
Blech. I personally am pretty disgusted by any attempt to glorify the Confederacy. This is basically a society centered around a slave-run agrarian economy. While the Civil War may have been fought over "states' rights," what were the rights in question? The chief contention was over the right to own slaves. Yes, let's look back lovingly on that. Ugh. But I digress.
Once you get to the top of Stone Mountain, it is a really awe-inspiring view of the Atlanta area. You can see downtown Atlanta just above our heads in that picture, but you can see all around for miles. (It was also very windy, as you can see by my hair.)
And there are the boys. I didn't want to go down the hill because the steepness of Stone Mountain was getting to me, so I just sat down and relaxed a bit. At least the trek up and down the mountain was some much-needed exercise amid the pound-packing holiday season.
As it is, I think I might have gained about five pounds in the month of December. Time to start working out again - good thing I have my new iPod Shuffle, a Christmas gift from my awesome mother in law!
Signing out for now - time to take down Christmas decorations and clean up the apartment. I have one more week left of break, and I intend to use every minute to my advantage (either by relaxing or making the apartment better). Happy new year!
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