Just over a week ago, The Husband had to attend a training in Atlanta, GA. Since I didn't feel much like single-parenting for a week and a friend of mine told me that Atlanta was a super-family-friendly, happy, delightful town, we decided that we'd all go together.
I was envisioning a hotel in walking distance to, well, everything. I wanted to go see the zoo and the aquarium and perhaps check out some historical sites.
Turns out the training was about 14 miles north of downtown (where EVERYTHING is located), the hotel we were staying in was right next to the office park where they training was taking place, and we had decided not to rent a car (since that would have cost more than my flight ticket), so I was sort of stuck.
Our first day there, I ended up taking Noah out to walk to a nearby grocery store, ALDI, that recently expanded from Germany into North America and is so far only to be found on the Eastern side of the country. I was extremely excited about this store, not because it's actually an exciting store, but because it's like a little part of home, transplanted for my enjoyment. The store was eerily similar to its German counterparts - right down to the, uh, pretty linoleum flooring. ALDI was the big excitement of day 1.
The next morning, I braved a one-hour busride followed by a short subway ride to see the Georgia Aquarium. The busride was complicated by the fact that Noah was not allowed to sit in the stroller (which would have forced him to be buckled in, which would have made my life a lot easier because it would have cut out that whole delightful hour I spent making sure he didn't climb and/or fall off his seat/onto the seat in front of him/out of the window) and by the no-eating-on-the-bus rule, but we survived.*
The aquarium was a short walk away from the subway stop, so we actually got to see Centennial Olympic Park, which has all kinds of neat fountains, two playgrounds, and a huge grassy field.
I love aquariums. Love. There's just something about watching fish swim around happily... I can't quite put it into words. At any rate, I really enjoyed the Georgia Aquarium.
Noah was delighted to be allowed to run around, and we ended up going through the exhibits kind of fast, but after a quick lunch break, he fell asleep in the Ergo and I had the opportunity to sit down in the amphitheater-like room in front of the big fish tank. It's dark-ish and there is classical music playing softly on the PA... it was a nice treat for me in the middle of a long, exhausting day.
We spent our last day in Georgia recovering from our field trip, playing in the hotel pool, and walking to a book store where Noah played with the train table while I read a trashy magazine that had been left in the kids' section by a thoughtful parent.
Aside from a little snafu with our plane (they found a leak in the hydraulics at the last minute, so we had to change planes) and a ride on an airport shuttle that seemed to take forever to get us home, the return trip was uneventful.
It's fun to travel, but it's great to be home. :)
More photos are here!
*It was the ride home with a tired Mama and a tired Noah that was more or less unbearable. That hour was worse than the 4.5 hours we spent on the plane getting to Atlanta!