A Rainy Night In Georgia

How did you spend your MLK weekend? I spent mine with my friend Michelle in Georgia. I flew into Atlanta Friday night.  She picked me up and drove me back to her house in Athens, an hour and a half away. It was nice to see her house, her classroom (she’s a music teacher) and meet her friends. 100_5006.jpgI hadn’t been to Georgia since I was in high school. I was surprised at how wooded it was (at least her area). Michelle has a pretty little place with this as her back yard…..

Now, let me pause from the weekend recap to tell you how I know Michelle. We went to York College together. Not only did we sing in choir together, act in plays together, and take an art class together, we also were just good friends. Well years passed as they tend to do and before I knew it, 13 had gone by. We had talked occassionally by phone, but hadn’t seen each other in all that time. So summer of 2005 she calls me up and arranges to stop by my house for a few days on her summer roadtrip back to her home state of Arizona.  As it turned out, she had to change the dates of her visit. And here’s where the story gets interesting. I told her that was fine, but I did have a going away party for a co-worker scheduled at my house that she’d have to attend. This co-worker and I carpooled. One night after work she asked if I wanted to grab dinner. Typically, I would have said no, but for some reason I agreed. She called a friend of hers, Greg, to meet us there (I wondered if she was trying to set us up).  Over the course of that dinner, we decided to have a going away party for Brenda.

So fast forward to the night of the party. Michelle is at my house. Greg shows up. There’s instant chemistry. So much so, that I have to remind them that I still need help getting the party ready.  They continue to enjoy each other’s company throughout the party. The next day, he calls and wants to hang out with us. Long story short, they end up dating long distance.

So after not seeing Michelle for 13 years, she’s been my summer roommate for the last 2 summers. She’s a teacher so she’s come up here to be near Greg during her time off. Now isn’t that Murphy’s law. I haven’t met a guy in my 4 1/2 years living here, but she shows up for 3 days and catches one right away. (There are no hard feelings though. She knew I wasn’t interested in Greg and I’m happy that she found someone.) So I jokingly told her that she needed to make sure I met someone on my weekend there.

So back to the recap. I wasn’t exactly expecting the tropics, but I did expect much warmer weather. Apparently they were having a cold snap. Atlanta actually had snow. We had planned to go to a Shakespearean theater/tavern in Atlanta but got snowed out.  And then I had to laugh when Michelle’s church called off services the night before because they were talking about a chance of ice on the news. Nothing happened in the way of precipitation, but I guess those Southerners panic at the word “ice”.

100_5072.jpgMonday was our day to hang out in Atlanta. Although they have the world’s largest aquarium there, I opted for the zoo. They are one of 4 zoos in the U.S. to have pandas (and I’m more a fan of fur than fins). I think these were the first pandas I’ve actually seen. Years ago I was at the Berlin zoo and saw pandas on the map, but my time was short and I could not find them before I had to leave. Here’s a shot of Lun Lun nursing Mei Lan the cub.

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 And Mei Lan was so cute on top of this deck-like structure. She couldn’t figure out how to get down with the snow.

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The zoo turned out to be a good choice. I had decided to pay the steep $18, but as we got to the ticket counter they informed us that since it was so cold, tickets were half off, but some of the animals would not be out (they did guarantee the pandas). Here were the otters. They were quite entertaining. Apparently they like to eat ice. They’d stick their paws into the icy water and then tilt their heads up to chew (presumably so the ice didn’t fall out).

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Caught one or two of them “skating” on the ice. 

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100_5135.jpgAfter the zoo, we headed to the World of Coke. With Coca Cola being headquartered in Atlanta, they have a nice museum right across from Olympic park. They have lots of advertising displayed, some pop art by the likes of Andy Warhol, vintage commercials and jingles, and best of all, the Tasting Station. Here you could try about 50 kinds of soda from around the world. Michelle and I agreed that our favorite was a champagne colored drink called “Simba” from Paraguay. It had a slight cream soda flavoring (but better). There were definitely some weird drinks there, from pineapple to apple kiwi to mouthwash flavor and everything in between. By the way, if you are ever in Italy, take my advice and pass on the “Beverly” (unless you like extremely bitter things).

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~ by tawnyamarie on January 24, 2008.

3 Responses to “A Rainy Night In Georgia”

  1. Sounds like you had a fun trip! I’ve always wanted to go to the Coke place! YUM! I’m all for Coke…hate Pepsi, as a matter of fact. Oh, and to all you skeptics out there, I CAN pass a taste test and do every time someone doesn’t believe me that they are different enough! 🙂 Anyway, fun story and pics! Have a great day!

  2. Devon: I’m with you. I much prefer Coke. Plus they have the cute polar bears and penguins. What does Pepsi have? nothing memorable.

  3. I have a friend who lived in Athens and Macon… and she said the whole state shuts down for the FEAR of ice or snow. They just don’t know what to do with it. She thought it was funny that we had school in snow in OK when we were in college at O.C. Oh, I have a cousin who told me that I could come see them, and go to visit the Coke stuff. I would have so much fun there. I also prefer fur to fin. But I like Dr. Pepper. Love the pictures!

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