I am not on a book tour… yet
Since I am technically not on a book tour, I didn’t make a book tour stop in Atlanta while I was there. Keep in mind, I had about 9 hours of tourism time because I was there for a conference. I didn’t get to visit as many things as I wanted, much like Emma and Fredrick would have been on his book tour stop. My goal was to see as much as I could in as little time as I had. I focused my attention on three things: a tour of CNN (my hotel was right there), the World of Coca-Cola because I love Coke, and a trolley tour.
My best advice for traveling with a small time frame to see a city: do a trolley tour! Some will be tours where you can get on and off the trolley and others will just drive you around for a few hours. I do them all the time and love them. The haunted tour I did in San Diego served as some inspiration for Northanger Farm’s background story.
Anyway, let’s talk about Atlanta, GA.
I shared a hotel room with a friend right at Centennial Park and attached to CNN. I did a tour of CNN’s studios. Since it was inauguration weekend, nobody cool was there. Yes, I was hoping to spot Anderson Cooper. Here is what I enjoyed most about the tour (and didn’t know before this). The CNN center use to be the World of Sid and Marty Krofft. Who are Sid and Marty Krofft? In a world before the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon reigning children’s television, the Kroffts were the people making live action, Saturday morning television shows. My favorite is H.R. Pufnstuf. Apparently Ted Turner bought the failed amusement park and built CNN. The elevator at the CNN center is the one built for the amusement park and is still the world’s longest freestanding escalator (according to Guinness). Anyway, the tour was just me and one other librarian. It was cool to see the rooms where they watch the news wires and social media to help them build the news stories they report.
After that I did the World of Coca-Cola.
It had been over 20 years since I was last in Atlanta. In that time they had held the Olympics. The thing about Atlanta, from and outsiders point of view, is that they seem to be big with tearing things down and rebuilding. It’s like Sherman started a trend when he burned the city down during the Civil War. When I last went to the World of Coca-Cola it was in the Atlanta Underground, but now it has moved to Centennial Park. It isn’t completely different than I remember, but I don’t remember much.
I had a silly goal of drinking my weight in Coke products, but I expected that to mostly be bottles of water. I did not accomplish this at all. They do give you a small bottle of Coke when you arrive and there is the tasting room where I liked certain flavors. I also loved all the historical and international advertisements they displayed. It was fun to see and taste things from around the world.
The one element I didn’t care for was the weird emphasis on the secret formula. They make a huge deal out of this, but never actually reveal anything. They have this whole vault walk through where they reveal nothing. Then there is a 4D adventure show, which also reveals nothing. The kids on a school trip loved both. I basically loved drinking coke products.
I did make some decisions about what Emma would have liked if she had gone on this tour.
So, I think she would like the watermelon one on the left, which is from China. I think Louisa would have liked the Melon Frosty one from Thailand. I didn’t pick for anyone else because… well, I think only Emma and Louisa would have gone on this tour. You will understand when you read the book.
After that tour was over (and I hit the gift shop), I grabbed some BBQ for lunch and then went on the trolley tour. Since I couldn’t get off, I had to rely on pictures from a distance. Atlanta’s biggest literary claim to fame is Margaret Mitchell and Gone With The Wind. The tour did take us past her house. No, the entire house was not hers. It’s broken up into apartments and hers was in the back. Alas, I didn’t feel compelled to make a trip back for a tour. We also saw MLK Jr.’s neighborhood, home, and memorial. I did not have time to get back out there.
After the tour I ended up back at the hotel room, chatting with my roommate, and resting before we went to the opening of the conference. The conference itself was pretty quiet. I had a lot of meetings and meals with vendors. The more often I go, the more connections I make, and the less downtime I have. There was one day where I was just so tired I skipped wandering around the exhibits and took a nap.
I did get to have snacks at Pitty Pat’s Porch, a popular souther restaurant in Downtown Atlanta. They had the MOST AMAZING fried green tomatoes. They were covered in cornmeal instead of flour and… I wish I had them now. The weekend I was in town was also the March for Social Justice and Women, an inauguration protest. I get some readers might disagree with me politically, but this is my blog and I had a little down time to make it to the march for a bit. I pulled out the pussy hat I made and went down to the protest. I didn’t get very close to the main action and I didn’t get a chance to even march because I had to get to a meeting.
I am glad I went though… and to be clear, Emma would have gone too.
I had a great trip. I got to see cousins I rarely get to spend time with. I saw my friend Melissa, who I have known for like 20 years and never met in person (bless the internet). I saw Neil Patrick Harris (again!). Here are a few extra pictures that I took!
So, that is my recap of my trip! Was there anything I missed visiting? Tell me in the comments!