Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Atlanta Field Trip: Part 1

A couple of weeks ago Grady was leading a work-related training in Atlanta for a few days. Since Atlanta is an easy drive south, since Grady was able to secure an incredible hotel suite so that all six of us weren't piling on top of each other, and since I'm always up for field trips, the kids and I tagged along on his trip. Actually, we parted ways each day with him heading to the office and the kids and I embarking on a new adventure around the city. 
We've visited Atlanta a handful of times, but because there is way more to do than there is time to do it, visiting this city never gets boring. And, if I'm honest, the real adventures happened in the van as I maneuvered in and around and through Atlanta trying to get us safely from one place to another. 
Question: Why do my kids think that the best time to engage in meaningful discussion, ask life-altering questions, or have personal emergencies should happen while I'm navigating six lanes of expressway traffic, reading signs, and trying to listen to the GPS?
Because 10 million guardian angels accompanied our van and my efforts to drive across town, we were able to spend a morning taking a tour of the Atlanta Falcons Stadium.

SO COOL. And I'm not even a huge football fan.

The only time I've been in this stadium was for a Passion Conference... imagine this place filled with 60,000 young adults eager to worship and learn God's Truth!
The kids and I were the only ones on this particular tour so we had a lot of fun getting a few more behind the scene tidbits than usual - at least that's what we were told.

The boys really enjoyed visiting the team locker room and getting to stand in and sit on the chair of their favorite player. When we toured the stadium in Charlotte, we were only allowed in the visitors locker room and not the Panther's locker room, so this was a big deal to them.

Jaxton loved that he got to hold a football the entire time and had free reign to run on the field for several minutes.

And Annalyse and I stuck together as all good girls do.
After our stadium tour we walked to the CNN Center to get lunch.


Four kids. Stroller. Backpack. Bazillions of people, most not speaking English, because of a nearby trade show that had dismissed for the lunch hour.

But, with only one kid falling and scraping his knee, with only one little girl whimpering that she needed to "go potty NOW," and with only one police officer running after me to hand back a baseball cap my youngest had whipped in the crosswalk a block back... we made it. Whew!
After lunch we purchased tickets to visit the World of Coca Cola. Once again, SO COOL. And I'm not even a huge Coke fan.

Because we were there in the winter and on a Tuesday afternoon, we felt like we had the place to ourselves. I was told that they expected around 2,000 guests that day but during weekends and peak vacation times they average 10,000 a day. I'll chalk this fun visit up the flexibility of homeschooling!
Between guided tours sharing the history of Coke, an incredible 4D movie, opportunities to break into the vault with the secret Coke recipe, a chance to meet the Coca Cola Polar Bear, and so much more... we had a great time! Two hours flew by.

And time flying by is a good thing when four kids have been on their feet all day and a two year old is nearing 3:00 with no nap!
Without question, our favorite part of Coca Cola was the tasting room. A room with several different drink dispensers full of unique Coke products made and sold around the world.

Each dispenser represented a different continent or region and contained types of drinks found there. Grady Lee was in 7th heaven when he reached Asia and South America because there were so many unique fruity and non-carbonated drinks.
Up until this point my kids have only tasted soda a couple of times. Other than the occasional Diet Coke I may have, our home is soda free. And, our attempts to enjoy sparking cider for a memorable event have failed because all kids gasp and say, "It burns my mouth!" Carbonation obviously isn't a hit.

But, when faced with hundreds of new drink possibilities and with no prerequisite to finish anything they didn't like, my kids were off and running to try them all.
If only I had my camera out and video on when Jax took a big swig of Coke. Priceless. This would have been our AFV golden moment, I'm confident.

His little hands grasped the cup I handed him, his mouth gulped one big swallow, and immediately his eyes began to water and he began to cough as though dying. As I reached to quickly take the cup from him, he fell on the floor in a fit and yelled, "More! More!" Each swallow after was the same intense reaction. Tears and gasps apparently indicate true love.
With full stomachs, full bladders, and sticky shirts and hands, we made our way back to the hotel for an hour of downtime before meeting Grady for dinner. What a day!

1 comment: