Uncle Aidan was having a birthday and we headed to Atlanta to help him celebrate We left home after work on Friday and after a long 6 hour drive and an interesting dinner stop we arrived at the home of Aidan's In-Laws-To-Be in Tyrone, Georgia just before midnight.
One thing that has been interesting for us is experiencing the food here and in our quest to get to know who does what, we stopped at a place called Western Sizzlin, which is a steak and buffet restaurant serving southern comfort food. The pictures made it look so good but the buffet was scary! There was a lot of deep fried things and things covered in strange sauce or gravy and in general the food was crappy and we are never going there again, lol! By the way, if you ask for a medium rare steak, it comes out rare here. Note to self, order medium or medium well!
Steve, Julie, Aidan and Meg welcomed us to their lovely home with some well deserved drinks. Carys had not slept at all in the car and finally decided to fall asleep on my legs around midnight and was conveniently awake early the next day. A few strong coffees and some nature watching later, we were off on our first adventure for the day, Stone Mountain.
Our first stop was the cable car ride to the summit, 825 ft above ground to the top of the mountain. The wind was chilly but the view was amazing! We had a great view of the Atlanta skyline, the Appalachian Mountains and the puffed walkers who walked the whole way up the mountain. Some people were flying kites, others were taking a break and some stole my camera and took random photos (Uncle Aidan!)
The main eye catcher at Stone Mountain is the huge Confederate Memorial Carving which is the highest relief sculpture in the world. To give you an idea of the size of the carving, the stone carvers could easily stand on a horse's ear or inside a horse's mouth to escape a sudden rain shower! There is a lasershow which I believe is held most weekends but we had other plans this time but we may see it next time we visit.
Next up was a trip on the scenic railroad and there weren't many things to photograph other than the side of the mountain or the forest. We did say hello and thank you to the Engineer though and Carys enjoyed looking at 'Thomas' up close. After lunch and more wandering around, we were off to our next destination, Medieval Times for dinner and a show.
Because we were celebrating Uncle Aidan, we were seated in the front row. The food was plentiful, the drinks flowed and sand from the galloping horses was flicked in our faces but we loved it! We cheered for the Yellow Knight who eventually lost that nights tournament but the sparks from the sword fighting was just as exciting for Carys as her light up rose and yellow flag.
With full bellies and cardboard crowns still in place, we headed off to meet Aunt Meg's brother and his family who were also in town. This was a great opportunity for us all to meet and also for Carys to meet Alden who is a year older than her. Alden and Carys will both be a part of Uncle Aidan and Aunt Meg's wedding in September. Carys and Alden had a great time playing, dancing and giggling with each other playing Kings and Queen's with their little cardboard crowns. It was so great to watch them together!
After another early morning wake up by Carys, we readied to depart the wonderful hospitality of Steve and Julie. We were off to the Georgia Aquarium before heading home again. Right opposite the Aquarium is the World of Coca-Cola and a lovely park, both of which we hope to explore another time.
The first thing we did once we got inside was go to the Dolphin Tales show. The story was about the Starspinner who used to travel the world using the stars to guide him. One day the evil Sea Monster sunk his ship and the Starspinner was rescued by a pod of dolphins. Years later, that same pod of dolphins helped to raise the Starspinner's ship so he could defeat the evil Sea Monster once and for all. Job done. Because of the lasers, smoke and special effects used throughout the show, photography was banned but I took some (non flash) shots anyway. Conveniently, someone told us off just as the show ended!
One for our Autism Supporters
There was so much to see at this Aquarium that is was well worth the visit. We were there a few hours longer than we had initially planned but it was worth it. Carys still talks about seeing Nemo (he seems to be everywhere here. From the local nail salon to the Aquariums and Alligator farms!), the great big Whale Sharks, the Beluga whales, Mr Ray and the penguins. One of the penguins was also introduced to Pink Dora!
After lunch there was time for stories before heading off to see the BIG tank.
Thanks for having us Steve, Julie, Aidan and Meg! We can't wait to see ya'll again real soon! Before I go though, I won't bore you with details of the looooong drive home, but I will leave you with a few autographs. Enjoy!
and lastly, my friend...