Friday, September 26, 2008

Check Atlanta off the List

Last week I spent 4 days in Atlanta and traveled virtually free of charge. I flew on frequent flier miles and stayed in my friend's hotel room while she toiled away in an over-air-conditioned windowless conference room hawking her educational television goods.

I was happy to explore the city on my own. I had been once when I was 7 or 8 on family trip, but that barely counts. I was able to choose what I wanted to do and when I wanted to do it - just the way I like to travel. My first day I ate one of the most delicious breakfasts ever at The Flying Biscuit, then ventured to the Center for Puppetry Arts, which I highly recommend if you are ever in Atlanta. It will soon have an entire wing dedicated to Jim Henson, his Muppets and all the other creative beings he imagined and made come to life. (Props to Statler & Waldorf!)

I also experienced the World of Coca-Cola with my friend (who opted to try every single offering & didn't vomit) which included the opportunity to taste Coca-Cola beverages from Asia, Europe and South America. We also experienced our first 4-D film in which we were lurched about in our seats, sprayed with water and finally poked in the back. Fortunately, I got all the Diet Coke (mixed with Vanilla Coke) I wanted after such rough housing. (Also no vomiting)

Another day I was able to swim in the hotel pool without having to share it and check out the Georgia Aquarium. It didn't smell fishy - hooray! I got to see cool beluga whales, many funky colored fish and these crazy dancing eel thingies. Oh, and I got to pet a sting ray (but not the piranha). We later enjoyed an authentic Southern meal at Colonnade (i.e. fried chicken, mashed potatoes/gravy and biscuits). I'd provide a link to their website, but they are so down home that they don't have one - or take them new-fangled credit cards. (Uh, sadly, almost vomited - see entry about GI issues during trip to New Orleans...)

The real motivator for my trip to Atlanta was being able to attend a ballgame at Turner Field, home of my childhood hero, Dale Murphy! I am getting closer in my quest to see a game in every MLB stadium and now I can check the Braves' home off my list. I was able to score a great seat for cheap, enjoy dollar hot dog night and have my photo taken with the less-than-stellar mascot, Homer. All in all, a success.

Peaches consumed = zero.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Day I Have Been Waiting For!!!

Some girls await the day they get that shiny new sports car with a big bow on top, many girls eagerly anticipate the day they get married, while other girls look forward to their parole date. A day I have been waiting for finally arrived: I GOT MY PICTURE TAKEN WITH THE SAN DIEGO FRIAR MASCOT!!!

True, this specific brother may not have been called to a life of poverty (the Stone IPA I was about to purchase when I spotted him cost 9 bones) but he was called to community service: entertaining me! (And probably some kids who were in the nearby play area, but I wasn't paying any attention to them.)

My love of mascots has a long history: sure there was the rather weak Fredbird in St. Louis, the much more impressive Mr. Met in New York, and the Milwaukee Sausage Race Crew but this tonsured dude was a long-awaited goal. Goal reached!!

But wait, there is still another mascot with which I dream to be photographed: The Philly Phanatic.

Thank goodness the Cubs are so fun they don't need a cartoonish mascot to create enthusiasm for the team -- unless you count Ron Santo.
Hooray for baseball!! (And my pal Melany for having a camera with her)