After the flying adventure on the 28th, we went the opposite direction and went under water on the 29th. Specifically, we went to the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, where we saw whale sharks for the first time:
Trust me when I say that whale sharks are Big Ass Creatures. That one in the photo is a juvenile, and at about 25′ long, still has some growing to do before reaching its final length of around 40′. You just have to feel for whomever has to keep that growing body fed. And y’all, the Georgia Aquarium has five whale sharks.
The aquarium also has manta rays, which I adore.
I could watch those move around for hours.
When we left the aquarium, we went to a famous Atlanta landmark for lunch:
The burgers were, frankly, mediocre but the orange milkshakes and fried peach pies totally lived up to the hype.
Right next to the Varsity is this:
It’s something from the 1996 summer Olympics — it’s not the cauldron, but I’m not sure what it is — and it’s just sitting in a parking lot next to a highway and has a chain link fence around it. I have Googled until my fingers were tired and cannot figure out what that thing is and why it’s sitting there all sad and lonely. I find it a little depressing that so much money and time is put into Olympic venues and then they’re forgotten after the medals are awarded and the athletes go home.
So after our mini adventure in Hotlanta, we hopped back in the Jenmobile and headed southeast to Florida’s east coast for our main adventure. Georgia is a biiiiiiig state — the largest east of the Mississippi, as my husband commented a couple of times on our drive — so it took a while to escape the land of Jimmy Carter and peaches and reach the land of oranges and ‘gaters.
Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about the big adventure of our trip.
Love the whale sharks! We were introduced to the Georgia Aquarium by our grown nephew and his wife during the summer of ’11. What a great place! The Beluga whales were another favorite. We did the Coca Cola tour after that, which everyone enjoyed (much to my surprise).
I was trying to keep track of your adventures from your FB posts, but you guys were on the MOVE during vacation. Pretty impressive!
That aquarium is on my family’s bucket list. Whale sharks! Amazing!
I love aquariums. It’s always my favorite place to go -underwater environments are so romantic, somehow. This sounds like it’s been such a wonderful vacation.
That was the cauldron for the 1996 Olympics. Somewhere I have a photo of it when it was part of the Olympic Stadium. Which was built for the Olympics and then renovated to become Turner Field, where the Braves play baseball, for the following 1997 season.
The Varsity has always been known as a little bit gross.
The torch reminds me of the sort-of-local Santa Claus Lane Santa, which now sits in an industrial lot by the freeway in Oxnard.
I adore a good aquarium. And I’m with you on rays. In Denver you can “pet” and feed them. No kidding! They have a big shallow pool where a bunch of them swim around and you can buy a little tub of anchovies (maybe? I don’t know - they’re little (dead) fish) and they’ll come eat them out of your hand. It’s UH.MAY.ZING. The Girl was brave enough to pet one, but the Boy didn’t want anything to do with it. In San Fran they have a similar set up (no feeding though) and he pet them then. I think he was just over tired in Denver…
Have you seen this? It’s a beautiful and heartbreaking slide show of abandoned olympic sites (um, if you couldn’t tell by the link name. Duh.):
I love rays (the little ones). I did pet one once, in Sydney Aquarium.
Can’t wait to hear about the next phase of your trip!
The 1996 Olympic cauldron is currently located nearer to Turner Field - this particular landmark is explained here: http://midtown.patch.com/articles/spring-spruce-up-for-olympic-landmark