Posted by: wildflowerz | July 1, 2013

Staycation Reviews

And hopefully this will be the last time I use the annoying word, staycation, for a while. XD

Thursday, we got up and headed down to the Georgia Aquarium.  Since we’ve last been, the dolphin show and the Deep-O 3D show are now free with admission.  The first dolphin show isn’t until noon.  We planned on doing the Aquarium and then World of Coke with lunch in between.  And we were hoping to avoid having to eat at the Aquarium.  So, we decided to skip the dolphin show.  We did make it to see Deep-o though.  We’d never done that before.  I’m glad now that we didn’t pay extra for it.  It sucked.  It made no sense whatsoever and the songs were horrible.  The one nice thing was there was a brief period when we got to see the adorable Sam Huntington.  The rest of the aquarium was awesome…so pretty much the same.  🙂  Em got an adorable pink and purple SUPER soft penguin.  After that, we went to Johnny Rockets for lunch.  I had a boring salad.

From there, we went on to the World of Coke.  I haven’t been since they moved.  And Chris had never been.  Now instead of being more like a museum, it’s more of a guided thing.  You start having to stand around in the lobby.  There are some giant decorative Coke bottles, but that’s about it.  You wait for a while and then go into this area called The Coca Cola Loft.  It’s a room with a lot of old Coke advertising and some new mascots that you’ve never heard of unless you’ve been to the World of Coke before.  It’s got an employee who tells you about a lot of the stuff.  It’s neat and reasonably humorous.  Then, the entire group moves on to the Happiness Theater.  It’s marginally better than the Deep-o show next door, but it’s still pretty stupid and pointless.  After this, you go into the Hub.  They tell you then that it’s a self-guided tour.  We decided to head to the first place to the right, which was the Vault of the Secret Formula.  This is like one of the lines to a ride at Disney except less interesting and with no real payoff at the end.  You’re packed in very tightly and you don’t actually move forward much.  There are drawers along one wall to open and see things.  Except since no one is going forward, the kids that get there first stay parked there and won’t move.  Eventually a few people get to this giant screen and evidently they have to play some kind of game to “open the vault.”  I say “evidently” because that’s what Chris told me.  Neither Em or I could see anything at all.  You then go into this round room that’s tiny and has screens on all the walls.  There’s some kind of visual movie thing, but the screens are so close that what you can see goes by so fast, it makes you dizzy.  Then the door opens and you can see the “vault.”  And that’s it.  You’re free to take pictures.  Evidently this is where they keep the recipe.  Whatevs.  After that, we went back to the Hub.  We finished up downstairs by seeing the Milestones of Refreshments.  This is more museum-like.  It was fine, but not fab.  Em got to hold one of the Olympic torches from Bejing.  Then we saw the Bottleworks.  That was neat too, but the plaques telling what was going on are kind of low and the people in front of us wouldn’t move, so it was annoying.  After that, we went upstairs and saw the 4D theatre.  First, the glasses aren’t the reunsable kind, so hello waste of paper.  The story is dumb.  There’s one part where a bug’s supposed to bite you (*SPOILER ALERT*) and a peg bumps out of the back of the chair into your back.  I think mine was broken.  When I sat down, I kept moving around, thinking my bag was sticking in my back or my bra.  Turns out, it was this protrusion.  When the bug “bites” you, it came out so far that it REALLY STINKING HURT!  I think I have a bruise.  After that there were a few other rooms that were unremarkable.  Then there’s the tasting room.  Supposedly there were 100 different flavors.  It really didn’t feel like it.  If I had to guess, I’d have said there were maybe 50.  Each one more disgusting than the last.  Let me take a moment for a public service warning:  If you’ve not drunk anything but water for 10 months, I don’t recommend the tasting area.  I was nauseous and really just wanted to burp the rest of the night.  It was gross and I felt awful.  After tasting, you get to get a free bottle of Coke off their assembly line that they make right there at the museum.  This is cool and they’re also small bottles, which I find a big plus. 🙂  Of course, then, you head into the Coke store.  The store is bigger than any single other area of the museum.  I know they want to sell shit, but isn’t that a bit overkill?  We didn’t end of buying anything.  I don’t drink it anymore and Em never has.  Chris doesn’t care.  In the end, I wouldn’t go back here.  I wouldn’t even recommend it unless you REALLY like Coke.  None of us were overly impressed at all.

After the World of Coke we went home and let the dog out for a while and chilled.  We headed out around 5:30 and went to TGIFriday’s.  Em had never been there and Chris and I haven’t been in AGES.  The only one I know of is near the mall and we don’t usually eat down there because the traffic is constantly awful.  It was okay, but nothing stellar in the least.  None of us have any desire to go back.  We then headed over to Stone Mountain Park.  We got tickets to ride to the top.  We walked around for a bit.  It was pretty and very cool up there, which was awesome.  Eventually we came back down and got our stuff to park out on the lawn.  Chris and Em got snacks for us and we played some games and stuff.  Eventually the laser show started.  It’s been over 10 years since we’ve seen it.  The “laser” part was much cooler in the 80s.  Now?  Not so much.  About halfway through, it started raining a little.  We sat it out, but in about 5 minutes, it was POURING.  So we gave up and left.

Friday, I got up and went to Weight Watchers.  You’ve seen the other post on that.  When I got back home, we went to White Water.  While we were in line getting our bags checked, Em saw one of her friends from school.  She was with her mom, who happens to be one of Em’s gym teachers.  So that was cool.  A bit later I ran into the lady from my Weight Watcher meeting who’d made goal that day!  How neat. 🙂  Anyway, Chris said it was WAY more crowded than it usually is when they go on Saturday or Sunday…which seems weird.  Most of the lines were about 30 minutes.  The first ride was one of the big tube ones where we all sit in it together.  I don’t know what happened, but the tube in front of us ended up empty.  And with no weight in it, it wasn’t going as fast as it should.  It ended up getting on top of our tube.  And since I was going down backwards, it ended up on my head.  We shoved it off several times, but it didn’t feel good.  The whole day was mostly good.  I didn’t appreciate not being able to wear shoes for several reasons.  Bathrooms?  Ew!  Also there’s a ton of different flooring types and most of them are concrete and really hurt.  Chris and I were hobbling by the end of the day.  We had lunch there that seriously sucked.  I appreciated that there was an option to have carrots instead of fries.  But the bag was TEENSY.  I had a grilled chicken sandwich that was very bland.  Chris said their burgers were the same.  We left around 3 or so and came home.  Overall a pretty good day with a few bad things.  Also, I hardly saw ANY questionable bathing suit fashion choices.  Seriously White Water?  I am disappoint!

Saturday we headed over to Helen, GA.  I’d looked ahead of time and found 2 mini golf places.  One of them, Em’s been to with my dad.  The other’s pirate-themed.  We were going to do the pirate one, but we couldn’t find it.  We drove the main street and didn’t see it or signs for it.  So we went back and did the other one.  It was fun.  I won. 🙂  It got a little hot near the end, but not too bad.  After that, we headed back into town and found a parking place.  Know where we parked?  Across from the pirate golf place!  There was a sign for the parking that we followed and that’s where we ended up.  We ate at this place called The Troll Tavern.  I wanted something with a little more of the German flair and not so much your standard place.  They had a few sausages on the menu, but that’s about it.  Chris and I ended up having wraps and Em had a burger.  Chris did get German beer, though, so there’s that. 🙂  Funny thing, the next day I saw on FB that some of our neighbors ate there on Sunday!  Funny!  After lunch, we decided to look at the shops for a bit.  Em got a redneck airbrush tee shirt.  She’s 9, though, so everything looks cute on her. 🙂  We then went to do tubing.  There are two main companies.  We picked Helen Tubing.  It was only $3 each!  So we changed and then went to get in line for the bus.  A bus was just leaving when we came out from paying before changing and another got there as we finished changing.  Chris went into the office to rent a stick (in case you get stuck on rocks) and to store his keys inside.  He went in the door and came right back out with his keys and no stick.  This turned out to be a giant pain in the ass decision.  We got on the bus and headed down.  Okay, you could get the 1 hour ride or the 2 1/2 hour ride.  We bought the 1 hour.  The “tickets” were just those raffle ticket things, so there was no info on them.  The bus wasn’t marked and we got no instructions.  At the stop, they just took our tickets and didn’t say anything.  So, I’m pretty sure we took the 2 1/2 hour ride.  We got tubes with bottoms in them (good choice, btw) and we got straps to hook our tubes together.  Chris had somehow gotten rid of his Crocs.  I still had a pair, so that’s what I was wearing.  Em had some water shoes.  Chris wore flip flops.  So, we got stuck on rocks and I got out to fix us.  After the third or so time, I tripped and fell, scraping up my hand.  After that, I gave my Crocs to Chris and he got us unstuck.  It was a big pain to keep getting stuck everywhere.  Then people would come up behind you, wedging you in farther.  I was done by about an hour and a half in.  If we’d actually gotten on the hour ride, it would have been much better.  Anyway, after I called my mom and we decided to head to their house and go catch some dinner. We went to pick up Em’s airbrush tee and made a stop at the candy shop.  I got a chocolate covered Rice Krispy Treat for later.  We met the parents and then went for dinner at Longhorn.  I’m not sure what’s up, but I think they’ve got some serious errors in their NI for their drinks.  I ended up having 2 and was quite tipsy when we left.  Did I mention I RARELY drink anymore?  🙂

Sunday we headed to the Atlanta Botanical Garden.  None of us had ever been.  It was very nice and super shady.  We enjoyed walking around and looking.  After an hour or so, it got much hotter and wasn’t quite as fun.  It was a bit confusing as there’s no clear path, so we missed a lot of things and had to track back quite a bit.  It was neat, but I doubt I’d want to go again.  Before we went, I looked for a few places with stuff that looked like we’d all eat it between there and the High.  We ended up going to The Nook.  They were doing brunch.  Chris and I got standard breakfast stuff.  Em got Totchos.  Yes, a giant pile of tots with stuff on them like Nachos.  She liked them.  They were yum. 🙂

After that, we went on over to the High Museum of Art.  First we saw The Girl with the Pearl Earring Exhibit.  It was pretty cool.  I don’t think Em was impressed with the whole experience.  And, to be perfectly honest, we were all exhausted.  We ended up skipping some of the bottom floors and the kid stuff they had going.  I do think we saw Bill Paxton there.  I thought it looked like him and I pointed him out to Chris.  He went to look and heard him speaking.  It was totally him.  That’s my first “in the wild” celebrity sighting.  Dragon*Con doesn’t count. 🙂  Anyway, we headed home around 2:30 and lazed away the rest of the day.  We were so tired!

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